Episode 61: How to Lose Weight Without Dieting with Ayat Sleymann






Brief summary of show:


We’re talking all about how to lose weight without dieting in this episode.


I know losing weight and getting healthier is a big topic of conversation in my community, because it’s something we all want, and most of us have such a hard time sticking to.



The good news is that a lot of our weight loss struggles are rooted in our mindset, and there are small and effective tweaks we can make to shift how we view food.


Joining me for this conversation is Ayat Sleymann, a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. Ayat has been featured in Good Morning America, Poosh, and PopSugar to name a few. She specializes in helping moms lose weight without restriction or deprivation.


Listen in as we talk about:

  • [2:40] Why Ayat specializes in helping moms lose weight without dieting

  • [3:20] The part that mindset plays in losing weight

  • [6:50] Why we shouldn’t restrict different foods

  • [8:45] Tactics to balance your eating effectively

  • [11:30] Ayat’s suggestions of foods to add to your diet

  • [19:00] Recommendations of what to purchase at the grocery store


Notes from Natalie:

Connect with Ayat Sleymann


Connect with Me



View Transcript for this Episode

Natalie: Hi everyone. It's Natalie, how are you? It has been a very busy season of life for me, not complaining.

[00:00:06] I've been on the road a lot and our middle child is graduating from high school. I can't believe how fast time has flown by between teaching high school. Keeping up with the podcast, running my small business, staying healthy is something I try really hard to do for me and for my family. But as you know, It's just not easy.

[00:00:25] It doesn't come very easily, at least to me. And I think for all of you, as far as what I hear back from you, but it doesn't need to be stressful. In fact, some simple changes and routines can help you with your diet and your overall lifestyle. Today. I'm talking to mom nutritionist, Ayat Sleymann. She's a registered dietician specializing in helping moms lose weight in a healthy way, without all the dieting and without the restrictions, I find this particularly important as I raise young women. I want them to know that their habits, their everyday habits that's, what's important, not the way they look. I yet has a special way of making things fun and she has so many great ideas. I can't wait for you to meet her as we get started with this week's podcast and be sure you hit subscribe and visit the show notes of the podcast for a link to my newsletter and for more on the topics we discussed today, let's get started.

[00:01:21] Ayat, thank you for joining me today. This is a topic. I get a lot of requests for, because especially as moms, we tend to put ourselves last and we want to get in shape. We want to lose weight, but yet it's really hard to do.

[00:01:36] Ayat: Right. And thank you so much for having me

[00:01:38] and

[00:01:38] Natalie: I totally get that. Okay. So this is what you specialize in.

[00:01:42] Tell us a little bit more about you. You're a nutritionist. I know you work with a lot of moms, your big online, a tick-tock and Instagram. I know you, this is what you do day in and day out.

[00:01:53] Ayat: Yes. Thank you. So I'm a registered dietician. I specialize in helping moms lose weight in a healthy way without the dieting, without the restriction, because as moms, we also want to be teaching our kids to not get into that diet cycle.

[00:02:07] And the best way to do that is to really prioritize what we're eating with. Cutting out any foods or food groups.

[00:02:14] Natalie: So I find that so much of losing weight in particular is a mind game. I mean, I swear the more I tell myself, I can't have the chocolate, the more my body is just starting for it. So how much of what you teach and what you help people with is the mental side of dieting.

[00:02:33] I hate that word dieting by the way.

[00:02:36] Ayat: Yeah. Honestly mindset is one of the biggest struggles because everyone knows how to eat. I mean, you know how to lose weight. Yes. Eat healthy, right. Eat more fruits, eat more veggies. Sure. Get your exercise. And, but the mindset piece of it that's what's really. Difficult because a lot of people grow up in a diets household, right.

[00:02:57] Where they're seeing their moms look at the mirror. Maybe, you know, the mom is complaining about her, not fitting into our jeans or not wanting to be in pictures or beatings or stuff like that. So it really gets ingrained in our minds as we're growing up also magazines, let's not forget magazines that we're seeing, like, you know, front cover pictures of beautiful women in bathing suits, which are.

[00:03:20] Photoshop. Right. But we didn't know that growing up Photoshop images and it's just all around us and advertisements on TV everywhere. So we grow up thinking, you know, I should be this way and this is what I need to eat. So it really becomes a mindset issue as we grow up. And a lot of that, the mindset piece is unlearning a lot of the things we've learned and that.

[00:03:45] It's the hardest piece, because a lot of us are unaware of these subconscious thoughts. Well, really getting into that, that's really the biggest struggle. And again, once we're kind of through that, it becomes more of a, how can we shift our eating to align with our health goals, with our weight loss goals.

[00:04:03] So I would say mindset. 70 to 90% of the struggle.

[00:04:08]

[00:04:11] Natalie: Since starting my own business, I have discovered something I never knew. I would enjoy so much. What is it making my own graphics? Maybe you've seen my YouTube cover templates, Instagram quotes, and carousels. Also Facebook infographics. Can I tell you how much fun I'm having and how easy it is to make these.

[00:04:32] Canva. I even do it on my phone. It's that easy. If you're looking for a simple way to make graphics for social media, maybe school, I'm a teacher as well. So I use it for that. Or even for work, you're going to love canvas. There is a free version of the program, but the provost. So worth it, it's $119 and you can also pay monthly.

[00:04:54] I share my designs with my team at school and at home where we collaborate on designs. And I'm going to give you 45 days free of Canva pro. If you go to my website, Natalie tisdel.com/. Favorites, just click on Canva. Once you get there, I may get a small commission if you purchase through this link, but that's just to keep my website and my podcast going.

[00:05:20] So thank you once again, Natalie tisdel.com/favorites and click on Canva.

[00:05:27]

[00:05:30] Natalie: One thing that I've enjoyed doing as I've tried to get healthy, instead of diet, is to think of an, I think you'll agree with this, but I want to hear your take on it is to think of my food as like such a blessing and so beautiful. I'm like I can have this life.

[00:05:47] Really yummy, beautiful salad. And, oh, this is so versus, oh, I have to have a salad. Like it's so colorful and it's so tasty. And it's like, you know, like I, I build this up in my mind because it really is like it's from the earth. Like I just do here where I'm going with this. Like I told myself that and with all

[00:06:06] of my food,

[00:06:07] Ayat: Yes, exactly.

[00:06:08] And honestly, if we take some time to really taste our food right, to really face and be mindful of the food we're eating, we're going to find that a lot of these foods that we restrict aren't really as good as we imagined them to be. Just because. We are mindlessly eating them because we're restricting them.

[00:06:28] All we're thinking about is eating them because we know that they're bad for us versus eating them for enjoyment. Of course, there are situations, you know, like ice cream is delicious, right? Like there are foods like brownies. I love brownies and I will have a whole thing of them. Like there are some foods are really, really good.

[00:06:44] But others, that things that we restrict, especially like as moms sometimes, have you ever found yourself kind of like grabbing goldfish or whatever, whatever it gets love? Like why did I even eat this? Like, it's not even good and it's not as good as I remember it to be as a young child, but because it's there because we know that it's quote unquote unhealthy for us, it's just become really fixated in our minds to grab it, eat it because it's bad for us.

[00:07:10] It's really, like you said, like some mindset. Piece to it versus, you know, actual enjoyment. And when you said like the salad salads, you know, you can make them really delicious. I know that there are some sad salads out there that I just don't, they're not as tasty, but really add adding into our meals is going to it's going to help us kind of get through that.

[00:07:32] so I think I went on a tangent, but what was, what was that's

[00:07:35] Natalie: great. No, and that's what I'm thinking. Like when I envisioned a salad, it's not just like iceberg lettuce and carrots. Like I'm thinking I want a rugala and I'm going to chop up some beautiful strawberries and then I'm going to use some olive oil.

[00:07:48] The Somac with some nut. And I mean, I build it up in my mind. It's like this really beautiful thing. But let's, let's get into some specifics. Okay. So we talked about mindset and how important that is to unlearn some of these things, but let's talk about not restricting and some of your tactics, because I know you give tips every day, if so many great tips on, on doing this effectively and what types of things you recommend for people?

[00:08:15] Give me some examples.

[00:08:17] Ayat: Yeah, absolutely. So I think one of the biggest struggles, I, one of the biggest mistakes I see with weight loss is people will restrict. They will take away from their meals. They will eat way less food. Right? You might skip meals. You might skip a whole day of eating just to kind of balance out your overeating over the weekend.

[00:08:36] Right. There's just so much restriction and taking away. So the way to really shift that is to start looking at where. Add an nutrition. You have to look at it as where can I add and more nutrition to give me more satisfaction, to give me more nourishment for my body. And once we do that, it also plays a role in hormones, our hormones stabilized, and we're not so hungry later on in the day, our blood sugar levels stabilize as well, which again, leads to less hunger, less cravings.

[00:09:05] So how can we add into our meals? And eat enough throughout the day. That's another thing with women. They tend to not eat enough food which kind of throws us off balance. And then we're craving late night snacks and all the things. So where can we add in nutrition? So every single meal, this is what I like to tell my clients.

[00:09:22] Fiber protein and healthy fats. Whereas my fiber, whereas my healthy fats and where's my protein really focusing in on balancing our meals. It's going to help our blood sugar levels. Our hormones is going to give us the energy and the nourishment our bodies need so they can function as they're meant to once.

[00:09:42] Take me away foods. It's going to throw our, everything out of whack our body out of whack, our mind out of whack. And that's when we start reaching for the less nourishing foods. Right. So that's why, you know, I like to call it addition nutrition, and I know it's not a breakthrough concept, but you know, I think a lot of us struggle with adding N versus taking out.

[00:10:03] We're just taught to take out, take out, take out when really once you add and you're eating more food, you're eating more of the foods are. Needs to function properly. And then that way everything kind of starts balancing itself out.

[00:10:18] Natalie: Yeah. And you, you find yourself actually pretty fulfilled where you're not reaching for that goldfish or snack or like, for me, it's like, what can I just am starving?

[00:10:27] Just anything right now. So give me some examples of adding into, so for me, that's, if I'm carrying with me a bag of baby care, I'm just going to eat those I'm to feel pretty good for me. It's all about preparation as long as I have it. And I take it with me because it's when I'm out and I'm starving that I make bad choices.


[00:10:49] Natalie: So give me some more examples of things we can add

[00:10:52] Ayat: in. Yes, absolutely. So I think. Like prepping is the biggest thing to help yourself like tapping. And I know it feels tedious and I know it feels hard and I know nobody feels like doing it, but that is going to make or break a lot of our, a lot of our progress if you take.

[00:11:11] And it honestly does not need to take that long. A lot of foods are now more, you know previously chopped for us, they're prepped for us. We just got to get, become aware of those foods. They're out there. We just got to grab them and keep them on hand, make a grocery list ahead of time, go to the grocery store and keep them on hand because that's, you know, prepping it is going to, again, you're either going to go to a fast food restaurant if you're not, if you're not prepped or you're just going to reach those carrots.

[00:11:41] Another example is to add hummus with it or whackamole or peanut butter just have ads. And so this is where the addition nutrition comes in. Okay. We have carrots, carrots are a veggie that are fiber. So where can I add in protein and where can I add and fat to give me more satisfaction, to make sure that I'm actually eating a meal, that's going to satisfy me until the next.

[00:12:03] Natalie: Do you think it's important to have three meals a day? I mean, I, I hear so much more now about intermittent fasting, so donate breakfast and wait until lunch. And you know, I know a lot of these are fads, but I know they're successful for people are successful with it. What, what's your take on that in the three good meals with all three of those elements you mentioned.

[00:12:26] Ayat: Yeah. So when it comes to those, so this is a very controversial, so some people are, you know, love fasting and other people don't. I am in the boat that does not love to fast, just because, especially for women, we are throwing our bodies out of whack, our hormones. We have different hormones that need different, you know, we need to fuel our bodies otherwise.

[00:12:47] Our hormones out of whack. We may become infertile. There's just so much that can go into that. And also it leads to an unhealthy relationship with food, with our bodies. So when we're skipping meals, we're telling ourselves that we are not, you know you're kind of punishing yourself in a way and mindset wise, if you think about it, why am I not having breakfast?

[00:13:07] What is the point? Because food is going to make me gain weight. So. That's why people tend to skip meals. So it just feeds into that unhealthy way of thinking about food and our bodies. So I like to, you know, have, have your three meals, have a snack in there as well. So maybe three meals and a snack, but making sure that.

[00:13:26] Actually enough food on your plate and in your, in your day, because otherwise you're going to be hungry once you're hungry, that leads to overeating later in the day, and then you feel guilty for overeating. Then the next day, it's a cycle. You get stuck in the cycle of overeating, under eating, over eating.

[00:13:45] And it's really hard to break out of that. So I am in the camp of eat your meals, even if you overeat the day before. Eat a good breakfast because once you're eating a good breakfast and a good lunch, you're less likely to overeat later on in the day. And also when we overeat, you really have to start looking at yourself.

[00:14:05] Why, why am I overeating? Am I not eating enough? Am I not balancing my meals? What is leading to. To overeat later on in the day, am I skipping meals? Because I'm just so busy with all these other things. I'm so overwhelmed with, you know, mom life and dropping kids off and pick them up and sick kids. They all tend to be

[00:14:23] Natalie: that's.

[00:14:26] Ayat: So that's why we need to prioritize our health and ourselves as moms. So we can show up in the best way possible for our kids. Otherwise you're cranky, you're moody. You don't feel like doing anything. You don't feel like playing with your kids. It just all feeds into each other. So really the best thing is to eat your meals, make sure you're eating enough food and balancing our meals to make sure all of our hormones are in a happy.

[00:14:49] Stabilized position.

[00:14:51] Natalie: Yeah. We have a whiteboard in our kitchen, like for planning, it's a calendar and I've got one little section and we don't do it every week, but the most successful, my family has ever been with three kids. So five of us in the family is when we plan on the weekend for the week ahead because of the.

[00:15:08] Every mom knows what I'm talking about. It gets to be like pick up at school time, come home. Oh, what am I going to make for dinner? And then you're like looking through the fridge, what do we have? And it's frozen and it's quick. And, but if on the weekend we say, we're going to have these meals. And I usually let each kid pick a meal.

[00:15:25] So they feel like they're part of it. And then they have to help with that meal too, but let them pick, and then we all know on Monday. We're going to make hamburgers and on Tuesday we're making pasta and everybody knows what to expect. And when you say prepping, like it's really that easy, just making that plan.

[00:15:42] And then, you know, sometimes you change the plan, but just having that plan sets you up for success versus scrambling, and then not being healthy.

[00:15:52]

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[00:17:05]

[00:17:08] Ayat:

[00:17:08] Yeah. And scrambling, I mean, I've done it before where I might stop at McDonald's and just get them something. Cause I know I'm not prepped for it. Right. Yeah.

[00:17:17] You know, and that's okay, everyone. So it's totally fine. Like we're not demonizing any foods or anything like that, but it also doesn't get us in this habit of, you know, kind of, it is honestly all about habit building. So maybe taking maybe if you don't want to do on the weekends. So I know a lot of my clients don't like to do anything on the weekend like that.

[00:17:36] So maybe like a Thursday night, while you're sitting down, you grab your whiteboard, whatever it is, what is at least what is dinner? Right. For me, for our family dinners when we all eat together, I know that for me, like I like to have smoothies in the morning. So I really like to simple simplify as much as I can.

[00:17:56] And that may or may not work for you, but really just pick half an hour, once a week to sit down and write, write it down, write it down. And then maybe Friday go grocery shopping instead of the weekend. If that's, or like the next Monday, just having it written down, you don't even have to cook it ahead of time.

[00:18:13] Yep. And attack the plan. Yeah.


[00:18:16] Natalie: Let me do, will you take me to the grocery store with you? So give me an idea. Like I've always gone with the notion that advice I've been given before to shop around the perimeter of the grocery store. You're getting your fresh in the fruits and veggies. You're getting your meats in the back.

[00:18:32] You're getting your dairy on the other side, at least at my grocery store. But take me with you when you talk about the fiber, the healthy fats, what was the third. Protein, the protein, of course. What kinds of things are on your grocery list and what do you tell your clients?

[00:18:45] Ayat: Yeah, so I always like to have four to five.

[00:18:50] Six different produce. So fresh, you know, try to try to change up the colors as well. So adding a lot of colors in there. So also you're not overwhelmed with like all these groceries, all this produce that you, that may go bad, just really, because just be honest with yourself, like, what is it that I'm going to eat?

[00:19:05] What do I love? Maybe even try a new vegetable or fruit once a month. It doesn't have to be something that you do on a weekly basis. Just really simplify it for yourself. That's number one. So fiber fiber is your fresh produce beans, legumes, lentils. So these are really state like pantry stable. So making sure that we have a lot of pantry staples as well for those days that I really don't, you know, just quick, easy throw together meals, beans.

[00:19:32] I could just add it to my salad and I've added protein and extra fiber. So. And olive oil is your healthy fats. So it's really that, you know, just kind of mixing them. All you do is, you know, you look at your salad, okay, what do I have in you? I have my veggies. That's my fiber. Where's my protein. It could be your chicken, your salmon, whatever it is, shrimp, just making sure that it's in there.

[00:19:54] And if you don't like meat based protein, there's a lot of plant-based protein. Like I said your nuts and your beans. So those are also. Beans are also high fiber and high protein. So a lot of our foods also inter they have different nutrients in them. So it's not just protein, it's not just fiber.

[00:20:12] Right? So just, that's a, that's another learning curve sometimes for my clients is learning what foods provide, what nutrients, but once you do that, it's really, it's, it's really becomes super easy to identify what may be missing in the meal and really making that. The lunch was with like, you know, adding in all the fruits, all the all the excuse me and things like that.

[00:20:36] So so yeah, going back to your question, I feel like this is such a subject, like I love talking about it and I can talk about it all day long. It's I seem to get off on tangents. So. Perimeter. Yes. I agree with that. Also not being scared to add in some of your favorite dessert items here and there, just to, so you're not feeling restricted, right?

[00:20:57] So you're not feeling like I'm not allowed to have this, or I don't want to have it in the house because that also feeds into our, you know, unhealthy relationship with food. And we want to try to break that down. We want Neutralize those foods that we once thought are not good for us. Yes. They are not nourishing for us maybe, but it's okay to have them every once in a while.

[00:21:16] Making sure that we have enough protein. So again, Animal-based proteins or your plant-based proteins beans, lentils, just really simple things that you can just add into your day to day. Those ones I like to prep ahead of time. So I keep them in a container in the house in a Tupperware. So like I might cook out some lentils and use them in my salads throughout the week.

[00:21:40] Perfect. And it takes 15 minutes of, I don't even do anything. Just kind of how you do your. Like your rice, same things. Just kind of add water, lentils, let them soften, tend to tenderize and then just add them into your sales throughout the week. Yeah.

[00:21:56] Natalie: And if you're doing one thing, my mom has taught me so much in the kitchen.

[00:22:00] But it Browning some ground beef adding in some. Corn and beans, and then just keeping it in the refrigerator and making tacos one day, making a solid the next day making. But it's just the base that you can use in many different ways.

[00:22:16] Ayat: Exactly, exactly. And I think it just we overcomplicated our heads, right.

[00:22:21] We, we feel like we do. We feel like it's a lot more than what it actually is, but it just takes those extra few steps of The prepping it and your future self will. Thank you. Right? If that's the goal that you're working towards, then, you know, what would my future self want from me today? Like what does that, what does that person want me to do today?

[00:22:40] So that way next week I am in a much, I've at least taken some, some steps towards my long-term goal.

[00:22:47] Natalie: Yeah. I want to talk to you about your social media really quick, because I have found in in tech talk and Instagram, like I know a lot of people listening are like, Ugh, it's so consuming and I get sucked in, but I follow you.

[00:23:01] And several others that give me inspiration where it's not the goofy stuff that's out there, which we know that's there, but it's like ideas and your, your recipes. I have learned so much from that. So talk to me about what you do there and how you

[00:23:15] Ayat: help people. Oh, thank you so much. So I love to give simple recipes cause I am I'm on myself, so whatever, you know, I'm a mom and I also don't love cooking.

[00:23:24] Like I don't love to be in the kitchen like a long time. So all the meals I use are very simple, very simple ingredient. Very quick. I don't think I make anything that's more than like 20 minutes. So everything is super thick and nourishing and, you know, require a few ingredients. So I, and I know I'm not the only one in that boat.

[00:23:44] So I've tried. My audience with that. So providing recipes motivation, mindset, mindset, hacks, things like that, that I see again in my one-on-one clients. And I kind of translate them over to my social media. So you know, it can feel overwhelming, but knowing also who to follow is very important.

[00:24:03] I'm not kind of unfollowing those accounts that trigger you or that won't feel inspiring, but they feel. You're not doing enough. Right. I think we all know what, what kind of accounts I'm talking about? You feel like it's a different level and it's just unattainable and that's just not it's just not doing anything for it's changed

[00:24:24] Natalie: though.

[00:24:25] In the last, I think in the last few years, at least for me. And I think for a lot of people, like we choose who our friends are. We choose the people we're around. We choose the food we eat, we get to choose what we consume. And if I'm consuming great recipes and great ideas, you give me inspiration, follow those people and unfollow the people who make you feel bad about yourself.

[00:24:47] A hundred

[00:24:47] Ayat: percent, a hundred percent.

[00:24:49] Natalie: Yeah. But I love what you do. And I, I want you to give people more information so they can follow you too and get inspiration and ideas.

[00:24:56] Ayat: Oh, thank you so much. I am on Tik TOK and Instagram at mom nutritionist. I also have a blog that I write weekly on. I also share recipes, mindset, hacks, everything under the sun on my website.

[00:25:10] It's at Slayman RD. That com RD is registered dietitian. And those are my social media.

[00:25:18] Natalie: Wonderful. Thanks for joining us, giving us tips today. Best of luck everybody out there. Who's trying to drop some weight if that's your goal, not for everybody, but if it is, I really appreciate the tips that you gave us.

[00:25:30] So take care and thanks again. Thank

[00:25:32] you.





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