This Q&A series aims to explore personal perspectives and experiences related to weight, nutrition, and overall well-being. Through candid conversations, we seek to understand individuals’ motivations for managing their weight, the evolution of their thoughts over time, and the holistic impact of weight-related journeys on various aspects of life.

Erin Palinski-Wade is a 4-time author, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Certified Diabetes Educator, Certified Personal Trainer, and a widely respected diabetes & nutrition media expert. But that’s not all! Erin is also a busy mom of three who believes in progress, not perfection. And a MyFitnessPal scientific advisor.

After years of battling with body image and the scales, Palinski-Wade took a stand and chose health over perfection. In our chat, Palinski-Wade shares this transformational journey, and how saying goodbye to guilt, and hello to optimal nutrition transformed her life. Plus, she shares a few of her favorite recipes that make her feel good from the inside and out.

A Q&A with Erin Palinski-Wade-RD

Why do you care about your weight? What makes you want to manage it?

I try not to focus on a specific number, but more on feeling my best, having energy, and strength. This not only contributes to my long-term health but also allows me to be my best self for my family.

My main goal is to be as healthy and active as possible for my family. I aim to model a positive relationship with food to my children, emphasizing nutrient-dense foods and physical activity.

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How has your thinking about your weight changed over the years? What triggered those changes?

My mindset has shifted from being focused on a number to understanding the importance of body composition and nutrition. This change was triggered by studying nutrition in college and experiencing pregnancy.

Did you have to overcome any body image expectations or unhelpful mindsets?

Yes, it took time and a lot of inner work to trust my body and improve my relationship with it, moving from a mindset of ‘skinny at all costs’ to ‘healthy, strong, and feeling like my best self.

There’s a link between a perfectionist personality and weight gain. One needs to make room for failures and shift from an all-or-nothing mindset to view failure as a teaching moment.

What improvements did you notice along the way, before you reached your weight goal?

Everything improved once I started focusing more on how I felt rather than a perfect weight. My energy level, mood, and stress levels improved, and my relationship with food became healthier.

I focus not just on one number but on multiple measurements of total health including body composition, waist circumference, energy levels, blood pressure, cholesterol, stress levels, strength, and fitness.

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What lifestyle diet do you currently prescribe to?

I don’t follow a set ‘diet’ but focus on eating nutrient-dense foods that I enjoy with an emphasis on fiber and protein.

What small changes or approaches to your daily routine make it easier to maintain healthy habits?

My focus every day is on drinking enough water, eating enough fiber, and getting enough protein. This simplifies my eating and allows me to meet all my health/nutrition goals.

Have you discovered any cool recipes or foods that help you feel good inside and out?

Yes, I love finding ways to make desserts more nutritious. Some of my favorites are High Protein Cake Pops, Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies, and Keto Peanut Brittle.

Fun fact: You can search and save over 2,000 recipes in the MyFitnessPal app.

How do you handle tough times or when it feels like you’re not making progress in your weight goals?

When such times come, I shift my goals to focus on aspects like body image, energy levels, nutrition, and health. Small adjustments in these aspects generally lead to weight improvements as well.

How do you handle it when you do make less healthy choices or get off your routine?

Instead of beating myself up, I try to understand why it happened and learn from it.

What does a day-in-the-life of your nutrition look like?

My days vary, but I normally have 3 meals and 2-3 snacks. I start my day with a protein-rich breakfast and aim to include a fruit or vegetable and a lean protein in each meal.

Learn more about Palinski-Wade by visiting her website or following her on Instagram.

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