new research on self control: good news and bad news for dieters

Jessica Penner, RDNutrition, OvereatingLeave a Comment

Recent research is confirming that self-control and willpower come at a cost. We already know that willpower is a limited resource. Once you’ve exerted it for long enough, it eventually gives out. The newest research shows that using self-control also impacts your memory. Self-control and memory share the same brain mechanisms. Using willpower saps these common resources and hampers our ability to make memories. Wouldn’t you think that the reverse is true as well? It hasn’t been explicitly tested yet, but it makes sense that if your memory is being heavily taxed, this would also impact your ability to exert self-control. After … Read More

eating cake for your health

Jessica Penner, RDNutrition, OvereatingLeave a Comment

Eating Cake For Your Health

I love how this woman uses cake to bring people together. But that’s not the only benefit of cake.   Eating cake can truly improve your relationship with food. “Why would a dietitian post recipes of dessert foods?” I’ve heard this criticism. It doesn’t stop me from posting recipes like this delicious cake. I like desserts. I make them. I even eat them sometimes. Most importantly, I know how important it is to shake the idea that some foods are good, and some foods are bad.  Calling a food “bad” attaches a moral quality to it. It creates guilt.  Guilt is … Read More

if you’re afraid of change, read this

Jessica Penner, RDNutrition, OvereatingLeave a Comment

If You're Afraid of Change, Read This!

Are you afraid of change? Have you seen the stress scale? It’s a list of life events that contribute to stress. Among other things, it includes: marriage vacation Christmas pregnancy revision of personal habits Notice any similarities there? These are life events that come with some kind of change. But they’re all POSITIVE changes! Unless you hate Christmas. Even when a change is positive, it requires adjustments to how you live your daily life. These adjustments cause stress. There’s also uncertainty about what the future holds, and that frightens us. When I talk to people about making significant life change, I … Read More

this year I resolve to rediscover the joy of eating!

Jessica Penner, RDInspiration, Nutrition, OvereatingLeave a Comment

This year I resolve to rediscover the joy of eating!

This time of year I’m used to hearing people say things like: “This is the year I’ll get out of these bad eating habits” “I wonder how long these poor diet choices will last. I thought it would end at Christmas, but maybe it’ll be New Years…” “There’s this wedding in the middle of January. I’ll start eating healthy after that.” Are you expecting me to lay down a guilt trip about procrastination? Should I tell you there’s no better time than the present to change your life? The truth is that we will always come up with excuses to put off … Read More

10 mistakes that keep you overeating

Jessica Penner, RDNutrition, Overeating1 Comment

10 mistakes that keep you overeating

I couldn’t lose weight while training for a half-marathon. It wasn’t until later, after years of education as a dietitian, that I realized no amount of exercise would have kept that weight off… because I was making a bunch of critical mistakes in my eating habits. Read on to hear what those mistakes were, and how you can avoid them to keep weight off, even if you’re not running a marathon. For me, running a half-marathon was a huge accomplishment. I have Exercise-Related Trans Abdominal Pain, which means that even as a kid (a very active kid), I couldn’t run 10 minutes without excruciating pain. Everyone … Read More

7 Steps to End Emotional Holiday Eating

Jessica Penner, RDNutrition, OvereatingLeave a Comment

A lot of people dread their Christmas family gatherings for one reason or another. They can be emotional and draining, whether that’s in a positive or negative way. Combine people who tend to eat emotionally with a lot of wonderful food, and… It’s like they’re designed to make us overeat. Tables full of great food, and hours spent together with nothing to do but visit, play games, and eat? Before I learned how to approach these things, I would stuff myself with all the wonderful Christmas treats, and end up feeling gross, tired, and angry with myself. But I did … Read More

calorie counting: short term pain, long term (weight) gain

Jessica Penner, RDNutrition, Overeating7 Comments

It might surprise you to hear that I, a Dietitian, am not a huge fan of calorie counting. It’s not one of my recommended techniques for managing weight. It might also relieve you to hear this, if you’ve had a bad experience with counting calories, or you’ve been thinking about doing it! Don’t get me wrong… some people enjoy the process of logging and calculating everything they eat and do. New technology is making this easier and more enjoyable, too. If you enjoy it, and it works for you, go ahead and do it. But most people simply don’t have the time or patience for … Read More