Meet your dietitian: Katie henry

An introduction to your rd and her relationship with food and metabolism

Welcome to the first of many nutrition-related blog posts! My name is Katie Henry and I am the Registered Dietitian at b3 Wellness. Before we dive into specifics on nutrition, I want to briefly introduce myself. 

I grew up in Virginia playing sports every day of the week, especially soccer.  Having tournaments and games every weekend meant I didn’t get to my friends’ sleepovers, birthday parties, or weekend getaways.  At the time, I resenting missing out on those events, but looking back, I am so thankful because my time playing sports peaked my interest in a career in health and wellness.

I'm in the white, surely about to make a killer move to get past this girl.

I'm in the white, surely about to make a killer move to get past this girl.

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I didn’t always know what I wanted my career to look like, but by senior year of high school I knew three things. First, I wanted to go to Virginia Tech, which was recently ranked #1 most fit campus in the U.S. (gobble gobble!). Second, I love to play sports. And lastly, I LOVE food. After getting accepted at my dream school, I discovered a major called “Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise.” I saw that one of the first courses was a cooking class, and I was hooked.  I began my journey to become a Dietitian and Personal Trainer.

While at Virginia Tech, before I knew what was happening with my body, I started gaining a little bit of weight.  My metabolism was very high during my soccer years and I ate and drank whatever I wanted. In college, I learned the hard way that the same caloric intake did not align to my exercise routine.  I still exercised, and I thought I was eating okay, but over time I discovered that, like many clients I work with now, I was yo-yo dieting.  I would be “good” during the week (AKA way too few calories) and then splurge on just about whatever I wanted on the weekends.

In my junior year, I had a Metabolic Nutrition course which changed my focus. I learned that metabolism is the way the body converts food and drinks into energy.  So the higher the metabolism, the quicker foods will be utilized instead of being stored as fat. Balancing my diet throughout the week instead of binging on the weekends led to slow improvements in my metabolism and steadied my weight.

I continued building my metabolism for a few years, but this past January, I decided I wanted to take it a step further. I was getting married in July, and the wedding and honeymoon became my motivation for fat loss.

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Chin ups in at Muscle Beach in Barcelona, Spain

Chin ups in at Muscle Beach in Barcelona, Spain

With about six months to the wedding, I decided to really kick it into gear.  I made two clear exercise goals for myself: at least one real pull up and hit a certain squat weight; both of which I achieved.  My main focus, however, was nutrition.  In order to look the way I wanted, yet still achieve my exercise goals, I knew I needed to improve my metabolic performance. 

Focusing on improving metabolism as opposed to just cutting out tons of calories is the best way to target fat loss and not compromise muscle growth.  By consuming adequate calories (not too many and not too few) and focusing on WHAT I was putting in my body (lots of lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains), I drastically improved my metabolism before the wedding and honeymoon.

Our honeymoon included London, Brussels, Paris, and Barcelona. Before we left, I was telling myself that I would still be cautious with what I ate and would work out almost every day as Barcelona was our last stop and I was very motivated to rock that bikini! Well, plans changed. 

Gelato along the river walk in Paris!

Gelato along the river walk in Paris!

We did end up walking or biking an average of 15-20 miles each day, BUT I did not end up doing one full “real” workout and definitely ate and drank my way through each city.  From the beer in London, to the chocolate in Brussels, to the danishes in Paris, to alllllll the seafood in Barcelona; I ate more “unhealthy” food on this trip than I have on any others.  And that’s okay!  It was my honeymoon and I didn’t feel bad about enjoying this time at all. You know what else was awesome?  I left Barcelona at a similar weight to the day I got married.  How, you may ask?  Partly, of course, because of our walking but mostly due to focusing on improving my metabolism.  I achieved both my body-fat percentage goal AND my exercise-based goals.  I was eating delicious meals, felt full, and never really felt deprived.  You can achieve this too, by focusing on correcting your metabolism.

I don't always eat pizza. But when I do, I make sure to only have one slice...

I don't always eat pizza. But when I do, I make sure to only have one slice...

There is so much mis-information out there that makes nutrition seem like too daunting of a task to even consider.  I want to help change that. With all of my nutrition clients, we focus on building metabolism to achieve their goals of maintainable fat loss while still enjoying life!  You will notice throughout these posts that I fully believe in balance.  We all go out to eat or have the occasional treat and with my help, you will learn to embrace these days instead of hopping back on the yo-yo train.

My first series of blog posts will contain information on how to improve each meal throughout the day.  We will discuss healthy choices for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks with some fall recipes sprinkled throughout.  I am very excited to share this journey with y’all and please visit our homepage for more information on our various programs and customized plans!

Happy eating, all!

 
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