Today we’ve got Jane White here from Right Direction Nutrition. Jane is a local-area weight loss specialist & healthful living guru, and she’s here to talk to us about how you can lose weight. She’s been on the Grand Rapids Weight Loss Crusade for the past 5 years, and has lost 5,000 pounds for the people around the community that she’s been able to help.
Dr. Matt Phinney: So Jane, I’d like you to start by telling us a little bit about yourself! What’s your story?
Jane White: My story actually started in 2009. Somebody slipped a note under my door that said “there’s a nutrition class starting if you want to lose weight”. I needed to lose at least 100 pounds, but I didn’t think that I could ever do it. Yet I actually took that nutrition class 10 times during a 3-year period. I was so excited about learning about nutrition, that I just kept taking that class. During those 3 years, I lost 9 pounds. I was learning about nutrition, but wasn’t putting it into effect!
So, one morning in 2012, I got up and committed myself to one year of putting these nutritional habits into effect, and in that one year; I lost 71 pounds! Since then, I’ve lost 95 pounds in total, and started teaching people nutrition afterwards. Not long after that, I opened my own little place so that more people could come in and be helped. It’s been crazy since! In two years, I’ve helped people lose over 5,000 pounds, but mostly I’ve just been excited that we’ve made a huge impact on the community.
Dr. Phinney: That’s a fantastic story, and truly an inspiration to the people that you’re serving! Now I want to ask you a question – What’s your opinion on why we have such a weight problem in our country in this day in age?
Jane: You know; this question always makes me think of The Little House on the Prairie. I remember this one episode where they couldn’t get any sugar because it was so expensive. Back then, people ate more protein and less sugar, and in this day we’ve flip-flopped! Now, we’re eating way too much sugar and not enough protein. In the 80’s, the United States subsidized corn (we had a LOT of corn). Japan learned how to make high-fructose corn syrup, and since sugar was really expensive in the U.S. (due to having to import it in), we started learning how to make high-fructose corn syrup too!
At the same time, a study came out saying that we should all go ‘low fat’. So manufacturers started taking the fat out of foods and replacing it with high-fructose corn syrup. Since then, we’ve gotten bigger as a nation, and illnesses have also cropped up.
Dr. Phinney: Got it! So fat consumption went down, and because people wanted a replacement, sugar consumption went up. Now what’s the connection to sugar and fat?Jane: Well, I think we need good fats in our diet and less sugar. I think we’re eating about 100 times more sugar than we did in the 80’s. So I teach people to bring those carbohydrates way down, bring their protein up, and get those good fats into their diet. I see great results from that!
Dr. Phinney: Love it. Now, another question is why do so many people struggle with losing weight?
Jane: I think sometimes; we don’t give it long enough. We start something, and give up too soon. It happened to me as well; I’d start something, would get okay results, but then after a few weeks of not losing weight I’d give up and say ‘this doesn’t work’. So, I think making a commitment is the best decision.
Dr. Phinney: What are some other common misconceptions or myths surrounding losing weight?
Jane: I see all the time with people who come to see me that they think they’re eating right, but they’re eating wrong. A great example is that they’ll say “well, I’m eating healthy cereal or fruit for breakfast”. Fruit has great enzymes and vitamins, yet we have to moderate that in order to avoid gaining more weight. I really help people sort that out!
Dr. Phinney: So one of the big problems is just people not knowing what to eat.
Jane: Right! What they’ve learned was in health class as a kid, which is old information; or they’re eating by the food pyramid, which will actually make you fat! Or, they’re getting their information from the news/ other places that want to market. So we all think that we should drink a lot of milk, right? Well there’s actually a lot of sugar in milk, a lot of that quick energy. So this serves as an example, although we’re actually gaining weight from it.
Dr. Phinney: Understood. Can you comment on the changing of our food supply over the years? Is the food we’re eating now the same as the foods our grandparents or great grandparents were eating?
Jane: No, because 1) I think our food has been hybridized. What we think might be a medium apple, might actually be an extra large apple due to the way our food is being fertilized. Also, 2) our conception of how much we should eat is different now. We super-size food & think we have to eat a lot more than we are. But also, now I think there’s a lot of nutrition gone from our food because of the way that it’s grown.
Dr. Phinney: Got it. So portion sizes have gone up, while nutritional value has gone down. So, with these road blocks that are preventing people from losing weight, how do you make sure your clients are getting to where they want to go?
Jane: Well first of all, we’re all about getting the proper nutrition. So, we’re going to teach our clients, but in a really fun way! Because after all, who wants to sit through a boring class that you can’t understand? We actually teach you about stored energy (fat) and how to burn it. So how are we going to burn that energy, what foods are we going to eat, how to eat at fast-food restaurants, how to change your family over to eating healthy too – all of these are things that we’ll teach you.
You won’t be doing this alone, but rather in a community of others that are doing this too! We’ve got Facebook groups, fun exercise classes, one-on-one’s, and people that’ll be there to help you stay on track and lose the weight that you want.
Dr. Phinney: Fantastic! Now for the people listening at home; if you were to give them 3 ‘action steps’ that they can take today to start improving their body health, what would those be?
1.) I’d say to recognize that it’s not your fault that you are in this boat, because we are all in this together as one big community trying to change to health of our nation. So, recognize that it’s not just you, and that there’s a lot of factors causing it.
2.) Make a commitment to get started and not quit right away.
3.) Have a reason bigger than yourself. If you want to lose weight just to lose weight, that sometimes might not be enough to keep you on track. Really understand why you want push yourself to do it, find someone like me to help you, and join a community that can really help you get where you’re going.
Dr. Phinney: That makes sense. If it was easy to do on your own, we wouldn’t be in this mess that we’re in right now.Jane: Right! We’re fighting against a lot of marketing, food that doesn’t have what we need in it, and knowledge. When it’s really enjoyable and an adventure, you can make an entire lifestyle change instead of simply just going on a diet. Change into someone who has a healthy lifestyle, and can keep that.
Dr. Phinney: Right, mindset is huge. One other question that I hear a lot, is people saying “If it’s not there, I don’t eat it”. But, their not always the ones doing the shopping. So what’s a solution to something like that?
Jane: Well number one, start shopping! (laughs) Don’t let someone else control your food supply. Get all of the crud out of your house, and if that’s not possible; keep a spot of foods to yourself. Try and not keep this a secret as well, people chances are that the people around you are going to support you and potentially join you. Go shopping, learn about food!
Dr. Phinney: Love it! Another question is when people start with your program, what can they expect to see 30 days, 60 days, a year, even 5 years down the road?
Jane: Typically, with weight loss, we see ½-1 pound a week as a bare minimum. Although, we tend to see a lot of exceptional people because of the community aspect paired with nutritional eating. When you’re doing it that way, it’s a lot more fun and you’ll see better results.
Dr. Phinney: Definitely! I’ve seen it firsthand with the principles that you teach; if you apply them, they work! Now here’s my last question Jane: How do the people find you and get in touch with you to get started?
Jane: I have a place in Grand Rapids, the address is 4300 Plainfield NE, Suite A, Grand Rapids, MI. We’re open all day from 11-6. You can drop in, see what we’re all about with our community atmosphere, sit down, and even get started with our free program.
Feel free to check out our website: www.rightdirectionnutrition.com
Check out our Facebook page called ‘Right Direction Nutrition’
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This article was reviewed and approved by Dr. Matthew Phinney.