I have lost 200 pounds (over half my body weight) since weight loss surgery in June 2015. Thanks for everything Jennifer! You’ve given me the help, nutrition knowledge and encouragement to be a better, healthier me and I’ll forever be thankful! On January 1, 2016 I started a 1000 miles a year challenge and in October I hit 1007 miles and ranked 815 out of 21,701! I’m down to a size 8 and finished my second half marathon and now training for a FULL marathon! I can’t believe how my life has changed and I could NOT have done this without you!
When I look in the mirror I like what I see! I look better than my mom did at my age. I can’t believe where I have lost the weight because my body has shifted and changed so much. Such drastic changes that I had to get all my clothes altered! Everyone should have such problems, right? Working with Jennifer has been a real life-changer for me. I used to struggle to get out of bed and was in a bad mood all day. I never understood the connection between food and how it affected my mood! But that quickly changed as my old favorite foods that I used to live & die for like organic potato chips or raw chocolate chip cookie dough eventually lost their appeal. Imagine my surprise to discover that they don’t even taste good anymore! In the past when I did eat slices of cookie dough I would have to take a nap – I never understood the connection. I just thought I was tired all the time. Now I realize the lack of energy was due to the constant cravings for sugar and milk. Every day I would have a Coke or Diet Coke with microwave popcorn at 4 o’clock and then wonder why I would fall asleep. Now I love eating healthy foods and taking care of my body. I understand the importance so that I can be a good role model for my family, in fact, my husband is on the program because he wants to feel as good as I do! I used to get the common cold just like everyone else but now thankfully that is a thing of the past. I have the energy and motivation to get through my day instead of being in a bad mood all the time. Jennifer helped me connect the dots to understand how certain foods were working against my metabolism and my energy goals. Once I got more in tuned with my body, it became easy. Thank you so much for teaching me how, when and why to eat. It really has changed my life!
I came to Jennifer 9 months ago feeling completely oppressed by food. Instead of a source of energy and enjoyment, it was a guilt-filled burden weighing down on my life. I hardly knew what exactly I wanted to achieve, but I knew that I did not want to spend my life in fear of the very thing that sustains it. I cannot remember a time that I was not thinking about food. When I was a child, I periodically swore off or incorporated certain foods whenever someone dropped a snippet of information about them. Already picky, I’d stopped eating my daily salami sandwiches when I heard they’d make me break out. I’d looked at macadamia nuts in fear when I heard they had a high fat content. I chomped on carrots trying to strengthen my eyesight. As in many cases, a little well-intentioned knowledge was a dangerous thing. I was a highly active and already naturally-thin high-schooler running track and cross country, playing soccer and dancing ballet. With that, I was further thrown into a world where knowing just a little but not quite enough got me into trouble. Before I knew it, my desire to stay lean for better performance consumed my life. My list of forbidden foods grew longer and longer and the anxiety surrounding eating rose. Ironically, I didn’t achieve the goals I wanted. I was weak and spent more time suffering from constant illness and injuries than out with my teammates and fellow dancers. I wondered why no matter how many push-ups and crunches I cranked out, I never seemed to put on muscle. Part of me knew something wasn’t right, but a bigger part of me reminded me of all that I’d read about people with “real” eating issues. I wasn’t “that bad,” I reasoned. Sometimes, I’d feel too thin and put on a few pounds to prove to myself that I could. But it was rarely long before the number glaring on the scale sent me back. It wasn’t until I went to my physical the summer before college where amenorrheric and thin, I was finally told my habits had to change. Terrified of the potential consequences, I ate and ate desperate to get healthy enough to continue my competitive running career. My freshmen year began and my habits swung in a whole new direction. Overwhelmed by a new environment and experiences I hadn’t prepared myself for, food became my method of drowning my emotions. My negative feelings about myself manifested themselves in my attempts to swallow my feelings in the late-night snacks I guiltily crammed into my mouth. My weight climbed higher and I only felt worse as days went on. I was eating foods I knew weren’t good for me, foods that just a year before would have brought me to the brink of tears had they even made contact with my “safe” foods. I finally called Jennifer after a year of this knowing that I was disrespecting my body and exhausted from keeping up a happy front when I was struggling so much in moments alone. After months of working with her, I once again enjoy my food. Eating clean has become a priority, but is no longer an obsession. Putting good, healthy foods in my body is simply a no-brainer. I know that I deserve it. Eating this way not only makes me feel physically good, but mentally and emotionally, I am in the best place I have ever been. By allowing myself to experiment and make mistakes, I have begun to learn what really works for me. Making changes in small increments, writing out my thoughts on what I was doing and referring back to Jennifer’s action plans regularly helped me most. It kept me thinking critically and engaged in the experience. There were times that I fell off track but the less I beat myself up about it, the easier it was to get right back on. These months have helped me reclaim my life and even now that I have been inspired to research graduate school and career options in nutrition, food is just one part of my life. Without guilt, stress and frustration associated with food, I have time to actually go out and live! My grades are getting back up, I’m far more confident and I feel better every day. My challenges are no longer something I am ashamed about, instead, I love the questions I get as they give me the chance to spread all I have learned about health and wellness.
When I turned 46, I gave myself a wonderful birthday present – an appointment with a registered dietitian nutritionist! After two decades of dieting, and thinking I knew what was good for me and what wasn’t, it was long overdue. It has been almost 6 months since my gift to myself, and I have lost 11 pounds. Now, back in the day, I would have scoffed at that measly weight loss. I was accustomed to losing at least two pounds a week – of course, I was also accustomed to gaining the same amount in the following weeks. So, I was a yo-yo dieter. For the most part, I carried weight evenly throughout my body, so I didn’t appear grossly overweight, but I knew that I was too big, and I also knew that my unhealthy habits were not going to serve me well as I aged. Enter Jennifer Hnat, the Anti-Aging Queen! I had seen the fantastic success of a good friend, who lost 20 pounds and kept it off for one year (now 1 and ½), so I had visual proof of the results Jennifer can deliver. My weight loss has been slow and steady; I have never been ravenously hungry; in fact, I feel better now than I can remember. I am replacing the bad habits of a lifetime with positive ones. I am treating my body the way it deserves to be treated, thanks to the incredible knowledge I am gaining from working with Jennifer. I think she is part nutritionist/part psychologist! She understands the psychology of eating and weight loss so well, and she is wonderful about encouraging me every step of the way. The times that I have felt run down or tired of making “healthy choices”, she has really invigorated me and put me back on track. She reminds me that this is about making positive life changes, and after 46 years of less than optimal choices, it is natural that this process is going to take some time. Happily, Jennifer is always there with her positive attitude and insight. Science has come such a long way, and Jennifer is a scientist. She understands the enormous impact that food has on our health. You truly are what you eat, and now, more than ever, it is important to know what you are putting in your body. Jennifer is up to date on all the latest trends and news, so you can rely on her knowledge to ferret out what is true and what it just the latest fad. I am still a few pounds from my goal weight, but for the first time in a very long time, I am confident that I will see that weight and will be able to maintain a healthy weight for the rest of my life. My “optimal health” life!
Who ever heard of going on a field trip to the grocery store. But that is just where Jennifer took me. The purpose was to see what I was buying and determine if there were better choices I could make. For most it could be an intimidating experience but Jennifer made it fun and informational. She never made me feel guilty for bad choices, just pointed out a more nutritious option and backed it up with a wealth of information. Jennifer taught me which vegetables and fruit are worth buying organic as well as the best way to wash and prepare conventional produce. She taught me the correct way to read the nutrition label and which ingredients to stay away from, but that was just the beginning. I would absolutely recommend Jennifer to anyone that wants to lose weight or just wants to make healthier food choices. She’s energetic, non-judgmental, listens well and most of all so enthusiastic about good nutrition it’s addictive! I am looking forward to another field trip this time to Whole Foods.
I contacted Jennifer because I was tired of yo-yo dieting and feeling down about my weight. When I first met Jennifer she told me I will never have to diet again nor do I need to weigh myself. This was music to my ears. No more dieting! She then explained the healthy living plan. What I liked most was the plan was designed especially for me (no one plan fits all like most diets). I am a very picky eater with some medical issues and Jennifer put together a plan that would work well for me. She explained portion sizes, the number of calories, carbs, and proteins for each meal and snack that I could eat. Jennifer also provided some delicious recipes. And I was never hungry. The first week I lost weight which kept me motivated to continue to lose weight each week. Within a couple of weeks, I no longer craved sweets. Something I thought was impossible! Jennifer was very thorough and truly cares about her clients. She is passionate about healthy living and it shows. I could not have reached my goal weight without Jennifer’s help. Thank you!
Why can’t I get it? This is the question I asked Jennifer. After talking about my past history I finally came to the conclusion, I don’t get it because I am going about it in the wrong way. Diet after diet, I would lose the weight for a little while only to backslide and gain it back plus more. By feeling deprived and staying hungry, the reason why all my dieting failed, as is with most diets. By not having to give up some of my favorite foods or drinks I did not feel deprived. Weight loss in the past consisted of deprivation, eating certain foods or not eating at all. By learning how to rid myself of bad habits, not skipping meals as well as eating more balanced meals in moderation I feel very satisfied. I have also incorporated some exercise, which in my case is walking and some pilates. My future plans are to add other forms of aerobic exercise for variety and weight training. With Jennifer’s help and encouragement she is showing me new ways of looking at food and coping with stress. I have learned not to beat myself up for being human and backsliding into old habits. Journaling has been an instrumental part of my changing lifestyle. This is what it is all about, lifestyle changes, not diets. This is no longer a word in my vocabulary. I find myself constantly becoming more aware of my food intake. Reading labels before I purchase to make sure it is conducive to my health and well being. Some positive changes I have made: before I have that first cup of coffee, I drink at least 16 oz of water and eat a Dan-Active. THEN I drink coffee. The water has been huge for me. I start my day in a positive, healthy way. My goal is to eventually drink tea instead of coffee which is loaded with caffeine. I have lost 22 pounds in five months whereas in the past I would try to lose 20 pounds in one month. My attitude today is I do not care how long it takes as long as I continue to move forward in a healthy manner, both physically and mentally. The “D” word is no longer in my vocabulary. Today it is a lifestyle change. I have a long way to go before I reach my goal weight, but for now I have learned to take baby steps, small goals. I am very happy with myself, my progress and the positive changes I am choosing to make me a healthier person. Finally, I think I get it!
For the last 20 years I have been reading about healthy living and healthy lifestyles. I know what to do, but I was missing “how” to do it. No matter how much I read, without support, I found myself constantly starting a healthy plan but within days, sometimes hours, I was back to where I began feeling depressed and disappointed in myself. I desperately needed a mentor, someone to help me, support me, and encourage me to live the healthy life that I desperately desired. I did not want anyone; I wanted someone who truly lived the life that I desired to live and could help me “stay on track” with my healthy life plan. Then one day a friend told me about Jennifer Hnat. My friend had an appointment with Jennifer, and she encouraged me to see if I liked her and her suggestions. I was so excited to meet Jennifer and to know that she was exactly what I was looking for. Jennifer’s experience with living a healthy life is vital to helping me understand what is necessary for me to get on track and begin living the healthy life I want to live. She has many recipes, suggestions for neat products, and suggestions for thought processes to insure success with my plans. At each meeting we make a plan that I can easily follow leading me closer and closer to my goals. Today I am on a month-long healthy-eating program, and Jennifer is always there for me, just a phone call or e-mail away! She is very accessible and helping others is truly her passion. Getting my diet on track has been one of the biggest gifts I have ever given myself. I have easy to follow and enjoyable guidelines for my food. I feel great and I am so happy with the choices I make regarding my health.
Many people budget their checkbook or their household cash flow each month, so why not budget your food too? This has been a critical benefit of working with Jennifer as she creates an awareness of eating healthy but also about tracking your food with a simple App on your phone. With Jennifer’s guidance and educating me about what foods I need for my body, I was able to lose 70 pounds and keep it off. The App helps you to budget your food, track recipes, and most importantly learn about calorie content and portion size. My challenge for years was eating too much volume, and not eating the right balance of carbs, protein, and fat. Limiting processed foods in-a-box to only small portions while feasting on Greek yogurt, fruit and whole foods has been a tremendous help. By tracking total consumption and monitoring overall calories and balance has been a major benefit. You might be surprised how often Pinot Noir shows up on my daily “food budget”. But, within a well structured day of veggies, good fats, and carbs, wine and beer are natural components that beat something from a box! Jennifer’s method is basic and fundamental...cut the volume, improve the food quality, and results should follow. I feel very fortunate to be advised by Jennifer and highly recommend her services!
Jennifer, I just wanted to take a moment to let you know how grateful I am to have met you as well as you being my personal dietitian and food coach. Being a holistic practitioner we know what to do and how to do it as we are so great at helping others achieve their goals but in being caregivers we sometimes neglect ourselves. I am reminded of the quote ‘healers heal thyselves’ well that is what you have helped me achieve. You’re that little bird sitting on my shoulder reminding me to eat. You have become the voice in my head when I am rushed, away from home, and need to make a food choice. So again thank you. Wishing you blessings of optimum health, wealth and peace.