Finding the right fit for your nutrition
What does it mean to be non-binary?
Binary means a condition with two options. When we refer to non-binary, we mean that there are more than two options, in fact there can many different degrees of something. The term non-binary in this instance in referring to people who do not identify with the male or female gender. Non-binary individuals have been recognized for many years around the world and in different cultures.
While Health Canada has moved their general nutrition guidelines away from the gender binary, there are still many nutrition calculators, equations, and recommendations that have not. For example, energy, macronutrient, vitamin, and mineral recommendations. This can cause a lot of confusion for a non-binary person trying to work towards maximizing their health when they do not see themselves into the guidelines.
So, what can you do?
Until the guidelines and nutrition calculators catch up with society, I suggest you take nutrition guidelines as just that, guidelines. They are not hard and fast rules for how a person should eat.
If you can, work with a registered dietitian who has experience working with the non-binary population. This person can help you figure out the best way for you to meet your individualized nutrition needs. This includes your food personality and your preferences in addition to the needs of the physical body. The dietitian may use a range of values to determine the needs for a non-binary individual, especially if this individual has started hormone replacement therapy.
If you cannot work with a dietitian or not yet, start looking at what is working well for you.
Consider these questions:
- How often do you like to eat?
- How is your energy when you eat in this way?
- Are there times during the day when your energy drops?
- What types of foods make you feel your best?
- What are your soulful foods? (The foods that you eat for taste, flavour, and fun!)
- When you prepare food, do you work from a recipe or are you more utilitarian?
- How attuned are you to your hunger and fullness cues?
Next, identify one, maximum two, areas where you would like to make a shift. Stick with that change for a week or longer to see how the change makes you feel. Once you have mastered that, you can move onto the next.
Your nutrition goals and strategies are individual and should be catered to you! Take what you need from nutrition guidelines, but don’t get too hung up on the numbers.
Let us help make nutrition work for you.
Looking for the right Registered Dietitian for you?
Our diverse team of registered dietitians specialize in a range of areas to support you such as: emotional eating, eating disorders, sports nutrition, meal planning, health concerns like diabetes, heart health, digestive issues, and more!
We offer both in-person (in Calgary) services as well as online nutrition counselling. Our team empower people just like you to live healthFULLY + soulFULLY.
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Fitness enthusiast and lover of all things food, Jana is passionate about helping her clients improve their relationship with food and their body. She is a strong, motivational leader. Jana also offers the balance of a warm, supportive coaching style to nudge her clients from their comfort zone while feeling safe and supported. She specializes in mental health, eating disorders, body image and sports nutrition.