What’s Your EATING BEHAVIOR? | Meet Tara Coleman, CN

What’s Your EATING BEHAVIOR? | Meet Tara Coleman, CN

Hi everyone – 

Ok – can we talk food, diet and…..feelings for a hot minute?  More specifically – our diet Behaviors. The thing is, eating right is NOT as simple as just knowing (or learning) what to do, then happily doing it for the rest of your life.  Hard stop.

If that were the case – we’d all eat pretty perfectly, adjusting as new info came to light – and not give it a second thought.  That’s umm, not the case for most of us.  Diet, nutrition and actually implementing & sometimes more importantly – sticking to it as a lifestyle are challenges for, I daresay, the vast majority because of the way we think about it. 

Meet Tara Coleman, Clinical Nutritionist

& former Analytical Chemist

happy woman sitting on sofa with cup of coffee smiling
PHOTO Compliments of Tara Coleman, CN

I recently had the opportunity to sit down (ok, we Zoom’ed.  Zoom is now a verb), with Tara Colemanone of San Diego’s most preeminent Clinical Nutritionists – and a former Analytical Chemist in the biopharmaceutical industry.  

The truth is  – I had planned to chat with her about easy-to-implement nutrition tips.  However, as we started talking, she said something that really piqued my interest: 

“Nutrition education is a critical foundation, but when it comes to staying on track it really comes to their eating behavior”. 

That is, the way we think, feel – then ultimately behave when it comes to our eating habits.  That’s why (for example), you might intellectually know what to eat & not eat – yet struggle with doing it for the long haul.  

healthy woman eating spaghetti in white bowl with green drink
PHOTO Compliments of Tara Coleman, CN

Here’s more of my conversation with Tara – enjoy!

Q & A 

Q:   Ok Tara – tell us about yourself.  We need to know!

Tara sez…..  

I’ve been a practicing Clinical Nutritionist in San Diego for 15 years, but that’s not how I started!  My undergrad degree is in Biology and I spent 6 years in the biopharmaceutical industry as an analytical chemist.   

It was during this time, that I got to witness ground breaking therapies that really helped me to gain an understanding of how the body works. 

I started to notice that many of the diseases that I was most interested in – were actually caused by lifestyle and improper nutrition.   I saw that things that needed to be prevented, not necessarily cured.

Q.  That’s a big career change.  What was your “Why”?

Tara sez….   

As I started to see the connection between disease & nutrition, I got a real “Wake Up” call from my doctor.  She said that my cholesterol was high, my C – reactive protein was elevated and if I didn’t focus on exercise and nutrition I was going to develop heart disease and…. it would be very soon.  THAT was scary.  

Long story short, I went back to school, learned all that I could and essentially I was able to reverse my own health problems, lose some weight and feel incredibly energized. 

Q.  Can you share EATING BEHAVIORS with everyone?

Tara sez….  

Of course!  Working with literally thousands of people over 15 years – I came to realize that although nutrition education is a critical foundation, when it comes to staying on track it’s really about Eating Behavior.

3 Types of Eating Behavior Styles:

tara coleman clinical nutritionist
PHOTO Compliments of Tara Coleman, CN

The Goal Getter

Outwardly:  You tend to know a ton about nutrition and have had short term success with pretty much everything. Let’s be honest – you could probably write a book!

Inwardly:  You tend to be an “all or nothing” thinker and feel defeated after one bad day/meal/emotion/etc.

You might say:

  • I wait until I am desperate to take action…and then do something extreme.
  • I think that if I can’t do it perfectly, what’s the point?
  • I know what to do but just can’t get started.
  • I am completely defeated if I don’t see fast results.

New Nutrition Mantra: “Consistency not perfection”

I know that the idea of being imperfect makes you cringe, but real success with nutrition and weight comes from consistency of action, not perfection. So if a week has 21 meals and you nail 18 of them, you are doing a great job!

woman eating a powdered cookie
PHOTO: Compliments of Tara Coleman, CN

The High Achiever

Outwardly: You seem to have it all dialed in. In fact, your friends see you as a role model and have no idea that you struggle with food…or really anything!

Inwardly:  You are exhausted by thinking about food all the time and feel as if you loosen the grip even a little, you will spiral.  You fall victim to emotional eating and are so frustrated that you can’t figure this one thing out.

You might say:

  • I am always worrying about nutrition and diet and I beat myself up when I slip up.
  • I feel like this should not be this hard and other people don’t have to think about it this much.
  • I want to have a more flexible relationship with food but feel like I always go overboard when I go off plan.

New Nutrition Mantra: “Set it and forget it”

If you trace back a lot of your emotional eating, I bet it is rooted in decision fatigue. Nutrition is important to you so sometimes even deciding on a simple meal can be a ping-pong match of thoughts and that can make us avoid eating or throw our hands up and choose what is fast or convenient.

So come up with a plan for your eating.  The goal is not to chain you to this plan, but rather cut down on the exhaustion of having to think about things all the time.

woman eating healthy food from a white bowl

The Dedicated Learner

Outwardly: You are a supporter, you put everyone’s needs above your own and don’t like to rock the boat.

Inwardly: You are overwhelmed and afraid to make a wrong decision with your nutrition. You have received so much conflicting information that sometimes inaction seems like a better choice than choosing the wrong path. When you do start you are on fire but then fall victim to other people’s needs and cravings.

You might say:

  • This would be easy if you didn’t love food so much.
  • What if I do it wrong and it doesn’t work?
  • Or worse, what if it does work but I can’t stick with it?
  • Why does no one else seems to struggle with this in the way that I do.

New Nutrition Mantra: “What’s the next best thing I can do”

As a Dedicated Learner, sometimes we can get caught up in the “what if’s” of the distant future. This can make us hesitant to start until everything is perfect. However, the most important part is taking the next step. 

Focus on simple decisions you can make right now rather than going down the rabbit hole of all the things that might get in the way. Worst case, you are a step closer to your goal.  Best case, you start to build powerful momentum!

Q:  Love it!  How can people connect with you?

Tara sez…. 

Zoom is our friend – and I work with people all over the US.  It’s as easy as booking an initial Consult, and you can learn more about that right here.

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