Limit your screen time- This goes hand and hand with walking more and self care. The blue light in the screen causes stress on our eyes, what we are seeing on our screens can cause emotional stress, and physical stress too. When you put your phone down or step away from the computer or TV, you get more active which can help you as well!
As a part of my series about “5 Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Dramatically Improve One’s Wellbeing”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Emily Tills MS RDN CDN. Emily Tills is a Registered Dietitian and Virtual Nutrition Coach specializing in building healthy habits and weight loss. She helps her clients build better lifestyles and habits that are sustainable for a lifetime, while also losing weight and eating their favorite foods. She is a Registered Dietitian through the Commission on Dietetic Registration and holds a master’s degree in Applied Exercise Science and Sports Nutrition.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the story about how you first got involved in fitness and wellness?
At 14 years old, I developed an eating disorder. I was on the JV girl’s basketball team, a team that wasn’t winning many games, and was told by the head coach that myself and the rest of the team were not in shape to play basketball. Being an impressionable young girl who didn’t have a strong group of friends, I spiraled into an eating disorder. Lost 45 pounds in 3 months, had no energy, was barely eating and on the verge of going in-patient at an eating disorder recovery clinic. Part of my treatment included seeing a Registered Dietitian to help with my relationship with food and to learn more about fueling myself better. I went in thinking that she was going to tell me that I had to change everything about my diet all at once, but instead I was greeting by a smiling face that just wanted to get me back to being myself, playing sports and loving life. As soon as I realized that food not only nourished our bodies, but can bring the life back into our lives and doesn’t have to be complicated, I knew I wanted to be a Registered Dietitian and help people lose weight the right way and feel confident with their food choices forever.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?
Since I have started to build my business, I have been using social media more and more for prospect client outreach and marketing of myself and services. I was working a table for a company I have partnered with at a dietitian conference and had a girl come up to the table and ask me if I was Emily Tills and if I ran my Instagram account (@nourishedwithemily) and said that she love what I’ve shared! It was so crazy to see how to internet has connected us all and how even when it doesn’t seem like anyone is listening to what we say or what we are sharing, someone is still watching it and getting something out of your posts.
Can you share a story with us about the most humorous mistake you made when you were first starting? What lesson or take-away did you learn from that?
No matter how busy we are, we shouldn’t rush through things. I was making a video for my Instagram feed and was using an app that would record me talking, as well as transcribing the captions as I spoke. I was talking about how we shouldn’t guess what we are eating and what the portion sizes are; I finished the recording and didn’t review what it transcribed it to. About 5 minutes after it posted, I got a message from my mom saying how I need to proof read things because the video transcribed the word I said (which was LUCK) to a 4 letter swear word that shouldn’t really be said on a business account. I was so embarrassed and already had over 100 views of the video, I deleted it anyways and learned my lesson that I really need to take my time and proofread everything!
Can you share with our readers a bit about why you are an authority in the fitness and wellness field? In your opinion, what is your unique contribution to the world of wellness?
As a Registered Dietitian, I am a premier nutrition professional with high qualifications. Dietitians go through rigorous schooling, soon will have to have at least a master’s degree to practice, undergo a 1200 hour unpaid internship, sit for a difficulty national boards examination and have to keep up with continuing education credits. Legally, Registered Dietitians are the only people that are able to give individualized nutrition prescriptions, meal plans and perform Medical Nutrition Therapy. I bring evidenced based science, translate it to real world application and help people fit it into their lives and how they want to. All dietitians are nutritionists, but not every nutritionist is a dietitian.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
When I started my business, I was really lost in how to market what I do, position myself as someone of authority in the ever growing nutrition world (there are a lot of people that try to give nutrition advice but it’s nothing sound), and how to really give my clients the best experience I can. I had been following a fellow dietitian, Tony Stephan (@tony_stephan_) on Instagram for a while and he had been talking more and more about mentoring other RD’s and their businesses. I hired Tony at the end of 2018 and it’s one of my most proud decisions. As someone who was just out of school, I was confused as to how to translate my clinical knowledge to real world application and Tony has not only helped me with that, but also opened so many doors for me professionally. If I hadn’t started working with him, I would have quit and stopped believing in my ability to achieve and have my own success. For him and all his encouraging words and guidance, I am eternally grateful.
Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. We all know that it’s important to eat more vegetables, eat less sugar, exercise more, and get better sleep etc. But while we know it intellectually, it’s often difficult to put it into practice and make it a part of our daily habits. In your opinion what are the 3 main blockages that prevent us from taking the information that we all know, and integrating it into our lives?
So much of what we see online is people sharing their best days and successes, but not showing us their real life. We may try their protocol for a day, eat their salads and drink their green smoothies, and workout for hours, but we aren’t told what to do when we don’t have the perfect day. Instagram is truly a highlight reel and we can easily get upset when we don’t see results that we want right away. We have also become a society of instant gratification. We go so hard so fast towards our goals, but once we see that it’s been a week and we haven’t seen progress we get burnt out and stop. We don’t know how to adapt it to own lives and make it a permanent change. We have to accept and understand that lasting results take time. Lastly, we are having paralysis by over analysis. We are constantly consuming videos, texts posts, podcasts, movies on how to help us lose weight and build better lifestyles that we don’t know where to start. We are overconsuming and under acting.
Can you please share your “5 Non-Intuitive Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Dramatically Improve One’s Wellbeing”? (Please share a story or an example for each, and feel free to share ideas for mental, emotional and physical health.)
-Hydration- if we aren’t hydrated, our bodies will not function properly. In every reaction within the body, water is needed, so when we don’t have enough in our system, we have to use what we have stored up, which results in a less efficient system. If we aren’t hydrated, we have less energy, tend to be hungrier more often, and will see less change in the scale.
-Get moving- As a nation, we are not active enough. In fact, a few years ago Fitbit changed the automatic step goal from 10,000 steps to 8,000 steps. That’s about 1 less mile a day and with that, there’s less excess energy usage in the body. If you’re not able to hit 10k steps a day, start with trying to increase your steps by about 1,000 steps until you’re consistently hitting it, and then up it again. Any way you can increase your activity, do it!
-Practice Self Care- Self care is a big buzz word now, but it doesn’t have to mean dropping $500 at Target. Selfcare can be anything that helps you relax and destress. It will help lower cortisol levels (the stress hormone) and make weight loss easier. Try journaling, having your favorite cup of tea, go on a walk, go to bed earlier; anything that helps you wind down.
-Ask for help- We can’t do it alone. There’s no shame in asking for help. This can be help at work if you’re feeling overwhelmed, help with house chores, help with your emotional state. You don’t have to go it alone, and with someone by your side, you’ll get farther faster.
-Limit your screen time- This goes hand and hand with walking more and self care. The blue light in the screen causes stress on our eyes, what we are seeing on our screens can cause emotional stress, and physical stress too. When you put your phone down or step away from the computer or TV, you get more active which can help you as well!
As an expert, this might be obvious to you, but I think it would be instructive to articulate this for the public. Aside from weight loss, what are 3 benefits of daily exercise? Can you explain?
-Stress relief- As Elle Woods says in Legally Blonde- “Exercise releases endorphins, endorphins make you happy…” I have not met a person that said they were mad after they had a great workout. It’s a great way to practice selfcare and get you closer to your goals.
-It gets you moving- I know the couch sounds like a great place to hang out all day, but when you workout, you use and build your muscles, which increases your resting energy expenditure and aids in weight loss too. I can’t say it enough, we are not active enough so even if your moving around is you cleaning, its more calories burned than if you binged The Office.
-You set a routine! Routines are what makes us successful and can help relieve stress, too. If you get up every day at 5 am to workout, then eat breakfast and go to work, then you have structure and can feel more accomplished once you check that off your list. We like to do lists as humans, and if you’re exercising daily, not only are you bettering yourself and health, you’re ticking away at that to do list and keeping routine.
For someone who is looking to add exercise to their daily routine, which 3 exercises would you recommend that are absolutely critical?
Just start moving more and more however you like! If you like to go on a walk, get out there and increase your time by 10 minutes. If you’re a runner, go run! I love to recommend walking on your lunch hour to help with clearing your mind while also preparing you to focus on the rest of the day. I really like using the row machine, as it is a cardio workout, along with back, biceps and legs. Burpees, too. Although they are tough, they can give you a full body workout in a pinch.
In my experience, many people begin an exercise regimen but stop because they get too sore afterwards. What ideas would you recommend to someone who plays sports or does heavy exercise to shorten the recovery time, and to prevent short term or long term injury?
Get a good stretching routine, know your limits, and get your nutrition on point. What you eat post exercise and every day is huge piece of exercise success. You’re going to recover better and have better results when you eat a more balanced diet. You can’t out exercise a bad diet.
There are so many different diets today. Can you share what kind of diet you follow? Which diet do you recommend to most of your clients?
I don’t follow a diet at all, and none of my clients do either. What I do is help and encourage them to build a lifestyle that fits and works for them. If they want to eat pizza for lunch every day, then it’s my job to help you make that happen! Everything I do, and what every Registered Dietitian should do, should be patient or client directed. The one thing I do recommend is at least try to get 3 different colors and 3 different food groups at each meal. That way you’re likely getting in a better balance of nutrients. Pizza falls into that rule!
Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story?
Jenn Sincero’s You are a Badass has helped me so much. It’s helped to teach me that there’s really nothing you can’t do, and that we are sometimes the biggest obstacles in our way. Once we start believing we can do something, the ball starts rolling. My subconscious was trying to talk me out of going further with my business, but I reconditioned my brain and thoughts to tell myself I can handle whatever life throws my way.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
It would be to start listening to your body and to eat the dang dessert! The diet industry is FULL of restriction and counting, but if we listen to our bodies, give it what it wants, choose nutrient dense foods and eat the dessert we have been so desperately telling ourselves we can’t have, then we would all be so much happier and healthier! I have had countless clients shamefully tell me that they love ice cream but feel like they have to get rid of it all together in their diets. They are shocked when I tell them they can eat it every night if they want!
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?
“The only persons opinion of you that you should worry about is yourself”. I definitely just made that up, but really!! When we get caught up in what other people think of us, our businesses, our weight, our lives, we lose track of ourselves. I remember when I got my first troll message on Instagram about one of my posts. When I first read it, I almost deleted my Instagram and Facebook all the together, but then I realized that not everyone is going to agree with me. Not everyone is going to like what I have to say, and that I have to keep doing what I am doing. There are far more people out there that are liking and applying what I have to say than those than don’t. You can’t control someone’s opinion or if they had a bad day and take it out on you. You can only control how you respond and like to kill them with kindness.
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them :-)
Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez, it’s a tie. I am a huge Yankees fan and admire the work that they do as well. They are both health conscious, care about how they fuel themselves, give back to family and charity and are also successful businessmen. They are truly role models with how they carry themselves and how they help others.
What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?
You can catch me daily on Instagram at @nourishedwithemily or join my Facebook community “Nourished with Emily”
Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!
About the author:
Dr. William Seeds is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon and physician specializing in all aspects of sports medicine and total joint treatments. With over 22 years of experience, Dr. Seeds is focused on providing the most innovative results to those seeking to maximize their performance, relieve injuries, and live a healthy lifestyle.