Three years ago, in 2020, Romy decided to go to Curacao. This first internship and study. Then she started working there. There was a lot of pressure in the Netherlands, and she was almost close to burnout. She was 20 years old when she came to the island. In the Netherlands, she always had to perform and show much to herself and others. On this island, there is no pressure to perform; you have to undertake things yourself, which works very well for Romy. She has many ideas in her head that she can express there.
Background of Romy
Romy went from playing field hockey three times a week, walking a lot, and eating according to the five-slice pie chart as she had learned to do, to a country where she didn't play sports or walk a lot because it was just too hot there. She still ate the same as before because that was in her rhythm. This caused her to gain enormous weight. She had gained 8 pounds in six months.
Romy ate a lot of bread. In Holland, she was always hungry because she did so much sports. This had the opposite effect and it made her tired. Romy thought she was chronically tired. She was tired all day long, but that was never linked with nutrition.
By then she had gained 8 pounds and went back to the Netherlands for four months because she was going to work in intensive care for covid. She wanted to lose weight again and had learned at school to eat like the five-slice pie chart. This did not help at all. Romy started intermittent fasting because this was a huge hype. Because she was so young, her body reacted immediately and in 4 months, she lost 12 pounds. She was extremely hungry, woke up at night. She did this purely on discipline. Not because her body thought it was a healthy way to lose weight. She did lose 12 kilos and she liked that because she knew this would be very difficult in Curacao. Romy did know how to maintain her weight. But on an island like that, it is very difficult to lose weight.
She believes that exercise and losing weight should be seen separately. Losing weight works purely with nutrition. The thing is, it's 80% nutrition and 20% exercise, but she sees that 20% as fitness. She believes you should see it as a plus instead of compensation for how you eat. This is also how Romy works with her clients.
When Romy returned to Curaçao, she thought she would just eat less and be fine. She was getting more and more tired and suffering from her intestines with gas, which had only gotten worse. Then she already knew Noor's little brother. Noor is a dietitian. Romy started following her and found it very interesting. Romy read something about ketogenic, but this was heavily discouraged during my training. All that time Romy thought she needed carbs for exercise.
Noor had shared something of hers on Instagram, and that's how they got in contact. Noor asked her what she thought about it herself. Romy's response to that was: I don't know. She had never thought about it before. Noor suggested Romy give it a try. Romy did. Within a week, there was such a difference. Romy had so much energy. Before, she thought she was chronically tired. This is what GPs have always said to her.
Romy moved on and no longer had intestinal problems. At one point, it looked like she was going back to Holland. Then Noor asked Romy how she would feel about working together, starting her own business under the name of The Nourishing State. This felt so good to her, and she wanted to do it.
Romy was getting more and more experienced with it. She also wanted to discover how she could still lose weight with this way of eating. She moved even more toward ketogenic and subsequently lost another 8 pounds in addition to the 12. That was an eye-opener. Between intermittent fasting but with carbs or eating 3x a day but ketogenic but with insulin.
As a dietitian, of course, you help obese people lose pounds, and she had experienced it with 12 pounds alone. She had so much discipline for this but losing so many pounds with carbohydrates is almost impossible. When she found out that so you can also lose weight this way she liked this very much. Then she noticed that this is going to be her new lifestyle.
Right now, she likes that she doesn't have to lose weight or work on it a lot because she can feel her body's condition.
Romy enjoys seeing that she can help clients. That they have already tried everything, and then they have a solution. Romy gets a lot of satisfaction from that. To deal with food differently and to help people with this.
In Curaçao, there are a lot of overweight people. A client comes to her, a woman in despair but with very good energy. They have a very good click, and eventually, Romy helped her with this. This has done a lot for her.
It's not just that losing weight is a temporary project. Losing weight is a lifestyle. It has to do with the nutrition of course, but also with your sleep rhythm, and the amount of stress you experience, which is generally quite a lot in Western countries. That's why it's very lovely for Romy to be there now where she can do everything at her pace and experience less stress. Stress causes your blood sugar levels to go up, creating an imbalance. We already see this a lot in women but now more and more in men. Besides nutrition, this is the biggest factor Romy wants to teach people about because she has struggled a lot.
Things you can do to reduce stress
Caffeine or sugar causes more stress because it releases hormones. Creating a rhythm for yourself is very important. Rhythm for hormonal balance is key. Your body does need to know where it stands. Step one is going to bed and getting up a regular time. Eating three times a day. After that, it's important to start paying attention to what you're eating and taking in. So that your body understands what is happening. As soon as you start not eating anything, your body may go into survival mode. Once your body is in survival mode, it may be that it stores everything you take in to survive. So then you gain weight without eating. So a rhythm is very important, and then you can look at something low in carbohydrates.
Men are less likely to notice if they are in a hormonal imbalance. In both men and women, you can tell by skin complaints. Then it's very obvious. Also, acne or fatty bumps. In men, especially by their testosterone levels. Fatigue also plays a big role for men when you store a rim of fat around your belly or when you develop more breast formation. Those are very obvious aspects. For women, you also have that with fat around the belly. Also fatigue and acne complaints. So they are generally the same complaints, only women notice it more quickly.
Romy would not recommend intermittent fasting. Your body will tell you when intermittent fasting works for you. It only works for some people and only causes more problems. Your body gets out of rhythm and you don't know what to expect.
Romy also often hears that people can't eat anything the whole morning but live on coffee. This really weirds Romy out because when you start drinking coffee on an empty stomach, you raise your blood sugar levels way up. If this is so far up, you don't experience hunger all day and don't suffer from hunger. The very purpose of intermittent fasting is to keep your blood sugar low and it doesn't work that way.
So Romy would advise against coffee. Especially at a young age, it brings an imbalance to your body. The first steps for coffee would be. No more coffee on an empty stomach or coffee after lunch so around 1 p.m. Because coffee takes about eight hours to process. So a kind of intermittent fasting for coffee. After a while, you will discover that your body doesn't like it anymore.
Romy's daily rhythm
Everything on the island is more expensive, which sometimes makes it difficult. She doesn't mind paying more for this because it's about my health, but she also finds it interesting to guide people.
Meat and fish are very cheap there, so she eats that a lot. Besides that, it's mostly fruit. She eats fewer vegetables than in the Netherlands. This is where she gets her carbohydrates from. Currently, she is on low carbohydrate rather than ketogenic. In the morning, she always eats something with eggs. Something with fruit. In the afternoon, often a salad with a protein source. So tuna or chicken and often eats meat or fish with vegetables or fruit in the evening. She alternates a lot between vegetables and fruit. Meat, fish and eggs is the base mostly. So the natural protein. She understands that it is hard to find something for people who are less knowledgeable about it to see what is processed food and what is healthy to eat. Try to avoid processed foods and look for non-processed foods.
You can find Romy here:
Website: The Nourishing State