Coach Spotlight: Leena Abed

Highlighting health and wellness professionals that use Ate to partner with their clients.

Chocolate Brownies - Image - Pexels: Gustavo Peres

I’d argue that most people that develop a passion for health, fitness, nutrition, or wellness, start with zero balance. They dive in head first, without dipping their toes in the water, and basically drown.

They go one week without processed sugar and feel amazing and vow to go their whole life without it, throw on a gluten-free diet, and while they’re at it, try Whole30 for a month. Until a birthday or holiday rolls around and they’re left to decide, “Should I restrict…? Or binge…?” And so the cycle begins.

What started as an innocent desire to feel better, quickly turned into a destructive relationship with food, dieting, and their body.

At least, that’s what happened to me and basically, 99% of my clients before they started working with me.

Nutrition is fascinating to me. I find the effect of food and movement on the body and brain to be truly mesmerizing and unbelievably powerful. If I didn’t have family or friends or any outside influences in my life, I can only imagine what it would feel like to live solely off of whole, unprocessed foods. I think I’d be Iron Man, I’m not going to lie.

Donuts on display in a bakery

But in this very real reality, I have family. I have friends (just a few, I’ll admit). There are outside influences in my life (hello to every fancy donut bakery that has opened in my city). Food is enjoyment and culture and tradition in my life. It’s also fuel. It can also make me physically feel amazing or disgusting.

After counting every calorie and macro and totally failing at any weight loss goals several years ago because binging episodes negated every restrictive period I had, I decided there had to be a better way. What happened to me? Why couldn’t I eat like a normal person anymore? Where did this crazy relationship with food come from? Why were there people out there that ate, moved on, and didn’t think twice? I needed that to be me again.

But at that point, I wasn’t in a body that felt like ME anymore.

I needed to find a practical balance between having a healthy relationship with food and being confident in my body (whatever that meant).

Dieting was too restrictive, we all knew that, but honestly, so was intuitive eating. It restricted my goals and even their set of guidelines was kind of rigid in their own way…

I needed MY practical balance. MY healthy lifestyle.

Balanced plate with foods

After months of studying health psychology, nutrition, and going through my own trial and error to find my balance with food and happy weight, I started working with clients one on one to help them find theirs.

Now I focus on building healthy habits that fit seamlessly into each individual’s lifestyle to help them have an amazing relationship with food, find their happy weight, and be a healthy and happy version of themselves.

In my life, this looks like having balanced meals 90% of the time. Oatmeal or eggs for breakfast, balanced lunches of delicious salads or soups with sourdough bread, and dinners with the Middle Eastern influences that I grew up with. It means I eat something sweet every single day whether it’s a square or two of chocolate or a slice of cake.

It means I’m aware of how my clothes fit and how I want them to fit and my eating behaviors around the quantity of food I choose to eat. Because practically speaking, I want to be comfy in my body and it feels better to eat comfortably than past fullness all the time.

My weekdays are routine and easy because I’ve built healthy habits that I love and prefer to have on autopilot so I’m not thinking about food all the time. My weekends are similar but have bursts of family dinners and date nights that are without a doubt, food and relationship-centered. I’ve found my balance and my happy place. I get to help people every day find theirs.

My ultimate dream is to influence a million people to shift their focus from dieting, to building healthy habits, without sacrificing their traditions, cultures, relationship with food, or their goals.

With my clients, I focus on shifting habits without restricting or counting calories to achieve sustainable weight loss or weight maintenance. We use practical nutrition so we can live life and feel our best!

Follow me on Instagram @Practical.Nutritionist and TikTok, or subscribe to my YouTube channel to stay up to date on the latest health tips and recipes! Or find me here:

If you’re ready to dive deep into your habits and feel confident about your choices surrounding food again, book a free consultation with me here!

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