Are you confusing sacrificing with compromising? Do you feel like you’re always dating the same type of person? Can you trust the process of letting go to find your authentic self? In this podcast episode, Dr. Cristina Castagnini speaks about the parallels between dating and dieting with Toni Marinucci.


Toni Marinucci, MS, RD, is a Registered Dietitian and business owner of Diet Tips With Toni, who ironically teaches people how NOT to diet. Her team of RD’s provide online nutrition coaching to help women break free from the all-or-nothing mindset and encourage them to embrace balance instead. Her mission is to end restrictive diet culture by providing simple tips to healthy living while incorporating foods you love! She is a TEDx speaker and #1bestselling author of the book, Once Upon a Diet where she discusses the parallels between dieting, dating, and romantic relationships, and how we treat them the same. Visit Toni's website and connect on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and TikTok. FREEBIE: Which Disney Princess do you eat like?


  • Are you constantly waiting?
  • How to stop repeating the patterns in relationships
  • Trust the process
  • Be mindful of the honeymoon phase: for diets and relationships

Are you constantly waiting?

People get stuck in bad habits and difficult places in life when they start to constantly put things off that they want to experience now into the future. It could be starting a new hobby, making a friend, or trying a new routine, but always sidelined with, “I’ll be happy when …”.
To be happy, it’s not dependent on the number on a scale, or your relationship status because so many people are waiting to be happy when … they’re waiting to be happy when the number on the scale drops or waiting to be happy once they’ve found their partner. It’s about understanding … you get to choose to be happy now. (Toni Marinucci)
If you are constantly waiting to be happy, you’re doing it the wrong way. Happiness is more likely to find you when you make a space for it, not when you are chasing after it.

How to stop repeating the patterns in relationships

Breaking the pattern for me with dating was going to therapy and starting to recognize that I was with people for the wrong reasons. (Toni Marinucci)
What reasons are you giving yourself to stay in a poor relationship? Are these reasons similar to the ones that you give yourself to remain in disordered eating habits? Is your concern directed at others – the partners, the eating disorder – more so than directing it at yourself?
For some reason [to me at that time] my feelings didn’t matter … that’s important for people to hear because whether it’s relationships or your nutrition, your body, whatever it is … it’s yours. Yours only. Your life, your body, your career, and you get to choose, and if people don’t like it then they’re not your people. (Toni Marinucci)

Trust the process

Recovery is not easy – from healing your relationship patterns to recovering from an eating disorder – but it is worth every day of struggle.
It might take years to get there, for me, it took years to get there. I think once you get the right help and support it obviously happens faster, but be patient [with the process]. (Toni Marinucci)
You will go through the “messy middle” and experience a dip and a powerful struggle. This is because you will go through the scary process of letting go of the known (even though it’s toxic) before you reach the new thing you are working on building.

Be mindful of the honeymoon phase: for diets and relationships

The honeymoon phase can be addictive, whether it’s with a new partner and everything seems great and they seem perfect, or you try a new diet and seem to be getting results. However, the honeymoon phase always ends, and it is not a marker of the depth of the relationship. What happens afterward is a more likely representation of the quality of the connection. Do they begin to treat you poorly? Does your health decline? Then you need to make a shift, and stop pursuing that addictive feeling precisely because it is unsustainable.
If people get stuck trying to relive the honeymoon phase, they neglect the other parts of the relationship that are not exciting [but that are vital] … we start to make excuses, and that’s how we stay stuck. (Toni Marinucci)
It doesn’t matter what it was. You need to focus on what it is now.



I am a licensed Psychologist and Certified Eating Disorder Specialist. While I may have over 20 years of clinical experience, what I also have is the experience of having been a patient who had an eating disorder as well. One thing that I never had during all of my treatment was someone who could look me in the eye and honestly say to me "hey, I've been there. I understand". Going through treatment for an eating disorder is one of the hardest and scariest things to do. I remember being asked to do things that scared me. Things I now know ultimately helped me to get better. But, at the time, I had serious doubts and fears about it. If even one of my providers had been able to tell me "I know it's scary, but I had to go through that part too. Here's what will probably happen...." then perhaps I would not have gone in and out of treatment so many times. My own experience ultimately led me to specialize in treating eating disorders. I wanted to be the therapist I never had; the one who "got it". I will be giving you my perspective and information as an expert and clinician who has been treating patients for over 2 decades. But don't just take my word for it...keep listening to hear the truly informative insights and knowledge guest experts have to share. I am so happy you are here!


Did you enjoy this podcast? Feel free to comment below and share this podcast on social media! You can also leave a review of Behind The Bite on Apple Podcasts (previously) iTunes and subscribe!