Canadian dietitian Abbey Sharp gives 'permission slip' to eat pumpkin pie

Abbey Sharp is giving her fans the green light to indulge during the holiday season.

On Tuesday, the Toronto-based dietitian and influencer took to Instagram to share a set of images comparing "expectations" and "reality" of eating pumpkin pie with her more than 180,000 followers, paired with an important message about post-dessert guilt.

The first image explains how some people may expect to instantly gain weight after eating a sugary treat, such as a slice of pumpkin pie. But in reality, Sharp explains that it's "metabolized like any other food."

"It's officially that time of year again folks!" she captioned the post alongside a pumpkin, pie and leaves emojis before explaining that while autumn is a very festive time, "I can also understand that baking and candy season can also trigger some food fear."

She continued, urging her followers to "normalize" treating themselves to pumpkin pie, even if it "feels a bit scary because you fear that eating one (or two) slices will lead to immediate weight gain."

"The reality is, pie is metabolized like any other food. The body uses what it needs (like calories and macronutrients), and gets rid of what it doesn't," she wrote. "Just because it's a baked good does not mean that your body will specifically target this and immediately store it as fat over other foods."

Sharp pointed out that general health comes down to long-term eating patterns, not isolated foods.

"In other words, all foods can fit. So let this be your permission slip so that you can enjoy that slice of pie and move on with your day!" she concluded.

Fans met Sharp's post with supportive comments thanking her for the "reassurance" that it's fine to enjoy an occasional sweet treat.

"Thank you for this. It felt like reassurance to know that it's OK to enjoy a slice or two of pie sometimes. especially at this time of year," one Instagram user penned.

Another wrote: "Thank you for this! I love pumpkin pie and had a slice last week; thoroughly enjoyed then moved on."

"As a baker and someone in recovery from an eating disorder, I really needed to hear this! I love baking but because of my ED [eating disorder] I have stayed away from it out of fear. I'm still working through my fear-foods. Most of them are baked goods or include sugar. I really feel motivated to do some fall baking now and hopefully eat with a little less fear. Thank you, Abbey," someone else shared.

"Needed this reminder," added another.

Last month, Sharp shared another reminder with her followers in a video message about breaking "free of generational diet culture."

The Instagram Reel began with a stitched clip, originally created by TikTok user Bailey Nicole, of two women chanting with "all the toxic mantras our almond moms live by," which included, "nothing tastes as good as skinny feels, a moment on the lips, forever on the hips," and "you're not hungry, you're just bored."

Sharp then intervened with a recording of her own, firing back at the toxic diet mantras.

"If you're a millennial, you've probably heard all of these mantras. And I agree with these girls, they are toxic [as f—]," she explained, adding, "Honestly, I'm sure anyone who watches my channel knows how problematic it is to teach our kids this crap.

"And yet, a lot of us can just follow along with the mantras these girls are singing because they have been ingrained in our heads. So, if you're struggling with the damages of generational diet culture, know that you are not alone."

Sharp admitted that while it "can be incredibly hard to break the cycle" because society has already normalized these "toxic messages so deep into our brains," it is time to "get off that roller coaster."

Sharp also paired the video with a caption doubling down on eradicating "toxic" diet mantras.

"It’s sad that I know these gross diet culture messages by heart, and probably first heard them from my grandmothers when I was very young," she penned. "If you’re a parent looking to break free of generational diet culture, start by not suggesting that eating enough food should be deprioritized over losing weight and being skinny."

"This is not what supportive weight loss motivation looks like," she firmly added.

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