Episode 22: Body Image, Disordered Eating, and Cheerleading

On today’s episode of Life After Cheer, I’m talking with  Ashley Steinberger, registered dietician and founder of The Cheer Nutritionist, and Dr. Allison Smith, a teacher, and athletic trainer. We discuss disordered eating and body image, including the red flags to watch out for.

Here are a few takeaways from our important conversation:

  1. [14:40] The athletes are doing elite-level events, but they don’t see themselves as elite-level athletes
  2. [24:43] Red flags include constant and consistent injuries if there’s a quick or drastic body change, and overexercising
  3. [41:50] Give a new lifestyle a chance – try it for a couple of days, and decide whether you like it or not after some time


Ashley Steinberger, MS, RD is the Founder of The Cheer Nutritionist. She is a former Cheerleader from World Cup All-Stars and The University of South Carolina, Master of Nutrition & Exercise Physiology from Columbia University & Board Certified Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who specializes in Sports Nutrition & Eating Disorder Awareness. As The Cheer Nutritionist, her mission is to help cheerleaders & athletic-people fuel for performance by providing nutrition support & education specifically designed for cheerleaders to help elicit long term behavior change. She offers one-on-one nutrition counseling, team talks, parent/coaches group coaching and more!


Dr. Allison Smith is a licensed and certified athletic trainer with over 9 years of clinical experience at the college and high school level. Dr. Smith began her cheerleading career at the age of 10 and cheered competitively through her Freshman year of college. Allison attended Otterbein University and received both a Bachelor of Arts in Athletic Training and a Master of Science in Allied Health. She then attended the University of South Carolina’s Arnold School of Public Health where she received a PhD in Exercise Science. Her dissertation work focused on investigating and examining eating disorder risk, body image dissatisfaction, and components of the female athlete triad in competitive cheerleaders. Dr. Smith was an Assistant Professor at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette for one year before transitioning into a dual teaching and athletic training role with the Lafayette Parish School System in Lafayette, Louisiana. Dr.Smith is still currently engaging in research within the cheerleading community with her focus being on the female athlete triad, energy availability, body image dissatisfaction, and eating disorder risk. .


The Cheer Nutritionist: https://www.thecheernutritionist.com/

Cheer Nutrionist IG: https://www.instagram.com/thecheernutritionist/




CHEERFIT: instagram.com/cheerfittraining