Wednesday , September 27 2023

Cavinder twins open up about eating disorder journey: ‘Started getting very toxic’

Haley and Hanna Cavinder, twins who played for the Miami Hurricanes women’s basketball team, got candid about their struggle with eating habits in a video posted to YouTube Friday. 

The twins chose to post the video June 2, World Eating Disorders Action Day. 

The Cavinder twins in the Elite Eight

Haley Cavinder and Hanna Cavinder of the Miami Hurricanes during pregame at the Sweet 16 of the 2023 NCAA Tournament at Bon Secours Wellness Arena March 24, 2023, in Greenville, S.C. (Jacob Kupferman/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

The video takes viewers through their journey to prioritize their health.

“Something that Hanna and I have been struggling with for years now, as you guys can kind of see by the title of this video, is our eating habits,” Haley Cavinder said in a January recording.  


Hanna then spoke about how she started “calorie counting” after the two players transferred from Fresno State to Miami. 

“Going into Miami, obviously Haley and I were trying to prepare, trying to be the best we can at basketball,” Hanna said. “Trying to fuel our bodies. If we do something, we’re going to do it 100%. There’s no in between. So, it’s extreme, right? That’s just kind of like how our minds work.

“It started getting very toxic with, ‘We need to eat … a certain amount of calories a day,’” Hanna added. “But we’re burning so many calories. We’re not in-taking enough.”

Cavinder twins on the bench

Haley Cavinder (14) and Hanna Cavinder (15) of the Miami Hurricanes sit on the bench during the second half against the Villanova Wildcats in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament at Bon Secours Wellness Arena March 24, 2023, in Greenville, S.C.  (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The twins hired a nutritionist in January to prioritize their health. 


On May 19, the twins provided an update in the video and detailed the way they ate while at Fresno State. 

“It did get extremely bad when we were in Fresno,” Haley said. “I remember, just going through the timeline with you guys, my mom had to reach out — she never told us this until afterward — but had to reach out to our coaches there because she knew we were starving ourselves.” 

Hanna revealed that she experienced hair loss while Haley discussed her hormonal imbalance due to their poor diet. 

The two turned to Kathryne “Kat” Padgett, a dietitian who helped the two athletes increase their calorie and carbohydrate intake. 

Haley Cavinder and Hanna Cavinder at a Clippers game

Haley Cavinder and Hanna Cavinder attend a game between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Phoenix Suns at Arena April 20, 2023, in Los Angeles.  (Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)

“Their maintenance calories, the amount of calories to maintain their body weight, was found to be at 2,300 calories on average for their activity level as collegiate athletes,” Padgett said in the video. “What they were actually eating was pretty astounding.


“They were actually eating about 1,300 calories per day, which is unreal. What’s even crazier is that they were only eating 30 grams of carbs per day.” 

At the end of the video, the twins said they were “in a great place” as they share their journey. 

“We want to help people, genuinely want to help people,” Haley said. “So, feel free to reach out. Do not be afraid to talk to somebody and admit.”

The twins graduated from Miami in May and chose not to pursue a fifth year of NCAA eligibility.

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