It’s so embarrassing to look back at photos of me five years ago, when I was carrying around an extra 40 pounds of fat. I can’t believe I ever let myself get that way. At my heaviest, I was 155 pounds (left) and I am currently 115 pounds (right). Total I’ve lost 40 pounds and here’s how:
“The true secret to health eating is this: Just eat real food.” – Jason Fung, Author of The Complete Guide to Fasting
When I read the Whole30 books, something just clicked for me. To be healthy you need to eat Real Foods. It seems like a no-brainer, but eating fruits, veggies, meat, seafood, and eggs is healthy. These foods are good for you. They provide your body with nutrients.
Throw away the protein powders and slim fasts. These aren’t real foods and they aren’t healthy. You should be getting your protein from natural sources like chicken, salmon, eggs, and greek yogurt. And just because something says the word diet or low-cal on it, does not mean it’s healthy.
It’s crazy to say, but I used to not eat bananas because I thought they were bad for you – too many carbs and sugar. My husband would eat a banana a day and I wouldn’t dare touch them. Instead I would opt for an Atkins shake… Looking back, I cannot believe I used to think that an Atkins shake was healthier than a banana. Atkins shakes are not real food. Something that can sit on the shelf for that long is not healthy. I now know the difference between good sugars bad sugars. How to read labels. I’m no longer afraid of bananas. Fruits, like bananas, fall into the good sugar category. Bananas are healthy, they are real, and they are packed with nutrients. Now, instead of Atkins shakes, I make a smoothie for breakfast every morning (using almond milk, a banana or other type of fruit, and a Blender Bomb). It’s so much healthier and tastier.
With the Whole30, I also learned that you can eat as much veggies as you want. Munch on veggies all day long and don’t feel guilty about it. You aren’t going to gain weight from eating veggies. The more plant based you eat, the more weight you’ll loose. Cut out the grains, alcohol, and dairy. For breakfast have some eggs (with veggies or protein) or a smoothie. For lunch and dinner fill your plate with veggies and protein. If you want a snack, grab an orange or munch on some carrots. For dessert, have a bowl of strawberries or a chocolate peanut butter smoothie (cacao, banana, almond milk, PB). Swap your diet sodas for sparkling water (I love La Croix).
An easy way to eat ‘whole real foods’ is to shop on the outer ring of the grocery store (produce, nuts, meat, eggs, almond milk). You really don’t need to go down any of the aisles (it’s mostly all processed food).
With the Whole30, I ate as much as I wanted of the approved foods (eggs, fruits, veggies, meat, and seafood) and did not count calories. I lost 5 pounds in the first 2 weeks – just by eating real foods and cutting out alcohol and grains. The Whole30 meal plan is a great starting point for eating healthy.
After completing the Whole30, the next step is balance. Figuring out how to incorporate alcohol or the occasional bread and cheese plate into your lifestyle. Maintaining balance is key to sustaining your weight loss. Listen to your body, give into cravings every once in awhile, then get back on track.
I started making exercise a part of my daily life. I went from zero exercise to walking 3 miles a day. I love to hike and walk. I’m not big on intense workouts. But that’s fine. You don’t need a gym membership. Just get out and move! Go for a few walks around the block. Get a fitbit. It helps for counting steps and keeping you motivated to reach your goal everyday.
Intermittent fasting – skipping a meal every once in a while – has helped me to keep the weight off and lose those stubborn pounds.
Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day (I’m addicted to smoothies), so I’ll either skip lunch and eat dinner, or eat lunch and skip dinner. You don’t need to fast for days on end. Skipping just one meal every once in awhile can help you maintain your weight loss or shed those stubborn pounds.
I recommend reading The Complete Guide to Fasting by Jason Fung. It’s a great book. In it, Jason Fung says:
Fasting’s most obvious benefit is weight loss. However, there are a myriad of benefits beyond this.
Improves mental clarity and concentration
Induces weight and body fat loss
Lowers blood sugar levels
Improves insulin sensitivity
Lowers blood cholesterol
Prevents Alzheimer’s disease
Reverses the aging process
“Fasting is effective, simple, flexible, practical, and virtually guarenteed to work… So what’s the problem? Nobody makes money when you fast. Not Big Food. Not Big Pharma. Nobody wants you to find out the ancient secret of weight loss… Fasting is free. In fact, not only is it free, it actually saves money because you do not need to buy any food at all! There are no expensive foods. There are no expensive supplements. There are no meal replacement bars, shakes, or medications. The price of fasting is zero.” Say goodbye to those Atkins and Slim Fasts shakes! All those fake foods, including Diet Sodas are just scams. They trick you into thinking they are healthy and they aren’t. Save your money and fast.
There you have it. That’s how I lost my 40 pounds of fat. Loosing weight is hard. It takes time, but just stick with it. You can do it!