I took the photo below right yesterday to show off my favorite new palazzo pants and thought, “Wow, I guess you CAN tell that I’ve lost weight.” I found the picture from the left to compare and there really is a difference!!
Since posting the comparison, several people have asked me how I did it.
For your reading pleasure…I already wrote a post called Lose ten pounds in three months, just like me! as a sort of light-hearted “how to” guide for losing weight.
Buuuuut I get the feeling that some of you would really like to know the real deal.
Let me start with the brutal truth: without making a concerted effort, most of us would just eat a lot of junk and wonder why we feel bad and can’t lose weight. Life offers plenty of opportunities to indulge but oftentimes we indulge juuuust a little–all day, every day, whether we realize it or not. That’s what I was doing at least.
Naturally I’m happy to share what I’m doing….but I know that most of you aren’t going to like it. It was no quick fix. There was no detox involved, I didn’t drink any shakes, take any supplements or eat any special foods–I just tried to eat a more balanced diet and cut what I know isn’t good for me. “Boooo, hiss….that’s boring!” I know. Nevertheless…
Here’s what I’ve been doing differently this year!
- I eat almost no dairy. I keep unsweetened vanilla almond milk on hand for smoothies and to splash into my coffee and I have Greek yogurt in my smoothies, too, but I dropped yogurt, sour cream and coffee creamers, partly because they upset my stomach. I don’t consume much cheese anymore, either. On the rare occasions that we eat out, I avoid things with a lot of cheese or heavy sauces and go for salads and light soups instead.
- I eat very little sugar. Other than a piece of good dark chocolate after a meal, I just don’t eat much sugar anymore. No more cookies, donuts or candy bars–and absolutely no soda or juice. I know that has made a big difference in how I feel and has cut down on my belly fat. Was it hard? Heck yes. Was it worth it? Absolutely. I am so glad I kicked my sugar habit–sugar really is my enemy.
- I eat very few carbs. I eat half sandwiches (one piece of gluten free bread), gluten free pasta maybe once/week and I try to keep the crackers and cookies to a minimum.
I also eat a lot of “mini meals” throughout the day instead of one or two really heavy meals. I think that keeps my metabolism revved up.
But I know what you’re thinking…..”If you cut most of that, what DO you eat?!?”
That’s been the best part–cutting things meant I had to figure out what else TO eat!
- I eat good meat. I love burgers, turkey and chicken. I eat it without a bun, though, or half a bun. I’ve grown to really love mustard, too.
- I eat fruit…just very little. If I have fruit in my smoothie, that’s it for the day.
- I eat veggies. They’re not my favorite but I do like the mini sweet peppers, a good salad (loaded with goodies like nuts and avocado, of course–see below) and tomatoes.
- I eat a lot of avocados and nuts. Mmm, mm, MM! Cutting sugar and carbs meant I could have more healthy fats and I’m loving it–and so is my belly. Plus I’m not hungry!
A few other things I do.
I keep easy grab-and-go snacks on hand and take things with me when I leave home. I am rarely without a bag of almonds or a protein bar in my purse.
I stock up on convenient (healthy) options for snacking. Mini sweet peppers and hummus are two favorites.
I get gooooood sleep, 7-8 hours per day, no exceptions. I try to go to bed hungry, too, and start my day with a hearty breakfast.
I started practicing yoga. I go to a gentle restorative yoga class that helps me stretch and relax. Keeping my stress levels low is a big priority.
I drink a LOT of water and only have one cup of coffee per day. I rarely drink alcohol, either.
The bottom line for me was simply moving to eating more whole foods and having a more balanced diet.
It was worth it to me to feel better, have more energy and be able to live the life I want to live. I miss donuts and French fries and cookies–but I don’t miss feeling foggy-headed, weak, nauseated and flabby.
I made small, sustainable changes over many months and feel like a new woman now! The smaller pants size is just a bonus.
What’s your vice? Carbs? Sugar? Tequila? Do you struggle to eat healthy foods and not overindulge? We can commiserate over on the TabithaDumas.com Facebook page.