6 Things I Learned About Food Since Losing 40lbs


6 Things I Learned About Food Since Losing 40lbs

Until recently I had always considered myself as being a healthy person. I never ate fast food, white bread, or drank soda.  During my weight loss journey I learned that healthy eating means much more than just buying a loaf of whole grain bread. Healthy eating is a lifestyle. It’s about educating yourself on health, exercise, and nutrition and then gradually incorporating positive healthy changes into your life.  The operative term in that last sentence is the word gradual.  It is important to gradually take out bad habits and replace with them with better ones.  Many people fail at any type of weight loss strategy or healthy lifestyle change because they use a method that is too drastic and too quick.  Good habits take time.  Eating healthy is not a race, it’s a journey.

Here are 6 things I learned about food since losing weight.


#1. Calories do count.

The first week I started counting calories I lost 8 pounds (I use My Fitness Pal to track my food).  After that, I lost on average 1-3 pounds a week.  The foundation for my weight loss is knowing exactly how many calories are going into my body.  Some people shutter at the thought of counting calories.  In all reality, it is a necessity for anyone wanting to lose weight permanently. You must know what is going into your body. The great thing about building healthy habits is that most likely you will not have to count calories forever. It is a great skill to have and one that I always come back to when I find myself getting off track.

Here are some of my other posts to help with calorie counting and portion control:

How to Start Counting Calories

How to Create a Weight Loss Menu Plan

3 Tips to Keep Calories Under Control

#2. Fresh, minimally processed foods are better.

Our country is filled with highly processed and nutrition deficient foods that are heavily marketed specifically to busy parents and kids. These foods may seem harmless but there is plenty of evidence that shows these foods contribute to numerous health problems.  It’s no secret that millions of Americans today suffer from obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer as the result of a poor diet.  I was completely ignorant of how critical my diet is to my body’s overall wellness.  Given that processed foods are found everywhere in our society, it’s impossible to expect people to give up processed foods completely.  However, I do feel that reducing your family’s consumption of processed foods will have a positive effect on their health. Learn to read labels and the ingredients list. If you see a lot of ingredients that you never heard of or can’t pronounce, then you may want to pass and find a less processed, natural version.

Here are some posts to help you choose clean food over processed.

Clean Eating Guidelines for Busy People

How to Get Started with Clean Eating

Cleaning Eating Snacks

5 Reasons You Struggle to Change Your Eating Habits and Some Tips to Help Out

#3 Just because a food says it is low-fat, low-calorie, and/or diet does not mean it is healthy.

Many of the foods that claim to be better for you may not even be healthy.  Often these foods are filled with harmful additives and other chemicals to make up for the loss in fat and sugar. This reduction is usually only a difference of a few grams and thus, making the original version much healthier.

Here are some posts to help you choose the healthier food option.

How to Choose the Best Yogurt?

How to Choose the Best Bread

Snack Like a Boss With These Healthy Tips

The 9 Foods I Removed From My Diet to Lose 115lbs!

#4 Eating healthy does not cost more money.

I was one of the many people who thought that eating healthy was going to cost me a fortune. I was wrong. My grocery bills have actually gone down since I started buying healthier foods and cooking at home.  Controlling the portions I eat has also helped bring the cost of eating down.  Usually, the difference in cost between a healthy food choice and an unhealthy food choice is small.  It’s all about making health a priority.

6 Tips to Use Grocery Shopping as a Weight Loss Tool

7 Meal Prep Hacks to Save Money and Lose Weight

#5.  Cooking homemade meals from scratch can fit into my busy life.

At this point, many of you may be thinking, “When in the heck do I have time to cook a homemade meal?”  Well, I work full-time outside the house and my family eats a homemade meal for dinner every night. “How is this possible?” you ask?  I rely heavily on meal planning, meal prep, and freezer cooking as my key strategies for feeding my family healthy meals.  I spend about 8 hours twice a month cooking meals for the next two weeks and then freeze them. I also prep food every sunday for the entire week.

Here are some of my favorite meal prep posts:

Meal Prep Like a Boss

How to Meal Prep for The Week in One Afternoon

A Beginner’s Guide to Once a Week Meal Prep

And here are a few quick video for my favorite meal prep recipes.

Greek Mason Jar Salad

Detox Smoothie Freezer Kits

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken

#6. Healthy eating does not mean sacrificing or giving up completely “bad foods”.

I would be a total hypocrite if I said I never ordered a pizza or ate Doritos.  They are delicious!  I can honestly say that the times I eat these foods are few.  Since I changed my diet to include more nutritious food, I do not having cravings for the less healthy choices.

In a nutshell, healthy eating to me means filling your body with wholesome, fresh, minimally processed foods everyday without exceeding the number of calories your body needs. It is about learning what habits you need to change and slowly replacing them with ones that will enhance your health. In time, you will see the benefits of these positive changes and they will become a part of who you are.

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  1. I found by eating “healthier” u become more active and have better additude :-}

  2. You are so “right-on” Girl! You make so much sense! I too thought I was eating “healthy” ( eating whole grains and fresh fruits and veggies. Also stopped eating “no-fat” foods realizing how much sugar was in those foods) but now realize it is so much more related to sensible portion control and knowing when to stop ( realizing being satisfied instead of feeling stuffed!) Thanks!!

  3. Teresa Connor says:

    Do you have any suggestions on #1 Calorie counting? I know there are a lot of programs out there like “lose it”, “fitness pal”, etc….is that what you used? What was your biggest struggle in tracking calories? I struggle with getting the exact calories amount with measuring. Thank your for all your do! It has helped me tremendously, I’ve cut out so many other websites as it gets overwhelming.

  4. I found weight watchers online for free at freckleberrys.com.I also found that you get one point for each 40 calories in food.I have the points calculator but found that if you divide the calories in food by 40,you get the points in food.Its all based on calories!I get 40 points which is 1600 calories.Using calculator I get the points in food.The site above tells you how many points you get.Points are easier to count then calories.All you need once you find out how many points you get is a regular calculator.Its working for me!

  5. Your blog has been so helpful and encouraging to me as I strive towards eating healthy and maintaining a good weight. Thank you for being real and for sharing such helpful info!

  6. Great insights here, Tammy. And I couldn’t agree more, especially about calories counting and committing to gradual change. I too was one of those people who thought I hate pretty healthy but the truth is that I ate WAY TOO much! I think finding your balance is important too. I like to think in terms of eating healthy 80% of the time and for fun/pleasure 20%. It’s a plan I can stick with forever 🙂

  7. I am a Simply Filing ww girl….I read a lot of your posts . how do you figure out how many calories you should eat. I am down to the last 15 pounds after loosing 63 pounds. I know exercise would help as well but I am looking to count calories possibly

  8. Thank you so much for this entire site. I have been a lurker for about a year, and I have recently become more serious about my health and weight loss journey. Your posts are so inspiring and great for practical use. Thank you for being so open so that others may benefit from the lessons you’ve learned.

  9. ok what about those of us who are 60’s . I lost 25lb last yr, we had death of mil very stressful- I gained 12 lb back. I am still struggling to get all of it back- I am keeping track, losing only .5lb wk sometimes not that. I have fibro. do light exercise. I need help.

  10. Gabrielle Leon says:

    Thank you so much for this article! It was so helpful for me and for my weight loss journey.

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