This post is by OYS writer Alexis from Trading Cardio for Cosmos. You can also find her on Facebook and Instagram sharing her awesome weight loss tips and motivation!! She’s lost over 100lbs so she has lots to share!
I’m a bit of a foodie. For me, my food needs to look good, taste great, and keep me satiated. I like diversity in my menus, hate drive-thrus and I never want to feel deprived. That’s not too much to ask, right?
When we think about weight loss, typically we think about restricting or eliminating foods from our diet, but in reality, I started incorporating all kinds of foods into my diet that had never been there before. Here’s the list of the food I’ve added in throughout my -115lb weight loss:
#1. Complex grains
I ate a lot of potatoes and pasta on my way up to weighing 280lbs, and as I started losing weight I knew I needed to change up my carb addiction. I still have my french fries, my rye toast and my Wheat Thins, but those are occasional treats now because I focus on whole wheat, complex heritage grains like quinoa, bulgur, farro and spelt. These grains are often packed with fiber and protein, which helps you stay satiated longer.
Check out my recipe for a Kale Bulgur Salad.
#2. ALL the veggies
I eat a serving of vegetables at every meal, partially because it’s so good for me, but also so I can bulk up my meals with zucchini noodles, sauteed kale, roasted mushrooms, cayenne-dusted butternut squash, you name it! These low-cal vegetables help keep me satiated so I can save my intake for the protein that fuels my body and the cheese that I love!
Check out my “Ode to Kale”
#3. Protein and Fruit for Snacks
No, sadly I did not say “fruit snacks!” I have swapped my pretzels, chips and carb-y snacks for whole seasonal fruits and healthy proteins and I swear it’s made a BIG difference in my weight loss! With a desk job, these carb-y snacks weren’t getting burned off, they were getting turned into sugar and then into fat. Or, I was wasting 150-200 calories on a snack that was not going to keep me full until my next meal, which meant I was eating a second snack. And that’s no good!
By purchasing my fruit seasonally, I’m able to ensure I’m getting items at their peak freshness AND they’re usually on sale!
So now I aim for some protein, usually in the way of a hardboiled egg or a few ounces of lean protein like chicken or turkey and a piece of fruit.
What to know when your favorite fruits are in season? Check out this seasonality guide.
#4. Olive Oil
I know, I know, you’re wondering why oil is a good thing for weight loss. Well, oils are a necessary part of our body’s functionality. They lubricate our joints, help our hair and nails grow strong and they even help our digestive system move food and waste. So, in other words, oil is actually good for you! I make a point of roasting my vegetables or misting my proteins with just a little olive oil each day and incorporating that intake into my day!
For more info about cooking with olive oil check out this post.
#5. Avocado and Sweet Potato Toasts
I admit, I’ve jumped on BOTH the avocado AND the sweet potato toast bandwagons.
Avocado toast using Ezekiel or Sprouted Grain bread has protein and healthy fats, the bread is high in fiber AND the avocado has tons of vitamins (B, C, E and K) and potassium, which is great for athletes!
Sweet potato toast is a little lesser known, but still delicious in that it forgoes the bread by make a sliced sweet potato into the “bread” vessel! You get all the yummy benefits of a sweet potato without the carbs! YAY!
Tell me – what foods have you added to YOUR menus since you started your weight loss journey?