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 truly believe that successful, sustainable weight loss is 80% what you eat and 20% how you move your booty. I’ve spent the past 2.5 years losing weight and getting healthy and no amount of exercise has ever been as important as the decision to cut out most processed foods from my diet.
Now I know, some of you are *immediately* turned off by this and planning to write Tammy and tell her to fire me but wait… this is not a blog post bashing you or your decisions. This is a blog post about my weight loss journey, what I eat and why it works for me. Hear me out:
This time three years ago, the majority of the foods I ate came from drive thrus, delivery services or the frozen section of the grocery store. I was working 60-70 hours a week, I was “too busy” to cook and too busy to grocery shop for things that would only go bad because I was never home.
But as I started to lose weight, I knew I needed to change how I fed myself.
#1. I ditched frozen and canned meals.
This may not sound like a big deal, but ditching pre-packaged frozen meals was hard for me. If I had a long day I knew I could have a meal ready in 7 minutes or less with those meals – what I had not realized is the HUGE amount of sodium that these meals contain. Here I was trying to keep my body hydrated and the food I was eating was full of dehydrating sodium.
How did I do it? I learned how to meal prep for my week ahead, so I always had healthy lunches or dinners available to me. Wanna learn more about how I did it? Check out my “9 Habits of People Who Meal Prep Like a Boss!”
#2. I started shopping the grocery store circulars.
This might sound crazy, but by choosing my fruits and veggies based on what is in season, I dramatically decreased the preservatives I was ingesting. Fruits and veggies – like apples in the winter and citrus in the summer – either travel significant distances or are often treated with chemicals to help them stay fresh outside of their normal “ripe season.” By choosing to eat these things when they’re in season and on sale I save money AND reduce my intake of those preservatives.
#3. I stopped eating “diet” and “light” foods.
We all know foods that are low-cal or low-fat, but taste like the original, have manmade additives to make them taste that way. We pretend to ignore that fact because the goal of “losing weight” is more important, but what if the goal was not to “lose weight” but was, instead, about “learning moderation?” I don’t eat diet or light foods – I want the full-fat original versions (that taste better anyway). Rather than a huge portion of processed cheese, I enjoy an ounce or two of really great stilton or cheddar cheese on apple slices. In this way, I’m practicing moderation and portion control and avoiding those additives I don’t want.
#4. I stopped eating 100-calorie and single-serving snacks.
These little servings, 100 calories of chocolate chip cookies or cheese crackers, were, in addition to being full of artificial flavors, not keeping me satiated (or “feeling full”). I started to look for protein and a fruit or veggie as my snacks. For example, hardboiled eggs, almonds, a cheese stick, 3oz of turkey with an apple, banana, some grapes, sugar snap peas or cucumber slices. The protein burns off slower than the carbs, and the fruit or veggie helps to keep my stomach feeling fuller longer.
Check out Tammy’s protein snack packs:
#5. I gave up soda.
Just over two years ago, I gave up diet soda, cold-turkey. I’d read too many stories about the corrosive acidic reactions, artificial sweeteners and how scientists found that the chemicals in diet soda may actually slow weight loss. I decided to take a 30-day “no soda” challenge.
The headaches were bad for about a week, but after that I’ve had no complications from giving up the diet soda. I replaced the soda with seltzer, club soda and spring water infused with fruits, veggies and even herbs! Check out these ideas to get yourself started! I feel better knowing that my beverages are working FOR my weight loss, not against, and my teeth thank me, too!
What do you think? Am I crazy, or right on the money? What about you? How have your eating habits changed since you began your weight loss journey?