I have had so many people contact me asking me for advice about how I have long my weight and what types of foods I eat. I have done a post similar to this in the past but I thought I would go more into detail what I eat and do to lose weight and keep the weight off.
I will say this before anything... I am not a nutritionist, nor am I a fitness guru, nor am I a doctor. These are things that work for me and don't necessarily work for everyone. Talk to a professional if you are seeking professional information and advice.
The first thing I always tell people is to start taking a multivitamin and drinking nothing but water, coffee, and tea. Coffee and tea, only sweetened with stevia, an all natural, plant based sweetener, and if you must have "cream", use unsweetened almond milk. You just wouldn't believe the difference that one change will make for you. Drinking diet sodas or anything with artificial sweeteners are doing damage to your body. Artificial sweeteners also make you more hungry, kind of the opposite of what we are going for here. I also say to try to establish that one goal before you try to move on to other goals in your weight loss journey. Your goal should be to drink at least half of your body weight in water a day. That seems like a lot but it's what your body needs.
A lot of people assume that to lose weight, they must go on a diet. If you want to lose weight and keep it off, you have to stop going on diets and change the way you eat forever. This is a life long commitment, not a short term journey with an end date. You also need to know that no amount of exercise is going to make up for your poor eating habits. There is just no way you can work out enough to keep off the calories of all the junk and processed foods you consume.
Slowly adding in new goals will help you stay motivated rather than jumping into this blindly and trying to accomplish everything at once. You will burn out and give up and if you are an emotional eater, you will naturally use food to medicate your feelings of failure. Believe me, I know this, because it is exactly what I have done all my life. Even now that I am more aware of my body, I find myself more hungry when I am stressed. It is something you have to learn to recognize and respond to differently. Instead of heading to the kitchen when you are stressed, throw on your shoes and go for a run.
You won't find many people who truly enjoy working out. If we all could stay fit and healthy without working out, I am sure many of us wouldn't do it. I know I probably wouldn't (just being honest). However, I do enjoy running best when it comes to exercise for my body. I don't have a gym membership and I loathe workout videos even though I have done them many times, but I do love throwing on my running shoes and going for a long run. Find a workout that you enjoy most. Don't force yourself to do something day after day if you don't love it. You will get sick of it and you will give up!
Ok, so, the biggest question I get is "what do you eat?". I have people email me on a daily basis asking me this question. People I don't know and have never met want to know. I love getting to know these new friends and never mind giving my advice and words of encouragement. I often wished I had more people standing behind me along the way. I always tell people that I try to maintain a clean eating lifestyle, but often times, those people don't really know what eating clean means. Basically, I just try to eat all foods in their most natural state. That means, lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats.
Here is a detailed list of the most common foods that I typically eat (if it's not on the list, I probably don't eat it, but feel free to contact me if you have questions). I also make many of the foods I eat homemade which is always the healthiest option for you. Some things that I wouldn't typically purchase and eat can be homemade in a healthy version that I will eat.
- ALL fresh fruits and vegetables
- Canned unsalted/unsweetened veggies - I try to stay fresh as much as possible but some items I use often are canned pumpkin, canned diced tomatoes, olives, black beans.
- Salmon, shrimp, tuna, scallops
- Fresh or ground turkey and chicken
- Black olives and avocado
- Unsweetened almond milk
- Raw nuts and seeds (sunflower, almonds, pumpkin, etc.)
- Bread - unrefined whole grain and in small quantities (1 serving a day)
- Brown rice - small quantities (1-2 servings a week)
- Olive oil and coconut oil
- Cheese - small quantities and preferably mozzarella, goat, and parmesan (2-3 servings a week)
- Unbleached whole wheat flour
- Mustard and honey mustard - great for salads (honey mustard found in the mustard section, NOT honey mustard salad dressing)
- Baking Soda and Powder
- Unsweetened Cocoa
- Black Beans
- Popcorn - made in a air popper or in a oil popper using olive or coconut oil (NOT the prepackaged bags)
- Stevia - preferably liquid stevia
- All herbs and spices - with the limitation of salt
This doesn't seem like a huge list of foods, but remember, I said that there are things I make homemade using the ingredients in this list. I am never hungry and I eat all throughout the day. Many people assume that to lose weight, they have to cut back on the amount they eat. In actuality, not eating is causing your body to starve and hang onto the extra fat in foods because it thinks it is starving. Eat! Eat lots! But eat lots of healthy choices. I make the BEST homemade pizza, and we eat it at least once a week (but also in moderation. moderation to me is usually 2 slices)! Use Pinterest to find meals you love that are clean or tweak those recipes that aren't to make them that way.
Remember, this is a lifestyle you must learn to live with, not a diet that has a stopping point. Once you commit to eating this way, regardless of weight loss, you will notice a difference in the way you feel because your body won't be filled with all the toxic chemicals that are often hiding in processed and boxed foods.
Are you trying to lose weight? What has been the biggest challenge/struggle for you?