Hi everyone! Hope you are having a spectacular day 🙂
Today, I’m sharing you with guys something that I have been asked over and over for years! How did you lose the weight? What did you do? Ever since I started shedding those pounds, I often heard those questions. I know many people want to lead healthier lives and many people would love to drop a few pounds so this is a subject that always intrigues and inspires.
I’ve known several people who start diets thinking that it is the answer to their questions. It’s not! Diets that restrictive will never work long term. The ultimate solution is simply leading a healthier lifestyle. How you may wonder?
I will start by saying nothing worth it is ever easy. If you really want this; you will need to put CONSISTANT effort and work into the process of changing your daily habits to better you! I emphasize consistent because it’s all about staying dedicated on the end goal rather than getting off track. Think about it for a minute. It’s probably taken you years to get where you are now; don’t expect reaching your desired body weight and look in just weeks. Be patient with the process and yourself. Make small goals for your journey and come up with a plan. Stay focused and don’t make excuses for yourself. Do not give up when you plateau. The first few pounds is water weight which is easier to lose than actual fat. You will fluctuate in weight at times and that is okay; do not let that discourage you. Remember, stay focused on that end goal!
I remember never thinking that I was overweight when I looked in the mirror but I was. I was obese actually and in denial. My highest weight was 185lbs and I was just in my early 20s. I started noticing my appearance in photos and wasn’t happy. I was being teased by people and I was told I was lazy over and over again. It took a toll on my self esteem and the way I started seeing myself. I knew that I had to take action and stop delaying something that was so important to my health. I also want to note that it isn’t always about the number on the scale. Every body type is different. Concentrate more on feeling good about yourself!
Now, let me tell you how I lost over 30 pounds! I exercised my butt off and made healthy food choices. Sounds easy right? Well, it is once you get the hang of it. Do not expect it to be easy at first. In time though, you will see a difference and that confidence alone will keep motivating you. For this post, I will be concentrating on the food aspect of my weight loss journey. I will talk about workouts in another post.
I knew the way I was eating was hurting me physically and mentally. The first thing I cut out of my daily diet was SODA! Stop drinking soda now and don’t look back. It is filled with sugar. By just ditching soda; you will see a difference. Take baby steps. Ditch juices filled with sugar too. Read the nutritional facts on the back of anything you buy. Look at the sugar, carbs, and calories. Those are all important factors you should look for when trying to lose weight. I personally just drink water at all times. Sometimes I will add lemon for flavor. Cut down on caffeine. When drinking tea or coffee; do your best to avoid adding sugar. I don’t drink coffee but I drink herbal teas with no sugar. At first, it may seem hard but your body will get used to it. If you are a coffee drinker and need your creamer; use almond milk instead of a packet of stevia instead.
You are what you eat. You eat junk and fast food most of the time then you will gain weight, have health complications, and feel crappy about yourself. It may not happen right away but one day it will hit you like a ton of bricks and you will be so mad that you let yourself get to this point. Do you really have to wait till you have high cholesterol to take control of your life? I say your life because you are nothing without your health.
So, I’m going to give you a few Guidelines to live by going on from here.
- Eat plenty of fresh VEGETABLES and FRUIT. Every meal you eat should include some sort of vegetable or fruit. Ex: Breakfast-oatmeal topped with strawberries and bananas. Lunch-toast topped with avocado. Dinner-Any protein with a side of roasted vegetables.
- Stay away from frozen products as much as you can. I know that is convenient but fresh is always better!
- Limit the number of canned products you purchase. Canned products are filled with preservatives. How else do you think something can last in a can for so long?
- NO more refined SUGAR! This is a big one. Only sweet you should be ingesting is that from fruit or something like honey. This is the day where your sweet tooth will have to be satisfied in other ways. Ex: Fruit smoothies with honey and coconut. Ex: Dates; naturally sweet and absolutely delicious. Ex: Dark chocolate; the darker the chocolate the less sugar that is in it. Ex: chocolate oatmeal topped with honey and berries.
- You can still eat CARBS! Yes, you heard me right. Eat complex carbs which are foods like brown rice, quinoa, and oatmeal. These types of carbs will help you energize for your day and fill you up. They are important in a day to day diet but remember moderation. This doesn’t mean eat lots of these carbs; but you can definitely enjoy them. Here is a tip: If you know for dinner you want to enjoy some brown rice with your chicken and veggies then keep that in mind and don’t have oatmeal for breakfast and toast for lunch. That’s 3 times you had carb in the day. Try to limit it to once or twice. Do it slowly; don’t cut yourself off right away. Little by little.
- Snack! Yes, SNACK so your metabolism keeps going and burns calories for you. Nuts & seeds are a great source of fiber and the perfect snack. Snack on hummus with carrots. They are a perfect duo; try if you haven’t yet. Snack on a fruit or veggie. You have options; don’t think that you don’t!
- No more GREASY food. Do you enjoy clogging your arteries? I would hope not. But that is exactly what you are doing when you incorporate greasy fried foods into your diet. You risk heart disease, getting high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes. I am not saying you can’t go out and have an occasional burger and fries. You can but as a reward to yourself. You can easily make burgers and fries at home that are 100000x times better for you than eating it out. Grill the beef patty; control what you put on your sandwich. Bake your fries till crisp and tender. These are things that I do now for my husband and I.
- If you follow me on Instagram, you will definitely notice that I eat dairy free and gluten free. I am both lactose and gluten intolerant which is why I choose that eating lifestyle. I have seen such a huge difference in my health ever since I cut out dairy and gluten. I do not bloat nearly as much; do not have as much gas; and overall I feel better. Even if you don’t have to abide by these diet restrictions; limit the amount of dairy to put in your body. Dairy causes inflammation in our bodies which is a huge source of bloating. So, regardless cut down on cheese. Cut down on milk. Start drinking almond milk instead; it’s so good by the way. Even if you don’t like it at first; you will grow to.
- Include healthy fats into your diet. Yea, there is such thing as a good fat! That includes fish, avocados, and olive oil just to name a few.
- Take VITAMINS. Every day, take a multi vitamin to ensure you are getting nutrients that you may not be ingesting daily. Take Probiotics to keep your gut happy with good bacteria. These will help in your overall physical and mental health. Your nails will grow long and stronger and so will your hair. Your skin will thank you as well by eating clean like this. I’ve seen those improvements in myself over a period of time.
- Stress & Sleep. These are two components that can alter your journey. You need adequate amount of sleep. In sleep, your body rests and will provide you with energy for the next day. Stress is never good but it is always there. So try to be positive with whatever comes your way and persevere.
- Try to have a plan ahead of time of what you want to the next day so you aren’t tempted to make something frozen and just pop it in the oven. Prep in your head and when you go food shopping as to what you need for whatever you want to make. Have a healthy dish or recipe in mind and execute!
My husband and I go food shopping every Saturday. We usually buy enough food just for the week. I am going to give you an idea of what we purchase for our home on a weekly basis.
- Red & Yellow Onion
- Butternut Squash
- Spaghetti Squash
- Spring Mix
- Chicken Breast
- Skirt Steak
- Ground Beef
- Ground Turkey
Vegan (dairy free)
- So delicious brand Cheese
- Daiya brand cream cheese
- Almond Milk
- Plant based butter
- So delicious brand Ice cream (made with coconut milk)-very delicious especially for a sweet tooth treat. I will nibble on one ice cream bar over a course of 3 days. So, I get my sweet fix and put it back and when i need another fix I’ll have another bite or two.
- Gluten Free crisps from Aldi
- Gluten free toast from Aldi
- Gluten free penne pasta from Aldi
- Gluten Free pizza crust from local supermarket
You can find many of these options in my recipe archives or Instagram page 🙂
Brunch (works for breakfast or lunch): Shakshuka with greens or tomatoes; Foul (fava bean dish), Hummus (chick pea dish) Note* try to avoid eating bread with these dishes. Eat as is or with veggies.
Oatmeal & Overnight oats, Avocado Toast, Salmon Toast, Eggs (omelets, frittata, quiche), smoothies (using almond milk, fruit, peanut or almond butter and honey as a sweetner)
Tuna salad & chicken salad, sweet potato hash
Dinner: Eggplant Casserole, Lettuce tacos or burgers with a side of baked sweet potato fries, skirt steak with chimichurri and sautéed veggies, Asian style one pan chicken dinner, kufta with tahini sauce, quinoa salad with shrimp, Ground turkey meatloaf, gluten free pasta with minimal dairy, Butternut Squash mac n cheese, Shawerma with Jerusalem salad and toum, Grilled chicken with veggies, Asian style salmon, tilapia with parsley tahini sauce and salad, Zucchini noodles, Oven baked crispy chicken tenders,
Dessert: oatmeal & smoothies can also be for dessert depending how you top them! Homemade granola bars, toast with peanut butter, bananas, and honey. Banana oatmeal cookies, date truffles, apple and/or banana with peanut butter or almond butter.
I know that reading all this and seeing all these guidelines may be overwhelming. This is why I highly recommend you take the process in steps. Don’t try to do everything at one time. Cut out 1-2 things the first week and proceed from there. Don’t forget, diet is a major part of leading a better life but so is exercise. I’ll touch base on that in another post; just keep that in mind.
My intention of this post is to motivate and inspire those out there who don’t know where to start when it comes to leading a healthier life. I really hope I was able to accomplish that. Please feel free to comment or message me privately on social media if you have any questions along the way in your weight loss journey. No journey is alike, remember that. If you are doing this with a friend or family member; don’t expect the same results as them. It will help to have the support of your loved ones though!
Disclaimer: I am NOT a doctor nor a nutritionist. These are just things I have learned throughout the years through my weight loss to lead a healthier life.