This week I’m taking the time to answer the many e-mails I get about our weight loss journey. Most of the questions are the same, but this question is the most frequently asked question. Before I venture any more into this subject, I want to remind everyone that it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle change. Also, there wasn’t one magic food that changed our lives and helped us drop the weight. The weight didn’t come off overnight because it was a process.
The easiest way to answer this question is to tell you what we stopped eating. We stopped eating fast food. There was no more McDonald’s, Burger King, Jack in the Box, Chicken Express, Taco Bell, etc and we haven’t really eaten at those places in years now. When we travel we eat a lot of Subway salads, Which Wich and Chipotle or places like that. Why those places? Because they tend to take a fresher approach to food and yes deli meats are processed but when you’re traveling your options are limited and sometimes just just have to make it work.
The biggest change in our lifestyle was we stopped eating out and started cooking more at home. This was a learning process. There are things we ate at the beginning of our journey that we wouldn’t eat now. The most important thing to do is educate yourself on what’s healthy and what’s not. Cooking at home is great because you know what is going into your food and you don’t really have to worry about the amount of oil or whatever else in your food! BUT you need to educate yourself on healthy meal prep. Make sure you’re eating the correct serving sizes, eating a balanced plate and your plate is colorful. Those colors are important because you’re getting the nutrients you need for a healthy balanced diet.
I’ve learned that I was eating too much meat. A standard portion size of meat is 4oz and when I really took a look at the amount of meat I was eating, most times I was eating double or triple the amount in one serving. That’s why investing in a food scale and measuring cups was the best investment for us! If you’re making a lifestyle change, these food measuring items will be the greatest assets you’ll ever use.
Try different veggies because I’ve grown to love veggies I’ve hated in the past. Instead of going back for seconds on meat now, I’m more than likely to go back for seconds on those veggies and I don’t feel bad about that AT ALL. Willie didn’t like veggies at all, but now he’s gotten way better about them. Most people don’t like a veggie because it wasn’t presented to them in a likable fashion so do a change up and try something new in a new way.
You’re probably wanting me to get to a list of foods that we do eat, right?
We eat lean meats: turkey, skinless chicken breast, skinless chicken thighs, fish: salmon, tilapia, snapper and we’ve just started with pork again. It’s the other white meat after all.
Lots of veggies: kale, broccoli, squash, green beans, bell peppers…there are just too many to list. There are very few veggies we don’t eat.
Fruits: everything. More than half of our grocery bill is for produce.
Also, we eat quinoa, lentils, black beans, chickpeas, wild rice, barley, bulgar wheat…we eat oatmeal and egg whites every morning. There is plenty of yogurt in our house too.
The best advice I can offer you is this: find foods that you like and find new ways to enjoy them. Also, try to cook at home as much as you can. I know it’s sometimes impossible to do this every day but do it as much as possible. Eat fresh foods and whole foods when you can. I really feel like it’s impossible not to eat processed foods so yes I do have a frozen meal every day for lunch. I’ve had one almost every day since we started our lifestyle journey and I still lost the weight and I’m healthy. There just isn’t enough time in the day to prepare all those meals. Most importantly, research and don’t be afraid to try new things. It’s worth it in the end! Also, go back and read my grocery shopping tips too!
So what’s your favorite veggie and how do you like it prepared?