I’m not going to lie, health and nutrition – more specifically the idea of making my immune system capable of fighting disease – are what got me started on this fitness journey, but now I am becoming addicted to the physical changes I am seeing in my body.
Edit: I wrote this after losing 12 lbs. in 3 weeks, but after 6 weeks, I was (and still am) down 20 lbs.
Everyone is different and no two bodies are the same so do not consider this a full-proof plan to weight loss. I did a lot of research, read up on nutrition and cellular reproduction, and chatted with a nutritionist. I was very vigilant (and still am) so be sure to educate yourself before making dramatic changes. And, more importantly, I didn’t half-ass it, so use your whole ass if you’re serious about creating a healthy lifestyle.
What Didn’t Make the Cut
No fast food or soda – I don’t even feel like I need to elaborate on this. Just no. There is no such thing as a “diet” soda. Nobody goes to Burger King for a salad so don’t convince that is a healthy alternative. No – just stay far far away.
No dairy and bread – okay, this is really hard because it’s easy to avoid a glass of milk, but cheese… cheese is sooooo good. And so is bread. But say goodbye (for now). You may choose to reintroduce dairy and bread into your diet at a later time, but again, this is just what worked for me.
I cut out red meat entirely.
I became very acquainted with my grocery store’s produce section. When I started this, I told myself I would only eat things that grew from the ground, or on trees, etc. Have that mentality. Fruits and veggies usually take up 75% my my shopping cart. Read up on foods that are “super foods” and choose those when you can.
Side note: I get a wholesome sense of pleasure when I look up whole foods’s nutritional facts and see the vitamins, minerals, antioxidant contents while eating the food. It’s weird, but helps me think about how that food is nourishing my body.
15% of my cart should is generally plant-based protein. I incorporate nuts, seeds, quinoa, lentils, beans, potatoes, stuff like that.
The remaining 10% is poultry – eggs and chicken. When buying chicken, go fresh, never frozen!
Did you know: an egg has every single amino acid needed for essential functions in the human body. They also have almost every vitamin needed for a healthy human diet (excluding vitamin C). It’s no wonder the nutrients in an egg can turn a single fertilized cell into an entire baby chicken.
Preparing Nutritious Food
I stopped using oils, butter, seasoning, and cooking spray. I leave out condiments. Yes, I understand how good ketchup is on eggs – as hard as it is, don’t do it.
A very simple rule I have for just about anything: if it has an unnatural ingredient like sodium benzoate – just avoid it. For example, vegetable glycerin has proven to be harmless; it’s common in a lot of foods as a form of sweetener. Just simply: don’t – our bodies do not need that. Our bodies were not designed to break down these compounds.
Go for unsweetened sparkling water here and there, but no Gatorade, no juice, no energy drinks. Water only. I started infusing all my water with fruits or mint leaves to make it a bit more enjoyable.
Oh Yeah, and Be Active
Up until now, this whole post was about your diet. Working out is NOT going to be the reason you lose weight (yes – it helps) but nutrition comes first. If you have a gym membership – go. It doesn’t matter what you do but go and sweat, and sweat for 45 minutes at least couple of times a week. I like to get a good workout in on Saturday and Sunday because 1. the gym is empty, and 2. that means I only need to go once during the week (when I am super busy).
If you don’t have a gym, still – make something happen. Run around your neighborhood. Go for a brisk walk on your lunch break. Take the stairs. Go for a hike. Like I said, working out won’t be the reason you lose weight so whatever you already do, just take it up a notch.
I didn’t notice a change in my body until the 3rd week. Then, I hopped on a scale and was so proud, I nearly cried. Do not weigh yourself every day. Do not measure your waistline. Just wait. I can’t promise results, but if you focus on being healthy rather than your appearance, you won’t be disappointed.