Sometimes it helps to hear a story from someone else living it. For example, weight loss – you know it’s important. You know you should eat healthy. You know you should get yourself down to a healthy weight, but then there’s emotional eating, yo-yo diets, and just good food, right?
What if you heard from someone that’s ‘been there, done that.’ A person that is a high-risk for heart disease, stroke, and pre-diabetes and that has struggled with his weight since childhood that has turned his life around? Would it help you put things into perspective?
It did for me and that’s why I’m here to share this story with you. It’s my story that I share – a story that I hope helps others turn their lives around too.
A Little About Me
I’m in my mid-50’s. I was an emotional eater for most of my life despite my success in life. I’m a college professor and have been for more than 10 years. I also own a culinary training and education company. Yes, I’m around food all day, but that’s not where I had problems.
It’s nighttime that got me every single time.
I HATED the word diet.
I probably started the diet with a resistance energy right from the start. I was destined to fail, yet I never saw the writing on the wall. I would set up the plan – a beautiful plan that promised immense weight loss and a healthy life only to give into the cravings and let my emotions get the best of me.
Every time I failed a diet, though, I’d feel horrible. I’d wake up and eat even worse than the night before to push away the guilt. It was a never-ending cycle, but I finally stopped it.
How I ‘Diet’ Today
Today, diet isn’t a dirty word. In fact, it’s not a word in my vocabulary. I don’t diet – I eat well. I’m no longer strung along by my emotions, making poor food choices and feeling held captive by carbs – my arch enemy.
I won’t say that it was easy and I won’t say that I’m perfect. It’s a constant battle between the heart and mind. Before, I’d let my mind win, which meant eating unhealthy foods until I couldn’t see straight. Today, I listen to my heart and then my mind. I know what I need to eat – I know I need to burn more calories than I take in no matter what ‘diet’ I may follow.
All brand name diets all promise fast weight loss, but I’ve learned, it’s not the diet you are on that results in weight loss, it’s the habits you implement that make the changes.
Now I eat a simple, well-balanced diet. I focus on fresh fruits and vegetables and lean proteins. I avoid foods high in sugar and highly processed foods. I do allow myself a splurge day – on this day I can eat what I want. I don’t overdo it and risk sliding backward, but I do enjoy pancakes for breakfast or a piece of cake at a celebration.
I have found, however, that I can’t overdo it anymore – my body won’t allow it. Instead, I eat smarter and feel healthier. I avoid breads and carbs as much as I can, giving my body only natural sugars – the sugars the body can process.
Perhaps most importantly, I don’t drink soda or any sugar-laden drinks. I mostly drink water; this keeps my body hydrated and flushes out the toxins. I do drink NutroCore coffee each morning too.
Implementing Smart Nutrition in your Life
So how can you have the same results as me? How can you turn your life around?
It starts with a personalized nutrition plan. This is the key. Planning your meals in advance not only saves you money at the grocery store, but it prevents you from eating convenience or fast food. You need clean foods available and you need to know what you’re doing with them before the week starts.
Have fun with it. Go on sites like Food Network or Delish.com. If you hate cooking, look for recipes with only a few ingredients that take 15 minutes or less – there are plenty out there. Make a list of the recipes you’ll make. Include breakfast, lunch, dinners and snacks. Take the guesswork out of it and you’ll avoid the emotional eating pitfalls.
What should you buy? Here’s a sneak peek at my list:
Lean beef – Sirloin tip side steak, top round steak, top sirloin, and flap steak
Ground turkey or chicken – Use to make meatballs, meatloaf and burgers
Fresh fish – Cod, Mahi-Mahi, and tuna
Chicken – Grill it, bake it, or sauté in heart-healthy olive oil
Grapeseed oil – This is a great substitute for butter
Fresh fruits and vegetables – Buy organic and have fun; try as many new fruits and vegetables as you can each day
Egg whites – Use egg whites instead of the whole egg for scrambled eggs and omelets
Here’s my final tip – don’t diet. Create a clean eating lifestyle and let yourself ‘cheat’ once in a while. It’s all about living the 80/20 lifestyle. If you’re clean and healthy at least 80% of the time, the other 20% won’t have detrimental effects. Give yourself grace and if you fall apart, pick up the pieces and start over – no one is judging you but yourself.
Author: Steve G.