Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist, dietitian, or a qualified to give advice on healthy eating and diets. I am not promoting a diet or lifestyle. I am just sharing my own experiences and thoughts.
If I had a dollar for every time that I told myself I wanted to lose weight, and a twenty every time that I wanted to improve my health, and a crisp new Benjamin for when I wanted to get in shape, and a dollar every time I did not follow through. Boy I’d be rich, head to toe Prada (the dream, haha)! Did you pick up on the reference?
I have gone through many phases in my life, but as a general rule I try my best to avoid fad diets, quick fixes, and cleanses of any sort. I find that they are unhealthy in the long run or just yo-yo your weight. My ideal diet would be a lifestyle change that I can easily maintain and see positive results even if it takes me a while. The previous diet I was on just a few months ago was a low-calorie diet. I used the app myfitnesspal to keep track of my calories, nutrients, and exercise. While I did see some weight loss, I found it very difficult to maintain. It did not teach me healthy eating habits as I still ate a lot of sugary and sweet things and therefore it left me hungry. It was also difficult to maintain particularly when I ate out or went over to someone’s house where it was difficult to keep track of what I ate. Another key contributor was I was doing it by myself so I had no system of accountability or someone to cook me low calorie foods (my chief, I mean boyfriend).
Several months had passed since I stopped that diet and finally one day I was fed up and wanted a change. So, I brought up the subject of a lifestyle change to my boyfriend one long car ride home. We both wanted to improve our health and get in the shape. We decided to go with a low-carb diet. Not Keto, just low-carb. I want to stress this, because keto diets have a lot of negative side effects. Our low-carb diet mostly consisted of veggies and meat along with some dairy products. But that does not mean we can’t have the occasional chocolate, breads, and cheat days.
It was very difficult for me to wrap my head around this new eating lifestyle. The first two weeks were the hardest, because it meant restructuring my meals. It was difficult to accept the idea of giving up breads, pastas, and delicious cookies. Previously, I would typically have a sandwich for lunch and rice with veggies in some sort of concoction for dinner, not to mention a serious tendency towards desserts. I had to really work to figure out new meals and make sure that I was not hungry, but eventually it got easier. One of the advantages for me of the low-carb lifestyle has been more creativity with my food. Most meals are low-carb modifications of meals I previously enjoyed, but without the rice, pasta, and bread. But every now and then, my boyfriend and I will try to make low-carb breads, crepes, and even mac-and-cheese with cauliflower rice instead of pasta (although that was a bit of a flop). One of the biggest challenges for me was desserts. I am such as sweet tooth. I have not completely given it up, because I like chocolate too much. However, I now eat chocolate and desserts in moderation and I am conscious of the sugar in what I eat.
Overall, maintaining a low-carb diet has become much easier and planning meals has become quite fun. The low-carb diet keeps me full for longer and helped me lose weight along the way! One piece of advice I would give to someone trying out a lifestyle change would be to do it with someone to help keep you accountable and you can make meals both of you can enjoy. If I do have some cake on a rare occasion I don’t make myself feel guilty for having it and just enjoy it. Bon appétit!