My doctor told me I needed to lose 15 pounds after my last well-woman checkup. It didn’t come as a surprise because my clothes weren’t fitting right and I was feeling sluggish. I thought about going back to the gym, but that wasn’t a solution at that point in my life. Work was requiring me to be at the office 12 hours some days, so a gym membership would most likely have gone to waste. I don’t enjoy drinking shakes or eating pre-packaged/processed food so my meal plan would have to include a variety of real foods that were rich in nutrients and good sources of energy.
It’s important to know how foods affect you physically and mentally. Over the years, I’ve come to know the foods that are really bad for me. Processed sugar, gluten (yes, I’m actually gluten intolerant) and soy are foods that I need to avoid because they cause adverse reactions such as cystic acne, severe bloating, migraine headaches and of course, weight gain. Even with these restrictions, I was able to put together a varied selection of foods that were satisfying and healthy.
Why it worked
I wasn’t looking to “lose 5 pounds overnight” or by using any gimmick. Most times, if you lose a lot of weight in a short amount of time, you gain it back, with a little extra. I wanted my weight loss to be permanent and healthy. With that in mind, here is why I think this plan worked.
- Effective preparation was key. I did all my meal prep on Sunday afternoon and Wednesday evening. This involved cutting up vegetables, marinating the meat and preparing enough for three days worth of meals.
- There was enough variety to prevent boredom. I had lots of options for recipes and the foods worked well together in a variety of different ways.
- I had a good selection of stand-alone foods that made for easy snacking. Yogurt, nuts, apples and even avocado slices were great to snack on when hunger set it.
- Foods were nutrient dense which meant they fed my body what it needed and helped me to feel full throughout the day.
- Most of the foods were high in protein and fiber. Protein helps to build and repair tissue, which was important because I wasn’t working out. Fiber slows the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream and helps with regularity.
- Most importantly, I enjoyed the food. It didn’t feel like a diet and I never felt like I was torturing or depriving myself. I didn’t cut out treats completely either. On one occasion, I ate a slice of cake at an office celebration.
The Fabulous Foods
7. Sweet Potato
Even though this was a happy accident, I was thrilled about the results. Breaking down the numbers, my weight loss looked like this.
- I lost .22 lbs each day.
- It would take me 2 and 1/3 months to lose my doctor-directed 15 lbs.
- If the trend continued for an entire year, it would total 78 lbs of weight lost.
I lost the weight in November 2016, so when the Christmas season was upon us, I actually gained back almost 3 pounds of the weight I had lost. For me, it wasn’t realistic to only eat these foods while attending Christmas parties, client dinners and everything else that goes along with the holiday season.
UPDATE: I started the eating plan again the second week of February and I lost two pounds in the first week. Since I already know that this works for me, I’ve committed to continuing until I’ve lost 15 pounds. After that, I will probably add some more foods and experiment a little bit more.
Talk to me!
Do you have any weight-loss secrets that worked for you? Are there any sure-fire recipes that you fall back on when you have to drop the pounds. Be sure to comment below. We’d love to hear from you.
PS – Stay tuned for delicious recipes including these 10 ingredients!