Is one of your New Year’s resolutions to lose weight? The gyms are always jam packed in January, and by February, they already start emptying out. So many people try to lose weight, get frustrated when they don’t see results, and give up. I’ve been there.
If you’re serious about losing weight, the first thing you need to understand is that weight loss is 10% exercise, 90% diet. Spending 30 minutes on the treadmill every day won’t make up for eating junk food all the time.
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I recently lost 35 pounds, and many people have asked me how I did it. I do exercise a minimum of five times per week, but the most important thing is that I made major changes to my diet.
Prior to starting my vegan, whole-food diet several months ago, I never would’ve guessed that I would have the discipline to stick to a strict diet.
I was always hungry, constantly snacking on processed junk, and I had very little self-control when it came to sugary sweets. But once I changed my diet, everything else changed too. I didn’t feel constantly hungry anymore and I felt full after finishing a meal. Maintaining self-control around junk food became easier and easier the longer I stuck to my diet.
Like I said, I never would’ve imagined that I would have the self-control to stick with clean eating for this long. If I can do it, you can too. Many people have asked me what I eat on a typical day. Here’s what my average day looks like.
7:00 a.m. – Breakfast
Food for Life whole wheat bread with 100% all-natural peanut butter + a banana
Many people who adopt whole-food/vegan diets give up bread, but I chose not to. I love peanut butter toast, and I just wasn’t willing to give it up. Instead, I switched to a healthier type of bread and peanut butter. The only ingredient in my peanut butter is peanuts, and I have to go to a health store food to find it.
11:00 a.m. – Lunch
Salad – spinach and kale mix, carrots, broccoli, pea pods, tomatoes, and celery with a very small amount of light Italian dressing
Often, people make the mistake of eating tiny salads when they start a diet and then they become frustrated because they don’t feel full. A salad that’s nothing but lettuce isn’t going to fill you up – salads should be large and full of veggies. Vegetables are low in calories and fat, so you don’t need to be too concerned about overeating veggies.
Spinach and kale are healthier than lettuce. I can’t stand the taste of kale on its own, but kale is a superfood that has numerous nutritional benefits. I buy a mix of kale and spinach. I like spinach, and I can tolerate the taste of kale when it’s mixed in with the spinach.
1:00 p.m. – Snack
3:00 p.m. – Snack
Unsalted peanuts or other nuts
I try to stick with only eating nuts for my 3:00 snack, but honestly, this gets boring and unsalted nuts have very little flavor. Sometimes I’ll “cheat” a little with salted nuts or I’ll have something less healthy like banana chips, plantain chips, a granola bar, or a protein bar.
It’s nice to have a little variety (and more flavor), but I try not to have these other foods too often – plantain chips are high in salt, and the other foods have sugar and extra added chemicals (so they are not technically “whole foods”). One healthy option I like is “That’s It” bars. These bars are 100% natural – they only contain fruit.
5:30 p.m. – Dinner
Veggie burger, garlic potatoes, and corn on the cob
My favorite healthy dinner is a veggie burger on a wheat bun, garlic potatoes, and corn on the cob. I’m not much of a cook (in case you didn’t notice that already 😉 ), so even this simple meal requires too much effort sometimes.
When I’m feeling lazy, I’ll just heat up some rice or a frozen Amy’s organic meal (my favorites are the brown rice with black eyed peas and veggies, and the spaghetti with tofu “meat”balls and organic pasta).
What do you struggle with most when it comes to dieting?
Other stuff you might like:
How to Eat Healthy (on a Budget) While Traveling
5 Unexpected Results of Adopting A Plant-Based Diet
4 Things NOT to Say to Someone Who’s Trying to Lose Weight
Movies that Will Make You Rethink Your Diet
10 Frugal Ways to Get Fit
50 Fun Ways to Exercise (for People Who Hate Working Out)