(photo credit: www.ihuntstrong.com)
Before I quit processed foods and processed sugar, I used to try and count my calories. Problem was, I was always hungry and always snacking. I never felt satisfied. I could also never lose that 5lbs I had been trying to lose since I had my kids. I felt frustrated. That all changed when I changed my way of eating.
What Changes Did I Make?
- Went from a vegetarian diet to a vegan diet.
- Quit all processed foods and processed sugars
- Stopped buying fat free and low fat products
- Started exercising
When I first started exercising, my baby girl was still having so many health issues, so going to the gym was not an option. So I hit the pavement and started walking 3 miles every night after my husband got home from work. It didn’t matter if it was raining, cold, hot, humid. I just went walking.
What do I eat?
- A plant based whole food diet
- Very low in gluten and bread
- I keep the sugars to a minimum and mostly eat fruits for sugar
- No processed foods
- No processed sugars
- Foods high in healthy fats. Avocados, nuts, healthy oils.
- My biggest meal is breakfast. I eat overnight oats every day before my workout. Lunch is slightly smaller than breakfast, and dinner is usually very small. I don’t eat after 7pm.
What changes did I see?
- I lost weight without trying! That alone was pretty amazing. In the past, dieting always seemed so hard and I was hungry all the time. So when I lost weight without depriving myself, I was shocked. That was a HUGE moment for me. I not only lost the extra 5 lbs, I had lost close to 10lbs! I was able to fit into my skinny jeans again. You know that pair pushed way back in your closet that you hope to fit into one day? I hadn’t fit in those since I was 23 and here I was at 36 fitting in them again.
- I never had to count calories. I always felt satisfied.
- More energy
- Less snacking
Why do I think this happened?
When you eat a diet high in healthy fats, fiber and whole foods, you will stay full for much longer. So there will be no need to snack. Fat free and low fat foods usually contain added sugar and other additives to make them taste as good as the high fat foods. Processed sugar never leaves you satisfied. You keep craving more and more. It’s an endless cycle. You are better off eating the food the way it was meant to be eaten. Fat and all. That said, I still think it’s important to avoid the saturated fats in processed foods because they have a tendency to be trans fats, which are very bad for you.
My husband noticed changes as well. Before we started clean eating, he had high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Part of that was genetic. He thought there was nothing he could do to change that. Boy was he wrong! His cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure are all back in the normal range. He also lost about 30 lbs. This happened even though he was eating high fatty foods like coconut oil. In fact, he eats coconut oil everyday and his cholesterol still went down.
I’m not saying everyone will have the same results, but I hope I am giving you some food for thought. Please, if anyone has seen similar results, leave your story in the comments. I would love to hear it!