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The Accidental Diet That Made Me Feel Amazing—and Lose 20 Pounds

One of the first questions my naturopath asked me was if weight loss was a goal. My immediate answer was “no,” and I meant it. As a naturally curvy woman, I had come to accept the extra padding on my thighs and booty, and had long decided that trying to look like a model wasn’t a reasonable (or desirable) goal for me.

I exercised and practiced yoga regularly, but I worked out because of how being active made me feel, not how it made me look. However, I had initially scheduled this naturopathic appointment because I’d been experiencing big, regular pockets of time when I wasn’t feeling good—and that had been going on for about a year.

In these moments, it felt like my energy was completely out of whack. My heart would race, my energy would drop significantly, I wouldn’t be able to make decisions, and I’d panic for no reason. In these moments, I could become teary and emotional over next to nothing.

I soon discovered that if I ate food, I’d immediately feel better, and the wave of panic would subside. However, this immediate relief was also often accompanied by an overwhelming feeling of drowsiness and the need to sleep—no matter where I was or what I was doing. I’m no doctor, but this sounded a lot like hypoglycemia to me.

Through my work with my naturopath, I discovered that hypoglycemia was indeed the correct diagnosis. Over the next few months, he worked with me to examine and refine my diet. Eventually, we discovered that every time I ate refined sugar or carbohydrates, my energy would bottom out—it appeared that I was overproducing insulin and had an extreme sugar sensitivity.

In addition to removing any type of pasta, bread, or sugar from my diet, I also stopped drinking alcohol, caffeine, and any other stimulant or depressant that could impact my blood sugar. Every meal consisted of meat or fish protein, a cooked green vegetable, and healthy fats, and I also ate snacks like almonds, cashews, and nut butters between meals. Basically, I wound up on the Paleo diet.

The strange part was that while I wasn’t trying to lose weight at all, I ended up losing 20 pounds that first month. And believe you me, I was eating constantly—and eating a lot. Once I had removed the sugars and refined carbohydrates from my diet, my metabolism was suddenly faster than ever and began processing the foods I was eating super efficiently. I’d pile my plate high with meat and greens and fats, go back for seconds, and be hungry an hour and a half later—then snack between these huge meals. And the weight just fell off.

People always seem to want to debate about what the ‘right’ way to eat is, but the truth is, there is no one right way to eat.

While weight loss hadn’t been a goal when I first went to consult with the naturopath, I ended up looking great—and fitting into every piece of clothing I tried on in a way that had never been possible for me before, which I’ll admit was pretty exciting.

But more importantly, I was feeling good. My energy and mood were better and more stable than they had ever been in my entire life. I suddenly became a morning person, I was cheerful and happy for no reason, and my mind was clear. Basically, as long as I ate food, I was happy—but it had to be the right food.

I’m convinced that my body had started working so efficiently because I was eating the right food for me. For the record, I’m not proselytizing the Paleo diet—quite the opposite. I believe that my weight loss came from eating the foods that were right for my metabolism. People always seem to want to debate about what the “right” way to eat is, but the truth is, there is no one right way to eat. Some people thrive on a vegetarian diet, while others need to eat meat. Some do well on a raw foods diet, while others’ digestive systems simply can’t handle that kind of eating.

And despite popular perception, weight loss isn’t about eating salad at every meal or depriving yourself of the foods that you love—instead, what really matters is noticing how foods make you feel, which is not necessarily a quick or easy process but is totally worth it.

Weight loss, sustaining a healthy weight, and getting your energy right is about getting to know yourself, your body, and what makes you feel good. Figuring out what works for you requires paying careful attention, and possibly the support of a professional who can objectively guide you through the process.

Weight loss for me was about coming into balance with my body and what truly fed me. Once I discovered that—the rest was effortless.

Rachel Leber is a freelance writer based out of Boulder, Colorado. Rachel has worked as a yoga teacher, massage therapist, and natural foods baker, and she is passionate about writing about health, healing, and transformation. For more, check out rachelrebel.com.

I still remember the first time my weight was ever an issue for me. I was 13 and at a regular check-up with my doctor when he mentioned that I should watch what I ate because I was gaining weight faster than usual. My pants instantly felt tighter at that moment.

From then on, my relationships with food and my body packed their bags and moved from the back of my mind to the very forefront. I would go up two sizes, down one size, and then up three more sizes, only to put myself down wishing I had enough drive to make a change. I would complain that I just wasn’t strong enough to have self-control, especially with the kind of appetite I was “cursed” with at birth.

Before my lifestyle journey vs. seven months later into it.

Between my many years of complaining were episodes of me dieting — or at least trying to diet. Whether it was my five-day attempt at juicing or my month-long commitment to only eating Subway in high school (cookies included), I was always misinformed, pessimistic, and unexcited.

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It wasn’t until I was 26 that it occurred to me that if I wanted my body to change, I needed to make a lifestyle change. I know what you’re thinking. “Lifestyle change” sounds like something a hipster coined while explaining juicing to a bunch of friends over mimosas during a Sunday brunch. But it really is that: a lifestyle change.

Instead of going into my weight-loss journey with the goal of getting slimmer, I went into it with the goal of making my body happier and healthier. I replaced diets with healthier daily habits and reminded myself that the guilt I put myself through was in no way better than taking the extra time to make these positive changes. As a result, I lost 20 pounds in seven months and am hoping to lose more along the way.

While not every lifestyle is one size fits all, here’s what worked for me:

Cut Down On All the Goods

And I mean all of them: refined carbs, fast food, fried foods, and, yes, alcohol. We’ve been told most of our lives that certain foods are bad for you, so it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that cupcakes won’t give you abs. While half of the job is recognizing this, the other half of is actually making it happen.

Fast food was a difficult one for me to overcome, personally. I grew up eating fast food almost every week and carried that well into my adult years. I cut it entirely from diet when I started this journey and never looked back, but I also made sure to cut out unhealthy and processed foods that didn’t come from a drive-through window. That meant no fries as my side and saying no tots at pubs.

Replacing Small Things Can Make a Huge Difference

Remember those fries I’d opt out of as a side? Well, I made a mission to replace greasy carbs like fries and homestyle potatoes with fruit and vegetables. Yes, at some restaurants, that meant $1 more to my check, but I didn’t allow that to discourage me. While healthy swaps do come with a financial cost, it definitely won’t feel like that when you later realize these small changes saved you from medical bills. You’ll also save in other ways you’d never have guessed. Instead of buying $7 worth of buttery popcorn at the movie theater, I’d prepack sea salt popcorn and dark chocolate as a snack.

Recognize the Foods That Make You Feel Good and the Ones That Don’t

While fast food and dairy left my taste buds feeling great, they had the opposite effect on the rest of my body. From bloating to fatigue, I knew that the weird noises my stomach was making had to do with the foods I consumed. Swapping foods for healthier alternatives allowed me to recognize what foods my body liked and what foods my body was telling me to stay away from. Fruits and vegetables gave me more energy, while cheese and salty foods just weren’t doing it for me. This also played as a reminder that I was doing this for more than weight loss: I was also doing this to make my body happier. I was rewarding my body and treating it with care instead of ignoring what it’s been telling me for years.

Don’t Have Guilty Pleasures

We want what we can’t have — or rather, we want what we think we can’t have. Cutting out foods that make your body feel terrible shouldn’t be seen as a punishment, nor should indulging be seen as a reward. Changing the way I looked at food was a huge obstacle for me. I always viewed pizza as bad, therefore making it more desirable, and vegetables as good, therefore making them bland and tasteless. The Rugrats were always trying to reach the cookie jar, not a plate of steamed broccoli. Eliminating the words “guilty pleasure” from your vocabulary will help you understand whether you really want something because you genuinely crave it or because you’ve been told all your life you should.

Be a Planner

And I don’t just mean planning life in general, but I mean with your meals. Maybe go for some grilled fish and veggies during lunch if you know you’re going out for a big Italian dinner with friends later. Check the online menu for healthier options when deciding on a restaurant with your SO ahead of time, or decide to eat healthier the few days leading into that brunch where you plan to order two mimosas and a stack of pancakes. If I know I’m going to have pizza on a Friday night, I’ll make sure that my meals leading up to that are lighter. Or better yet, I’ll make sure to see if the restaurant has a cauliflower crust option. You’ll thank yourself later for taking that extra time or making that quick Google search.

Image Source: Natalie Rivera

How to Lose 20 Pounds of Fat in 30 Days (Without Doing Any Exercise)

Tim FerrissFollow Mar 26, 2018 · 3 min read

It is possible to lose 20 pounds of body fat in 30 days by optimizing any of three factors: exercise, diet, or drug/supplement regimen.

I’ve seen the elite implementation of all three in working with professional athletes. In this post, we’ll explore what I refer to as the “slow-carb diet.”

During a span of six weeks, I cut from about 180 lbs. to 165 lbs., while adding about 10 lbs. of muscle, which means I lost about 25 lbs. of fat.

This is the only diet besides the rather extreme Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (CKD) that has produced veins across my abdomen, which is the last place I lose fat (damn you, Scandinavian genetics).

Here are the four simple rules I followed…

Rule #1: Avoid “white” carbohydrates

Avoid any carbohydrate that is — or can be — white. The following foods are thus prohibited, except for within 1.5 hours of finishing a resistance-training workout of at least 20 minutes in length: bread, rice, cereal, potatoes, pasta, and fried food with breading.

If you avoid eating anything white, you’ll be safe.

Rule #2: Eat the same few meals over and over again

The most successful dieters, regardless of whether their goal is muscle gain or fat loss, eat the same few meals over and over again. Mix and match, constructing each meal with one from each of the three following groups:

Proteins:

· Egg whites with one whole egg for flavor

· Chicken breast or thigh

· Grass-fed organic beef

· Pork

Legumes:

· Lentils

· Black beans

· Pinto beans

Vegetables:

· Spinach

· Asparagus

· Peas

· Mixed vegetables

Eat as much as you like of the above food items. Just remember: keep it simple. Pick three or four meals and repeat them. Almost all restaurants can give you a salad or vegetables in place of french fries or potatoes.

Surprisingly, I have found Mexican food, swapping out rice for vegetables, to be one of the cuisines most conducive to the “slow carb” diet.

Most people who go on “low” carbohydrate diets complain of low energy and quit, not because such diets can’t work, but because they consume insufficient calories. A 1/2 cup of rice is 300 calories, whereas a 1/2 cup of spinach is 15 calories! Vegetables are not calorically dense, so it is critical that you add legumes for caloric load.

Some athletes eat 6–8x per day to break up caloric load and avoid fat gain. I think this is ridiculously inconvenient. I eat 4x per day:

· 10am — breakfast

· 1pm — lunch

· 5pm — smaller second lunch

· 7:30–9pm — sports training

· 10pm — dinner

· 12am — glass of wine and Discovery Channel before bed

Here are some of my meals that recur again and again:

Scrambled Eggology pourable egg whites with one whole egg, black beans, and microwaved mixed vegetables

Grass-fed organic beef, pinto beans, mixed vegetables, and extra guacamole (Mexican restaurant)

Grass-fed organic beef (from Trader Joe’s), lentils, and mixed vegetables

Rule #3: Don’t drink calories

Drink massive quantities of water and as much unsweetened iced tea, tea, diet sodas, coffee (without white cream), or other no-calorie/low-calorie beverages as you like. Do not drink milk, normal soft drinks, or fruit juice.

I’m a wine fanatic and have at least one glass of wine each evening, which I believe actually aids sports recovery and fat-loss. Recent research into resveratrol supports this.

Rule #4: Take one day off per week

I recommend Saturdays as your “Dieters Gone Wild” day. I am allowed to eat whatever I want on Saturdays, and I go out of my way to eat ice cream, Snickers, Take 5, and all of my other vices in excess.

I make myself a little sick and don’t want to look at any of it for the rest of the week. Paradoxically, dramatically spiking caloric intake in this way once per week increases fat loss by ensuring that your metabolic rate (thyroid function, etc.) doesn’t downregulate from extended caloric restriction.

That’s right: eating pure crap can help you lose fat. Welcome to Utopia.

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10 Ways to Lose 10 Pounds

Get 25 percent of your calories from low-fat protein.

Why try it: “Protein will keep you fuller longer,” says Susan Bowerman, RD, assistant director of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition. “When women cut calories, they tend to eat salad.” Soon after, you’re starving.

Action Plan

Add lean protein to meals and snacks — aim for 90 grams a day and 1,400 calories total. “A lot of women think protein means chicken, meat, or fish,” says Elisa Zied, RD, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. But some of the best choices are dairy foods, beans, and nuts.

Your Protein Cheat Sheet

DROP 10: In about eight weeks with just this one strategy!

Ban three high-calorie foods.

Why try it: Most likely there’s a high-cal coffee drink, hunk of bread, and piece of cheese in your day.

Cut out these foods:

  • Creamy, syrupy coffee drinks: A grande (16-ounce) low-fat caramel macchiato has 240 calories and 7 grams of fat. Trade it for a tall skinny mocha (90 calories, 0g fat) and save 150 calories.
  • Half a bagel: A typical bagel packs 300 to 400 calories. Lose half and cut 150 to 200 calories.
  • One slice of cheese: Swap the cheddar on your sandwich for mustard and save 111 calories and 9 grams of fat.

DROP 10: In about three months.

Consume 300 calories at breakfast and your daily total will be about 100 fewer calories.

Why try it: People who eat a morning bowl of cereal are less likely to become overweight than those who pass up their a.m. meal, studies show. “Breakfast skippers tend to overeat at lunch because they’re famished,” explains Bowerman. “They’re also more likely to snack on high-cal food all day, and justify it by saying, ‘I didn’t have breakfast.'”

Try a rotation of these three healthy starts, which contain between 200 and 300 calories each.

  • Power cereal: A bowl of high-protein cereal or oatmeal (6 to 7 grams of protein per serving and no more than 200 calories), such as Kashi GoLean Crunch!, with a half cup of fat-free milk
  • Egg sandwich: A toasted whole wheat muffin with one scrambled egg and half a slice of melted American cheese
  • Yogurt parfait: A container of fat-free yogurt with a half cup of berries and an ounce of almonds

DROP 10: In about nine weeks, if you combine this tactic with the “Three Change” Way and the “Sleep More” Way.

Break up with the office vending machine. Bring a healthy treat from home instead.

Why try it: You can still take a 3 p.m. snack break.

Limit your afternoon nosh to 150 calories. Here’s what to eat for a:

  • Chocolate fix: Try a 100-calorie pack of CocoaVia.
  • Filling fix: Eat two cups of air-popped popcorn (62 calories).
  • Crunch fix: Have one cup of raw veggies (carrots and celery) with two tablespoons hummus (80 calories).
  • Healthy fix: Munch an apple with an ounce of low-fat cheese, such as one Laughing Cow Light cheese wedge (130 calories).

DROP 10: In about nine months. But if you combine it with the “Eat Breakfast” Way and the “Three Change” Way, it will take just eight weeks.

You can have as much as 30 to 35 grams of fiber every day.

Why try it: You won’t feel hungry. “Fiber is the indigestible component of whole grains, fruits, nuts, beans, and vegetables,” explains Tanya Zuckerbrot, RD, author of The F-Factor Diet. “Because you can’t digest the fiber, it will fill you up on its bulk with no calories.”

Keep total calories to 1,400 to 1,600, and get 35 grams of fiber a day from such foods as:

A little bit of portion control can add up to a lot of weight loss.

Why try it: Obese patients given a plate and cereal bowl marked for portion size were almost four times more likely to have lost at least 5 percent of their body weight after six months, a study found.

Leave three generous bites of your breakfast muffin, lunch pizza, and steak dinner on your plate and you’ll save between 50 and 75 calories at each meal.

DROP 10: In five to eight months — but wow, is it easy!

Blast more calories in less time and fire up your metabolism with interval training.

Why try it: “Adding several short bursts of high-intensity exercise to your walking routine can burn up to 100 calories more in the same amount of time,” says Geralyn Coopersmith, a senior national manager at Equinox Fitness Training Institute. Doing challenging exercise also boosts your metabolism.

Kick up your workout with this routine from Coopersmith:

  • Alternate walking at moderate intensity for three minutes with speed-walking for two minutes. Do this for 30 minutes, then add five minutes of moderate walking at the end.
  • Try it five times a week and you’ll burn 500 more calories weekly than you would with a moderate walking routine.

DROP 10: In about a year. Combine it with the “Eat More” Way and see results in just seven weeks!

Sometimes feeling 10 pounds lighter is as good as losing it.

Why try it: The foods that make you bloated — refined carbs, such as pizza, pasta, and white bread — have empty calories. “When they get stored in the body they attach to water,” says Zuckerbrot. “The more of them you eat, the more water you hold on to.”

Trade white bread for whole-grain.

Trade white rice for brown.

Trade crackers for fruit and yogurt.

Other tips: Eat a small meal before an important event; a large one can cause bloat. Go easy on the salt: High-sodium foods can make your stomach pooch. And drink lots of water. Your body works more efficiently when hydrated.

FEEL LIKE YOU DROPPED 10: In two days, tops.

When dining out, don’t order the “healthy” choice if it’s not what you want. Otherwise, you may end up eating more than if you’d just had some of what you craved.

Why try it: Healthy food has calories, but we tend not to count them, experts say. For instance, when people were asked to guess the calories in meals from Subway (often considered to be a healthy takeout option) and McDonald’s, they underestimated the number of calories in the food from Subway, according to research from Cornell University. “Bottom line: You can eat what you want, even a cheeseburger, if you keep portions small,” says FITNESS advisory board member Dave Grotto, RD, author of 101 Foods That Could Save Your Life.

Restaurant meals are higher in calories than home-cooked ones. Dine out once a week (including takeout) instead of three times.

DROP 10: In about a year — without ever feeling deprived.

People who get fewer than seven hours a night have higher BMIs than those who get enough rest.

Why try it: “It’s possible that just by sleeping more, you’ll start to lose weight,” says Grotto. “While I was writing my book, I stayed up until 2 a.m. each night for months, and I gained 15 pounds. Then after I got back into my sleep routine, the weight started coming off.” Grotto believes that there are two reasons for this. First, lack of sleep spikes your levels of cortisol, the stress hormone that signals your system to hold on to fat for survival. Second, a well-rested brain equals more energy for making smart lifestyle choices, such as having soup and salad for lunch instead of chicken fingers. “You’ll have fewer cravings for rich, fatty foods when you aren’t sleep-deprived,” Grotto explains.

Turn off the TV and the computer and go to bed already!

When people are looking to lose weight, they typically want whatever will get them results as fast as possible. In reality, there is no such thing as a quick fix for weight loss. Juice cleanses, strict low-calorie diets, and “detoxes” deliver more hype than actual results. Sure, the scale may go down as you lose water weight, but it will just come back up (and then some) once you eat full meals again.

If you’re looking to really lose weight — as in: lose fat, change your measurements, and go down a dress size — then you need to be strategic to get results. You can definitely lose weight and see results within two months as long as you follow these steps. We spoke to registered dietitian and personal trainer Jim White, RDN, ACSM, owner of Jim White Fitness and Nutrition Studios, who outlined these six ways to lose weight and see results within just eight weeks. And not just that, but keep it off for good.

The time will pass whether you make a change or not. So you might as well take the necessary steps towards your goal and really see results!

Drop 10-15-20 Pounds!

The biggest diet mistake a future bride can make is believing that the mental image of your svelte self walking down the aisle is going to be all it takes to get you to eat right and exercise. Sure, you may be super focused at first, but once you realize you have to start a new workout and diet routine (or kick what you’re already doing into high gear), plan a wedding, and live your regular life, exercise and eating well will likely fall by the wayside. The truth is, you need a plan-one that takes the guesswork out of what to eat but is flexible enough to accommodate a very full schedule. Our sensible, sane, and satisfying diet does that and more. The meals are built around an assortment of foods that help make slimming down and staying full. Whether you have 10, 15, or 20 pounds to lose, our plan provides enough calories from nutritious foods so you’ll be able to function at your best every day, and yet still delivers the slim, sexy shape you want.

How it works Every day for the next eight weeks, simply pick your breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks from the lists of meals provided, according to your calorie needs and what you have going on that day. (We’ve included plenty of on-the-go options for those crazy-busy times.) Pair this diet with our “Wedding Dress Workout” on page 130 and we guarantee you’ll be looking-and feeling-gorgeous on your wedding day.

Customize Your Plan

If you want to LOSE 10 pounds, EAT 1,700 calories a day, and EXPECT TO LOSE 1 1/4 pounds a week.

If you want to LOSE 15 pounds, EAT 1,600 calories a day, and EXPECT TO LOSE 1 3/4 pounds a week.

If you want to LOSE 20 pounds, EAT 1,500 calories a day, and EXPECT TO LOSE 2 1/4 pounds a week.

The Plan:Menus:

Low-Calorie Breakfasts

Healthy Snacks & Treats

Low-Calorie Lunches

Healthy Dinner Ideas

Foods that Burn Fat

Simple Recipes:

Roasted Tofu and Vegetable Napoleon

Whole-Wheat Linguine

Shrimp Mango Salad

  • By Stephanie Clarke, R.D., and Willow Jarosh, R.D.

How I Lost 30 Pounds In 3 Months

Thinking of a more vegan based approach? Read here.

Working Out

In January I joined my local gym. The gym had a great Face2Face program that they ran with me for the first 6 weeks, giving me personal training on certain equipment and helping me set goals.

I never thought I would be a gym junkie, but now after a weekend of indulgence, I look forward to Monday at the gym. In fact just last week my gym asked me to feature in a video on their Facebook page to highlight my personal achievement.

I highly recommend grabbing a Fitbit for inspiration and accountability. I attempt to do 10,000 steps a day which I easily do just by walking my kids to and from school each day.

On top of that, I am currently attending the gym 2-3 days per week for 1.5 hours each time.

My current routine involves:

10-minute cycle

Leg press

Weight lifting

Upright row

Weighted squats

Medicine ball crunches

Pushups

20 minutes on the treadmill with a 20-second run and 40-second walk each minute.

It’s here at the gym I weigh myself each week. It’s handy having the same scale and routine for that kind of scary ritual.

Tips and tricks

Grab a Fitbit.

Ask the gym about off-peak prices. I got a discount because I go before 3 pm.

Remember to suspend your gym membership when on vacation.

Download My Fitness Pal to keep track of your food and your exercise. I also keep track of my progress on here with photos and weigh-ins. You can sync it with your Fitbit so you don’t have to manually add your steps.

Progress

Does it work?

I am not a fitness guru, nor do I claim to be a medical professional. My article is not steeped in any scientific research whatsoever and I make no claims that you should do what I do.

My article is my journey and what has clearly worked for me.

Same dress: New Years Eve 2015/2016 versus June 2017. No fancy makeup or hair stylist, just a baggy dress.

As the title suggests: I lost 30 pounds in 3 months.

Or 40 pounds in 4 months as the months keep going.

Top: Israel 2014 / Cabo 2018. Bottom: Australia 2009 / Australia 2017

After 4 months my heart was healing and I was less stressed, so I attempted going out for meals again. These days I am less strict on weekends. When at a restaurant I will still attempt to have a meat and vegetable dish. While I use to dream about pasta, I find I can no longer eat a whole bowl of carbs. I’m better off indulging in a dessert, so I’m also easily convinced to share a Freak Shake with my kids once in a while or share popcorn at the movies.

I started my new lifestyle third of January 2017. 6 months later I have now lost over 20 kilos. That’s over 45 pounds.

I have set my personal goal to 10 more kilos. A total eventual loss of 66 pounds. While I enjoyed rapid weight loss due to the divorce and stress, my more healthy goal is to achieve those last 10 kilos in the next 3 months. A much slower pace than before, but at least I can enjoy the delectable Melbourne food scene.

The Benefits

BodyNutrition recently did a study and found that a large number of people don’t like to ‘diet,’ or at least think that they’re dieting. They watch what they eat and try to live healthily, but ultimately they want it to be a lifestyle change, not simply a diet.

This kind of eating has moved away from a diet for me, to a way of living. I no longer think about when am I going to stop living like this. Sure, I think about when I might be able to have a dessert or eat a chocolate bar, but it’s more of a “what occasion” now instead of everyday thought.

I never want to be how I was. I enjoy life so much more now.

I have more energy. I can keep up with my kids and run with them. My son was at his karate grading recently attempting to do squats and burpees. To encourage him I got down and did them right beside him. I could do it and I could keep up.

I am stronger. I can feel it. My thighs are strong. I can lift my suitcases better. Sorry boys, won’t need help with the grocery bags ever again.

I have more confidence. In February I walked into City Chic, (plus size women’s wear) asking to swap over a size small shirt I bought in January and no longer fit. The extra small would not fit. I said goodbye to Plus Size stores that day with the biggest grin.

I can find clothes. Clothes were always so hard to buy and not a joy for me. My saying was stick to shoes, they never change size. Now it’s so different. I’ll never forget in April walking into Jeans West and grabbing a size 16 pair of leather pants. The sales lady laughed at me and told me I was dreaming and to grab a size 12. I tried them on anyway. They were huge. I asked her to please bring a 14. She brought the 14 and the 12. I told her she was dreaming. The 14 were too big. When I slid those tight size 12 pants on I glowed. Wow. I no longer struggle with just choosing what is in my size, I have a choice!

Brighton Bathing Boxes 2014 / 2017

I need new jewelry. My rings no longer fit. I moved one to my middle finger, but that’s slowly becoming loose as well. It’s a small thing, but a massive indicator. It makes getting rid of all the old stuff I use to wear much easier.

I am well. I have struggled with hyperthyroid for a few years now. A visit to a wellness centre in Colorado removed my medication and stirred me up a witches brew of natural medicine. And while I certainly attribute that to my current health, the weight has also certainly improved my well-being and the difference is profound. All results for hyperthyroid have come back normal since March.

I am proud. I feel so accomplished and proud of myself. The smallest success in my personal fitness has let me see that I can take on the world. I can accomplish anything I put my mind to. After all shifting weight is one of the hardest things in the world. If I can do that, surely I can do anything. Start a new blog, single parent my kids, run a successful business. Yes!

What’s Next

As of the end of June, I am weighing in at 77 kilos. 21 kilos less than I did in January. I haven’t been this weight since pre-kids, possibly over a decade ago. My goal is 67 kilograms. That would be high school weight and pre-wedding weight. I’ll update you when I reach it.

July 2016 versus July 2017

Travel certainly didn’t make weight control easy, but like most things was an excuse that moving forward I will no longer use.

If you are interested in how travel made me gain weight, you can check out that article here. Or what about how travel makes others gain weight,

Perhaps you are one of the lucky ones who lost weight on travel, well there are a few other crazy people like you here in this article.

I’d love to hear your secrets and wins in the comments below. Has 2017 been a great year in your personal fitness levels or have you been floundering? What works for you?

How My Husband Lost 15 Pounds In 3 Weeks

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may earn a small commission from purchased products at no additional cost to you. See my full disclosure here.

It’s common for men to gain weight after they get married, but here is how my husband lost 15 pounds in 3 weeks without exercise (and he still ate ice cream!).

When Adam and I got married in June, we knew there would be some…adjustments.

In Adam’s bachelor days, he tried to avoid going to the grocery store at all costs and was used to living off of fast food hamburgers and fries. I, on the other hand, have always loved having a full pantry to make homemade meals.

Adam was a skinny kid who could eat whatever he wanted growing up and I was an obese kid who has always had to watch what I ate.

One small change at a time, I’ve created a healthier way of cooking and eating that helped me lose 100 pounds and now maintain that weight loss, so we came into the marriage with very different diet backgrounds!

One morning when we were dating, I’d made him pancakes and afterward, he started looking for candy because he just, “needed something sweet.” He was the only person I’d ever met who regularly ate breakfast dessert.

When we got back from our honeymoon, Adam stepped on the scale and saw that he weighed 215 pounds.

He was pretty discouraged by that since he’s never really had to worry about his weight before, but he also didn’t really know what to do about it.

It’s not like we had an intentional plan going into this. We weren’t on a “diet.” I just cooked the way I always cook with lots of vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains with some splurges thrown in.

He really didn’t exercise at all aside from an evening walk or two with me, but just those changes in his diet resulted in him losing 15 pounds in 3 weeks!

It was actually a 17-pound weight loss, but he’s rounded it down to 15 in his head, so that’s what we’re going with.

If you’re curious about the kinds of things we eat, you can find our weekly meal plans here.

I didn’t start recording them until our second week home after our honeymoon so one week of meals wasn’t recorded, but you can find the other two weeks here and here.

I wanted you to hear about his weight loss straight from him.

This is my normal way of living so it’s not a big deal for me anymore, but he had to shift from eating lots of sweets and fast food to mostly healthy food, so I interviewed him about his experience.

Here’s his story.

What was your diet like in your bachelor days?

My diet consisted of a lot of eating out.

I hardly ever cooked for myself at all so it was a lot of fast food. Occasionally I had some of the higher end fast food because I would think that would be a lot healthier, but when I did go grocery shopping it was just enough for a few days of sandwiches and chips and drinks.

I had flavored drinks like soda and juice all the time and I had desserts pretty much every meal or whenever I wanted to. I always had a tub of cookie dough in my freezer and I’d grab a spoonful whenever it sounded good…which was a lot.

How many times do you think you ate out on a normal week?

On an average week, I probably ate out breakfast lunch and dinner combined around 10 times a week.

What’s been different in your diet since we’ve been married?

Well, first of all, I’ve probably had more vegetables in the month we’ve been married than I have in the past five years of my life combined, so that’s helped a lot. And, surprisingly, it’s all been really tasty and actually really good!

I’ve had heartier breakfasts – you know, less cereal and a lot more protein.

We’ve only eaten out once in these three weeks, so I’ve had a lot more fresh, home-cooked foods and a lot less processed foods.

I’ve had less dessert, which has been hard, but they weren’t cut out altogether. I still splurge, it’s just not every meal anymore, and when we have dessert, it’s really good. We’ve still had triple chocolate brownie ice cream, cupcakes, popsicles, and cookies in the last few weeks.

And I still have to have flavored drinks, but I know I don’t “have” to have flavored drinks and I drink a lot less soda and juice. I drink iced tea almost every day and I do drink a lot more water now.

Brownie Batter Overnight Oats – one of Adam’s new favorite breakfasts!

Has eating healthier left you feeling hungry? Do you feel like you’ve been deprived of eating good food?

I have definitely not felt like I’m not getting enough food. I have been completely full after every meal and it’s been really good food. These aren’t small portions at all, it’s just healthy portions of healthy food and it’s been really good and satisfying to eat that way.

I have not been deprived of good food at all. I mean, we have had really good ribs and homemade pizza and lots of meat for my manly meat cravings and nicely seasoned vegetables and stuff. We’ve had just an assortment of all sorts of food. Nothing has been bland or boring or tasted really “healthy.”

I do feel a little deprived when it comes to desserts. On my own, I had sweets a lot and it is hard not to have them as often now. It’s hard to cut back on those, but like I said, when we do have them, they are really good. I’m just still learning that I don’t have to have dessert at every single meal.

What changes do you think have helped the most in you dropping that weight so fast?

I think definitely eating more vegetables and not getting fast food every single day multiple times like usual have been the biggest things I’ve done that have helped since getting married.

I haven’t even had much chance for exercise yet just dealing with other things in life right now, so exercise hasn’t really been a big part in losing the weight in this in this particular case. Just the change of diet and self-control when it comes to sweets and snacking.

How do you feel these days after losing 15 pounds in 3 weeks?

Well, I was definitely excited to lose the weight because I never wanted to be over 200 pounds and so getting back down below 200 was very exciting for me.

I do know that I’ve eaten healthier. I can see it in my face and just my reflection and stuff, so it feels really good that it could happen pretty easily. I mean, it is a big change and I was lucky enough to have Becky cook for me, but it felt really good and exciting.

It is motivating me to lose more weight now to see that it can happen and I didn’t have an increase in physical activity and it has made me feel better physically.

I feel better in my gut. I definitely feel less bloated. I always felt really big even though I may have been 215 or so, at times I just I felt larger. I just felt like there was just a lot of pressure in my gut and stuff, so I definitely feel cleaner in that way and I don’t feel that pressure in that bloated feeling anymore.

I have some shorts that I often wear that were pretty tight and now they definitely fit looser and I have a tighter shirt that I was a bit more conscious about wearing because I did feel a little large, but it fits a lot better now.

What advice would you give to other people wanting to lose weight and feel better?

I am definitely not an expert here. My diet consisted of lots of fast food.

But I am lucky enough to have a wife who enjoys cooking and loves cooking healthy foods but also loves tasty food. So she makes healthy food taste good and we still splurge on desserts and stuff.

I’m definitely eating more vegetables which is a big thing. I used to get fast food salads on occasion, but my main vegetables used to be the lettuce on my burgers. But having vegetables at home is not hard to do and you can make them very flavorful and tasty. Grilled vegetables are one of my favorites and so if you do have trouble, you know, not liking fresh vegetables and stuff, try grilling with some seasoning and that’s really good.

Definitely cut back on the fast food when possible and have more home-cooked meals. They don’t have to be elaborate meals that take a lot of time. They can be simple as long as you have the vegetables. Yes, you can have your chicken and pork and beef. I mean, obviously, these things in moderation, but you don’t have to get rid of any good stuff…you just have to add in some healthy things to your diet.

And just control your appetite some more. It was hard for me and it’s still hard. I could easily get into old habits when I start snacking and just want to grab a face full of chips or cookies instead of one at a time.

I didn’t do this on my own and I was lucky enough to have someone who helped me lose this weight. I didn’t have the motivation to do it for myself. I don’t know what that means for everyone else. If you can find the motivation in yourself or ask someone else for help – whether they want to cook for you or maybe they want to go to the grocery store with you or just give you ideas of what to eat.

It really doesn’t take a lot of overwhelming work to lose weight, especially if you’re going from fast food all the time to good, whole home-cooked food. The weight will actually come off quite quickly, especially at the beginning.

Like I said, I did not have a huge change or exercise regimen. I did not start running or working out more. Those things will definitely help when I do have time to do them, but just the change in diet is a huge factor in weight loss.

I would also say to trust the the food and nutrition science when it says that you know it you know eat foods that are you know the healthy foods that fill you up more so you don’t you know you don’t eat a bunch of junk and then get hungry and want to eat more but you eat foods that are high in protein especially in the morning that is a good time to do that and then you know have the vegetables and stuff so you get your fibers and vitamins and minerals and stuff like that like that stuff is true and it works.

And Becky’s mantra of “one small change” is definitely something that works and is way more doable than making all the huge changes all at once. So if you’re eating fast food every day multiple times like I was, just cut it down to less days at first and then keep slowly cutting it down. Get yourself to the grocery store and stock up on stuff that you can you know prepare. There are easy, quick cooking recipes out there for healthier food and if money is an issue, I know that you can shop for deals. That’s all Becky does is shop for deals and we eat really filling, tasty, healthy food.

It’s doable, it just takes making some changes.

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