Friday, January 13, 2012

When You Don't Know What To Eat

In the past, when I struggled to lose weight, my main problem was that I had no idea what I should eat. It seemed that most things considered "healthy" for me were too gross, too expensive, or too hard to find. I remember making the comment, that I could lose weight if someone just told me what to eat and I tried that once. I signed up for a "diet" program at a local gym. I had an evaluation with a personal trainer, we discussed what foods I liked and what foods I didn't, I was shown how to operate gym equipment and given exercises to complete. I had a book that had a place for me to keep a food journal, keep up with my weight loss, and had my meal plan in it. Sounds perfect, right?

Well, I failed miserably at this "diet". I'm sure it worked for a lot of people but even though I had been told what to eat based off of my likes and dislikes, I still hated the food I was eating. I like tuna fish. I always have. My mom used to make it for us every couple of weeks for lunch during the summers. She'd boil some eggs, chop them up, add in some mayonnaise, toss in the tuna from the can, and we'd eat it up. However, if she had fed me tuna fish every day for a week and expected me to be excited about eating it, she would have been wrong and I would have probably gone hungry for most of that week because in her house, you either ate what she fixed or you didn't eat at all.

On this "diet" I was expected to eat the same breakfast, lunch, and dinner for a week. Now, had I been told that I could eat pizza, cheeseburgers, or chimichanga's every day for a week, I might have felt different. But scrambled egg whites, tuna fish, and baked chicken with sweet potatoes, every day for 7 days turned out to be disgusting and disturbing. I still love all of the foods I was supposed to eat but I DO NOT want to eat them every day.

Needless to say, I didn't last long on this diet, and was eventually refunded part of my money. I tried Weight Watchers a few years later and while that offers you a great deal more to choose from food wise, you have to stay within your "points" for the day. I had no patience for counting points for every morsel of food I was putting into my mouth. I got even more annoyed when we were going out to eat and I had to spend way too much time on the computer figuring out points for entrees. I've yet to count calories while losing weight. I'm not saying that there won't come a point where I'll need to do that but right now, I don't. I'm also not saying that I don't look at or worry about calories, I do. I always look at the nutrition panel on food before I buy it. I check calories per serving, sugar, fat, protein, fiber, and the list of ingredients to make sure it's not super processed or that it doesn't have too many words that I can't pronounce. I try to stay away from that stuff. I try to eat as clean as possible but I also refuse to sacrifice flavor. You can lose weight and live a healthy lifestyle and still love all the foods you eat!

Not once since I started losing weight and keeping it off, have I said, "this is so disgusting, I wish I was eating something else." I LOVE the foods that I eat. The key is to learn what sort of foods are good for you and find the one's that you like. Learn to take recipes that you love right now that maybe aren't so healthy and find ways to make them better for you. I found that the more I ate healthy the more I liked healthy foods. I try new stuff all the time. Sometimes I like things and sometimes I don't. If I don't, I don't force myself to eat it, I move on and find something else that I do like. To make it a bit easier on you, I've compiled a list of foods that I love and incorporate into my healthy lifestyle all the time. You can find the list on the newest tab located at the top of the page, the "My Favorite Healthy Foods" tab.

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