When I decided to finally focus on health instead of just weight loss, it was apparent that neither goal was going to happen without changes to my diet. Of course, I had to cut down on volume and make better choices but there are five long-term changes I’ve made this past year that have greatly contributed to feeling better as well as losing that 33 pounds to date.
Cutting Out Soda
Diet soda has been a staple in my diet for twenty years and it was hard to give up. My husband and I always stocked up on our favorite brands/types whenever there was a sale. As I got more into healthy living, it became clear to me that this was not a good habit.
I decided that when my brand was out, that was it! No more soda at home. I only had one brief relapse but now just have one or two a month when traveling or at a restaurant. Most of the time I order water.
A few months later my husband also went cold turkey when he ran out. Neither of us really miss it which was surprising.
I’ve been using artificial sweeteners for years to the point I had a standing joke about taking my morning coffee with cream and chemicals. I didn’t even know about natural low calorie sweeteners until the past couple of years.
I learned about agave, stevia and monkfruit. My current choice is stevia. Not only have I switched from artificial to natural but I have also cut back. I no longer automatically add it to my tea or yogurt but instead use it as needed AFTER tasting the food or drink.
As I’ve mentioned recently, I’m working at increasing my protein intake. My goal is at least 100 grams daily. I think it is why I’ve started losing weight again the past three weeks.
It helps repair and build muscle after I work out plus keeps me feeling satisfied between meals and snacks.
The hardest part was figuring out protein snacks. I have nuts, greek yogurt, jerky and cheese.
I have Hashimoto’s Disease which is a auto-immune disease where the body attacks the thyroid. The result is my body no longer produces enough thyroid for good health. I take a medication but it’s not the same as natural thyroid.
There is research that suggests a link between gluten and this disease (among others). My doctor thought it was worth switching to a gluten-free diet to see if I felt better. I certainly do and in ways I never imagined.
I have more energy, less joint pain and my regular headaches have been completely eliminated!
More Fruits and Vegetables
My daily goal for fruits and vegetables is at least five servings a day, but I usually get in 6-8. The increase happened after I made sure that every meal and snack had either a whole fruit or vegetable.
When cooking I look for ways to adapt the recipe to include more vegetables. My smoothies have spinach, eggs had peppers and spinach and even my mom’s chili has bell peppers in it now.
We didn’t make these changes overnight or all at once. One by one I implemented them. What is the first change you want to make to your diet?