The Lifestyle Change Post

Steak and asparagus

A perfect dinner. Actually, this would be 3 perfect dinners for me. Flickr/Dollen

For the last 6 months, I’ve been losing weight. Lately, the difference is dramatic enough that people who haven’t seen me in a while do the “whoa! You look different!” thing. People have also started asking what I’ve been doing differently. My stock answer has been, “basically, I don’t eat.” That’s true, sort of.

Part of the reason I’ve lost weight is because I was ill for a long while and I had surgery on part of my stomach and now I’m not hungry pretty much ever. The other reason is because I’ve made the choice to eat a lot of protein and veggies. The weird thing about not eating that much is that if you make bad food choices, you’ll still gain weight. Even with miniscule portions, if I fill up on rice and bread and sugar, I don’t lose weight. Thank you, jacked up metabolism!

As for the protein, I make sure I get at least 60 grams a day. 80 grams is better. The best way is eating lean meat, but I will grab a protein shake or bar if I’m low for the day. I don’t use protein supplements as a regular thing, though. They’re not real food. Lifestyle change means you can keep up with it for your whole life, right? There’s no way I could live on protein shakes, especially when a serving of steak is so much tastier. After I plan proteins, I eat as many veggies as I can until I’m full.

Because it’s a life change, I make room for a treat when I want a treat. My daughter is making these Nutella and peanut butter cookies right now, and I am absolutely going to eat one or four. I’m still a fan of potatoes, so I might grab a couple of fries or a small baked potato occasionally. Being overly restrictive doesn’t make life fun, in my opinion.

Before you think to yourself, “gee, self, I’d like to have this mysterious illness that makes Heather not hungry,” you should know there are downsides to having a metabolism that wants to kill you. First, there’s no way I can go crazy on Thanksgiving any more. Even if I wanted to have a luxurious food binge day, I couldn’t. It would make me sick. A luxurious food day for me is having a half-slice of pie instead of a few bites. Second, my hair fell out. It’s not the end of the world, but I’m rather vain, so I was not pleased. More on that later. Third, it means that I make things for my family to eat that I would actually love to eat, but I can’t, because I really have to focus on the high-protein foods and veggies. Last, having very much sugar also makes me sick. That’s pretty good motivation for not raiding the cookie jar too often, but there are times when a girl just really wants some chocolate already.

So that’s the story. My lifestyle change was half forced and half by choice. The choice part is not easy, especially not at first, but the results are worth it. The high protein and loads of veggies method has worked for Erica, too – 5 Lifestyle Changes That Helped 20 Pounds Disappear. Like Erica, I don’t follow a specific low-carb diet plan like Atkins or South Beach or whatever is popular these days. Paleo? That’s still a thing, right? I don’t even call it low carb, because I’m not focused on restricting. It’s all about making healthy choices with an occasional indulgence thrown in. But, the “healthy choices with an occasional indulgence” diet doesn’t sound as catchy, huh?

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