6 Steps to Clean Up Your Diet

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food" - George Bernard Shaw

So about 9 or so months ago, I lost over 30 pounds. I went from a size 10 to a size 4, and my friends and family kept asking me how I did it. People think there is some sort of magic pill, and there really isn't. So I crafted an email that I would copy and paste and share anytime someone wanted advice. So, it only seemed right that I share it here!

A journey to a healthy you is lifestyle change. It is not a diet. I had to break some really bad habits, like eating chocolate chip cookies every day when I left work or truly believing that diet soda was "good for me." Here are the 6 things that I cut out. It was not sustainable for me to cut everything out at once, so I cut one thing out every 3 or 4 weeks, and then moved on to the next item once I was no longer craving the first thing I stopped eating. Here is the order I eliminated unhealthy items out of my diet:

  1. Sodas - You shouldn't drink sodas, ever, like never ever. And yes, this includes diet soda or any other zero calorie soda like substance.
  2. Juice - You should cut out all processed and box juices. The only thing you really should drink is water. If you must get something besides water, you can get unsweetened tea, but you should not drink Snapple or Arizona. Any tea you drink, you need to brew at home. If you must sweeten it, use honey instead of sugar. Never use sugar!
  3. Fast Food - My definition of fast food is anything with a drive-thru. So yes, this includes Starbucks, Sonic, and Dunkin' Donuts, because some branches have drive-thru's. But it does not include Chipotle, I love CHIPTOLE!!
  4. Processed Food -  Now, this is when things start to get more complicated. You do not want to eat anything that comes in a bag or box at a grocery store, and has multiple ingredients listed on the back. As a rule of thumb, you do not want to eat anything with more than 5 ingredients or if it has any ingredients you can not pronounce. You want to stick with real foods - vegetables, fruits, meats, grains. This is commonly called clean eating.
  5. Sugar - You want to cut out sugar and anything that has sugar added in it. So this means no sweets - cookies, brownies, ice cream, etc - but it also means anything that has added sugar, such as honey, high fructose corn syrup, maple syrup, etc. You will find sugar in most conventional breads, cereal, etc. You will be surprised at all of the weird names for sugar and all the things they put sugar in. I could write an entire blog post about sugar as it is my MAIN weakness.
  6. Alcohol - You want to cut out alcohol, including beer. It really is empty calories. If you must drink alcohol, try to stick with red wine.

In all honesty, I haven't totally cut out the last two. I still eat sugar and drink alcohol in moderation, but I am much more aware that is a treat when I decide to indulge.

Good luck!!! Comment below with any questions!