Before I found my Feel Great Weight, I tried every diet out there. From South Beach to Atkins, I was all about a diet with a regimented meal plan. And while initially I would lose weight, I was never able to keep it off. The culprit? Forcing myself to eat foods that just weren't right for my body.
While I can't say I liked sticking to restrictive diets, they did teach me something about myself. Sure, I could follow specific eating plans for a short while, but these foods weren't really fueling my body. Initially, that scared me. If I veered off the egg white and burger sans bun path, how could I possibly eat foods I liked without gaining weight? So I assessed what I was eating on those diets—plus why those meals left me unsatisfied—and made some tweaks to my everyday diet.
The end result? I'm at my goal weight—and I'm eating foods I love that leave me full of energy. Here's how I moved beyond diet foods and found the right fuel for my lifestyle.
Dieters choice: Egg whites with steamed asparagus
Not quite: I'm a morning exerciser, so after throwing together egg whites and steamed asparagus and quickly doing the dishes, I was completely frazzled during my commute to work. And while I love a good omelet on the weekends, this breakfast was a little low in protein (thanks to the missing yolks) and completely carb deficient, so I was always ravenous by the time I got to my desk.
Just right: Oatmeal. I started eating the instant packets because they were easy to pack for my commute. I could easily eat one at my desk, stretching out the time between breakfast and lunch. Plus, it's quick, easy, and budget-friendly. I never get bored with eating the same thing day after day because I experiment with different ingredients in my oatmeal—raisins, nuts, berries, and peanut butter (hello, protein!). Oatmeal satisfies me for hours and, more importantly, I enjoy eating it. In fact, I like it so much, I still eat it almost every morning for breakfast.
greek-fruit-cereal-150.jpg , and a side salad. Carbs get a bad rap, but I realize that I need healthy carbs with filling fiber to feel satisfied. Plus, eating a few servings of vegetables—in the veggie burger and on the side— fills me right up and keeps me satisfied for hours. Occasionally I'll swap out the fries for a side of roasted vegetables, which have so much more flavor than the steamed stuff!
What diet foods just didn't work for you? What keeps you satisfied and full of energy?