Before I changed my lifestyle back in 2010, I was pretty much like anyone else. I worked and was in nursing school so I was hardly ever home – which lead to my unexpected weight gain!
My favorite go-to was drive-thru fast food. I fed my body with nothing but junk because it was convenient, and I had thought it tasted good. This went on for a few years, and I noticed my body evolving: cellulite appeared, my dress size went up, and…I jiggled. Before I knew it, I was a "puffier" version of myself, and my weight eventually skyrocketed in nursing school. I also hadn’t realized the damage I was doing to my insides.
While waiting for my nursing license after graduation, I got a part-time job working at Smoothie King in order to keep myself off the couch. I had always been a fan, but it wasn’t until I began working at Smoothie King that I realized how truly fresh all of the ingredients were. I took the first step toward a healthy diet and began replacing a meal with a delicious, healthy smoothie per work day. There I discovered my favorite smoothie of all time, the Angel Food Smoothie. It tastes light, fluffy and heavenly!
During this time period, a friend also introduced me to a food documentary. Little did I know then, this documentary would be the second step toward some pretty huge life changes! I was disgusted by what I saw.
How often do you think about what you eat? I never did before!
I was so appalled that I headed straight towards my pantry and threw out all processed foods, made a healthy eating grocery list, and went shopping. I started reading labels for the first time ever. I educated myself on what is considered nutritious and what isn't. I explored new food options and learned new terms that I had never even heard of before. It was honestly confusing at first, but as I taught myself more and more, I became obsessed! I enjoyed it so much!
It was difficult to make the lifestyle change in the beginning, as I would still slip up here and there. But I made small changes that led to bigger changes, and I gave it my all. Soon enough, healthy became a delicious habit and not a chore. I started planning my meals thoroughly and eating every couple of hours. I ate more fruits and veggies than I ever had (fruit is now my number one snack). I ditched high-sugar treats and aimed for high-protein meals.
Over the course of 9 months, I lost almost 45 pounds. Because I lost it the slow and steady way, it stayed off and has never come back.
Here are my 5 tips to help you get started on the road to healthy eating for weight loss:
- Pick a meal prep day. My meal prep days are usually Sundays because of the amount of down time I have to complete everything. Pick the day that works best for your schedule and lifestyle, and set aside at least 2 hours depending on what you are making.
- Make a healthy grocery shopping list. The planning part of your meal prep can be time consuming. I like to jot down ideas on a piece of paper throughout the week or look on Pinterest for ideas. Make sure you plan enough to last you through the week and don't forget snacks!
- Go grocery shopping – with the list! Once you have your list made, you can then proceed to the store to get your goods. Sometimes, what I purchase depends on what is on sale so I can save a buck or two. Usually, I am out within an hour with everything that I need.
- Prep and cook. Once home, you can begin right away! Boil rice, wash & chop produce, cook chicken – whatever you have to do. Arrange meals in the containers of your choice and stash in the refrigerator for the week.
- Keep track of healthy options nearby. Everybody has days that don’t go according to plan – whether you missed a prep day, are running late, feel hungry out and about, or just want a healthy post-workout treat. Having a mental (or physical!) list of nutritious go-to locations like Smoothie King is one of the best ways to avoid falling into unhealthy cravings.
Healthy eating has never been easier thanks to meal prepping and convenient options like Smoothie King!