Making healthy choices: My diet, before and after

I'm a California girl, and miss In-N-Out double doubles... but maybe it's a good thing that I'm 3,000 miles away. Credit: Google Images
I’m a California girl, and miss In-N-Out double doubles… but maybe it’s a good thing that I’m 3,000 miles away.
Credit: Google Images

Confession: This past weekend, I was bad. Really bad.

On Saturday, I had cake for breakfast, pizza for lunch, more cake, and then some delicious hors d’ oeuvres for dinner — not exactly diet food. But it was for a good cause: We were choosing the food for our wedding. (Well, except for the pizza. That was a bonus.)

I haven’t eaten like that in months — and I’m glad about that. Everything tasted great, but it was just too much.

Amazingly, when I got on the scale Tuesday morning, I had only gained half a pound — maintaining my 20 pound weight loss.

Healthy eating has been a big part of my success. New York Health and Racquet Club nutritionist Alanna Cabrero has given me a ton of advice and monitored my progress, reviewing the food diary I’m keeping on MyFitnessPal.com (a great tool).

One of the things that’s helped: Paying attention. I used to snack all day long and usually on unhealthy food. I was also an emotional eater, eating to make myself feel better, even if I wasn’t really hungry — especially sweets.

Luckily, I’ve been able to break some of those habits by keeping track of what I’m eating and when, and finding alternatives to the not-so-healthy (but yummy) things I was eating before. Here are a few of them.

Weekday Breakfast
Before: 6-12 donut holes, about 70 calories each
After: Small egg white wrap with turkey sausage or veggies, 150 calories
Benefits: No more mid-morning sugar crash, protein for energy
Other options: Nonfat plain yogurt with fresh fruit and chia seeds

Weekend Breakfast/Brunch
Before: French toast with bacon or sausage and home fries
After: Egg white western omelet (ham, onions, and peppers) with whole wheat toast
Benefits: Leaner protein in the morning instead of lots of sugar and fat
Other options: Fresh fruit, blended into a smoothie with skim milk and protein powder

Lunch
Before: Either nothing (meaning I ate more snacks) or sandwiches loaded with meat and cheese
After: Salads with grilled chicken, beans, peppers, other vegetables and minimal dressing
Benefits: An actual meal in the middle of the day means I’m not starving in the middle of the afternoon
Other options: Lentil soup with chia seeds added or sandwich wraps, mostly veggies

Dinner
Before: Chicken enchiladas with rice and beans
After: Chicken fajitas with beans, no rice, cheese or sour cream
Benefits: Less fat and carbs
Other options: Sauteed chicken with asparagus and couscous

Dessert
Before: Ice cream
After: Frozen fruit
Benefits: No added sugar or fat
Other options: Whole fruit ice pops (easy to make yourself)

Snacks
Before: Cookies, chips, and candy
After: Carrots and hummus
Benefits: Replace sugar and fat with veggies and protein
Other options: Almonds, pistachios and fruit

Some people let themselves have a “cheat meal” or “cheat day” once a week, but that won’t work for me — I’d have a hard time not cheating all the time! Instead, I’m trying to stick with eating right every day.

Progress Report

Not a lot changed this week, but it could have been worse!

Starting Stats (as of Jan. 29)
Weight: 209.5 pounds
Body Mass Index (BMI): 36
Chest: 48 inches
Waist: 41 inches
Hips: 48.5 inches

Current Stats (as of April 8)
Weight: 189.5 (20 pounds)
BMI: 32.4 (3.6 points — creeping closer to the “overweight” range instead of “obese”)
Chest: 42.5 inches (5.5 inches)
Waist: 38 inches (3 inches)
Hips: 43 inches (5.5 inches)

Amanda Art is Metro’s social media manager. Over the next few months, track her weight loss progress as she readies for her May 3 wedding. Follow Amanda on Twitter at @NYNewsgirl.



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