For someone who so often just grabs snack items because cooking is too time-consuming, especially when you're cooking for one, I was not happy to make changes. However, I think I've changed my tune. Here are some things I've learned since 3 weeks ago:
It's super hard at first. Mostly because you don't know what to eat when you're so limited! And anything besides a handful of carrots requires time and effort. But Pinterest and Google are your friends. With a little effort, you can find recipes that you like and that fit your diet. And with a willingness to take some time to cook and prepare and try new recipes, you're sure to find what works for you.
- Giant chicken salads (with boiled eggs, avocado, mushrooms, carrots, cucumber, corn, and/or sunflower seeds)
- Omelets (eggs, bell peppers, and turkey)
- Paleo pancakes (banana, eggs, and cinnamon)
- Fruit (especially peaches right now OMG)
- Nuts (mainly cashews)
- Yam fries (I don't know why everyone calls them sweet potatoes. They're yams.).
It's kind of expensive. I think I've spent a lot more on groceries than usual since I started this thing. Fresh produce, almond milk, and chicken can be kind of costly, but I'm sure I'll get better at preparing more things and shopping the deals better with time.
People are supportive. My friends have been understanding and not tried to tempt me. Thank you to everyone who did not invite me to The Pie. Or Chocolat. Or Bruges. Or any other delicious place.
It's easier to say no when you are motivated and have a set outline for what you can and cannot eat. When you are simply trying to "eat healthier" it's hard to stick with it because there are no real boundaries. And it's hard to say no to friends. The kind of diet that I am on is kind of nice because I can eat as much as I want, but only certain kinds of foods. I don't have to decide if it's worth the calories or not. If it's on the list, I'll eat it. If it's not, I won't.
You're less likely to overeat. When you go out to a restaurant, they give you a giant mound of food. Our societal eating habits are just bad. When you eat only what you prepare, you eat to satisfy. Plus, when you can only eat so many things, you just eat less because there are fewer options and temptations.
Lots of protein keeps you satisfied. I have paleo pancakes or omelets for breakfast every morning. I don't have to eat that much to feel satisfied and I don't feel starving an hour later like I do when I eat cereal. Cereal is so yummy, but it doesn't have much substance.
You can lose weight—fast. I've dropped 10 pounds in 3 weeks. That's almost 1 pound every 2 days. That is really fast. Of course, I've been working out a lot as well, but I was doing that before this diet.
I have a huge sweet tooth. I've never wanted cookies so badly in my life. This is one thing about the diet that is totally unsustainable. I will probably have a cookie at the exact 4-week mark. Even though it's nice in the short term to have black & white rules, I think healthiness and weight management is about balance. It's okay to have some sweets or a burger sometimes, but it should be a small part of your diet.