The most dramatic health change I ever made was dropping a diet filled with simple carbohydrates, sugars, and fat. I replaced it with a clean eating plan and banished the word “diet.”
I made life changes to my everyday eating. It was one of the most crucial parts of a 100-pound weight-loss journey.
I like to eat. I was raised in the south where we enjoyed biscuits bigger than your fist. They were served warm with a lot of smooth, melted butter. Biscuits weren’t just for breakfast. They were so filling and inexpensive, they were served up to three times a day. My body learned to crave carbs and fat.
I also ate fried food almost daily: fried green tomatoes, fried chicken, fried okra. My family grew fresh vegetables, then dunked them in flour and threw them in grease. I learned to love fried food.
Then, there was homemade ice cream, hand-churned on the porch.
Life revolved around food. I learned not to use food to satisfy my nutritional needs, but to soothe emotional hurt and satiate me. Food became a focal point for entertainment. No social event was ever as important as the food served.
I thoroughly enjoyed all this food. I still like to eat, but I realized that food had control over me. It wasn’t hunger or my appetite, it was an unrecognized desire to abuse food. Recognizing a food addiction was necessary in overcoming emotional, uncontrolled eating.
When I began to feel tired and angry about my appearance I grappled with the “whys.” That is how I came to understand that food had a hold over me.
I made a decision to clean up my diet. I made radical changes, cutting sugar, diet sodas, fried foods, white grains and excess salt from my diet.
My body went through an adjustment, it’s own detox. I didn’t follow a detox diet. I didn’t need one when I made a decision to give up unhealthy foods. I cut them out cold turkey.
It took a couple of weeks to fight cravings and recognize when I was headed toward the ice cream for emotional reasons.
Mindfulness was crucial to this change in diet and health. I had to retrain myself to pay attention to what I was eating, why I was eating or wanted to eat. I learned to feel hunger. I educated myself to eat for nutrition and health.
I talked to nutritionists, fitness trainers and my doctor, in addition to doing research online and reading books that offered real nutritional information, not quick fixes.
Dropping simple carbohydrates, sugars, and fat from my diet was revolutionary. The pounds started melting away. I didn’t use supplements, diet pills, or any new “weird tricks.” Clean eating brought about a new way of life for me. A healthy lifestyle, filled with delicious, nutritious foods that help keep the weight off, keep blood pressure down, help maintain healthy cholesterol levels and keep me energized.