I had always had a love for junk food growing up and water wasn’t on the top of my list as a favorite drink. Instead I enjoyed soda pop and fruit juices that were loaded with preservatives along with over processed frozen foods. It would have been easy for me to keep going the way I was, but by the age of thirteen I had become over sixty pounds overweight and the last thing I wanted was to be out of shape entering high school. I decided to make a change and switch to the Eat-Clean Diet to get healthy and in shape.
Revamping my diet and eating habits
The first step to me getting healthy again was to cut out all the bad stuff. That meant getting rid of my favorite junk food and strictly drinking water and natural fruit juice. In place of fatter meats I began eating fish and chicken along with turkey. I made a point to limit myself to foods that contained less than twenty percent of calories from fat and I also choose to limit my snack and junk food intake to two to three times a month. Even though I still snacked occasionally, these snacks would have no preservatives and they would not be processed. That meant eating things like pretzels and cheese or dark chocolate and non-processed yogurt instead of gummy bears and M&Ms. It was hard at first, but after a while it became easier and easier. I decided that I would have three main meals a day and that each would contain a portion of fruits and vegetables. If I wanted a snack in between meals I would either eat mixed nuts or dried fruit.
The worst part about starting this new diet was having to cut out all the caffeine that I had once enjoyed in the form of soda pop. If I had the ability to do it all over again I would have slowly taken myself off caffeine bit by bit instead of cold turkey, but it ended up working out in the end. I had terrible headaches and stomach aches due to caffeine withdraw for about a week and a half, but soon I began to notice a big change in my energy level and overall health. I felt better than I had in years and I also noticed that the plaque that tended to build up on my teeth was almost none existent. The full range of side effects of caffeine withdraw didn’t go away until about a month, but I can tell you first hand it was well worth it.
The first thing I wanted to do was get my metabolism going again. While water helps to regulate your body and jump start your metabolism, you still need to work out heavily to keep things going. To begin I would ride an exercise bike for an hour and a half each day after I got home from school. After which I would eat supper and then do one hundred jumping jacks and one hundred pushups. On Friday during gym class each week I would spend the entire class period lifting weights and would continue this process through the weekend. Instead of doing push-ups and jumping jacks on the weekends I would lift weights for an hour and ride the exercise bike for an hour. I added to my push-ups and jumping jacks as I got stronger and on days where I didn’t feel like doing physical exercise I rode the exercise bike for two and a half hours instead.
What I lost and how fast I lost it
When I started this diet I was 5’6 and two hundred and thirty pounds. Within a month of cutting out processed food and drinking water for the majority of the time I dropped twenty pounds. In three more months I was down another twenty five pounds. By the time I entered high school I was sixty pounds lighter and I had grown an inch in height in the process. I continued the same exercise regime and eating habits and by the time I had graduated high school I had dropped down to around one hundred and sixty pounds and had added on muscle instead of fat. I continue to follow the same diet today and have maintained a weight of one hundred and eighty five pounds at my current height of 5’8.