I was sitting at my table today, eating a ton of fresh fruit, and thinking about how delicious fresh fruit tastes. I was eating fruit that I would not ordinarily eat. I was eating blueberries and raspberries. I like things flavored with blueberry and raspberry, but I just don't typically eat them alone. Anyway, it got me to thinking.
A few years ago, you would have never caught me sitting at my table eating fresh fruit as part of my meal. I've always loved fruit, but I used to never think to eat it as part of a meal. I started thinking about my changes I've made because of meal plans, food choices I've made over the past few years, and how those choices have changed to more healthy options.
My meal plans were and are designed so that I can eat what I want. I just have to make sure my food follows guidelines; such as calorie content, protein, and fat. As long as I'm in those bounds I can eat what I want. I've never been told that I have to eat certain foods for certain meals. If so, I would have quit this before it even started.
When I started these meal plans almost two and half years ago I still ate some high fat foods; I just ate them in moderation. I ate certain proportions and I ate at certain times. As my plans have changed and different things have been added into my meal plans, I've made different choices. Basically, I've cut out some of the bad foods on my own and I have made better choices. No one told me that I had to eat fruit and vegetables to lose weight. I followed a calorie limit and I did the rest on my own.
For example: I used to eat a lot of Lean Cuisine frozen pizzas because they were in my calorie, protein, and fat limits, but that was all I could have for an entire meal. Now, I like to eat meals, so I don't eat the frozen pizza. I make low cal, high protein options for my food. That way I can eat fruit, veggies, and maybe another side with all my meals. I love it so much better this way.
I've met and spoken with people who try to lose weight and they cut out everything they love. They try to eat all fruit, veggies, low fat everything, and then they end up unhappy and quit. They go right back to their old ways.
I try to let them know that in the beginning it's not so much what you eat, but how much you eat. If you have a significant amount of weight to lose you can just cut back on the serving size or how many servings you eat at one time. Don't eat the whole pizza! Eat 2 slices and save the rest for another 3 meals! That one pizza can go a long way!
As you lose more and more weight you will naturally want to try different things and make better food choices. I believe that to be true, because it happened to me. I never thought I would enjoy eating grilled chicken, hummus, and fresh veggies more than I enjoy eating a big greasy, deep fried meal, but one day I realized it had happened. No one told me to even make the change.
So, really my random thought led me to this overall thought: Make small changes. Don't make a huge, sweeping change at one time. Start small. Once you are comfortable with one change and you know you can handle and maintain it, make another change. Before you know it, you've lost 125+ pounds and you're craving fruit instead of greasy food.
These days I blow off anyone who tells me that counting calories doesn't work. Those people are stupid in my book, because I've counted and counted calories. I've lost a ton of weight. I try to tell people that I'm proof that calorie counting works. I'm proof that working out works. I'm proof that people can make a change and stick to it.