|I eat really great food, like this pie.|
I often get this question from people who only know me online as Dallas Foodie, and then meet me in person for the first time and are apparently shocked to see I'm not obese. I've also been getting this question more often from friends who haven't seen me in a few months and then run into me again— because I've lost 10 pounds since April and they're wondering where I put all that amazing food they've been seeing online. While I don't always eat all of what you see in the photos, the quantity of food consumed has little to do it. The root of the answer is more about what I eat, so I thought I'd explain that a little more.
Let me start by saying this week is significant to me personally because it marks the 10-year anniversary of my reading a book that sent me on this path of knowing how to eat right to control my weight, and subsequently, the discovery of how great real food tastes. I probably wouldn't be Dallas Foodie today if I hadn't gained the knowledge and taste for real food from this book, "Eat, Cheat, and Melt the Fat Away". I'd never read a weight loss book before that November in 2003 (or since), and even though I was a potato and bread lover at that time, I started eating according to that book's methods during the two weeks before Thanksgiving. People thought I was doomed to failure by starting a "diet" right before the holidays, but I think it is the best and most important time to do so. That two-week personal challenge turned into 25 pounds lost in 6 months and several years of eating very deliciously and healthily.
I got the above book from the library (remember those?), and loved the book's methods so much I bought the next/fourth book in the series, "Fast & Easy". There were also two previous books on this method, "Eat Great, Lose Weight" and "Get Skinny on Fabulous Food", which I found are helpful if you want more recipes because the author, Suzanne Somers, learned new things after writing books 1 and 2, and all those learnings are in book 3 ("Eat, Cheat…"). Book 4 is most helpful if you already know the details from book 3.
I've obviously modified the book's methods heavily over time, and I gained a lot of my weight loss back when I was living with people who cooked a lot of meat and potato dinners (years ago, before I moved to Dallas). But the important thing is that those books gave me a solid knowledge foundation of how the body combines certain food molecules to turn what wasn't originally fat into fat that sticks with you, whereas other fats and food molecules don't stick with you. It all boils down to eating certain food groups together or separately, which is super easy to do at home or in a restaurant (I'm proof). There's no counting anything and you can eat until you're full. Calling it a "diet" isn't right. It's just a certain way of eating, like how fast food is a "diet" for some people.
I was able to build on this food knowledge foundation and try little variations here and there to learn what does and doesn't work for my body. With that knowledge in mind, I got more serious about applying the methods again this year, and that's how I lost 10 pounds since April. If I had 100% applied the methods I probably would have lost 25 pounds again, but I'm okay with my progress given the amazing food I've been eating.
If you just want the short cut because you aren't serious about losing weight, this recent article, "13 Nutrition Lies that Made the World Sick & Fat", sums up many of the same concepts from the books, even though it has no connection with the books. Specifically read myths #10, 12, and 13. The one sentence in the article that really sums everything up is, "A diet that is high in carbs AND fat will make you fat, but it’s NOT because of the fat." That is precisely why a quality beef burger with no bun and a green veggie subbed for french fries is "healthy" for me, while most people assume I should be fat from all those burgers I eat. The trick is if you eat proteins/fats with carbs, you gain fat immediately and indefinitely. But if you eat proteins/fats alone or with non-starch veggies, you lose fat. The books explain the details and execution of that simple concept.
With all of this in mind, today I start my path to not gain any weight during the holidays. I recently ate some no-no foods and gained a few pounds, but from past experience, I know that a few pounds recently gained on my body is easy to lose with one week of eating right. Today starts that week. Then I'll eat whatever on Thanksgiving and probably gain back 2 pounds. Another week of eating right should lose the Thanksgiving gain, then do a little more eating properly before Christmas so I can lose more and gain it back over Christmas, and presto— a net gain of zero between now and 2014! At least that's usually how it works for me.
I'm going to tag my related food posts with #DFLosingWeight, so you'll know which posts are following these eating methods. Keep in mind I've spent ten years figuring out exactly how my body reacts to different foods and combinations, so I get away with a lot of cheating on the book's original methods. Eating the same foods as me may not have the same results for you, especially not if you're eating other foods too, but the general method has worked for a lot of people. If you chose to give a try, I'd love to hear your holiday weight loss story!
If you decide to buy the books I used, I would appreciate if you buy through the links on this page because I may earn commissions from them. I don't get paid to write or post photos, so your click purchase there would help support more great food content.
Note: I am not a dietician or health expert, I'm just explaining what works for me personally. Please consult a health professional before using any of the methods discussed here. I have also been running six days a week since April, but when I originally lost 25 pounds I didn't do any exercise.