It was like a light had gone off. Eat less, move more, eat to live – NOT live to eat. I spent the entire month of February 2013 using a app on my phone “Perfect Diet Tracker” I soley focused on getting back to the basics of counting calories, and knowing where they came from – protein, carbohydrates and fat. I tracked EVERYTHING! I gave myself the month to really start to understand how my body reacted to certain foods and how they made me feel, as well as how much I was really eating because although raw almonds are fantastic for you, you only need 7-10, not 20. So after 4 weeks of learning new habits (again), I was down 7 pounds. Not bad considering I hadn’t even started moving yet.

At first some of the biggest changes I made were getting back to measuring portions, substituting better versions of foods I really enjoyed like no fat greek yogurt for regular yogurt, fresh fruits (mostly apples and berries) for processed “low calorie” desserts, cutting out most starchy carbs except quinoa, sweet potatoes, and steel cut oats, adding in seeds like chia, flax and hemp, using greens and avocados in my protein shakes, using just oil and vinegar instead of processed dressings, using lots of fresh herbs and spices, limiting alcohol and saving my “skinny Vanilla latte’s” for a real treat, and most importantly tracking everything ate.

Since I am a creature of habit I found comfort in keeping a very consistent (some would say repetitive) diet. I pretty much ate the same foods and didn’t deviate from the foods I knew were going to fill me up and give me fuel. I would give myself a cheat or re-feed meal every so often but for the most part over the past four years I still eat the same foods. I’m not gonna lie, it also requires the commitment to meal preparation and making sure you have your arsenal of good fuel readily available.

I would argue that in order to be successful at keeping off weight you need – in a way – to fall OUT of love with food.  I learned at the beginning of my journey to use exercise and movement to deal with the stress of everyday life and tried to learn to take the emotion out of eating, and look at it strictly as a means to an ends.