Diet Changes

My problem with eating has ALWAYS been that I am hungry. All. The. Time. And it’s so infuriating. In fact, I feel like that’s the reason I fail at losing weight. And before anyone gets on me for saying “diet” I don’t mean something short-term. Not a fad diet or anything like that. When I say “diet” I mean what I eat. It’s my food choices. It’s a lifestyle, of course, but I feel a little pretentious saying my “eating lifestyle.” It’s my diet. And it’s not short-term. It’s the way I have chosen to eat this year.

And this past month I’ve focused on getting more protein in my diet. I’m not a huge meat fan. I don’t have any moral issues with eating meat, I just don’t care for it that much. But that also seems to give me a free-for-all with cheese, which is my personal eating enemy. I LOVE cheese. Maybe more than any other single food. And I can eat it all day long, at every meal. And my digestive system punishes me for it. I don’t have lactose intolerance or anything. I just mean too much cheese means constipation. Sorry, maybe TMI. But it’s true. And I don’t think I’m alone in this battle.

So, my singular goal is no matter what, each meal I need at least a solid serving of real protein. Not a protein shake, which I personally don’t stay full on. I will use a protein shake after a hard weights workout if I want to replenish my muscles but don’t have anything to eat. But it doesn’t keep me full, so it’s not a meal replacement for me. I know others have success with liquid diets/meal replacement, but like I said, for me. So for example, I used to have two pieces of toast with peanut butter for breakfast. Good source of fat, some carbs, and a little protein. Now I have one piece, still with peanut butter. And then I have one egg, about 1/4 of an avocado and some salsa. Almost the same amount of calories, but I stay fuller for longer. For lunch, I’ve been making sure my lunches (which are homemade meals I portion out and freeze) have at least 20 grams of protein. And I’m no longer adding carbs to my lunch. I used to add toast or chips or crackers or other carbs. Instead, I give myself about 100 more calories (what I was eating in carbs) of that lunch portion. Or I won’t eat anything additional and have an extra snack later. My afternoon snacks are almost always peanut butter toast. One piece.

And my real food change that’s been a life-saver? 85% cocoa chocolate. I always claim to not be a chocolate fan, but I crave it. I blame work. When we went through a long stressful period, we ate chocolate all the time. So now when I hit that mid-afternoon lull, and have a sugar craving, I have a little bit of dark chocolate. I put it in my mouth and let it slowly melt. It kills my sweet cravings. I’ve cut out almost all of my afternoon sugar I used to find myself having. And instead have one piece of toast, with a more generous portion of peanut butter.

Like I said, these things work for me, and are conquering the two issues I found myself having: constant hunger (I assume from a combination of not enough protein and too many carbs-filled calories), and sweets cravings.

What eating changes have you made that have turned your diet around?

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