When I started my weight loss journey 9 months ago, I texted my weight loss or gains to my friend B every single day for a couple of weeks. I dreaded every morning’s weigh in because I was sure the scale would just keep going up despite my very deliberate lifestyle changes. The scale proved me wrong, and it slowly crept down, and then down some more.

I am THIS close to achieving my goal of losing 50 pounds. Unfortunately I’ve been THIS close for a month. It’s probably self-sabotage as I’m not sure what I’m planning to do diet wise once I reach that goal, so instead of getting to the spot on the scale, in the past week I’ve had a donut (it was Blue Star, so who can blame me?!?) and I stopped exercising. Granted, I’ve also had a number of new health problems, so eating a donut is really the least of my worries.

Anyway, this is all to say that on Tuesday I started texting my weight loss and gains to my friend S, and even though I had a donut this week despite knowing I’d be telling her my weight gain the next day, having an accountability partner is super motivating. I’ve been drinking more water, I’ve been (mostly) more deliberate about what I’m eating, and most of all, it’s encouraging to know that someone else is struggling and fighting temptation along with me.

What else helps me? This smart scale and app. My previous scale was really hard to read and didn’t display ounces. When you’re trying to lose weight, every lost ounce is a victory. I use the app to track my weight loss, and it’s extremely motivating to view the downward trend. The other thing that helps is a water bottle with a straw, similar to this one. I know it sounds ridiculous that a water bottle with a straw would make a difference in how much water you consume, but I find that it’s much easier to drink a lot of water with a straw. (Insert shrug emoji!) And a bonus of drinking lots of water is more steps on the way to the bathroom! And the last thing that helps is the WaterMinder app that sends me alerts throughout the day, reminding me to, yes, drink more water.

If you ever want an accountability partner, let me know! I’m always up for it!

Eat to Live Q & A

Happy Friday, everyone! Thanks to everyone who has congratulated me on my weight loss progress, and based on the follow-up questions I’ve received, a lot of you have the same questions about how I’m losing weight, so I thought it’d be helpful to post some answers here. And feel free to contact me if you have more questions after reading this post.

Q. What diet plan are you following? 

A. It’s called Eat to Live, a food plan also referred to as nutritarian. I’ve tried to stop referring to it as a diet, because to me that implies it’s temporary. I’m choosing to follow the food choices recommended in the Eat to Live book for the long term. However, I’ve made a few modifications that make the plan work for me. (See below.) If you don’t want to read the book, check out this great introduction to the plan at Hello Nutritarian’s blog. The reason I’ve stayed on the plan since since starting it in July is that I’ve lost more than 20 pounds and I have more energy now than I’ve had in a very long time.

Q. Do you make any modifications to the plan? 

A. Yes. For example, I eat eggs at least a few times per week . I hard boil eggs on Sunday and take them to work to eat for breakfast, and on the weekend, I have time to water sauté veggies and then scramble eggs (no added milk). Prior to Eat to Live, I would have added shredded cheese to the top but I’ve found that a little nutritional yeast is a good substitute. Some days, I have two servings of carbs instead of the recommended one. That’s often steel cut oatmeal for breakfast and brown rice or potatoes for dinner. Other days, I do much better about keeping my carb intake to just one serving.

Q. How do you satisfy your cravings? 

A. I’ve heard that it takes 21 days to overcome cravings and I call BS. I still crave salt and sugar! Last night I desperately wanted chips and salsa but I didn’t cave. Instead I had popcorn sprinkled with nutritional yeast. As far as sweets go, honey is a great sugar substitute, and fruit smoothies made with coconut water seem to satisfy my periodic ache for ice cream.

Q. What are pantry staples you recommend to get started? 

A. Nutritional yeast and coconut aminos, as well as walnuts, dried apricots, and dates. I know that sounds like a weird list, but here’s why I recommend each of them:

  • Nutritional yeast: while it has sodium in it, it’s not a significant amount and it’s a great substitute when you’re craving a cheesy/salty flavor. It’s extremely versatile, and I use it to make baked tofu at least three times a week.
  • Coconut aminos: this can be used as a soy sauce substitute as well as sprinkled on salad as dressing. I also use it in this peanut sauce recipe.
  • Walnuts: I add walnuts to salads and oatmeal. It’s a delicious crunch!
  • Dried Apricots: for whatever reason, this satisfies my sweet tooth, and make a delicious dessert.
  • Dates: Added to a salad, dates add texture and sweetness, eliminating the need for salad dressing.

Q. How do you stay on your plan while eating out? 

A. I’m not a purist, so if, for example, cheese makes it’s way into a salad, I don’t mind. Last night, we went out to eat, and I had a beet and quinoa salad that had feta cheese in it, as well as dressing that I’m sure had salt and sugar in it. It was delicious. Basically, I find something on the menu that is most in line with my meal plan parameters and go with that.

Q. How do you get over a weight loss plateau? 

A. I spent weeks at the same amount of weight loss and was so frustrated I almost gave up. But I kept to the plan, adding extra raw veggies to lunch and dinner, and I drank as much water as I could. Finally the plateau broke, but this week I seem to have reached another one. My plan is to double down on water and raw veggies again.

Do you all have any more questions? I’m happy to answer them! Have a fabulous weekend.