I Stopped Overeating “Healthy” Foods and Lost 35 Pounds

  • I used to think of foods as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ and tried to cut out gluten, dairy, refined carbs and sugar.
  • I gained weight by eating lots of high calorie “healthy” foods. This diet caused me to overeat too.
  • I didn’t lose weight until I realized that overall energy balance is what matters for weight management.

Since my teenage years, I have been interested in nutrition. I’ve always tried to eat “healthy” and followed various fad diets, from cabbage soup to 5:2.

In my early twenties, the “clean eating” movement hit its peak and I was sucked in. be healthy, fit and lose weight. That’s what I did, even though I had no food allergies.

I didn’t stick to this strict diet for more than a few months, but it left me seeing foods as “good” and “bad”, which is a common misconception, as dietitians have said before. to Insider.

When I broke that mindset nearly four years ago, stopped demonizing food, and started eating all kinds of foods while in a calorie deficit, I lost 35 pounds and have maintained it ever since.

I used to glorify expensive “health foods”

For years, I thought that if I ate foods that I was told were healthy — like “zoodles” (zucchini) instead of spaghetti and medjool dates stuffed with almond butter — I would good healthy choices.

I paid for expensive quinoa instead of cheap rice. I cooked with coconut oil instead of butter, not knowing that the former is higher in saturated fat. I haven’t eaten granola for years because I thought it was too sweet, and made my own version with nuts, seeds and agave syrup – which was higher in calories and less delicious .

My weight fluctuated in my mid-twenties, but I thought if I could only stick to the “good” foods, I would lose weight and look like the hottest women on Instagram.

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But what I now consider a restrictive diet was impossible to follow and left me feeling deprived. When I went out, I ate too many energy-dense foods like fries, pizza, and burgers.

Then the next day it was back to avocado and hummus salads, sugar-free sweet potato brownies and raw vegan energy balls – with a side of guilt.

Little did I realize, however, that these “healthy” foods were often incredibly high in calories, which meant that, combined with my indulgent social life, my weight was gradually increasing.

A better approach to calorie counting improved my relationship with food

At the end of 2018, I had a wake up call when I was shocked by the number I saw on the scale. It was time to take action and try something different: counting calories.

Counting calories can be problematic for some. When I first tried it as a teenager, I became obsessed, so I was hesitant to try again. But a decade later, I was wiser and more self-aware.

I found it improved my relationship with food. I learned that there is nothing inherently fattening about any food, and it helped me feel more comfortable eating foods that I previously avoided, such as bread. Over time, I also lost fat.

I realized that I had been eating too much on a regular basis, and I knew it was because I still viewed food as “good” and “bad” in part.

Counting calories freely (and tracking protein), while incorporating all foods into my diet in moderation, helped me learn that you can eat anything and still lose weight.

A post shared by Rachel Hosie (@rachel_hosie)

Whole foods, protein, and fiber generally make you feel fuller than refined, sugary, and processed foods, and are more nutritious. For example, 300 calories of chicken, brown rice and broccoli will be more filling than a 300 calorie donut. But we get fat when we consume more energy than necessary.

I now know that often demonized carbs are great fuel for training, dairy is a great source of protein and most importantly pasta, pizza and cheese are too delicious not to enjoy. .

My mindset didn’t change overnight

Spending six months at home with my parents and sister at the start of the coronavirus pandemic helped me change my mind a lot. For example, I thought carbs made you fat, but my family ate higher carb meals than what I cooked for myself, and I still lost weight.

Early in my career, I remember seeing an editor eat a cookie and thinking, “What kind of health expert eats cookies?”

I know now that she was indeed the expert, and I had a lot to learn.

I still eat quinoa, dates, and salads sometimes, but not because I think they’re “better” than anything else. Because I want.

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