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Lifestyle Changes include Eating Habits

Updated on August 28, 2015

Don't give up food - make healthy substitutions

In my quest to live healthier and get in shape, I have made many changes in my eating. I've substituted low calorie foods for my high calorie favorites and learned that I can live without many things. I didn't change my eating habits all at one time, little by little, one change at a time, I've found things that I can live with forever.

One of the first things I discovered about weight loss, is that dieting doesn't work. If you've read that before somewhere, I'm here to confirm it's been true in my life. Changing my eating habits for a season until I was able to lose weight did help me become thinner, but only for a short time. As soon as I stopped "dieting" and returned to my routine, I gained back every pound, and often more! If your goal is to become healthy, take weight off and keep it off forever, then lose the diet and begin to change your life. Make decisions that will help you to become healthy.

Here I'll share some of the substitutions I've made over the years. I hope they help you find health and abundance in your new lifestyle.

My Subsitution Journey - It's taken almost 20 years

If you've read my healthy lifestyle story before you came here, then you're already aware that I gained almost 70 pounds with my first child and never really took it off. However, over the years, as I strived to get fit, I gradually made changes to my eating habits, and finally after all this time, it's paid off. I only have 15 pounds left to lose and I don't feel as though I'm deprived. So, here are some of my early substitutions.

Books that have helped me along the way

The All New Free to Be Thin
The All New Free to Be Thin

This is the first book I used to learn about how to become a Healthier me. Learning about God's view of my weight loss really helped me

  1. I realized I needed to make some changes early. So one of the first was the switch from regular pop (that's what we call soda in Eastern Ohio) to diet. I KNOW, the ones who really know about health will tell you not to drink even Diet Pepsi or Coke, but 20 years ago, giving up carbonated beverages was not something I could do. But the 100 calories a can I saved two or three times each day was significant.
  2. One of the next changes I made was the switch from whole milk to skim. It's been a long time, but if I remember right, I'm pretty certain I went straight from one to the other. I don't remember ever drinking 2%. Whether you choose to go gradually from the rich stuff to the blue cap or make the switch immediately, the more than 60 calories a cup will go a long way toward helping you take the pounds off.
  3. After a few years with just those two changes under my belt, I began to really watch portion sizes. I completely gave up food bars. I can not control myself when there is that much food available. I found if I take half as much as normal and only take seconds when I'm truly hungry, I can cut out a great many calories. And just this one step is when I began to maintain my weight. This was the difference between the ups and downs of my weight and holding steady. I obviously was not where I wanted to be. Nope, for more than 10 years I stayed about 50 pounds over my goal weight, but the good news is I STAYED there.
  4. In 2007 I began to make radical changes in my eating habits. Not all of these were to save calories, many were simply because I needed to add healthier choices. One of the first was the switch to whole grains. I love carbs of all kinds, so it wasn't a huge stretch for me to switch out my processed carbs for those with more nutritional value. I now go for whole grain breads and pastas. I eat only whole grain cereals and eat almost no white potatoes (including french fries). As I said, to me a carb is a carb, so this was an easy switch for me. I didn't give up what I loved, I just changed it up a bit.
  5. Next I added water. I still don't drink enough water, but since I used to drink none, I've improved on this quite a bit. I bought myself a water bottle to take to the golf course so I don't buy pop and I have another at work that I fill every morning. Every evening I get one big glass of water to put by my chair and I often refill it at least once. I'm still not taking in the 64 oz a day recommended, but I always get at least 16 oz and generally closer to 40.
  6. A couple of years ago I decided to keep only single serving ice cream snacks in the house. These are generally in the form of fudge bars or ice cream bars. My problem is . . . if I dish a bowl of ice cream it doesn't seem like enough; however, if I take out one bar, I can resist taking the second and that controls my portions for me.
  7. Most recently I've started really giving up things. I don't drink carbonated beverages anymore unless I'm eating pizza. This means I order a lot more iced tea and water. I also have completely given up Little Debbie Swiss Rolls - you might know them better as Hostess HoHo's. These are always in the house because it's my hubby's snack food. I used to eat one every day - not necessarily a bad habit, but since they are in the house it became difficult for me to stay away from them. However, if they are on my list of things I'm "not allowed" to have, I do much better.

How We Did It: Weight Loss Choices that Will Work for YOU
How We Did It: Weight Loss Choices that Will Work for YOU

In this book you'll find 30 different weight loss ideas. We're all different, so one of these might work better for you! PLUS - my story is featured in here!


Substitutions Lists I found on Spark People

Spark People has been an inspiration to my healthy lifestyle. There is a seemingly endless supply of articles to help you become educated about what it will take to have a healthy lifestyle. Here are links to a few articles that might help you make healthy substitutions.

I Really Appreciate all the Help I found on SparkPeople

Had You Heard of SparkPeople Before You Stopped by Here?

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What Substitutions have you found? - Tell the world (or at least those who stop by here)

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    • UKGhostwriter profile image

      UKGhostwriter 6 years ago

      Excellent lens! - well done