How I changed my eating habits with my FitMountain Coach
An Entrepreneur Denies His Weight
You would think that a health & fitness startup entrepreneur would be able to eat healthy all the time. Well I couldn’t.
While sitting at my computer I’d feel ravenous hunger creep up on me like evil spirits clawing themselves from the depths of Mount Doom. At least it’d feel like that after a few hours of sitting in front of the keyboard.
In this post I’ll list the ways that I changed my eating habits with the help of my FitMountain coach Erica.
You’ll get a peek at:
- my starting diet (eeek!),
- my coaches recommendations,
- what I did to implement them in my diet and
- show you the before and after photos of my diet.
In The Beginning… There Was Awful Food
After using the FitMountainApp to record my eating habits, I soon realized that maybe I wasn’t really following my own ideas of healthy eating. How could this be? I regularly read scientific papers about health and fitness. I used to work out a lot. Could even deadlift 350 5×5 times in a row at one point with perfect form. Also used to eat really clean. So what had happened?
I guess sometimes our models of who we are is different from who we are in reality. (If our models of ourselves weren’t different from reality then I don’t think we could live with ourselves.)
Anyway below you can see the diet that I had at the time. I’m not proud of it by any means. Actually I’m thoroughly embarrassed by this photo .
As you can see there was a lot of soda, a lot of fried foods, sweets and pizza. More over I never ate breakfast and the food had no variety.
I remember looking at this photo and being very surprised at how badly I was eating.”Could this really be my diet?” – I remember thinking.
So I signed up on FitMountain to have a Registered Dietitian help me fix my miserable diet.
My coach Erica gave me the confidence to try one more time.
My Coaches Recommendations
As soon as my coach saw my habits she quickly figured out the most important steps I needed to take to fix my massively broken diet.
Coach Erica’s recommendations were:
Week 1 • No more soda/calorie drinks
Its easy to fall into the soda trap. You think you’ll just have one and then you end up drinking one everyday. Best way to attack this was to go cold turkey. No more soda.
This wasn’t easy to give up, by my girlfriend made a rule – “no more soda in our house” which made the whole thing much simpler for me. Also I started drinking fizzy water as a substitute – no calories, no artificial sweeteners, no nothing – just bubbly water.
Week 2-3 • Stop eating delivered and restaurant food & start cooking!
As you can see in the above photos, restaurant food was all I was really eating. Even after the 3rd week I was still eating a lot of food restaurant food. Erica emphasized how I needed to cook my own food so I could control the exact ingredients I wanted to eat.
I already knew how to cook a chicken stir fry and I went back to it with a vengeance. I also mixed it up a little by doing a steak stir fry and a beef stir fry. If you eat chicken and you’ve never cooked before then a chicken stir fry is a quick, easy and safe dish to try.
Even though I knew how to cook, it still took a lot more effort to make sure that I was cooking at home. That extra effort was planning my meals and going grocery shopping. I built the FitMountain meal planner so that you could quickly put together a meal plan of what you’d like to eat. And then you can keep that as a baseline for the future. With the help of my coach and the recipe search functionality I put together a meal plan for the entire week with 2 30 minute cooking sessions, 4 snacks and 2 breakfasts. And also backup meals which I could grab if needed.
Week 4-7 • Add More Protein To All My Meals
Coach Erica realized I needed more protein in all my meals. She gave me pointers on how to add proteins to all my meals now that I had started cooking as well. These included
- Adding garbanzo beans to my stir fry chicken. I had never cooked these before but its damn simple and they taste great.
- Adding left over stir fry chicken to my breakfast
- Using protein powder as a protein booster to cereal. Simple but very effective idea. And this works really well for people who like sweetened cereal as the protein powder will make the whole thing sweeter.
- Substituting rice with quinoa to up my protein while simultaneously reducing the amount of carbs in my diet.
Weeks 8-9 • Emotional Eating
Sometimes I would just eat badly even though I had done my planning and bought my groceries. During these times it was great to have a coach around who could just reassure me that everything was okay and that sometimes fixing the stress in one’s life is the best solution to eat right.
|Physical Hunger||Emotional Hunger|
|Tends to come on gradually and can be postponed||Feels sudden and urgent|
|Can be satisfied with any number of foods||Causes very specific cravings (say, for pizza or ice cream)|
|Once full, you’re likely to stop eating||You tend to eat more than you normally would|
|Doesn’t cause feelings of guilt||Can cause guilt afterwards|
Weeks 11-12 • Making healthy eating a habit
I worked on making all the different recommendations, a real part of my daily eating. Adding only one habit at a time made the whole process much easier. I didn’t have to make wholesale changes to how I ate. And I didn’t have to think about the previous habit as I had it down pat.
Somedays I would slip up but because I took my time mastering each one, I realized that it wasn’t the end of the world. Once you really integrate a habit into your life, you really don’t have to think about it any more.
Soon I was on my way to being back in control of my eating habits.
My Diet After Coaching
After coaching you can see that my eating habits had improved considerably. Still not perfect but I dropped 8lbs of weight and my moods didn’t swing as much. Also I’m now really careful about what I eat during the week. I only eat out maybe once a week.
The best part of this coaching was that I know I have the skills to be able to lose weight any time I need to in the future.
And the cherry on top of all this is all the different new foods that I’ve been introduced to since I learnt to cook.
Photo Credit: savannahgrandfather