5 Healthy Eating Habits From Women Who Lost Weight—And Kept It Off
1. They eat more than three meals a day.
“A few years ago, I had to have hip surgery, which forced me to take a break from my running and exercise routine. I ultimately gained about 30 pounds and also fell into the bad habit of eating tons of candy, which was the hardest habit to break when I started eating healthier.
“What helped me take control and adopt healthier eating habits was enlisting the help of a nutritionist who allowed me to occasionally have things I enjoyed, such as Diet Coke. I also now eat more than I used to—at least six times a day. The key is that I now include three to four healthy snacks, as well as more fruits and vegetables.” —Desiree McConnell, 44.
2. They follow their own set of rules for dieting.
“After being diagnosed with hypertension and cardiomyopathy in my thirties, I committed myself to getting healthy, losing about 30 pounds in one year. I’ve successfully maintained my weight loss living by the 80/20 rule: 80 percent of the time, I’ll eat healthy, and the other 20 percent I’ll indulge if I want to.
“I knew if I cut out indulgences completely, I’d not only be unhappy, but I’d eventually binge anyway. The best reality for me was to allow some meals where the focus was less on calories and carbs.” —Heather Petri, 45.
3. They don’t mind being picky at restaurants.
“Over the past six years, I have lost about 50 to 60 pounds, going from 227 to about 165 pounds—and a big change in my diet has been the way I dine out at restaurants.
“Now, when eating out, I tend to ask for dressings and sauces on the side, and if veggies are sautéed, I ask for steamed. I eat half of the portion if it’s too much and take the rest home. I will ask for fruit or veggies instead of fries, unless I really want the fries that day. If I really want a few bites of something, I’ll have it to avoid feeling too restricted.” —Rachel Kasab, 28.
4. They eat veggies with every meal—including breakfast.
“Since the beginning of this year, I have lost 30 pounds. My most successful habit has been eating green beans for breakfast. I joke about this with my friends and Instagram followers, but really, incorporating more vegetables into my diet has made a big difference. I buy the huge bags of frozen veggies—green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.—and pack them in little containers to take to work.” —Ruth Harper-Rhode, 30.
5. They prepare their breakfast the night before.
“When I was working full-time while also studying part-time to get my graduate degree, I put on, and eventually lost, about 30 pounds. What’s helped me maintain is making sure to eat a healthy breakfast every weekday.
“I prepare it the night before so there is no excuse to leave for work without it. I find that if I skip breakfast, I end up buying snacks from the vending machine or higher-calorie foods from the cafeteria. I also always include protein, such as Greek yogurt, at breakfast, as I find this keeps me full for a longer period of time.” —Michelle Hyman, R.D.