We’ve assembled a task force of staff from our Birmingham offices, which include sister brands Southern Living, Coastal Living, MyRecipes, and Oxmoor House, to try the Cooking Light Diet for 3 months and blog about it. Here’s what they’re saying.
When you're in college, there are two routes you can take: You can be the person who gains the freshman 15 (or 30, as seems to be the new trend), or you can be the person who spends every day at the gym working on their physique. Unfortunately, I wasn't the person spending every day at the gym.
Graduating in June, I had dreams of a seamless transition from my college eating habits into the habits I imagined other young professionals had. No more late-night study breaks with pizza and beer! Unfortunately, late-night study breaks turned into boozy weekend outings, and I found myself snacking constantly through the day. There always seemed to be an excuse to not eat as healthy as I should.
I'd like to preface this by saying that I've always been a relatively healthy eater (Diet Coke addiction not withstanding). I love fruits and veggies, enjoy cooking, and generally stay away from McNuggets. In starting a new job, I found that time to cook was just gone. I soon realized that I couldn't work late, eat healthy, exercise, and have any semblance of a social life all wrapped up in a big shiny bow. For this reason, I started buying more pre-packaged, quick, convenience-oriented meals – so that when I rolled home at 7PM, I could be eating by 7:30PM.
Enter the Cooking Light Diet. When you're cooking for one, you have to be careful that you don't buy tons of ingredients just to watch them rot in your fridge. With the CLD, I've started editing my plan for the easiest recipes so I can get both a dinner and a lunch out of a meal. I can take off the meats I can't afford (a girl can dream, filet mignon...) and I can have a lunch that doesn't resemble a sad attempt at food. My favorite meal so far has actually been this yummy Tuscan Tuna Salad, which is a cheaper option that feels fresh and delicious.
Although I still haven't gotten to the point where I can cook more than a few of the meals a week, my body feels significantly better after a CLD meal than it does a frozen dinner. My goal with this program is to condition myself in my eating habits. I still get to enjoy the fun stuff – sometimes my plan will recommend wine with dinner or s'mores as a snack – but I am now more aware of the portions I'm consuming. Hopefully, this will grow into a healthier lifestyle and some pounds will come off as a bonus treat. Time will tell!
*Members following the Cooking Light Diet, on average, lose more than half a pound per week.
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