Cooking Light Diet advocate Kim Tonks isn't someone you'd expect to find perusing weekly menu plans. Although Kim is an accountant by day (bless you for doing math so I never, ever have to, Kim), she's actually a yoga instructor by night. I jokingly told her she sounds like the Houston, Texas, version of Batman, what with the starkly contrasting day/night activities.
But Kim has been using, and loving, the Diet. I spoke with her to get a sense of how it's shaking out now that she's almost one year into her plan. Here's what she had to say.
Matthew: What have you enjoyed about using the Cooking Light Diet so far since joining?Kim: I've been using it for a while now, probably at least like 6-9 months. And there've been some incredible changes. Just being able to pick your own meals is kind of nice. Not having to stick to your 4 or 5 choices now that we can do favorites and all that. You guys have been making some good changes.
M: Do you consider most of the recipes easy to prepare?K: I'm a foodie, so I like recipes that are challenging. But I would say most of the recipes are stuff you could do on a weeknight that are still good recipes—they're not weird little messy recipes that don't taste like anything. They still have a lot of character to them, but they're stuff you have, and they're easy to do, and they take—I think they longest I've ever taken is about 45 minutes to finish something. So I think that's perfect.
M: Do you have any favorite recipes so far?K: I do! Tonight I had the Seared Scallops with Lemon Orzo. That was delicious.
M: Have you had any weight loss success so far?K: Well, I intended to lose about 15 pounds. I'm at 13 at the moment. And I'm happy with that, because I've been doing it very slowly. [But] I would rather lose at a slower rate than eat stuff I don't like. So I can still have meals that are exciting and interesting, and when I get on the scale, you know, I'm losing half a pound or whatever, and I'm pretty close to my goal weight. So it's been successful for me.
I've been around long enough to know that if you lose ten pounds in a week, as soon as you drink a glass of water you're going to be back where you started. [Laughs] That's not real weight loss.
M: Would you recommend the Cooking Light Diet to others?K: I like food, you know? I'm one of those people who isn't happy when I'm depriving myself. And I don't feel like I am on the Cooking Light Diet, and I'm not. That's the whole thing. It's a whole new way—it's not even a new way—it's a better way of eating what I like.
M: Do you plan to keep using the Diet after meeting that 15-pound loss goal?K: Yeah, definitely. Because when I first started, my intention wasn't really to lose weight. I wanted to lose a few pounds, but I kind of had the mindset that I would rather maintain for a little while, and then worry about losing. So I was using it as a way to not keep gaining weight. And it worked perfectly. I was using it a little more loosely than I am now, and then when I decided to lose weight I really paid more attention to measuring everything that was on the menu. And I lost the weight. So when I get to my goal weight, yeah, I'll continue to use it because it's a good way to plan my meals and keep a healthy lifestyle.
*Members following the Cooking Light Diet, on average, lose more than half a pound per week.