One of the major "drawbacks" to eating healthy is accountability, right? If you swerve from your designated meal/nutrition plan, you need to account for the what, how, when, and why. What am I eating instead, why am I doing so, how will this affect my overall outcome, and when am I doing this so I can keep on track the remainder of the day? If you lay it out like that, accountability can seem like a real pain in the backside, and can make you reconsider the reason you decided to eat more mindfully to begin with.

UNLESS you have a tool to help with the accountability part! If you've been following along with my 6-week challenge, you know that this is the part where I plug the Cooking Light Diet… Because, absolutely! I've now reached the point of my journey where I can put my eating habits on autopilot in terms of my accountability. What I mean by that: There are certain recipes I now know by heart—Strawberry-Orange Smoothie, Spicy Chicken Quesadillas, Cheesy Chicken Bagel Pizzas, to name a few—that I usually have ingredients on-hand for and can make in a pinch if I'm in a time-bind. I've also fine-tuned my snacking habits. I know that a medium-sized apple is 95 calories, that I can have 4 cups of sea-salt popcorn and it'll only set me back 140 calories, two clementines are about 70 calories, and twelve almonds equates to 100 calories. So when the hankering to snack looms, I'm aware of what I like and how many calories those treats are. If I want something sweet? I'll eat one Reese's Peanut Butter Cup (105 calories). Overall, I'm more cognizant of what my calorie count should be at each meal, so I'm mindful of not overeating. Here's why.

See how each blue meal tab tells me how many calories each meal should be? That's my guideline. I knew that I needed about 500 calories for lunch yesterday, but since I didn't eat the toast for breakfast I bumped that number up to 580. Days when I'm in a pinch work the same way. If I'm running late for work, I'll swing by Smoothie King and grab a smoothie that fits within my calorie range. Which is another positive side effect to this autopilot—I find myself looking at packaging and checking caloric values before buying. Who knew that the CLDiet would turn me into my grandmother?!? (Love you, Grammy!)

Although I have yet to start exercising regularly (impossible schedule), I was motivated to go out and buy a Fitbit. That's something, right?! I'll be getting the bicycle out of the garage next week. The goal is 10 miles a day, three to four days a week. Wish me luck! I have been playing soccer again, though. I'm going to wear the Fitbit to my game this Sunday and see how much exercise I get running for at least 60 minutes.

Oh, weight-loss progress! Autopilot also means I'm not obsessively weighing myself anymore. I'm trusting the process, but I did step on the scale this morning. I'm down to 197, which is one pound less than what I weighed pre-vacation. So that's going good. I'm confident if I get on my bike for this last week stretch I can drop 5-7 more pounds. And, of course, the food has still been phenomenal, and has me making regular trips to the farmers' market to incorporate fresh finds into my meals.

And I used some of it to make this...

And this:

One week to go, and now that I'm on an accountability autopilot I'm confident I'll get closer to my goal. Here's to the home stretch, everyone! Cheers.


If you’d like to know more about the Cooking Light Diet, visit, or email us at We’d love to hear from you! Have a great week.

*Members following the Cooking Light Diet, on average, lose more than half a pound per week.

More in Matthew's 6-Week Journey: