I’m a big fan of treating myself: when I’m celebrating, when it rains, when it’s the weekend, when it’s Wednesday, when it’s cold, when it’s sunny and 75 degrees. I love a treat. What can I say?
Most diets tend to interfere with the treating lifestyle, so I was concerned how I would do without my treats when I started the Cooking Light Diet. I came into this diet with a lot of preconceptions. Like I mentioned before, I haven’t been a fan of dieting, ever. I thought being on a diet would be tasteless and repetitive—all carrots and celery sticks, nothing good to “Treat YoSelf.” (Parks and Rec's Donna and Tom would understand.)
Fortunately, this Cooking Light Diet has proven that preconception to be a misconception. The food on my plan has been delicious, filling, and easy to prepare. I couldn’t believe when one of my snacks was a Ghirardelli chocolate square! What?! Now this is a diet I can get behind.
One of the best snacks on the plan for my sweet tooth is the Honey-Cinnamon Greek Yogurt. Plain Greek yogurt drizzled with honey and topped with cinnamon makes for a satisfying, sweet snack. Who would’ve thought to put cinnamon in there?! Plain ol’ yogurt taken to a new level. Tip: Halve it to make it go further and eat some for dessert. Yum!
A favorite lunch is the Rosemary Chicken Salad. It uses a little Greek yogurt and canola mayonnaise to bring the calories down, but I couldn’t tell because it just tasted good. Lunch has always been the most uncreative mealtime for me. Turkey sandwich, frozen meals, handfuls of whatever I can find, or skipping altogether… That’s no way to eat right. Thank goodness for some new, easy lunches! (Note the bite taken out of the sandwich below. It was taking too long to get a good picture!)
I find that I am eating quite often, which helps to ward off hunger. I end up eating about every two hours or so. Let’s go through a typical day to see how my plan works:
7 am: Slice of wheat toast10 am: Strawberry-Orange Smoothie12:30 pm: Rosemary Chicken Salad, Clementine3 pm: 1/2 Honey-Cinnamon Greek Yogurt, Clementine5 pm: Hummus and cucumbers7 pm: Pilaf with Chicken, Spinach and Walnuts, Green Salad9 pm: 1/2 Honey-Cinnamon Greek Yogurt
Don’t have time to make lunch? Grab a Wendy’s small chili and a side salad. It’s on the plan, and it tastes great. Don’t have time to make dinner tonight? Eat some leftovers (of which you will have many while on this plan), or grab some takeout that matches your calorie limit. The flexibility helps when you don’t have a typical day, which happens often in my household with two active kids.
I’ve learned that liquid calories can make or break a weight-loss plan. No more large sweet teas or daily Dr. Peppers … I’d rather eat my snacks and fit in my pants! I do include a glass of wine and multiple glasses of tea with honey in my typical day. I also make a low-cal “soda” with a splash of juice and sparkling water.
I’m also learning that if I want to treat myself, I can do it by eating a hunk of chocolate cake (which is totally fine every now and then), or I can eat a healthy meal and take good care of myself. The best way I’ve ever treated myself was by signing up for this diet plan. And for sure, I’ll be treating myself to a cute new dress or outfit once I’ve lost those 20 pounds. Twelve more to go!
If you’d like to know more about the Cooking Light Diet, visit CookingLightDiet.com, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.