Amanda Nieman feels better than ever and has had a deliciously good time shedding the weight.
Credit: Photo: Callie Lipkin

A couple of years ago, Chicagoan Amanda Nieman found herself unhappy with her health. She would tire out easily and get winded just walking to the train station and up the stairs to the train. “This is not how I want to live. I want to be fit, and I want to live my life without having to catch my breath,” she says. A diagnosis of osteoarthritis in both knees, a condition brought on by weight gain, further compounded her conviction that something had to change.

So Nieman, now 42, signed up for the Cooking Light Diet. Success didn’t come immediately, though. “When I originally joined, I fell in love with it,” she says. But she did not exercise proper portion control, and her weight loss stalled. Nieman got serious about a year and a half ago and has enjoyed great success since then, losing nearly 90 pounds. She and her husband now take portion control seriously. “We’ll take a dinner recipe for four,” she explains, “and we’ll portion out our dinner, and we’ll have our lunch containers out right next to our dinner plates.” With the extra servings packed up, they won’t be tempted to go back for seconds at dinner.

Credit: Photo: Callie Lipkin

Having a plan is also key. Before joining the CL Diet, Nieman did far less meal planning, which led to unhealthy choices. “If you don’t know what’s for dinner and you’re hungry, it’s too late,” she says. She would think, “I have nothing planned, so let’s order pizza.” But with a meal plan in place and ingredients in the house, she comes home instead and makes a much healthier dinner.

Nieman, an avid cook, admits she would never be able to sustain a diet that’s about deprivation. And that’s why she loves the Cooking Light Diet; it allows her to cook her own fresh meals and enjoy the foods she loves. Enchiladas, tacos, and pizzas—especially the Cheeseburger Pizza—are among her favorite dinners. “At least three times a week, I say to my husband, ‘I can’t believe this is a healthy dinner,’ ” she says.

Ready to eat well and lose weight with the Cooking Light Diet? Join today.

A regular, rigorous exercise program has also been instrumental in Nieman’s journey to healthy. Yet she acknowledges that “you can’t out-train a bad diet. You can exercise until the cows come home, but if what you’re eating doesn’t change, it won’t do anything.” As the weight came off, the exercise got easier, and one day Nieman realized she wasn’t getting so winded anymore. She can now go for long walks without suffering pain in her knees. She finally feels healthy. The greatest benefit to losing the weight, she says, “is feeling better all around: feeling more fit, feeling more confident— all the benefits that come from treating yourself well.”

Resolve to Lighten Up

If your goals include eating healthier—and maybe dropping a few pounds— the Cooking Light Diet is just the tool. It’s a customizable subscription-based meal-planning service that does all the calorie counting for you; just make your favorite meals with the foods you and your family love, and you’re well on your way to achieving your goals. You’ll also get expert advice and tips to help you stay on track. Click here to join today.