Credit: Courtesy Elizabeth Streigl

Liz Striegl did the whole yo-yo diet routine for years, but she always gave up because it made cooking too hard. She loved cooking, but counting calories while cooking was more trouble than it was worth.

“You have to hand calculate each recipe, then enter each ingredient in a calorie counter and calculate everything. I always got frustrated and gave up.”

But sometimes when a door closes, a window opens. That window was the Cooking Light Diet—and it was Liz’s mom who opened it. Having used the service on and off for a while, she recommended Liz and her husband, Nate, give it a try. They did, and almost a year later Liz is ready to share their success story with the world. We sent over some questions to learn more about her Cooking Light Diet experience. Here’s what she had to say.

CLD: What single thing are you most proud of since signing up?
LIZ: My weight loss! I’m down from 245 pounds to 170, and my husband has lost 53 pounds! (Note: Members following the Cooking Light Diet, on average, lose 1/2 lb. per week.) But other than that, my activity levels have increased so much because I just feel good! We go hiking so much more with our dog, Jameson. We choose physical activities over sedentary ones. And I’ve learned how to prepare so many new, creative recipes, like Poached Cod with Shiitakes. I never would’ve made recipes like that before the Cooking Light Diet, and it’s now a favorite in our house.

CLD: What success have you had with these menus besides just the weight loss?
LIZ: My veggie intake has skyrocketed! I’ve noticed our fridge is overflowing with vegetables instead of meat, cheese, and processed foods. I actually eat vegetarian at least one meal a day now—usually two—and go meatless all day on Monday. I love having less meat in my diet for the sake of my health, the environment, and grocery costs.

CLD: What’s surprised you most since joining?
LIZ: I am so surprised how by rarely I’m hungry. I had done Weight Watchers, calorie counting, and other fads, and was ALWAYS hungry. I lost weight but couldn’t keep it off because I got bored, or missed cooking and went right back to my old habits.

CLD: What have you loved the most about your experience so far?
LIZ: I love meal planning! I feel more organized, and I can relax via cooking at the end of the day. I also usually only have to grocery shop once a week (which is a major coup for me), so we’re saving money with smarter meal planning.


CLD: How does the Cooking Light Diet differ from when you were yo-yo dieting?
LIZ: With this, most of the recipes are already entered into the free calorie counting app I use (MyFitnessPal), so I never have to calculate by hand anymore. I’ve noticed I’m making smarter choices, choosing more vegetables, and really learning a whole new lifestyle. And I GET TO COOK, which is what I missed the most with other diets. The pain and hassle is gone, and it’s all about learning proper portions and making smart choices. So it doesn’t feel like I’m dieting. It just feels like I’m meal planning.

CLD: How have your dining out and shopping habits changed since subscribing?
LIZ: We rarely eat out anymore because our meals are planned and groceries bought. Even after a long day, I know that cooking a quick, easy Cooking Light Diet meal will be more satisfying—and probably quicker—than eating out or waiting in line at the drive-thru. I’m also finding my impulse purchasing at the grocery has decreased because now I’m going in with a plan and sticking to it. We waste less food, we buy less meat (which saves money), and I don’t spend as much time at the store.

CLD: Is this something you’ll continue utilizing after meeting your goals?
LIZ: YES! I love the money saving and the meal planning. It makes those crazy days after work feel so much better. Cooking is relaxing and fun when I know what I’m making, as opposed to being a chore/stressful when I get home at 6 p.m. with no idea what to cook.

Congratulations on all your hard work and success, Liz and Nate!


Inspired by the Striegl’s success story? Join the Cooking Light Diet today!

This article originally appeared on the Cooking Light Diet page. It was updated to reflect further weight loss since it was originally published.