Friday, May 2, 2014

How I Lost 100 lbs. Part 1

This is a follow up to my last post detailing my life transition you can read about it here.

I've received countless comments and e-mails almost on a daily basis the last 6 months asking me how I lost the weight so I thought doing a mini blog series detailing exactly how I lost all the weight will (hopefully) be beneficial to you if you want to lose 5 vanity pounds or 100 pounds (like I did :)!

Before I go into the practical application steps that I took to lose weight I wanted to do a little background information.  I'm by no means a health care professional (so you should DEFINITELY consult your practitioner about starting a weight loss program!) but once I decided to make a change I realized I needed to do research how food effected my body.  

I am however married to a health care professional who also happens to be certified in Geriatric diseases (with a focus on diabetes & cholesterol) and now with him doing his MPH program.  We often discuss how Obesity is a is an epidemic that seems to be spiraling out of control in the US and is now officially the leading cause of preventable disease in America that has actually overtaken smoking.  Heart Disease has become the #1 Killer in the US now.

One thirds of the US is characterized as being Overweight and another one third is characterized as being Obese.

To put it into perspective I am 5 foot 5. 

According to the BMI calulator

At 150lbs. I am considered Overweight
At 180lbs. I am considered Obese
At 230lbs. I am considered Morbidly Obese

I was Morbidly Obese.

We really have NO idea how many calories we are SUPPOSE to be eating.  I mean I had NO idea.  I use the Mayo Clinic calorie maintenance calculator.  Essentially you plug in your age, weight and tell it how "active" you are.  I'll use myself as an example I'm currently 130lbs. 30 years of age and "Somewhat Active" It tells me that my "daily intake" = 1800 cal.  However if I was completely "Inactive" it's as low as 1650 cal! 

Seriously when I first put in my figures I was stunned and here I was sitting at California Pizza Kitchen (I'll be using a lot of chain restaurants because the nutritional info is easy to find online) and a normal meal for me would be:

Lemonade - 200 cals
Bread & Butter -100 cals
Spinach Artichoke Dip -1000 cal
Garlic Cream Fettuccine -1300 cals
Butter Cake ala mode -1400 cals

A whooping 4000 cals. for just one meal and I haven't even gotten to the rest of the day yet.  Now granted I wouldn't eat ALL of it by myself (although for the sake of total disclosure I actually HAVE) usually I shared everything but divide everything by 2 people and you're still at 2000 cals. and that's STILL over my daily maintenance guidelines by 200 to 400 cals!

Ok so you say 200 extra calories a day doesn't seem like a big deal right?  I mean that's like one serving of Chips (ok everyone be honest who actually stops at 1 serving??)

200 cals. x 365 days = 73,000 cals

73,000 cals divided by 3,500 cals (1 pound) = 20.85lbs a year!!!!

And as I stated above I was consuming just 2000+ cals in ONE meal.. this doesn't even include the calories from the rest of the day.


I wholeheartedly attribute the bulk of my weight loss to Broccoli.

It's packed with so much fiber I promise you will feel SO stuffed when you eat it and at 30 calories a cup you can eat as much as you want!

I know Kale is the ever so popular super food right now but I just can't seem to get full off of it like I do with Broccoli. You can read about the benefits of both of these cruciferous veggies here.

I add it to everything I eat

I'm not a health blog I don't toot myself as being "healthy".  I'm not going to live my life eating boiled chicken breasts w/ a side of Quinoa every single meal for the rest of my life. (Believe me I tried it and after 3 days I wanted to kill myself.)  The reality is I just love (comfort) food too much so I just trying to make slight changes when I can to things that I love to eat.

I love Mac & Cheese and before I would eat an ENTIRE plate of Mac & Cheese but now I'll eat a cup of it paired w/ 2 cups of Broccoli and maybe add in a little lean protein like chicken to bulk up the meal. That way I get to enjoy ooey gooey melty cheese over carby goodness and not feel deprived or feel like I'm "always on a diet".  The bulk of my meal is veggies & lean protein as opposed to a giant plate of refined carbs & processed cheese.  The problem with eating noodles, pasta, rice, potatoes especially big portions of it is that you're going to feel very hungry about an hour or two after consuming it.  And it actually causes you to crave more refined white carby/sugary things. AND white refined carbs has been known to the the culprit behind stomach bloat!!!  So with swimsuit season coming up if your stomach is feeling a little less than steller cut out the white carbs for a week and your stomach is going to be majorly flat within a week.. but I promise you'll feel it after just 3 days!

Most meals that you eat have 3 components - your protein, your veggies and your carbs. Now I think as a culture we've gotten a bit away from that and somehow along the way it morphed into predominately protein + carbs and no veggies.

Now think about it this way traditionally in history protein and produce were expensive so carbs were used as a filler to stretch out a meal.  Rice, Pasta, Potatoes what have you were used to make the little bit of meat a family could procure last for the entire family.

Well based on obesity statistics I would say as a culture we PROBABLY don't need anything to stretch out meals anymore.

So now it doesn't matter what I eat at home I subtract the "traditional" filler ie. Rice/Pasta/Potatoes/Bread and substitute broccoli.  If it's a steak and potato night for the Hubs I'll substitute Broccoli for Potato.  If I make Asian foods instead of rice I'll eat it with broccoli as my "starch".

I LOVEEE RAMEN.. and I eat it from time to time at home especially in the cold weather.  Well ramen is bad for you we all know and it's very high in calories.. one brick of ramen can have anywhere between 300 to 700 calories.  That's A LOT!  So to get around my ramen cravings I'll only use HALF of a brick of ramen, throw in 2 shrimps (extremely low calories!), 2 cups of broccoli and a poached egg.  I promise you you won't even miss the other half of the ramen and the broccoli will make you SO STUFFED!

When I first started using broccoli as a filler I bought and used fresh broccoli but I realized I was going through too much so I switched to frozen.  It's just as nutritious, stays fresh longer but it's a lot more affordable.  But the MAIN point is that it's ALREADY washed & pre-cut for you so there's NO excuses. You can just grab a bag from the freezer and pop the entire thing into the microwave to let it steam and in under 5 mins you have a healthy side. I go through roughly 8 bags of broccoli a week!  So you can see how much broccoli I eat. lol.

And finally broccoli is CRAZY GOOD FOR YOU.

It's been shown to prevent cancer, lower blood pressure, be heart healthy, boosts your immune system, improve eyesight, and improves bone strength.  

And if the inward health benefits aren't enough.

Then let me appeal to the vanity in all of us. 

 Broccoli aids in collagen reproduction essentially that youthful & supple skin we're all chasing after.... well when you hit 30 like me lol! It also promotes skin regeneration and repair which help give your complexion that beautiful "lit from within" glow.  And beyond that has anti-aging benefits to literally try and stop the hands of time!  

I get to be thin & have nice skin = win win in my book lol! 


I never really ate fruit growing up.  I thought it was weird when people chose to eat fruit.  REALLY I DID. If I wanted something sweet I would reach for cake, cookies, a brownie ect. When I first started eating it it was actually a chore.  I had to TELL myself to eat it.  I MADE myself eat a piece of fruit everyday.  And then something amazing happened along the way I actually found that I now CRAVED IT.  I never noticed it until I went on a trip and fruit wasn't readily accessible and I found myself looking for a grocery store to BUY FRUIT. WTF.  

But the best part was that whenever I was done eating dinner I'd always reach for something sweet and now 9 times out of 10 I can satisfy that sweet tooth with a piece of fruit.  Bonus is that fruit has a lot of fiber and water. And a lot of times our body is actually thirsty however our mind misreads it as hunger.  So if I'm hungry in the middle of the day I'll reach for a piece of fruit and find that I'm both quenched and full afterwards.  

And something really awesome happened once I started eating fruit regularly because I was already washing, cleaning, peeling, coring, pitting fruit for myself I also simultaneously did it for my husband.  Every night while he studied he would mindlessly reach for chips, cookies, candy ect.  I'd would put a plate of cut fruit on the table and I found that he would mindlessly eat it.  Someone who's never been into fruits & veggies either ALSO started craving it.  And I realized when I was making the weekly grocery shopping list I was going down the snack food aisles a heck of a lot less.  I realized at that moment I wasn't just impacting MY health but I was impacting his as well.

Part 2 Coming soon! :)




  1. Hi Lisa, I am so sorry for not visiting recently but I started a new position and the hours and schedule has been really hectic. I am so impressed with your diet/health regime. I felt like I was reading an article in a fitness mag, it is done and explained so well. Really inspired to try some of your tips, I had no idea before this about how many calories I should be consuming. Thanks

  2. Love this post. I love broccoli - but have been really far too lazy about preparing it (washing, cutting, steaming..yadda yadda). I've already transitioned to using frozen veggies in lieu of fresh (b/c of convenience) - guess I now have to amp up on the broccoli AND eat MORE of it with every meal. Can't wait to see your other posts!

  3. Wow Lisa! This is very informative and educative post! I enjoyed reading this post. I was struggling keeping up with brocoli. I like brocoli but i got bored after consumed it 1 month straight. Now i changed up with mixed veggies where there are corns, carrots, green beans. Usually just mix them up with stiry fry garlic salt tuna , fried egg (with coconut oil) and serving it with rice then i would put mixture sauce of sriracha, honey, rice vinegar, and soy sauce. I mix everything together and kinda "bibimbap" inspired dish that my sister taught me. But i guess now since u mention broccoli , it reminded me back to put brocoli into my dishes!! I agree though broccoli filling u up pretty good! Anyway thanks for the post! Very helpful :)

  4. broccoli is so yummy! i remember as a kid, i'd eat the whole plate my mom would put out for dinner for the family! it's crazy how quickly the calories add up, yeah?! luckily, my kids love their salads and fruits...but we all have our vices. i always have a fruit platter made because a lot of times, the rest of the family eat fruit only if it's convenient. the fruit will sit in the drawers for days, but once i peel, wash, and slice everything and put out that platter, it's gone in minutes!
    good for you guys!! look forward to part 2.

  5. Wow...that is so commendable babe!!! It's definitely not easy! And requires a lot a lot of discipline!! I am so glad you abided to your regime and and happy with the outcome! I love the tips you gave!! Very very useful!! <3 Thank you!!!!

  6. Wow Lisa!! Very impressive! Must try this and the best part is that I brought some broccoli today!!
    Thanks for the post and can't wait till part 2!! Super excited!!

    <3 Tiffany

  7. Some Nice tips Lisa. I'm gonna include broccoli in my diet from now.

  8. Yes to broccoli! I am fortunately at a good weight for my size and have stayed that way as I got older because I also started making smart choices about diet and exercise. We are generally low carb and sugar and try to eat a lot of veggies and lean protein. That makes such a big difference and luckily my husband loves vegetables. I usually like fresh roasted broccoli but you are right - it is so easy when frozen. Hmm maybe I can incorporate frozen broccoli into egg white frittatas or quinoa pasta?

    Chic 'n Cheap Living

  9. Such an inspirational post this!

  10. Another great post! Thanks for the tips. You are my inspiration to get in shape, I hope to be a as successful as you!! I so hate broccoli but I do try to eat more veggies.
    Seriously, you look fantastic and should be so proud of yourself!! It's awesome!!
    Best, Mree

  11. Wow...its a great post dear...some really useful suggestions..I will be including Broccoli in my diet for sure...:-)

  12. I should definitely give broccoli another try. I tend not to eat it because it gets suck in my teeth. LOL! Such a terrible reason. Thanks for the tips! I would have never thought that broccoli had that many benefits. Have you tried spooning a semi firm avocado out like a mango and sprinkling pepper on salt? It's pretty yummy (when it is not mushy.). I eat a banana everyday. Helps with the monthly cramps (I almost never get them anymore and I've been testing this out for almost a year.)! Can't wait to read about part two!
    P.S. Right now my plan is to concentrate in geriatrics for nursing school :)

  13. I appreciate your wonderful words...Have an awesome weekend doll!

  14. That is amazing, Lisa! Super inspiring transformation. I'll have to start eating broccoli more!

  15. You are sweet, many many thanks for sharing...

  16. You are so inspiring!!! I was JUST looking at this bag of old, frozen broccoli in my freezer and wondering when the heck I was going to eat it. I guess that day is going to be sooner rather than later, thanks to your post!!!

    I love that you lost the weight not by being one of those "vegan, gluten-free, paleo, COCONUT EVERYTHING" types of people but in a way that is actually more manageable, cost-friendly, and catered to a more realistic lifestyle. I've done the whole vegan, paleo, etc but it was hard when I lived with my boyfriend and he would bring home costco pizza lol

    I'm excited for your future posts!! And I'm totally the same way about fruit. I never ate it growing up and it always felt like a chore to eat it. I really do need to change that!!

    <3 <3

  17. Lisa, great props to you on such a gut-wrenching honest post before this, and for such an informative one ...looking forward to the rest of the series!

    Congratulations on your weight loss...I think you look amazing, but to be honest have always thought that you looked great because you always seemed so happy and have such a sweet personality!

  18. Lisa my darling, I missed the last post and just went back and read it after reading this one! What an incredible journey you've been through, it was so inspirational to read about your weight loss process. And your honesty in writing up the post was incredible, what an amazing woman you are!
    Hope you're having a fantastic weekend :)


  19. I am trying so hard to lose 20 lbs. I am on a healthy weight right now, but I have too much body fat and not muscle... so I am not as healthy as people think if they only consider my weight :(
    I am going to try those tips ! I want to eat healthier... it's just time.. you never have time to cook healthy food.

    Anyway, you have a lovely Blog (:
    Mind checking out mine?

    Alina à la Mode Blog

  20. Congrats Lisa! Your so beautiful at any size but more importantly it's about living a healthy life style. I am slowly learning this too being pregnant and your post motivates me so much to live a healthier lifestyle and to keep up with it. So proud of you! your such an inspiration :)

  21. Here you go!!

    Its called the "Golden Carp Teapot" and a lot of retailers sell it in the UK/Europe. I just love the color and how unique the shape is! It also has matching glasses ;)

  22. I like how your recommendations are just simple food replacements. I can do that!

    7% Solution

  23. I tried the calorie calculator says I should be taking 1600 calories but I'm pretty sure I have more than that especially when I eat out. I enjoyed reading this post so educating, I shall try eating more broccoli although I'm a bigger fan of cauliflower. Growing up I was used to my mom cutting the fruits for me but gradually she did it less often guess she expected me to grow up and prepare my fruits for myself. I realized how lazy I am I rather not eat any fruits so I don't have to wash, peel the skin or cut it up (sad). This is a very inspiring post, hopefully I will be able to change my diet to healthier :)

  24. Great and very helpful and informative post. Thx for sharing. Congrats on the weight loss. Would you like to follow each other on GFC? Please let me know on my blog so I can follow back. Thank you.

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  27. Thanks for sharing Lisa!! I'm going to try to add more broccoli to my meals. Such a great tip!!
    We usually eat a whole plate of pasta once a week, so I'm going to try to add more veggies and less pasta :)
    I'll keep you posted!!
    Suzanne from written by suzanne

  28. great job!! I am 5'3" and while I was doing night school I gained 25 pounds. not a huge amount, but enough on a 5'3" frame to go up a few sizes. I cut my cabers down to 50-100g per day last August and within two months, 18 pounds were off. I WAS AMAZED!! by cutting out carbs you have to replace them with something, so suddenly carbs became a more balanced, smaller portion and I was going out of my way to eat a lot of vegetables that I would forgo a lot before. I also eat a lot of broccoli and cauliflower, spinach, etc. I used to avoid salads because even if I loved it, I would notice that I was starving already two hours later. I finally realized "so what?" because one "filling" carb loaded meal is bad enough - I figured I should eat healthy and not worry about getting hungry fast again because when you get hungry, just eat more salad! I laugh at your ramen story because I love ramen and my husband makes fun of me now because I will eat like a tiny corner of the noodles and mostly just the broth and add some other things in it to get in my ramen craving without the calories and carbs. Keep up the good work! You've done amazingly well.

  29. There is some amazing info here! I totally agree with the value of eating both broccoli and fruit. Fruit is one of my daughters favorite snacks, and I am so glad she reaches for that instead of cookies or the like!

    ~Alexis Grace of North On Harper