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Five Keys to Weight Loss with Real Food

Real food weight loss

We joke sometimes that we’ll launch a “Kitchen Stewardship® Diet Plan” with weird taglines like “Eat nuts, all the time!” or “Eggs, eggs, and more eggs!” or “Make everything yourself so you’re too tired to eat!”

But truly, real food weight loss shouldn’t be a diet plan.

It should be a lifestyle, a change (series of many small changes, actually) that an individual or family can make over time, integrating them into regular daily living.

I always want to say that when you eat real foods, whole and in their natural form, there aren’t taboo foods like when you go on a “low fat” or “low carb” sort of diet. However. In the world in which we live, that doesn’t really work out, because there are so many things sold as “food” that just aren’t food.

In a real food diet, your taboo foods end up being things like trans fat, corn and soybean oil, white sugar, refined grains, and other junk that is just not food, at least not in its whole form.

Unlike other diets, you won’t have to avoid eggs, salad dressing, or cheese or buy low-fat everything. You probably will have to make homemade dressings, so there’s certainly a trade-off.

real food weight loss

RELATED: Do you have to love cooking to eat a real food diet? 

If you’re currently eating a Standard American Diet of processed foods, white flour bread (or even whole grain bread at every meal), and sugary goodies, just switching to eating whole foods – things that grow in the ground or animals that eat things that grow in the ground – in their whole form – will do loads of good for your health.

Which brings me to the first key to weight loss with real food:

Weight Loss With Real Food

delicious looking meal

1. Eat Real Food

This alone, especially when it’s a change in dietary habits (notice I didn’t say “diet,” because it’s not), often causes extra pounds to peel away.

Real food doesn’t have MSGs to make you want more food all the time or addictive and harmful artificial sweeteners or artificial colors. It takes longer to prepare, so hopefully you aren’t mindlessly eating. And your body can recognize and knows what to do with all the parts, unlike trans fats, which ravage your arteries like a bull in a china shop.

Many people find that skipping the “diets” and simply changing their diets results in weight loss automatically.

Here’s Marianne’s story:

real food weight loss reader shares

I have lost 73 lbs in the last year and real food has played a huge part, especially in the last two months after hitting a 2 month plateau. I am slowly but surely converting my family to more and more clean/real foods and spending a lot of time on menu planning and food budgets to try to control spending.

As far as real food goes, I have cut out almost all processed foods and switched to whole grains such as Ezekiel bread. Starches include sweet potatoes occasionally, and quinoa. As far as fats go, I use organic coconut oil, all natural nut butters, olive oil. I do count calories but I eat a lot more food now than I used to because I have learned that all calories are not created equal. I keep my total sugars for the day under 36 grams including fruit.

I make some of our yogurt and make all of our granola and homemade granola bars, starting with your recipe and making a few changes to suit our needs. I buy eggs from the farm whenever I can and feel like I have hit a gold mine every time they have some for me. I have always cooked meals and really we probably ate better than 80% of other families out there even before. Now, though, I meal plan and work hard to get as much organic produce as possible. I am learning to bring my own food when I am not sure what will be available outside of the house or at events.

We limit school lunches to once per week are noticing that the kids don’t even ask for that some weeks. Here is a copy of my Facebook status yesterday afternoon if you need a good laugh. Z is my 10 year old son:

Z says, “Mom, this girl at school today, guess what she had for a snack?” Me, “what?” He says, “you won’t believe this. She had a chocolate milkshake, 2 chocolate pop tarts and a co-co puff cereal bar. I showed her that the milkshake alone had 51 grams of sugar. Isn’t it true that she shouldn’t have more than 30 grams in a whole day?” Me, (trying not to crack up), “Yes, that is true…” Z says, “I told her so and then my other friend added up the calories and it was over 1000, Mom.” So, I feel very badly for this little girl’s body however, very proud that not everything that I say to my kids is ignored!

With what I have learned I was able to take my boys’ school to get them to change how they were doing pre-state testing snacks. They wanted the kids to have a juice box and cereal bar. I was able to get that switched to water, oranges and cheese sticks. I don’t know if it will last but it feels good to know that I tried. One parent even acknowledged that it was a wake up call to her to remind her of how poorly her family had been handling nutrition.

Isn’t that awesome? I’m particularly inspired by the changes Marianne has been able to make outside her home, even as she is making so many, many changes for her own family.

The importance of meal planning mustn’t go unmentioned with real food, since from-scratch cooking is kind of prerequisite to not using processed foods. If you don’t plan, it’s very difficult not to get tempted to fall back on an unhealthy convenience food when it’s suddenly 4 or 5:00 and you don’t have anything started. If you are planning, you likely have something thawed or soaked or partly prepared even by lunchtime, so you practically can’t give in and go out to eat on a whim, because you’d sacrifice work already done and have to re-adjust things too much.

For those of you who need a little help meal planning, especially if many of your recipes (or new whole foods recipes you’re finding, like the ones here at KS), you may find that a system like Plan to Eat can be a lifesaver. The software is very simple to use, and you can import recipes from websites without even opening a new tab in your browser using the bookmarklet tool (it’s really fast, promise!).

Drag and drop your recipes into the week’s meal plan, and you’ll get a shopping list to print to make sure nothing gets in the way of you succeeding at making meals from scratch. (It can’t actually keep children out of the kitchen or the phone from ringing though, sorry…)

Chapin’s story:

I started with organic, traditional foods four well almost five years ago at 235 pounds with many health problems. I dove into traditional whole foods. Now 4 plus years later I am 135 pounds, running every day and teach traditional whole foods on a budget classes and love it. Whole traditional foods changed my life.

Nicole’s story:

I switched to whole foods almost 3 years ago, and have lost about 30 lbs. From a size 14 down to a size 4/6. I don’t own a scale, so I can’t give my exact weight loss, I just go by whether my clothes fit me or not!!

3 years ago, I realized I had a problem when none of my clothes fit me anymore. I had stopped breast feeding my youngest about 6 months prior to that, and I was hungry ALL of the time (something that started when pregnant with my last baby).. I was probably eating something every 30 minutes, and would still feel hungry after a full meal – even the big holiday meals. Realizing I needed to change something, I checked out the book “Master Your Metabolism” by Jillian Michaels. I found out why I had the constant hunger, and I followed her advice – cutting out processed foods, eating 4 times per day, eating a lot of veggies and fruit – eating certain veggies together – oh and getting 7.5 hours of sleep at night! For the first 3 months I did not incorporate any new exercise routines. I wanted to see how much this diet / lifestyle change affected my weight (I was skeptical). After the first month, the weight just started to melt away. I was able to fit into my goal shorts after 2.5 months. The following summer, those shorts were too big for me. (By that time I had started playing volleyball again and exercising more.)

I feel like I’ve been on a food journey. We’ve made changes gradually, and now eat mostly organic, full fat dairy, and grass fed meats/eggs as much as possible. I feel better than I can remember. I have just started really cutting back on sugar as well. There is some irony to my story as I have a BS in Food Science, hence where some of my original skepticism came from.

Real food alone is a powerful force for overall health and well-being, but it doesn’t quite do the trick for everyone who wants to actually lose a few pounds.

RELATED: Tone your tummy.

2. Eat Proper Fats

Healthy fats, butter and coconut oil

Technically, eating real fats is part of eating real food, but because our culture gets so down on all fats, especially saturated ones, it’s important to point out that real food includes real fat, and plenty of it.

Milk comes out whole from the cow.

There’s no such thing as “low-fat butter” without a chemistry lab.

Fat is necessary for good digestion, energy, healthy fertility, and a host of other bodily functions.

Eating the right fats is the key here. Check out the Fat Full Fall series for everything you want to know about healthy and unhealthy fats, or skim the baseline fats chart for a quick primer on how to use healthy fats in your kitchen.

My husband decided to count calories for Lent one year, and by keeping track of all his food intake with the Livestrong app on his phone, he was able to see not only calories, but the percentages of fat, protein, and carbs he ate on average for each week.

Over 7 weeks, his average fat intake varied between 35-46% of his diet. (It was probably more, because when I made green beans and asparagus in pastured bacon grease, he unknowingly inputted “green beans” alone. When he heard about the bacon grease later on, he said, with a deer-in-the-headlights look on his face: “Ohhhh, that’s probably why they tasted so good.”) I believe the government’s food pyramid/plate/whatever guide says to eat no more than 30% of total calories from fat. Boo yah!

His protein never went above 20%, and carbs were never over 50% but of course, varied from about 35-45% as well. And for the first half of Lent, we were totally grain-free, so any carbs were from either fruit, corn or potatoes.

Common fitness guru recommendations always include bulking up on the protein to help your muscles bulk up and shed the pounds.

My husband lost 10 pounds in 7 weeks – he looks awesome! – and he clearly was on neither a low-fat nor a low-carb diet. He likes to point out that when he would have 3 eggs for breakfast, his app would tell him he was already over double the recommended cholesterol intake for a day. But wait until you hear about his lipids numbers at the end of the seven weeks!

Not worrying about less fat, but only the right fat, are a goal of this reader on Facebook, too:

Awesome. We are trying do to this. My sister in law looked at me like I was crazy and said, “You’re trying to lose weight and are buying full fat cottage cheese and milk?” Yes, yes I am.

3. Cut Sugar Down and Out

chocolate chip cookies too much sugar

I don’t think anyone tries to claim that sugar is good for you.

If it’s not good for you, get rid of it.

Particularly if you want to lose weight, the addictive quality of sugar can really be a hindrance to your goals.

Mandi at Life…Your Way (link no longer available) is launching a “no sugar” challenge in the next few weeks here, and there are some great resources at Naturally Knocked Up for cutting down on sugar, as well. In our house, we use honey and maple syrup instead of white sugar, and we try to keep those at a minimum, especially if trying to shed pounds.

Making homemade treats can make a huge difference here for two reasons:

  • You’re in charge of the sweetener and can use less and still have a “treat”
  • Homemade treats take time to make, so you won’t be able to have as many on hand as if you purchased cookies on sale at the grocery store

My desserts eBook, Smart Sweets, has lots of ideas for incorporating healthiER (not healthy, but better than most) sweets into your repertoire, and Healthy Snacks to Go has lots of awesome ideas for snacks without any sweeteners at all.

Healthy Snacks To Go eBook

If taking real food on the go is a challenge for you, you’re not alone.

Join thousands of other happy owners of Healthy Snacks to Go, an eBook that is helping real foodies everywhere keep their families nourished (and kids happy) even when they need to pack a snack — without resorting to processed junk food or expensive health food store treats.

With over a dozen different “bar” recipes alone, including many that are grain-free and contain zero refined sugar, I guarantee you’ll find a new family favorite in Healthy Snacks to Go.

Cutting sugar is not easy…but it’s well worth it, and many people discover a bonus of feeling better and even being able to concentrate or sleep better without sugar.

Here’s Stephanie’s shout out:

I went sugar-free one month and lost 10lbs without thinking about it (except all the label reading; that took some thought) Smile

4. Eat Fewer Grains or No Grains

Grain-free muffins

If you’ve been grumbling your way through the post so far, thinking to yourself, “I eat healthy – whole foods, very little sweeteners, no refined sugar – and I’m still hanging onto 5-10 pounds extra. This is not going to work for me,” now is the time to make a grains change.

Many, many people find they can only lose especially those last few pounds if they eat fewer grains. Going grain-free and sugar-free for Lent finally knocked my last five pounds of baby weight off for me, and believe me, I was NOT counting calories. I eat massive quantities of food, often late at night, and I add fat to everything.

Cutting grains makes a huge difference in digestion and weight loss. I highly recommend trying it for at least 6 weeks to see what happens.

Some resources:

A success story from Diana:

Here’s our story: my husband has rheumatoid arthritis and was on Prednisone for a few months several years ago. Between the medicine and not being able to exercise due to pain, he put on a good bit of extra weight super-fast. He also has a relatively slow metabolism, so he hasn’t just bounced back to normal, and he’s tried lots of different things over the years.


About a year ago, he also developed eczema, and he hasn’t been able to get that under control either, until recently.

Then he decided to start an absolutely no-sugar, no-carb diet. That was hard. Talk about being tired of meat and vegetables! 🙂 (I know you Paleo people do it all the time… 🙂 ) After a few weeks, his eczema improved dramatically! And, like most low-carb diets, he started losing weight automatically.

What does this have to do with real food, you ask? Well, when we stay on a real-food, not-too-many-carbs diet, he feels great, loses weight without hardly trying, and his eczema stays away. Add in processed foods (sugar, refined flour, etc.), and most of those symptoms come back.

“Let thy food be thy medicine” definitely works in some cases! This method won’t necessarily work for you, but don’t discount the power of a simple, healthy diet when you’re trying to lose weight. Now we just need to add in habitual exercise–we’re working on that one!

5. Eat Less Food

Once you’re eating the right foods, sometimes the key to losing weight is just simple common sense: Eat less of it.

Don’t go back for seconds.

Don’t have a late-night snack.

Pack small portioned healthy snacks (nuts are great!) and don’t go back for more.

I’ll share more about my husband’s journey later, but let me just give the encouragement that although he loves eating and loves food, he said that keeping himself to 2000-2500 calories wasn’t actually that much of a crazy sacrifice like he thought it might be. Entering everything into the doggone app, however, got old! Winking smile He was glad to be done with that part, and even though he’s not counting anymore, he’s maintained his new weight for over the long-term.

Here’s another interesting story reminding us that even eating perfect foods and no grains can be a problem if you overeat: How I Gained 5 Pounds While Eating Paleo/Primal

Mom, The Amazing Human Garbage Disposal

How many of us moms finish what our kids don’t eat? I know I do it, as it pains me to see expensive ingredients going in the trash.

If you’re struggling with weight, or even if you’re already satisfied and not hungry anymore, no matter what your weight, you do not have to be the human garbage disposal. Here’s a well-said comment from a reader on one of last week’s posts:

As for this “don’t waste food” issue; it must be addressed.


You have to change your mindset on this. In the case of extra food, that you don’t need nutritionally or will harm you if you eat it, it’s not your responsibility to not “waste” the food. The raw materials that created that food or “food” item have already been wasted.

By the time it gets to you, it’s just a matter of where you are going to throw it away — into your body or in the trash can. If you are not hungry and don’t need the nutrients in that food item, or worse, if the things in that item are going to harm you, you are “wasting” it by eating it just as much (if not more so) as if you threw it away.

Your body is not a trash can. Don’t ever eat something because “you don’t want to waste it.” It’s already wasted; there’s nothing you can do about it except pick its ultimate location — in your body where it will harm you, or in the trash where it won’t.

Is Real Food Weight Loss Possible?

I’m no expert, not a nutritionist or medical professional, and I don’t have a degree in anything other than talking (i.e. English and Education), but I hope I’ve demonstrated that real food weight loss is not only possible, but very doable and a goal worth shooting for!

See all the Real Food Weight Loss and Exercise posts here at KS.

Do you have a weight loss success story? What was the key for you?

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links from which I will earn a commission. See my full disclosure statement here.

Unless otherwise credited, photos are owned by the author or used with a license from Canva or Deposit Photos.

42 thoughts on “Five Keys to Weight Loss with Real Food”

  1. i have been using the my fitness pal website & iphone app (all free) for the past 50 days. its a very helpful tool to log the calories your intaking & exercise you’re doing to burn calories. i recently added a fitbit (digital pedometer is a decent short description) to more accurately track how many calories i burn. you can calculate & store how many calories are in your own recipes with MFP.

  2. via Facebook

    Alice Benham – maybe that’s your healthy weight! Did you see that link to “Health at every size”? Interesting stuff!

  3. Pingback: Good Reads xx.xx.xx

  4. Alice via Facebook

    Unfortunately, I didn’t have the same experience. I’ve been stuck at the same weight (about 40 pounds too many) through SAD, WAPF, and now Paleo. I always eat real food at home, but sometimes I go out to eat and don’t worry about it. My weight doesn’t change either way.

    1. Alicia, until I got my hypothalamus reprogrammed and my adrenals and thyroid straightened out, I could not lose either. Email and I will share with you what I did. The balance between grains and proteins is vital. I don’t sell anything – just like to help people.

  5. Eva via Facebook

    ‘Tis true! My DH and I lost a bunch of weight once we started eating real foods in appropriate amounts. Never joined a gym or ‘worked out’. The only exercise we did was chase after our two kids 😉 Of course, once we started renovating the kitchen then moving… everything we did was reversed. Bad rating and stress are NOT helpful for anyone!

  6. I would love some help… Our family has eaten real/whole foods for five years now. Last fall, I put our family on the GAPS Intro diet. We did great, and I lost the stubborn ten pounds I’d gained after delivering our second baby 2 years before. Even after moving to the full GAPS diet, I maintained my weight through Thanksgiving and Christmas. But about the second week of January, I suddenly gained five, then up to eight pounds. After reading on Cheeseslave about other’s weight issues on GAPS and the options of properly prepared whole grains, I dove back in to sourdough. I have fluctuated since then, but was recently up a full ten pounds from my pre-first-baby weight (today its a mere seven!)
    As I read the post you linked to about gaining five pounds on paleo, I found myself fully agreeing with what was said about knowingly overeating. Here’s been my challenge: I quickly feel full on very little food. But I don’t feel satisfied. I know it’s hard to explain or for someone else to understand how that can be. But whenever I eat, I always feel like I want something more… Not necessarily volume, but that what I’ve eaten just did not satisfy my desire for something. Trouble is, I don’t know what it is that I really want, except for peanut butter and baked oatmeal (made from oats soaked in rye sourdough starter and dehydrated) slathered in butter. When I eat those, I actually feel satisfied. But I’m afraid those have contributed to my weight gain!
    So my current plan is to cut out grains again, and try to lose this stubborn weight. But if anyone has any ideas why I eat and quickly feel full but not satisfied, I would love to hear them. Thanks!

    1. Hi! From what I’ ve been learning about macronutrients, you probably need more fat to feel satisfied, but eating lots of carbs and fat together can prevent weight loss. So I would say increase your fat intake while lowering the carb intake until you reach your weight goal. In my opinion, Paleo doesn’t include enough healthy fats. When I tried it, I was hungry all the time.

    2. Also, if you increase your fats enough and lower your carbs enough, you can try intermittent fasting, and still be satisfied.

  7. This is a pretty accurate review on the diet solution plan. I actually have been using the program for two months now and am down about 30 pounds. I would recommend this program to anyone looking to lose weight. The DSP is definitely something to try…..

  8. Wow, Katie. I just love this blog. I read several, but this is my very favorite, and I tell everyone about it. You always seem to know just what I’m worrying about, and then you post on it!
    I’ve got about 40 lbs. I could stand to lose. I was about 20 lbs. heavy when I became pregnant with my first, but with nursing and dietary issues, I lost all 60 lbs. gained, plus 15 lbs. more within a year. It was outstanding! When my second was born, I expected the 60 lbs I’d gained to melt away, but only 45 left me, so I was back at my pre-pregnancy 20 lbs. heavy, and five years later I’ve got that and another 20 (there was grad school completion and other stressors in there that didn’t help matters). We’ve steadily improved our diet from the SAD to a pretty solid real foods diet over the last two years, but I’ve not lost anything. I will celebrate an *AHEM* milestone birthday in just under a year, and made a goal on my recent birthday to hit it without those 40 lbs. But so far I cannot seem to make it go, and was starting to wonder if it would be possible on the real food diet. Thank you for your reassurance.
    First, we’ve had six weeks of illness here, so every time I start working out daily, I end up sick after a few days and have to take time off. Discouraging! And then, I read a book, Eat Fat Lose Weight, indicating that coconut oil can help kick start a slow metabolism, which seems to be part of my problem, so I’ve been trying to eat 2-3T. of coconut oil daily, but here’s the thing: I hate the taste of coconut. So I’ve been making breakfast smoothies with homemade yogurt, frozen fruit (no sugar added), and spinach, with coconut oil and a smidge of honey (okay, the honey is an area I could, um, trim), but it’s only been a few weeks and I’m getting tired of these. Still, I do think the coconut oil was helping, on stretches when I get the oil reliably, the scale did seem to budge, so I’ve got to figure something out to make this oil tolerable stuff. If you have any ideas to reliably get coconut oil into a person without them noticing too much (when they totally know its there because they are making the food!), I’d be really grateful! I tried it by the teaspoon, I nearly passed out from gagging, and swallowed nothing. I do so wish I LIKED coconut!
    But as far as the portions and counting calories and the rest of it, your post was so timely. I was really starting to wonder if this could be done with real food, I mean I’ve gotten nowhere fast the first six weeks of my year long goal, but your stories tell me it can be done, I’ve just got to look harder at my food choices. I have been trying hard to avoid it, but a food journal may need to be in the works.
    I look forward to the rest of your posts on this! I do have high cholesterol (familial), and I’d love to improve that so my doc stops pestering me about meds (so SO NOT doing that), so I’m anxious for your DH’s story. It can be done, and I’m going to do it. Thanks so much for your support! 🙂

    1. Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship

      I totally gagged when I tried straight coconut oil too! I stir it into my oatmeal, but then that’s a carby breakfast…

      How about these grain-free banana pancakes with coconut oil, then fried in coconut oil?

      Here’s another idea, which includes honey, but a LOT of coconut oil – and you can sub ground almonds for the shredded coconut:

      Good luck, and I hope you find more to inspire next week!
      🙂 Katie

    2. The easiest solution is to buy your coconut oil from Tropical Traditions website.

      They offer an expeller pressed coconut oil that has no coconut taste to it. I love it and use it in everything!

      They often offer sales and free shipping codes too.

  9. This is the other Christina. I feel the same way, I’m doing everything right and the little bit of extra that I want to get rid of is really stubborn. I’m trying to be happy with where I am.
    I have discovered that if I don’t sleep enough, I gain or don’t lose. All that cortisol:( Plus, if I add in yoga during the week it really helps.

    1. Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship

      Ah, the sleep factor…I’m totally not qualified to write ANYthing about sleep… 😉 Katie

  10. So what if you do all these things and still have extra weight holding on? I have been grain and sugar free (even natural sweeteners) for 4 months, and pretty much on full GAPS for the last month or so, am tandem nursing, never eat past being just satiated, and am still holding on to probably 10 lbs I don’t need. I was at my ideal (aka feel great) weight for a little while, but some how managed to gain back 6-7 lbs while eating less and exercising more. Sometimes I don’t think I’ll ever understand how my body works, lol. This is very interesting stuff though, I’m looking forward to seeing more of it 🙂

    1. Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship

      Many, many people find that when nursing, your body hangs onto an extra 5 or so pounds. It may feel it needs that reserve to sustain the child(ren) just in case… It’s not a magic bullet that when your kiddos are weaned, the weight will come off, but you can probably cut yourself some slack. As long as you know you’re eating and moving healthily, sometimes there’s only so much you can do…

      🙂 Katie

  11. Katie, Thanks for this post! You must have been reading my mind!

    I have been making the transition to real foods for the past 9 months or so, and have been feeling frustrated with the ‘spare tire’ around my middle. A month ago I gave up gluten but am still having trouble with bloating, etc. I hate to admit it, but totally grain-free may be the way to go. For a while anyway. And my sugar consumption has gotten out of hand, so I need to cut way back on that, too. When you do gluten-free it is so easy to get caught up in thinking “it is gluten free – I can have it!” in spite of the fact that it may contain lots of sugar or other bad stuff! (I cringe when I remember that I actually ate pure FROSTING at a friend’s party because I couldn’t have the cake. Duh! How messed up is that!?!)

    1. Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship

      You are so right on about gluten free sometimes being mistaken for “good for you.” Grab some coconut flour and find a few good grain-free recipes, and you’ll be happy with all the vegetables you’re suddenly eating! 🙂 Katie

  12. Can anyone help me with a question about sugars? I know many have switched to sucanant and honey and maple syrup, but if the sugar says “organic evaporated cane juice” is it any different than white table sugar or is it more like sucanant? (or should all the sugars go bye-bye?) Trying to figure out if my switch from white sugar to the organic sugar does anything positive. Thanks for your help!

    1. Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship

      Bottom line? Certainly all sugars should go bye bye.

      Realistically? That’s mighty tough.

      So, better sweeteners…here’s the scoop on sucanat and the like:

      I am still getting around to “organic evaporated cane juice,” but basically, it’s white sugar w/o the bleach, and more fairly sourced. But it’s a negligible difference in the body compared to table sugar, unfortunately. For the price upgrade, it doesn’t do much good.

      I have found that sucanat is easy to work with and goes seamlessly into most recipes that call for sugar, so that’s your better option.
      🙂 Katie
      🙂 Katie

  13. I try so hard to eat whole/real foods and prepare them for my family. I work full time as a nurse, rotating shifts between days and nights. My husband is a full time phd student writing 20-40 page research papers each week. It’s exhausting shopping, preparing, cooking and then handwashing all of the dishes. My three year old begs me to come play with her instead of doing the dishes and that breaks my heart. I will do really well, planning and making from scratch our meals, and then we both get burnt out and don’t do it for a while. I am still trying to figure out how to make it work in our family so that we all feel healthier. Here is my weight loss “journey” and my before and after pictures

    1. Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship

      Wow, Mandie, you’ve had quite a journey! I hope the Wheat Belly idea rings true for you. I found that since I was making all of our breads anyway, cutting wheat or grains makes life EASIER b/c there’s less to do! 😉

      For your meals, what if you have lots of huge pots of soups and stir fries, prep the vegs on your days off (naptime?) and bulk cook meats on the grill and such, then freeze soups so you have some for days when you’re busier (and don’t have to eat the same soup leftovers all week). It might still be exhausting on the big cooking days, but then you’d get some “freebies” where you can pull out a quart jar of soup from the freezer, add a salad, and be satisfied.

      Good luck!
      🙂 Katie

  14. Congrats to your husband on his “metabolic rehab”! Are you going to post his lipid numbers?

  15. smallthingsbynona

    This post was just what I needed to read today. I am almost one week into my new eating plan. I have about 10kg to lose At this stage I have only been recording my food intake and limiting total calories. The only way I have ‘dieted’ in the past was with diet foods and I was wondering what I need to do to lose weight eating real foods, I dislike counting calories. It does work for me but I tend to get fixated on food, in a bad way. I like the idea of having some general ideas to stick with, eating real food and just eating less. I can do this!!!
    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

  16. Jackie @ Crest Cottage

    This totally worked for my husband and I when we had about 10-15 lbs each to lose. It was effortless and delish! Now, though, I am 3 months post-partum and still about 20 lbs over my ideal weight (the one when I feel and look good and tend to be at most of the time). I gained 40 in total during pregnancy; the first 20 were off within a month and since then there has been no progress. I am nursing, but 20 is a lot to hold on to! We already are pretty low-carb and I am trying to have more reasonable sized meals, which is hard since nursing makes me hungry! Any suggestions?

    1. Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship

      Only 3 mos. postpartum? My only thought is “cut yourself some slack.” I know it feels yucky, but maybe baby needs the extra pounds for great milk supply. You’re doing what you can – so give yourself 6 more months before you do any more. 🙂 {hugs} Katie

      1. Jackie @ Crest Cottage

        Aww Thanks for the reality check! I do have a huge supply of milk, so maybe I need it! Thanks!

  17. Pingback: Weight Loss with Real Food | Kitchen Stewardship | A Baby Steps … | Weight Reduction Fort Lauderdale

  18. Great post! We need to get the word out. I am a coconut oil fan and most of us eat too many grains. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

  19. Katie, I am seven 1/2 months pregnant with baby #5 and am looking forward to joining in once the little man is born this summer…in the meantime I am trying to cut back a bit on sugars…I find they make me swell more…we use mostly just maple syrup and honey…whenever I have processed or refined I can tell immediately (or my stomach can…and the next day my joints can)…can you recommend how much is a good amount of these natural sweetners? I want to make sure I am not overdoing them in replacement of refined.

    1. Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship

      Wellll…I’m sure I use too much too often. My thought? Less is more. Always. If you’re adding honey to your yogurt, for example, shoot for less than you used yesterday. Find other non-sweet ways to “sweeten” things like cinnamon or coconut oil. I don’t think there’s a “recommended dose” here since “none” would probably be ideal (but not as fun!).
      🙂 Katie

  20. Pam@behealthybehappywellness

    Great points here! As a holistic health coach, I stress eating REAL food to my clients. Not only do they feel better, but they end up looking better too. Best advice is take baby steps if you aren’t doing this already – it can be overwhelming to switch all at once, but I help my clients slowly and successfully move to a real food diet!

  21. I hear you Mike!

    Ummm – about losing the last few baby pounds – I have heard from several mamas that the last 5 lbs or so may not come off until you wean your baby. That’s what happened for me every time so far. I like to think of it as my body’s emergency stash as long as it’s still nourishing another little life. Just a thought, if anyone happens to be nursing.

    1. I really hoped that this was the case for me after my second son was born (back-to-back pregnancies), but I weaned him over a year ago and these pounds haven’t moved! I’m now working hard to cut calories and increase exercise, which seems to be helping slowly.

      1. I totally understand – I have many friends who have struggled to get the weight off after pregnancy. Myself, after three pregnancies in 4 1/2 yrs, I’m just. so. tired. Different manifestation of the same problem?

        Anyways, I just know how women are about weight, and I hate to see someone agonizing over the last few baby pounds, when her body may be holding on to them for its own good reason.

  22. Sometimes, I do feel as though I’m working so hard to create the meals that I’m too tired to eat afterward:) That made me laugh. It’s totally worth the effort, and I usually only feel that way when the rest of life is too busy.

  23. You know, I’m up for this challenge. We’ve been eating whole foods (not perfectly) for several years. But a thyroid problem has helped me gain weight. Way too much. I’ve done low carb–with a Rx was able to drop 30 pounds, but have gained it all back. Did low carb again without the Rx, lost 15 but felt horrible–cold (in record TX heat, too!), low energy. Started feeling better adding some carbs back in. Didn’t realize how much I was eating until I started taking photos of everything before I ate. Ouch. Reality check. My goal: see the scale go down. That’s it. No number, just down!

  24. Mike Lieberman

    It amazes me how we’ve taken something as simple as eating and made it so freakin complex.

  25. Melinda Tichelaar

    This really inspired me. My family has recently started using whole grain flour and we’ve already found that we’re eating less, since we feel fuller naturally. We use it in waffles, pancakes and even chocolate chip and almond cookies.

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