I have shared a bit about my personal weight loss story, on my website and in my videos, however I have been a little bit vague about the details. This has not been intentional, but rather a reflection of how it happened.
See, I didn’t actually try to lose any weight at all! I was invested in my personal health and weight loss happened. I like to put it like this; “weight loss is a symptom of a healthy lifestyle.”
I simply improved the quality of my diet and lost weight as a result. That’s all well and good, but I do want to provide some specifics about how I actually lost the weight.
Ditch The Dairy.
When I think back to my weight loss/health journey, there is a very clear inflection point. It happened in 2012 and has nothing to do with Mayan prophecies.
I was nearing my heaviest weight of my life and was about to start a graduate program for health promotion management. I was passionate about health and actually thought I ate pretty good.
I was officially a “pescatarian” — a vegetarian who eats seafood (aka an oxymoron) — though I only really ate seafood once a month or so. For the most part, for about 99% of my meals, I was a straight up vegetarian.
That meant in addition to eating plant-based foods I also ate milk, cheese, ice cream, yogurt, and eggs.
But here’s the thing — I switched to almond and soy milk in 2008, so I never drank milk. And I stopped buying yogurt for the house in like 2009. And I stopped eating eggs straight up in like 2010. And it’s not like I ate tons of ice cream (though I won’t say I avoided it either).
So really my diet was like 98% vegan + cheese.
Ah yes, cheese was my sticking point, as I think it is for so many people.
So in early 2012, at my heaviest, I was cheese addicted. I admit it.
And then I watched Forks Over Knives, twice actually. And upon the second viewing decided that I needed to go “vegan at home.” Up until this point I was buying cheese for my home-cooked meals and eating cheese, ice cream, and eggs in things at restaurants.
I wasn’t yet ready to go fully vegan but I was ready to go “vegan at home,” meaning stop bringing any animal products into the home to cook with or eat. And since I was a poor grad student I ate most of my calories at home. But, I was still grabbing slices of pizza occasionally when out, and not freaking out if an entree I ordered had a little parmesan or something.
Here’s the kicker:
This seemingly small change caused me to lose 20 pounds!
Was I eating massive amounts of cheese prior to this change? Well I feel safe here.. but I have nothing to confess — I don’t think my cheese consumption was exorbitant.
And yet it was like something clicked in my body and the pounds just started coming off effortlessly. Seriously.
So, here are 10 reasons why you should #DitchTheDairy for good right now!
- Dairy promotes weight gain and hinders weight loss. Dropping dairy from my life was the spark that helped me drop significant weight!
- Dairy is FULL of hormones, organic or conventional, it doesn’t matter
- The only purpose of cow’s milk is to turn a 65 lb baby calf into a 400 lb adult cow as quickly as possible. It is “baby calf growth fluid.“
- When you ingest baby cow growth fluid it causes you to grow! It may cause you to gain weight, hold weight due to inflammation, and it might even promote the growth of another type of cell in your body — cancer cells
- Dairy is incredibly cruel to the cows. Just search “dairy cruelty” to see for yourself.
- The calcium in kale and other leafy greens is absorbed nearly twice as well as the calcium in cow’s milk. You don’t need milk for strong bones.
- The top 4 sources of saturated fat in the American diet are all thanks to dairy — #1: pizza; #2: cheese; #3 dairy based desserts (e.g. ice cream); #4: grain based desserts (e.g. cakes made with butter, milk and eggs)
- Dairy contains trans-fats as well, of which there is no safe level of consumption
- Dairy is linked to acne and other skin problems (NOTE: My skin got much clearer after I ditched the dairy!)
- Dairy contributes massively to global climate change! In fact animal agriculture accounts for a whopping 51% of total greenhouse gas emissions, and is a great reason to ditch all animal products!
Bottom line: you don’t need dairy in your life. It’s bad for your health, terrible for the cows, and awful for the environment.
Switch to plant-based milks (almond, coconut, soy, etc), plant-based yogurts and ice creams made with those products, and if you are hankering for cheese still after you’ve kicked the addiction, try nutritional yeast or GoVeggie “Parm” and Daiya or homemade vegan cheese substitutes! I don’t miss it one bit, and I love the way I feel being dairy free 🙂
Dairy was the last animal product to go from my diet, but in all honesty I’d recommend it as the first for anyone only willing to cut one out.
Related Post: How To Replace Dairy In Your Diet
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