Since the new year began, many readers have reached out to ask how they can lose weight in a healthy way. That's why we're re-sharing this piece by best-selling author and weight loss expert, Dawna Stone. It has inspired thousands of readers over the years. And if you're looking for a more detailed action plan, check out Dawna's class A 14-Day Clean Eating Program: How To Kick Start Weight Loss In Two Weeks. It's simple, straightforward and, most importantly, effective.
In my 20s, I was fat, exhausted and desperate to lose weight. Even though I was 40 pounds overweight, I was much more concerned with fitting into the clothes in my closet than I was about my health.
I had gone from being an extremely fit teenager to being a somewhat fit college student to a 40-pound overweight working woman. I still remember turning down company get-togethers and blind dates because I was so uncomfortable with the way I looked. Desperate to lose weight, I tried just about every diet available.
Unfortunately, none of them satisfied my craving for good food. On each weight loss attempt, I'd lose a few pounds only to give up and gain all the weight back and then some.
It wasn't until I realized that fad diets weren't a viable solution for me that I started to work on a solution. After years of failed attempts to lose weight, I finally found a way to drop all 40 pounds and keep it off for good — in fact, I've been at or near my goal weight for nearly 20 years!
The solution wasn't about depriving myself of treats or starving myself. The solution was simple: clean eating.
I started by eliminating excess sugar, processed foods and artificial sweeteners. I also quit eating anything with chemicals or preservatives.
When I finally found a way of eating that had me dropping the pounds quickly and allowed me to eat good food (like fish tacos with mango-avocado salsa, kale and maple-roasted sweet potato salad, 3-bean chili and even gluten-free, dairy-free triple chocolate brownies), I knew I'd found my weight loss silver bullet.
I know what it feels like to be overweight and unhappy but I also know what if feels like to finally fit into a smaller size pair of pants and smile when you step on the scale. I wish everyone who is struggling with their weight and feeling hopeless, like I felt, could know what it feels like to finally lose all the excess weight.
I know what it's like to lie in bed and cry, thinking you'll never lose weight. I know what it's like to turn down invitations because you have no clothes that fit. But I also know how great it feels when the weight starts melting off.
If you've just about given up on ever reaching your goal weight, if your tired of depriving yourself of good food and if you're tired of seeing the number on the scale creep up rather than down, clean eating may be just what you need to jump start your weight loss and once and for all reach your goal weight.
Now that I'm in my late 40's, I believe the most important benefit of being a healthy weight and eating a clean diet is countering disease and keeping your body working well and healthy. But I can't lie: I also love the feeling of fitting into my skinny jeans!
Whether you pick up a copy of the, The Healthy You Diet, (and/or join me for my video course The 14-Day Clean Eating Program) or embark on another clean eating program, I hope you'll give clean eating a try.
You have nothing to lose but your excess weight!