Celebrity chef, cook show host, cookbook author, and the owner of a restaurant and bakery, Chef Ree Drummond is a known face on television. She has whipped up uncountable lip-smacking dishes for foodies across the world, some of which are now absolute classics.

She recently took to Instagram to share her learnings from her one-year-long weight loss journey from January last year to February this year, during which, Drummond wrote in her blog, she lost 55 pounds (25 kg).

On Instagram, she talked about what motivated her to start her weight loss journey: “One year ago, on a dark and stormy night, I decided it was time for me to change a few dang habits and try to get healthier. My kid was getting married a few months later, and also…I had no spring to my step and really wanted some. So toward the end of January 2021, I jumped right in.”

Here are some key takeaways from her simple yet effective weight loss approach, minus any specialty foods or diets like keto, paleo, or intermittent fasting.

Starting out strict

Drummond shared she started out her weight loss journey on a strict calorie deficit and workout schedule, which she relaxed after five months. This discipline allowed her the freedom to not count calories of every food item in the later months.

Building a strong foundation of muscles

Drummond said building both the small and large muscles by doing lunges, squats and deadlifts helped her shed weight consistently, even if she went off track for a few days.

Training the body to eat smaller portions

She also weighed her food and counted the calories to eat smaller portions of food — one of the main pillars of weight loss. Drummond wrote that she eats all that she likes, but in lesser portions.

Alcohol in moderation

In an earlier article, we cited Dr Bhuvan Rastogi’s findings which align with Drummond’s approach to alcohol consumption — when had in moderation, alcohol doesn’t lead to weight gain. However, Drummond said she steered clear in the initial stage and when she started having it, she continued to make sure that she doesn’t consume sugary/syrupy drinks.

Moving more regularly

A recent study published in the Obesity Journal said moving more rather than structured exercise can keep the weight off. That’s the approach Drummond took as well. She wrote that she prioritised moving even when her workout routine fell off track due to other priorities. Even if you can’t get an exercise in, move more by walking around the house, taking stairs, or, like Drummond, working on a standing desk.

No banning of foods

Nutritionists have emphasised on the importance of not restricting yourself to the point of failure when it comes to a weight loss-oriented diet. Drummond, too, did the same. While she was stricter during her nascent stage, she gradually allowed herself to have everything in moderation and control while also having high protein foods such as egg whites, chicken, fish, lean beef, plain Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, Swiss cheese, and dark, leafy greens.

Drummond shared that she now has better understanding of portion control, and doesn’t restrict herself from eating what she craves. (Photo: Pexels)

Being more mindful about consuming wasted calories

Wasted calories, Drummond explained, are sugary soft drinks, cookies, cake, potato chips, doughnuts, etc. She shared the importance of understanding what constitutes the calories — sugary food items or lean protein that will help build muscle. While it’s completely okay to have a doughnut some days, it is also important to be mindful of it.

Perspective change as opposed to lifestyle change

Drummond argued that her weight loss journey consisted of a perspective change on her portion size, exercise, sitting vs standing, and more, but her lifestyle still remains the same. She said after weight loss she feels stronger, motivated, has more energy, is physically and mentally well-balanced, smiles more, and is comfortable to wear clothes she wasn’t before.

“Feeling good bleeds over into all aspects of my life. And that has changed my outlook,” she concluded.

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