- General Cohen lost 50 pounds and kept the weight off for seven years.
- She says she didn’t cut out any foods but ate in a slight calorie deficit.
- Cohen shared his average day of eating before and after losing weight.
For years, General Cohen followed a restrictive and unsustainable policy. fad diet or overeating by getting takeout for most meals, she says.
This meant that her weight yo-yoed for years, and every time she lost weight, she always gained more back.
But on her 21st birthday, she says, she decided to make a change and begin a fitness journey that would be healthy and sustainable.
She says she ate in a small calorie deficitprepared her meals in advance and made sure she ate enough protein. Most importantly, she says, she didn’t cut any foods out of her diet and was patient.
This resulted in Cohen lose 50 pounds in one year and maintain his weight for the following seven years.
“I made a promise to myself that instead of hating myself for being thin, I was going to love myself for being healthy,” Cohen told Business Insider. “Every other time I tried to lose weight, I tried to do it for a man, for a vacation, for a special event, for New Year’s, and this was the first time I really did it In my opinion.”
Before she lost weight, Cohen says, she ate pints of ice cream in one sitting.
“I would eat very large amounts of food and physically feel terrible afterwards because I lacked a certain amount of self-esteem,” Cohen said. But she’s worked on her mindset and self-esteem and no longer “goes wild with food,” she says, meaning she’s now able to eat just one serving of ice cream, for example.
Cohen, now a certified nutrition coach who helps other women lose fat, shared with BI examples of how she ate before and after her weight loss, showing how her diet has changed.
Diet before losing weight
Leaving home for college meant Cohen could eat whatever she wanted, she said, which was a novelty.
She said she ate out for every meal, which wasn’t difficult since she lived above a cafe.
An average day of meals would be:
Breakfast: Blueberry muffin or chocolate croissant with caramel macchiato
Lunch: Mongolian-style noodles with meat, vegetables and oily sauces from a food stall
Dinner: Medium Domino’s pizza and chicken Caesar salad
Dessert: Pint of ice cream
“Domino’s Pizza was my absolute favorite food,” Cohen said. “And in college you’re pretty broke, but for $5.99 you can get a medium pizza, and for $5 more you can get a Whole chicken Caesar salad, so I would literally order that and eat the whole thing.”
Cohen says she ate large meals, so she didn’t snack a lot except in a social setting. She ate dessert about 50 percent of the time, she said.
Diet after losing weight
Cohen says she is maintained weight loss following the 80/20 principle: eat nourishing foods 80% of the time and what she wants the other 20%.
She says she snacks a little more because her meals are smaller but she consumes less overall, which means she doesn’t gain weight.
An average day of meals now:
Breakfast: Homemade protein pancakes (protein powder, egg and ripe banana)
Lunch: Chicken, rice and broccoli; or ground beef, sweet potato and asparagus
Dinner: Sweet Potato and Ground Turkey Skillet
Snacks: apple, cup of Greek yogurt, protein shake or rice cakes topped with cottage cheese and chili oil.
Cohen says she keeps her lunches simple because she prepares them in advance, but she makes sure they consist of a source of protein, vegetables and starch. Nutrition experts agree that a balanced meal should contain protein, carbohydrates, fats and fiber.
Dinner varies more, she said, but she and her boyfriend eat takeout once a week and go out to eat once a week.
She says that when she cooks, she likes to make healthier versions of her favorite high-energy dishes, allowing her to maintain a healthy balance.
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