I Gave Up Sugar and Flour! Here’s What I Eat Instead.

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I Gave Up Sugar and Flour! Here's What I Eat Instead | Little Miss Fearless

It’s Not a Diet, It’s a Way of Life

First, let me just clarify that what I eat every day is NOT A DIET, it is a way of life.

That said, “diet” by definition is simply: the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats.

Our culture has changed the word diet to mean a way of eating that we grow to hate because it’s not realistic or sustainable. In other words, it’s not enough.

The irony of dieting is that we’re turning to food (or the lack of) to change our bodies so we can feel like we’re enough.

When all we really want and need is to know that we are, in our most imperfect state, ENOUGH.

What if we could find the nourishment we need in something other than food?

If all we had to do was follow a sensible food plan that ensured we would always have enough, wouldn’t the weight and body image stuff take care of itself?

I Gave Up Sugar and Flour! Here's What I Eat Instead | Little Miss Fearless

About My Postpartum Weight Loss

On Aug. 2, 2019, I took my last bite of sugar and flour. I no longer eat processed foods. I eat 3 meals per day with no snacks in between. My meals consist primarily of vegetables, protein, grains/starch and fruit.

The short of it is, I found a faith-based 12-step program for food addiction (“with a meal plan attached” – as many people in program would say) that taught me how much food is ENOUGH food. It also taught me how to turn to God when I need help, instead of turning to food to numb and escape my emotions.

I was desperate for change, but it wasn’t as much about changing my body or my weight as it was about changing my HABITS.

My food habits were self-destructive and that’s what was damaging my self-image, not my reflection in the mirror.

I was already eating healthy meals. I just couldn’t stop snacking on extra crap (candy, cookies, ice cream, popsicles, anything and everything processed) all day long. I couldn’t say no and I didn’t know how much was enough.

I was addicted to sugar. Emotionally and physically. Honestly, aren’t we all? Sugar is in EVERYTHING.

I’ve lost a total of 32 pounds to-date. The first two months I lost 10 pounds each and as I got closer to my right-sized body, the weight loss slowed down to 1 pound or so per week.

I Gave Up Sugar and Flour! Here's What I Eat Instead | Little Miss Fearless

What I Eat Every Day

Now, to answer the question many of you asked on Instagram that prompted the idea for this blog post in the first place, here’s what I eat every day. Brace yourself, it’s extremely simple.

Breakfast

  • 8 oz protein (yogurt)
  • 1 oz grain (oatmeal)
  • 6 oz fruit (1 apple or 6 oz berries)

Lunch

  • 4 oz protein (chicken, steak, fish or 6 oz beans or 2 eggs)
  • 6 oz cooked vegetables (broccoli, asparagus, green beans, brussels sprouts, spaghetti squash, butternut squash, tomatoes, fajita peppers, zucchini, etc.)
  • 4 oz grain or starch (sweet potato, potato, rice, quinoa)
  • 6 oz fruit (strawberries, pineapple, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries or 1 apple, 1 orange, etc.)
  • 6-8 oz dairy/protein *for breastfeeding only* (yogurt, milk, almond milk)

Dinner

  • 4 oz protein (chicken, steak, fish or 6 oz beans or 2 eggs)
  • 6 oz cooked vegetables (broccoli, asparagus, green beans, brussels sprouts, spaghetti squash, butternut squash, tomatoes, fajita peppers, zucchini, etc.)
  • 2 oz lettuce + 6 oz raw veggies for dinner salad (carrots, broccoli, celery, tomatoes, cauliflower, etc.)
  • 2 tbps dressing – sugar not in first 5 ingredients (my current fav is Lighthouse Bacon Bleu Cheese)

I followed the above meal plan for 90 days and then an additional 4 weeks until I hit my goal weight. Once I hit that weight, I’ve maintained it by changing my grain/starch to 3 oz at lunch and adding an additional 3 oz at dinner + 6 oz of fruit at dinner as well.

I use and love this food scale from Clean Simple Eats because it’s the perfect size to fit a standard plate and still be able to see the numbers.

And since I know you’re wondering, I’m 5’7″ and weigh 120. 🙂

I Gave Up Sugar and Flour! Here's What I Eat Instead | Little Miss Fearless

How Did I Do It?

My answer to this question is simple: I didn’t do it. God did.

It has been a huge sacrifice to give up sugar and flour. I was so afraid and I still am some days. All the foods I love that have always been a part of my life (ice cream, pizza, cookies, candy, to name just a few) are no longer part of my life.

But I don’t think about doing this forever. It freaks me out when I do.

Instead, I take it ONE DAY AT A TIME.

I do my best to hand things over to God when I feel stressed, overwhelmed or out of control.

I’m not perfect at following this plan and I’m not perfect at turning to God for help every time I need it.

I have a really hard time asking anyone in my life for help, actually. It’s a constant area of improvement for me.

But I know God doesn’t expect perfection. And I’m just so grateful I know now, more than I ever realized before, that He LOVES me. He wants me to have the things I want, even having a body I feel comfortable and confident in.

He wants me to be happy and healthy and grateful for everything I have. And He wants to be a part of every detail of my life.

I know He feels the same about you.

I Gave Up Sugar and Flour! Here's What I Eat Instead | Little Miss Fearless

It’s Not About The Food

It’s difficult to summarize everything I’ve learned and just how much I’ve grown since I gave up sugar and flour. The emotional weight loss is even bigger than the physical weight loss and there’s no before/after photo for that.

Looking back on the past 5 months, I can say with certainty, if you keep searching for something that works for YOU, you WILL find it.

Never stop searching.

I’m planning a few follow-up posts to answer the additional questions I received on Instagram, but feel free to ask me anything in the comments and I’ll be sure to respond.

Amanda

Comments

  1. em says:

    HI there! I feel exactly the way you do and know I am addicted to sugar and know it is horrible for me, but having a very difficult time stopping. I thought you found success with CSE. Is that not what you are using? Please share as I would love a faith-based plan as well.

    Posted January 9, 2020 | Reply
    • Hi! I still love and use CSE regularly, but not for every meal. I actually love their plan because most of the recipes are sugar-free or call for natural sugars like honey and maple. But I mostly use CSE when I want to make something different or be more creative in the kitchen (1-2 times per week).

      Me meal plan is even more simple and that’s what makes it so sustainable–grocery shopping is easy, prepping is fast, cooking doesn’t require a bunch of steps or ingredients. The program I found is non-promotional, that’s why I don’t talk about it specifically. If you email me I will send you their website link. My email is littlemissfearlessblog at gmail dot com.

      XO!!

      Posted January 9, 2020 | Reply
      • Emilia says:

        I was about to ask the exact same thing, would it be ok if I emailed you for the details on your diet/mealplan? I am 5 months postpartum with third baby and just cannot stop stuffing my face with all kinds of junk, am litterally treating my body like a dumpster and am so sick of being out of control like this. I have always been an emotional eater and have struggled with food addiction on and off for over a decade so I very much relate to this post.

        Posted January 9, 2020 | Reply
        • Yes, please email me! I can completely relate. This program changed my life in so many ways. More than just the food. You’ll find the desperation is a gift. Reach out if you have more questions.

          Posted January 9, 2020 | Reply
    • Damaris says:

      Did you include any fats? Also, what did you do if you we’re still hungry? Thank you so much for being so vulnerable and having the courage to share!

      Posted January 17, 2020 | Reply
      • Hi Damaris,
        I count my salad dressing as fats and currently have 1-2 ounces of nuts before my workout. Sometimes I have avocado in place of my salad dressing. If I feel hungry, I drink two large cups of water immediately! Sometimes I’ll eat my dinner salad a little early if I’m hungry around 4pm. I try to avoid snacking because that’s where my “never enough” habits with sugar started. But I’m not perfect at it. I just find it easier to avoid sugar and flour completely. Hope this helps!

        Posted February 3, 2020 | Reply
  2. Dawn Barnette says:

    What is the sodium content for the dressing?

    Posted January 9, 2020 | Reply
  3. Victoria says:

    Thanks for sharing your journey! You have really inspired me to step back and evaluate what will work for me. I find I do great during the day, but I have a mental block in the evening to reach for a “snack” or a “treat” after dinner. Keep up the great work!

    Posted January 9, 2020 | Reply
    • Thank you so much! I know exactly what you mean. 2-3pm is the hardest for me! After dinner I sometimes just stay upstairs because being in the kitchen/living room makes me miss my old habit of dessert after dinner. It gets easier over time. And you’re doing better than you think you are.
      XO

      Posted January 9, 2020 | Reply
  4. Matty says:

    I’m amazed by your determination and focus. Even though I don’t follow the same plan, You’ve helped me so much!

    Posted January 9, 2020 | Reply
  5. Jo says:

    Thank you for sharing your journey. It’s incredibly inspiring!

    I just started one of my own and it’s a bit overwhelming… ugh. I like your comment about not thinking too far into the future. Eating like this might not be forever, but it IS today!

    1. Do you also incorporate a regular fitness routine? If so, do you also attribute that to your weight loss?

    2. How do you handle going out to eat or social gatherings (galas, fundraising dinners, functions where you are not personally cooking or have control)? I meet often with friends at coffee shops/bakeries or we go to lunch. As a family, we like to dine-out often to break up the week. I have a lot of dinners for my husbands job, etc. Just thinking about it makes me nervous… will I be missing out, high-maintaince, or what will I do?!

    I appreciate your feedback and wish you the best of luck!
    Sending good, strong, and healthy vibes from Iowa. xo

    Posted January 9, 2020 | Reply
    • Hi! Such great questions.
      1. I love fitness, but hardly worked out at all while following this plan. It was a blessing actually, because I used to always turn to exercise to maintain my weight, and with two kids, it is incredibly hard to find the time. Eating this way freed me from the burden of HAVING to workout. I just do it if I want to now.
      2. I’m working on a blog post about eating out and social gatherings. I will say we don’t eat out as much as we used to. When we do, I look at menus in advance when I can and game-plan what I can eat. When I don’t know what food will be offered, I either try to find out, or just pray and pledge to have a sugar/flour-free meal (aka, I do my best). I just survived the holidays with all of our family dinners and eating out and it’s always a bit awkward at first because people ask why you’re not eating what they’re eating. But eventually they get used to it and you just do your thing. I’d love to share more on this. Feel free to email me (littlemissfearlessblog at gmail dot com).

      Posted January 9, 2020 | Reply
  6. Ashley says:

    Would you mind sharing what program you did? This is so encouraging to me, especially the spiritual aspect!

    Posted January 9, 2020 | Reply
    • Yes! Email me and I’ll share the website. I joined primarily for the spiritual aspect and the weight loss and food freedom just became an added bonus.

      Posted January 9, 2020 | Reply
  7. Savannah Dove says:

    What is your favorite yogurt? You have inspired me and my mom and we are now on this journey together! Thank you!

    Posted January 9, 2020 | Reply
  8. Lina says:

    Does Matty eat the same thing as you for dinner or do you make two separate dinners? I’m sure if I were to try this I would have to get real creative with making dinners that Chad would eat. I do want to at least start cutting out sugar as much as I can for myself at least! I eat waaaaay too much of it..

    Posted January 9, 2020 | Reply
    • He doesn’t. We have our staple meat + salad dinners that we still eat together and I just add my veggies. But sometimes I’ll make CSE meals that I know he’ll like and that I can have, too. You could start there! They have a one-week sample meal plan that’s free on their website: https://cleansimpleeats.com/?ref=ty-8zjfumcc
      (Or if you buy a full plan, my link will give you $15 off.) Most of their meals use natural sugars like honey or maple. Maybe Chad will like them!

      Posted January 9, 2020 | Reply
  9. Hannah Hipps says:

    Amazing to read someone else’s thoughts and they be your own! Like everyone else that has commented, I am addicted to sugar! All of your food choices above look really good. I do eat a lot of vegetables, mainly no meat or dairy except occasionally. About one per week, I’ll have a pizza…not a slice or two, but a whole personal pizza from a place like Blaze. Knowing it is going to cause a stomach ache, I do it anyway. So sad. Do you mind to share the info with me also, as I would love a new way of life. Period.

    Posted January 10, 2020 | Reply
    • Hi Hannah! Totally get you. It’s funny how we do that to ourselves. When we know something’s going to make us feel worse but we do it anyway. Lol.

      Send me an email and I’ll share the link with you. It’s a program of attraction, not promotion, so that’s why I don’t talk about it in detail externally.

      Cheers to a new way of life! XO

      Posted January 10, 2020 | Reply
  10. Lindsey McDaniel says:

    Hi! I stumbled across ur IG account, and I have really enjoyed following you!! Thank you for being vulnerable and honest. I’m curious if you drink coffee or alcohol, especially when you were in “weight loss” mode. Thanks so much, I wish you continued success.

    Posted January 12, 2020 | Reply
    • Thank you so much! I’ve actually never had coffee or alcohol so they didn’t affect my weight loss process. Quitting flour and sugar has given me a new perspective on how challenging it can be to quit anything that’s been a part of our lifestyle. But I now know that it is possible! Anything is possible. XO

      Posted January 13, 2020 | Reply
  11. Kate says:

    Thank you so much for sharing! Really! You have inspired me to do the same! I just bought some things from CSE and look forward to eating healthier!

    Posted January 12, 2020 | Reply
    • Thanks for the feedback! I’d love to hear about your favorite CSE meals when you try them. They’re all so yummy!

      Posted January 13, 2020 | Reply
  12. Carli says:

    Do you ever get bored of eating the same type of stuff every day?

    Posted January 23, 2020 | Reply
    • I have a pretty good rotation of veggies going on so I haven’t yet. It sounds strange to say this, but because this program was different from any “diet” I’ve done before, I actually hardly think about my food and what I’m going to eat next. It’s been so freeing because of that.

      Posted January 30, 2020 | Reply
  13. Allison says:

    I’d love to hear how you navigate going out to dinner – any tricky menu foods I should look out for (aside from the obvious sugars and flours). Also, I work full time and have a really great salad bar in my office building. How do you recommend I maintain portion sizes at my salad bar when I won’t have a food scale? thank you so much!

    Posted January 24, 2020 | Reply
    • Hi! I plan to share more thoughts on eating out in a future blog post, but in short, I don’t worry to much about portions when I eat out. I commit to having a sugar/flour-free meal. That’s basically it. I usually look for salad options because they’re so simple, but you could do any combination of veggies/protein/grain/fruit. Don’t be afraid to ask if there’s sugar/flour in the meal.

      I’ve been weighing my food for so long now that I actually can eyeball portions pretty well. You could try that at home with salads for a bit and then make your salad at work accordingly.

      Posted January 30, 2020 | Reply
  14. Kate B. says:

    what a great post! did you have any digestive problems that this lifestyle change helped with? I’m battling just a plateau in eating and also just overall blah! about how I feel..even though I weight train/cardio 4/5 days a week.
    I emailed you and would love to know what this plan is to learn more about it.

    Posted January 27, 2020 | Reply
    • Hi Kate! I hope I emailed you back. Let me know if I missed it.

      This diet is very similar to Whole30 except my meal portions are completely clear. Like no guessing games. When I did Whole30 I noticed I felt better without dairy. For some reason when I have dairy on this plan, I don’t have the same issues I used to. Maybe bec I know exactly how much dairy I’m eating and it’s always at the same meals. Not sure. Hope this helps! Let me know if you have more questions.

      Posted January 30, 2020 | Reply
  15. Jeanne says:

    I just realized there is an actual plan you’re following – if you wouldn’t mind emailing me the link I would really appreciate it. Thanks!

    Posted February 10, 2020 | Reply
    • Hi Jeanne,

      So glad you love the breakfast! Yes, it’s an entire program. It’s non-promotional so I don’t talk about it publicly, but feel free to email me and I’ll share more (littlemissfearlessblog at gmail). XO

      Posted February 18, 2020 | Reply
  16. Leslie C. says:

    Thanks for sharing. I’d love to know the faith based plan that inspired you!

    Posted March 9, 2020 | Reply
    • Hi Leslie,

      Send me an email and I’ll share more details! littlemissfearlessblog at gmail. XO

      Posted March 10, 2020 | Reply
  17. Tina says:

    Hi Amanda.
    It is really often that I get involved with a blog but as I am getting ready to switch over a few of my social accounts I will never be leaving you behind. I am a 53 year young lady and am inspired every time I read a blog, post or anything by you. You small nuggets of truth are the amazing Grace that women need. The way you write touches my life right now and I am happy to be sharing my journey with you. It makes it more bearable.
    Some day I may write my story for you. (Short version)
    For now. Keep it coming.
    Prov: The Elder of you women will teach the younger in spirit.
    ~~it is amazing how much I have soaked up fom listening to our young leaders. They are so full of light and knowledge. The Holy Spirit speaks through the young leaders of our church. Never be too “Old” to learn from a more “mature” teacher.

    Posted March 11, 2020 | Reply
    • Thank you so much, Tina! This really touched my heart and means more than you know. XO

      Posted March 15, 2020 | Reply
  18. Alice Au says:

    Thank you for sharing! Would you please send me the information on the faith-based plan you used? I appreciate it!

    Posted March 24, 2020 | Reply
  19. Mena says:

    Hi thank you for your informative post . I have been trying to lose 5-10 Ibs and just keep spiraling back & forth. I did whole 30 as well, lost 5 Ibs and gained it back when the month ended. I think I need to just quit sugar altogether. I’m also 5’7 so similar body type as yours..would you mind sharing your plan with me? I would love to see what worked for you thanks!

    Posted May 5, 2020 | Reply
  20. Kacee Tompkins says:

    What do you think about Ezekiel bread?

    Posted May 6, 2020 | Reply
    • That’s a great question! It sounds like sprouted wheat is different than wheat flour but I’m not sure if it is still a form of flour. I’m so glad you asked–definitely excited to look into it more. XO

      Posted May 12, 2020 | Reply
  21. Emily says:

    Wow! You are such an inspiration. I followed your plan for lunch, and it felt very healthy!

    Posted August 3, 2020 | Reply
    • Thank you! I’m so glad you tried it. So much good, real, healthy food! 🙂

      Posted August 4, 2020 | Reply
  22. Sara says:

    How do you prepare your lunch and dinner protein? Grilled ? Is it the same way each time ? I’m trying to figure out how to follow recipes while adhering to this plan.

    Posted September 4, 2020 | Reply
    • Yes, I usually always grill my chicken. Sometimes I marinate it first (Primal Kitchen Cilantro Lime is my favorite!). But the most convenient way to follow this plan, I have found, is to cook things individually and then put them on the same plate. So not everything is a recipe. I just cook meat and different veggies during the week and it makes easy leftovers!

      Posted September 6, 2020 | Reply