What were the diet changes that impacted your weight loss the most?
Really hard question to pinpoint just one thing but I am a firm believer that you cannot outwork your diet. I really focus on cutting out anything other than natural sugars in regard to sugar, I really try to avoid processed foods, really limit my bread intake. I still eat dairy usually in yogurt, small amounts of cheese on sandwiches etc and eat smaller portions. Every couple of weeks I might splurge and eat out but its usually at McAllister's, Panera etc when I do. I don't eat much of anything fried. I am a big fan of smoked turkey breast from Rudy's. I buy a lb or so a week and eat it in lettuce wraps instead of using bread for lunch. Try to keep it in the refrigerator at all timesas its so handy and fairly natural. Lots of good things I can still eat I just eat less of them. Wife pretty well cooks with all coconut based products for oil, flour etc. We use honey to sweeten things when needed, We just pay attention to what we call hidden calories in things like dressings, drinks and such. I drink a ton of water which is excellent to help lose weight. You are more full and a hydrated body simply functions better.
I initially started out trying to stay under 2000 calories per day when I was pushing 340lbs. As I lost weight and really stepped up the workouts I allowed myself to take in a few more clean calories to help with recovery etc. Its a fine line though. I snack on fresh fruit normally and try to eat as balanced as I can. I also try not eat past 7:30-8:00PM if I can help it.
To me you gotta have the eating right coupled with a good level of exercising to see the best results. They go hand in hand. I cannot stress enough that all bodies are different and results will vary for everyone. There really is no magic potion, its just staying on top of what you eat and then putting working out pretty high on priority list. There are times it sucks to get up a lot earlier or to work out late at night but with all I have on my plate with my family right now I simply have to work around their Dr. visits, chemo treatments and pharmacy runs. I also still work like most people and have all the stuff that goes with that. some days I catch myself coming and going...LOL
I just try to take advantage of whatever time I get whenever I get it to work out. not to mention its a great stress reliever. It all goes hand in hand.
The biggest key to me is adjusting your "want to". You have to really want to do it. It simply has to be a priority. At least it is that way with me. I don't feel as if I am missing much when it comes to eating. I really have no cravings and to me its perfectly natural to eat like I do. I don't starve myself or get too extreme. I just eat as clean as I can as much as I can. its that simple.