Ree Drummond says she’s experienced a “seismic shift” in her perspective on health and eating since losing 55 pounds since last January.
The celebrity chef, 53, opened up about her weight loss journey in a recent blog post, sharing 10 lessons she’s learned over the past year.
First, she said she learned that the process of losing weight doesn’t always have to be extremely intense. She explained that while she “went all-in” for the first month of her weight loss journey, following a strict regimen of healthy eating and rigorous exercise, she eased up on her routine about halfway through the year because she felt she had “developed a good sense” of what worked for her.
“If I ever had a question, I’d break out the food scale or Google the calories of a common food, but I generally put away the food scale last July and never looked back,” she said.
She also swears by “building muscle,” calling it the “gift that keeps on giving.”
“Building muscle—not just the smaller muscles in your arms, but the larger muscles in your legs and butt—will turbo charge your weight loss like nothing else and set you up for more success,” she said.
The “Pioneer Woman” also shared what she has learned about eating and drinking in moderation.
“One of the primary things I learned in the initial months of my weight loss was just how off the rails I’d been for years when it came to portion size!” she said. “During the five-month period I weighed my food and counted calories, I really broke the spell of eating too much volume and during this process, I trained my body to get used to smaller — well, I should say more normal — portions.”
In another lesson, Drummond revealed that she doesn’t have a list of “banned foods” (except bananas!), and that she focuses more on eating smaller portions and avoiding “wasted calories” from foods like soda, chips and donuts.
As for alcohol, Drummond said she is now drinking moderately again after completely cutting out alcohol during the first five months of her weight-loss journey. But that said, she is still steering clear of high-sugar drinks like “daiquiris and margaritas,” or anything with a lot of syrup or fruit juice.
These days, she’s a fan of drinks that help her stay hydrated even while consuming alcohol, such as “Ranch Water (clear tequila, lime juice, and sparkling water over ice) and White Wine Spritzer (small amount of cold white wine, sparkling water, and lemon slices.)”
Drummond also stressed the importance of moving every day — not just exercising, but making changes to her routine to keep herself from being sedentary for hours on end.
“I made sure to stay more committed than ever to using my standing desk, stepping away for frequent breaks, and putting myself in a position to move more,” she said. “Today, I’m still using a standing desk and not letting myself collect too much dust during the day.”
She also said she weighs herself daily, something she acknowledged can “be triggering for some.”
“I can’t emphasize this enough: My decision to weigh myself every day is not about fixating over every pound and ounce,” she said. “I’ve just found that when excess weight has crept on through the years, it has happened when I’ve chosen not to weigh myself.”
All in all, Drummond said she has learned over the past year that being flexible in her approach to health and weight loss is key. Rather than sticking to one, strict routine, she has gone through periods where she focuses more on her food choices, and other time focuses more on building muscle or using the rowing machine.
“This has expanded my options and made me feel like I have more control over the inevitable ebbs and flows over time,” she said.
Some might call losing weight a “lifestyle change,” but Drummond explained why she prefers the term “perspective change.”
“Only difference between before and after is that I’ve lost weight,” she said. “Aside from that, my daily life really hasn’t changed all that much.”
That said, losing weight has definitely changed how she moves through her day.
“Today I feel stronger, more in balance (both physically and mentally), and I have more spring to my step,” she said. “I am wearing clothes I wasn’t comfortable wearing a year ago, I feel better about the way I look, and I’m smiling more (yes, even more than I smiled before, which was a lot — haha) and that is a nice feeling at age 53.”