Bountiful Eatery

3 Strategies to Bountifully Eat Your Way to Weight Loss

Guest Author: Ed O'Brien from Bountiful Eatery in Chicago

Everything has a foundation - a building, a road, a pool. Any crack weakens the overall structure. Is the physical foundation of “you” solid? I often notice that a person’s eating habits need the most patching. During my lectures, I commonly ask my audience “You are what you eat, right?” Usually, a few people will nod their head in agreement while others sit motionless. They probably wonder if I will tell them how poorly they’re eating and what they’re doing wrong. Ironically, I don’t want to challenge what they do or know. I just want them to reflect on their bodies and habits.

Now it's your turn. How is your eating? Are you up and down, all over the place, constant except on weekends? Use to be good - and now you’re too busy? You may want to consider the following:

The foundation of looking good and being healthy is eating. As a young adult, you can often eat anything, and your body’s metabolism will burn it off naturally. As you age, your metabolism slows down...and calories don’t burn off as quickly.

Also, no two people are the same. Two sisters can have entirely different metabolic rates and require different eating strategies. I suggest you observe your body’s physical sensitivity and emotional connection to food. Do you feel sluggish, fall asleep, or experience fits of anger from too much sugar? What other symptoms do you notice when eating other foods?

To be your best and look your best, you need to eat your best. You are what you eat - plain and simple. What are your options? In the US, we have forgotten that food is fuel for the body. Follow these steps to refuel your body the right way.

Pay Attention to Your Body

If I ask you to watch what you eat, you may respond “I have no time”. You might be surprised if I told you that you do. All you need are moments of awareness throughout the day. Continue to eat as you do and pay attention to your symptoms. Only ate a granola bar for lunch? Do you find yourself yawning within an hour? Maybe you didn’t receive enough fuel or the balanced nutrition you need and should replace the granola bars with fresh hummus and veggies. The best part: You burn calories as you dip the veggies in the hummus. As the owner of a healthy restaurant Bountiful Eatery in Chicago, we only serve dishes with the most natural and wholesome ingredients like our homemade chipotle hummus dip with no sugars or additives.

Planning the Right Foods

Think about your typical day. Are you rushed in the morning? Do you skip lunch? Is your first complete meal at 8 pm? We often lose focus of ourselves when caught up in the hustle and bustle of kids, work, commitments, activities, and stress. If you don’t plan, you‘re planning to fail.

Planning is imperative for any busy lifestyle. Can you take the time to make several meals in advance on the weekend? Can you afford to have food delivered to you? Should you sign up for a meal plan program where all the food arrives Monday - and you just eat it through the week?

Can you simply supplement your present meals with fresh-bought salads such as leafy greens (kale and spinach)? Nutritionally, kale is one of the best foods to eat, and it provides several minerals, vitamins, and fiber. At Bountiful Eatery, we use kale in juices, smoothies, soups, salads, and on pitas as an alternative to lettuce. Have you found a way to incorporate kale and other nutritional foods in your lifestyle?

I love nuts, dried fruit, and fresh fruit as part of my breakfast. Eggs or egg whites with fresh veggies and a pork substitute, such as turkey bacon, also gives me the protein and vitamin combination look for to start my day. Whatever you prefer, you should determine the healthy foods you enjoy the most and find a way to integrate them into your lifestyle.

At Bountiful Eatery, it’s easy for myself and my busy clients. We provide nutritional bowls for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Our lunch and dinner bowls range from pesto to Latin. Most bowls have a base of beans-a great source of protein and fiber. We also add a blend of fresh veggies and herbs to create the desired taste. Typically, our busy clients order large batches to eat over the course of several days. This approach may be the best solution for you too!

Choose Wisely

If you have a sweet tooth, grab an apple instead of cookies. You might also reduce the number of calories and carbs by replacing the wheat tortilla on a wrap with lettuce.

When choosing a soup, select a broth and or veggie base instead of cream. Broth based soups have fewer calories and less fat (like our vegan soups). Most veggies - once cooked and reduced, then blended - create a wonderful broth. They can be combined to make a wide array of healthy and tasty soups, which can be made in bulk and spread across several meals for the week.

A change of any size can be a drastic one, though. I suggest starting small. Remove one type of food from your diet (i.e. bread) and study your body’s changes for two weeks. How has your body changed? How do you feel? As you remove this food, try to incorporate a healthy alternative. Be mindful of your replacements, though. Replacing white or wheat bread with gluten free bread may not be the best answer (as commonly advertised). Gluten-free bread is also carb and calorie-heavy.

Overall, think about what is really holding you back from healthy eating. What healthy food strategies can you incorporate to meet your body’s needs as well as the pulls of your busy lifestyle? Without a doubt, the start of this process begins with your reflection and assessment of your life and body.

Author Bio:

Chicago native Ed O'Brien is a lecturer and owner of Bountiful Eatery. While residing everywhere from LA to NYC, he has shared his wit and wisdom, nutritional knowledge, healthy recipes with a grounded Midwest sensibility for nearly 10 years. Since being diagnosed with a gluten intolerance, Ed has dedicated his career providing nutritional alternatives at his restaurant Bountiful Eatery in Chicago while extensively teaching the foundation of healthy eating habits around the country. For more information, call (773-687-9811) or email him ( directly.

****If you ever need more weight loss tips, never hesitate to send Michael an email ( He is a personal trainer in Chicago and has been serving weight loss personal training clients since 2005.

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Article Credit:
Author: Ed O'Brien from Bountiful Eatery (Adapted)
3 Strategies to Bountifully Eat Your Way to Weight Loss
Weight loss eating strategies.