Body image issues can significantly affect a person’s self-esteem and well-being. It was an everyday struggle for Haylee Monteiro in the past. However, Haylee was able to get through these problems and change her connection with food after turning her attention to healthy eating practices. In this article, we’ll share Haylee’s inspiring story of overcoming body image issues through healthy eating.
Overcoming Body Image Issues Through Healthy Eating
Having been on the heavier side her entire life, Haylee Monteiro knows what it’s like to struggle with body image. And being a total foodie and an overachiever academically—an inclined student who was terrible at sports—made things worse. As a result, she was focused on studying and working hard to achieve her academic goals while putting her health and fitness goals on the back burner—she “didn’t have the time.”
As you can imagine, the calories kept coming in, but hardly any were going out. Haylee did try a workout plan with a restricted diet in the summer after high school, and while it did help her drop a little bit of weight, it was a lifestyle that didn’t make her happy.
In her junior year of her undergrad, Haylee decided to take a semester off and do an internship. Realizing she had a good amount of time in the evenings to work out, Haylee used this opportunity to embark on the path of a healthier lifestyle.
After a few weeks of her daily elliptical adventure, she introduced the keto diet. Hearing how it accelerates weight loss, she decided it was time to give it a shot, and seeing the number on the scale drop kept her motivation high.
Since then, Haylee has kept her routine workout regularly. Although it hasn’t been all smooth sailing, and she’s hit plateaus, she’s kept a positive attitude and kept pushing.
After a year of following keto, Haylee decided to reintroduce carbs. Doing her research, she decided to delve into the realm of introducing carbs at specific times to avoid weight gain. Using all the new information she learned, she crafted a macro-balanced diet and stuck to it.
Haylee Starts A New-Found Cooking Adventure
She also started on a new-found cooking adventure through her transition to keto. Before going to college, Haylee had no cooking experience; it was pre-packaged foods that were easy and affordable. Going keto forced her to learn to cook, starting with simple dishes like omelets, quesadillas, and casseroles.
Through experimentation, she discovered that the possibilities of keto were endless. After transitioning back to a more “normal” style of eating that included carbs, she experimented with comfort dishes she craved, putting a healthier spin on them.
While a macro-balanced diet restricts what she can eat at certain times, she’s found ways to fit it all in and is extremely happy with how things are going now!
How To Jumpstart Your Health Journey? Here Are Haylee’s Tips
- When you do keto, count the carbs – yes, the actual number – and don’t just avoid the high-carb foods.
- Progress may be slow at times, but don’t give up. Switch out some of your exercises, and that will kick your body back into it.
- Cardio is good, but weights are better. Start your workout with weight training and then follow with cardio at the end. Why? Because when you do cardio, you burn calories at the time. But when you do weights, you continue to burn calories even when exercise has stopped.
- Don’t make excuses to skip a workout. If you make excuses, you’re going to feed the habit, which will happen repeatedly.
- Learn to love cooking. Start easy by following a recipe. After that, you’ll eventually get more comfortable free-styling.
- You don’t need fancy ingredients and kitchen equipment to make a nice meal. There are plenty of alternatives out there. The internet is your friend.
- Keep a kitchen scale handy – one thing she could not live without.
- Use an app to keep track of your macros.
What Is A Macro-Balanced Diet?
- Moderate carbs + moderate fats at breakfast
- High carbs + no fats at lunch
- Moderate carbs + moderate fats at mid-evening meal
- Very low carbs + high/moderate fats at dinner (P.S. keto!)
- An equal amount of protein in every meal!
Enjoying and Sharing Her Passion for Healthy Eating
Although she didn’t know how to cook before heading down this path, she’s figured out her way around the kitchen and has created some fantastic and delicious recipes, which she shares on her website and Instagram.
Whether you like sweet or savory, Haylee’s breakfasts are a great way to start your day and will provide you with endless energy until your next meal. Of course, we’re talking about coconut flour pancakes, chocolate peanut butter protein bowls, and spaghetti squash egg white frittatas. All are simple, delicious, and full of nutrients to keep you going.
Lunches and dinners are just as amazing with things like turmeric chickpea cauliflower falafel with homemade garlic hummus, zucchini corn fritters, sweet potato patties with a spicy yogurt sauce, herb mustard glazed salmon with garlic butter broccoli, and hot and crispy cajun tilapia.
Take a look at Haylee’s delectable recipe! – pan-seared scallops in creamy garlic sauce
And let’s not forget about post-workout treats and snacks. Haylee has crafted sweet and healthy treats like triple chocolate zucchini brownies, coconut almond fudge cups, and peanut butter and banana protein shakes.
Whatever your craving, Haylee’s recipes will surely hit the sweet spot.
To learn more about Haylee’s journey, check out her website and Instagram @hayls.kitchen!