Jeremy grew up being active and involved in sports. But he never gave healthy eating too much thought until he found himself gaining weight several years after college.
In November 2006, Jeremy hit a turning point when he found that he was too out of shape to play in a company football game. He decided to change his eating habits.
Cutting out fast food
The first step Jeremy took toward healthy eating was to stop going to fast-food restaurants. Jeremy used to eat fast food as often as 4 times a week. To his surprise, he found that giving up fast food wasn't that hard. Now, he says, "I don't even like it anymore."
When Jeremy does go out to eat, he tries to pick menu items that he knows are healthier. He orders salads and lower-fat sandwiches instead of hamburgers, and he drinks water instead of soda pop. "I try to order things that I know I can modify or are already prepared the way I would like them to be prepared."
The importance of planning
Planning meals has been a key to Jeremy's success. It helps him avoid the trap of getting too hungry and resorting to fast food. Each week he plans what he will eat for each meal, and he shops for groceries with his plan in mind. "It's a lot easier to make healthy choices when you're just planning ahead for it."
Jeremy has always enjoyed cooking. Now he experiments with ways to make recipes healthier. He uses whole wheat flour instead of white flour, and olive oil instead of butter.
"The cooking styles that I do now just involve a healthier way to cook the foods that I already liked," he says.
Cooking allows him to have more control over his food choices. "If you're going to prepare it yourself, you're much better off than if you were going to buy it already packaged. You know exactly what's in it."