Want a $100 discount code for Personal Trainer Food? See the end of the article.
Weight is a deeply personal topic.
And not a topic I ever thought I would write about.
But something has convinced me…
You know, it’s funny that when you’re in high school you want to be as skinny as your skinniest best friend. Then once you’re in your thirties you’d just be satisfied to look like you did back in high school.
Add to that 4 years of constant travel - without a kitchen most of the time - which has resulted in me eating out far too often. I’ll be honest. As much as that salad on the menu looks so good, it’s right beside that damn juicy bacon cheeseburger.
Back in Australia, before we started our nomadic travels, I had a personal trainer and went to the gym on a regular basis. During the first two years of travel I managed to maintain my weight. I’m not sure what changed or how it crept up, but definitely the last year in the US was a fast-track to weight gain. I felt like the snail on The Never Ending Story. You know the one that starts off incredibly slow and then bolts towards the finish line. Except my bolting was towards higher numbers on the bathroom scale.
Early last year I attempted to lose weight in Bali and managed to make progress… before we got to the US. I can’t really blame the US, they have just as many healthy food options as any other country, it’s just they have an overwhelming number of unhealthy options too. Trying new foods is a pivotal part of travel so it’s not surprising I’ve found it difficult to maintain a balance and resist temptation.
So when Personal Trainer Food reached out to me about their 28-day program, it was just the kick in the butt I needed. We were staying in one spot in Orlando, Florida for 5 weeks and that would be the perfect time to focus on eating healthy.
What Is Personal Trainer Food?
Personal Trainer Food (PTF) is an eating plan created by nutrition experts who believe that weight loss is about 90% food and 10% exercise. And since my FitBit tells me I do plenty of steps each day already, I may just agree. PTF take care of the 90%. They provide 28 days of delicious food to deliver quick weight loss results (I chose 3 meals per day, plus snacks).
It’s real food, pre-cooked, frozen and sealed in individual-portioned packages. But it’s not TV dinners either; it’s a la carte. I got to choose 28 breakfasts, 56 vegetables and 56 entrees. There were 26 different entrees to choose from including grilled chicken, Angus burgers, cheeseburger sticks and zesty chicken fingers. And it’s all delivered to your door free of charge via FedEx.
Online ordering was easy and I simply chose foods that I liked and skipped anything I didn’t.
The food is meant to replicate our diet from 40 years ago, focusing on protein and vegetables - natural foods with no heavily processed ingredients. Sensible food created by personal trainers. Nothing weird or wacky.
To me the taste was the most important aspect. I don’t want a shake or foul-tasting supplements - I really enjoy food and I wanted to keep enjoying it. So I was a little apprehensive about how the food would taste.
Fortunately I was pleasantly surprised. I really loved the food. It was delicious, it was filling and it was so easy to prepare.
There were no calories to count, no points to look up, no recipes to learn. And as someone who works at home, and travels constantly, I didn’t need something else to wrap my mind around. The ease of following this program was the best feature.
As far as exercise, they don’t recommend starting any new exercise regime but simply incorporate at least 5000 steps per day. I found this easy to do either on a treadmill or by taking my kids to the park and walking around for 30 minutes.
It has now been one month since I started. So how did I go? Keep reading to find out…
Before The Food
To speed up the weight loss process Personal Trainer Food recommends a 24 to 48 hour fast before commencing the food program. I started at 10pm one night and lasted 40 hours before I caved and ate an apple (as recommend). I feel I did pretty well, since my original intention was for 36 hours.
On the evening after the first 24 hours without food my head started throbbing and I didn’t sleep well. I woke up with the same headache the next morning and that continued for the entire second day. PTF prepared me for this stage and let me know that these symptoms were caused by sugar withdrawal and would eventually pass.
It was shocked to see how much we rely and crave sugar without even realising.
The Food Arrives
I was sitting on the couch in my condo working away when the phone rang. I had already called the lobby twice that day enquiring about any packages arriving for me, so it was with great excitement that I picked up the phone… the delivery was here! I was hungry!
I raced downstairs, grabbed a cart and wheeled the 21kg (46 lb) box of goodies up to my condo.
The large insulated cardboard box was filled with dry ice (which had dissipated) and 28 days worth of food. It took me considerable time to find room in the freezer and pack the food satchels with some kind of sensible organisation. I managed to dedicate a shelf for breakfast portions, another shelf for beef/sausage portions, a shelf for chicken, and a shelf for vegetables.
The box was also filled with snacks. On the program you are allowed two snacks per day and I opted for almonds, pistachios, cheese sticks, salami sticks, pepperoni bites, and sunflower seeds.
It felt like Christmas morning and had I received the biggest present under the tree.
What Was The Food Like?
The eating plan is simple:
1 breakfast portion. I chose fried eggs and bacon, frittatas and bacon, omelettes and sausage, etc.
1 meat and 1 vegetable for lunch and dinner.
Each bag had a fool-proof printed microwave cooking time, with the longest being 2 minutes. Instant gratification! Sometimes I’d pop the food into a frying pan afterwards to improve the texture, particularly on breaded chicken. Other times to incorporate sauces.
Personal Trainer Food considers these as “base plans” and you can add on top of them: unlimited meat, unlimited eggs, and unlimited non-starch vegetables.
So for example one lunch I had a beef patty and beans. I ended up making a lettuce cup (as a replacement for a bun), melted a little bit of cheese (only hard cheeses allowed) on the patty and a squeeze of sugar-free ketchup, mushrooms, peppers and onion to make myself a burger. I used the beans as a side dish, as a replacement for fries. It was delicious! And so filling.
The breakfasts were the hardest for me, since I am used to eating cereal or toast, and the eggs started getting a little monotonous. Soon I decided to build on my breakfasts and often added a few mushrooms and spinach to make it a little more exciting.
I admit, every night after dinner I like to finish my day on a sweet note. And I missed that the most. Especially that week during my time of the month!
I went in search of something to cure my 9pm munchies and that’s when one of the weekly emails pointed out a tasty-looking recipe. I went through the PTF blog and sure enough I found an apple pie filling recipe.
Stew an apple in a saucepan with butter and sweetener for about 15 minutes. I also added a few walnuts or almonds and… wallah! It tasted just like apple pie, without the crust. Or the ice cream. But it was good enough to feel like I was eating dessert.
Could I Eat Out?
One of my favourite things about this eating program is that it’s so easy to follow. I could go out to Cracker Barrel or any restaurant and find something healthy to order. Just had to look for protein and vegetables. Steak and vegetables, chicken with melted cheese and mushrooms. All I had to do was stay away from potatoes, rice and pasta… and the dessert menu.
Did I Get Support?
Every week I was sent an email with a video, helpful advice and inspiration to support my week of weight loss. It proactively described things I might be going through and gave me much needed motivation.
I would also receive a personal email asking how I was going and if I needed any help. These emails were the ones I responded to saying I miss chocolate, I’m not losing any weight, or anything that popped into my mind. And I always got a helpful, encouraging answer.
I also enjoyed watching the success stories of other ladies on their YouTube channel.
But What About Results?
I was disappointed with my weight loss. After 28 days I only lost 5 pounds (2 kilos). When I cried out to my personal trainer, she responded, “Weight is such a hard thing to measure your success. Scale weight can vary for many different reasons, such as your recent liquid intake, your activity, even the weather! Weight loss can be so different for everyone, you may lose more over the next few weeks as your body is adapting to the changes that have been made! However, 4 inches is really fantastic!”
Yes, I only lost 5 pounds, but the real results were in my face, my chest and my waist. I lost 4 inches (10cm) around my hips, waist and chest. My bras started fitting better, my shorts even started falling down and the gold ring I had taken off my finger a few months prior due to constant squeezing and chaffing, easily went back on. Wow! Colour me pink!
What were the other side effects of a good diet?
I noticed my fingernails grew longer and stronger. And my skin started to glow. So many people commented how great my skin looked.
I’ve also felt much more energetic in the afternoons when my energy levels used to wane.
I am sold. If I weren’t on a road trip (and could fit a big box of food into those tiny hotel mini fridges) I would do it for another month. In fact the next time I am stationary for a few weeks I plan on getting another box – it looks like Utah in April.
Until then I am attempting to utilise what I’ve learnt by wisely choosing restaurant dishes like steak and vegetables without the fries or eating at home more often.
Personal Trainer Food has helped my family too. We are all eating better and making healthier choices. I understand more about nutrition and helping my kids make smarter choices, setting them up for a better life.
Plus I didn’t have to buy groceries or cook for a whole month. What’s not to love?
For a limited time only Personal Trainer Food is offering a $100 discount coupon for our readers. Just add the coupon “HEALTHYFOOD” when you purchase a 28-day package.