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For The Love Of Food

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Ethan Quant. Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff

Health coach Ethan Quant, of Elite Wellness Solutions, has succeeded in his weight loss journey and now wants to share his methods with the Bahamas in an effort to foster a culture of wellness and conquer the obesity epidemic.

Food, food, delicious delightful food. Overcoming my very unhealthy and abusive relationship with food was one of the greatest challenges that I faced on my 110-pound weight loss journey. However, I learned very quickly that if you ever want to be successful on your health, wellness and fitness journey it is one thing that you have to be able to properly manage.

I had many difficulties with food that I had to overcome. I loved fast food, not even so much for the taste, but for the convenience. It was so easy to just sit in your car in the drive-through and order what you wanted and then the wonderful fast food fairies would just whip it up and you were happy and satisfied...well, at least for a moment.

Then there was my love affair with our amazing Bahamian cuisine. The thing is that I love to cook, because I love to eat, so I would go to the store and buy food to cook for Sunday dinner, and in my head I would say, 'OK, this is going to last me a week.' But then my beans and rice and three meats with coleslaw and potatoes salad and fried plantain really would last me until Tuesday, because it's all I would eat for each meal, including breakfast. Then we have the sweets, the cakes and the pastries, and if you know me you know my weakness is brownies and my mom's guava duff.

Then there were the snacks. Soft baked chocolate chip cookies and spicy Doritos are my snacks of choice. Even today I can't help myself; if it's in the front of me, I am going to eat it.

I would wash all of this "good food" down with a combination of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages like scotch and ginger ale, vodka tonic, root beer soda, a Sprite or a good ole Coke. So when I say I know that the struggle is real, I mean I know that it is real. I learned through trial and error how to tame the beast that is my appetite, not just for weight loss, but so that my body could do all of the great things I was put in this earth to do. So if you are like I was, struggling to get control of your food intake, try these simple but very effect tips to start taming the beast:

• Start small; don't try to cut everything out at once

One of the biggest mistakes I made was trying to cut everything out of my diet that wasn't "healthy". I would only be able to last a short while, and the minute I gave into my cravings it normally ended up with me binging. What I found was that it's more effective to cut back in small amounts, one item at a times. This approach is much more sustainable and doesn't set me up for failure.

• Reduce your intake of processed foods

You would be surprised to know exactly how much processed foods there are. The trick here is to keep it simple. If it's "ready to eat", it's processed. The easiest to make this a reality is to focus on buying more whole foods. That simply foods with one or two ingredients. Think about the difference between boneless skinless chicken breast and boneless buffalo wings in the frozen section.

• Control what you eat

Cook the food yourself. Don't get me wrong, I like to eat out just as much as the next person, but reducing the amount of food that you eat out is a great way to start tackling the food challenge. This includes fast food, take-out and sit-in restaurants. The real way to know what's going into your food and to know exactly how much food you are eating is to prepare it yourself.

Think long term, not quick fix

You want to be able to sustain this over the long term. So allow yourself time to try different things and figure out what works for you. Remember, the race to good health is a marathon not a sprint.

If you need help navigating this or any aspect of your health wellness and fitness journey, feel free to reach out to me directly.

• If you need help navigating any part of your health, wellness and fitness process, you can contact Ethan Quant at ethan@elite-wellnesssolutions.com or on Instagram at @ethanquant.

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