Meixner is all about small swaps that make a big difference.Amanda Meixner/Instagram
Weight loss often seems daunting, but the truth is it doesn’t need to miserable.
That’s what nutrition blogger Amanda Meixner is trying to convey to her 722,000 Instagram followers.
Meixner is the mastermind behind @meowmix, an Instagram account that raises awareness about healthy eating through simple meal prep and smart food swaps.
INSIDER spoke to Meixner about all things food, health, and fitness. Keep scrolling to read about how she makes healthy eating more approachable.
After struggling with an eating disorder in high school, Meixner was inspired to learn how to lose weight in a healthy way.
Meixner wanted to explore how foo functions in the body.
This desire, paired with a passion for meal prepping, is what inspired Meixner to start her Instagram account.
Every Sunday, Meixner grocery shops and prepares all of her meals for the week ahead.
Meixner has been meal prepping since she graduated college. She says it’s the easiest and best way to eat healthy without overspending.
Over the years, Meixner has optimized her strategy. For those who want to get into meal prep, Meixner’s first tip is always shopping with a grocery list.
She says people often harbor two common misconceptions when it comes to eating healthy: that it’s boring, and that you have to starve yourself to lose weight.
People assume that losing weight comes from eating as little as possible.
Instead, Meixner says the key to weight loss is swapping out processed, calorie-dense foods for whole, natural foods.
Small adjustments can make a big difference.
Meixner relies on these swaps instead of on calorie counting.
Having a latte instead of a Frappuccino can significantly reduce your calories and sugar.
Her swaps make it clear that you can still get the flavor you’re looking for, but in a less-caloric form.
Real fruit is always better than fruit juice.
The swaps don’t have to be big either. Sometimes small adjustments can make a big difference.
Dark chocolate is a more healthy choice for dessert.
Ingredients that aren’t good for your body, like high fructose corn syrup and canola oil, are often hidden in processed foods, according to Meixner.
Many people lose weight simply by cutting these processed foods — and hidden ingredients —out of their diet, Meixner told INSIDER.
Because natural foods like fruits and veggies are often less calorie dense than processed foods, you can actually eat more if you eat clean.
Natural foods usually have more fiber too, which means they’ll keep you feeling full for longer.
However, Meixner cautions that eating for your body is crucial. Just because you’re eating healthy doesn’t mean you can eat an unlimited amount.
Meixner recommends figuring out a personalized nutrition plan for yourself, not copying what someone else is eating.
Meixner says that people who are eating healthy but not losing weight might not be eating the right portion size. The difference between a small and large hand full of nuts, for example, is significant.
It’s especially important to keep this in mind when eating fats, proteins, and carbs, since these are more caloric, Meixner told INSIDER.
Figuring out the right portion can be tough.
«… when you come from a lifetime of poor habits and maybe being told to eat your plate when you’re not hungry, of course you’re so out of touch with how much you should be eating,» Meixner said.
As much as Meixner is all about clean eating, she’s not a believer in cutting out food groups completely.
She says cutting out entire food groups just isn’t sustainable.
She’s also not afraid to indulge in what she calls a «treat meal» from time to time.
«Have what you want when you want, but don’t feel forced to have a treat just to have it. Have it because you want it,» Meixner said.
And she emphasizes that treat meals shouldn’t come with feelings of guilt.
According to Meixner, it’s this guilt that can lead to bingeing and eating a whole box of cookies, instead of just indulging in one when you’re craving it.
Meixner admits it’s not always easy.
She still sometimes gets tricked into thinking she’s eating something healthy, when really she’s not.
In order to make it easier for her followers, Meixner provides easy and creative snack ideas on her account as well.
Her account has tons of delicious recipes.
Many of her suggestions don’t require cooking or baking.
A healthy meal doesn’t need to be difficult to make.
Meixner is just as passionate about fitness as she is about nutrition. She works out six days per week and focuses mostly on weight training and high intensity interval training.
According to Meixner, the benefits of weight lifting extend outside of the gym. She says it can lower your risk for developing osteoporosis, as well as increase your metabolism.
All in all, Meixner keeps her approach to being healthy as fun as possible. «You don’t have to do the broccoli, chicken, and rice at every meal to lose weight,» she says.
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