Many moons ago, we wrote about how tired Cyndie Moran was: tired of meal planning, tired of the same uninspiring meals, tired of the way she looked and felt.
But on January 22, 2016, Moran changed her life by subscribing to the Cooking Light Diet. Now, almost five years and 70 pounds later, she’s not so tired anymore.
We caught up with the mother of four to see how she was doing and how she was able to continue using the Cooking Light Diet after all this time to maintain her weight loss and feed her family of six.
“One less thing to worry about.”
If you’re reading this, you’ll know that 2020 as a year has been anything but stress-free. And for Cyndie Moran, that’s been no different. She’s currently in the midst of a move from Stockton, California, back to her childhood home in San Ramon, California. She’s got four kids in high school and college, so fill in those stress blanks, fellow parents. Her father dealt with some health issues earlier in the year, too. In short, Moran’s been too busy to be tired and definitely too busy for more stress. But luckily, Moran has had a stress-relieving ally in her corner for 4+ years: the Cooking Light Diet.
“It definitely removes the stress factor, and when you know what you’re having all week, it makes the rest of your life easier,” Moran says.
Yes, Moran is human. Like a lot of us, she struggled with quarantining and put on some coronavirus pounds. But once life settled down a bit, she says she was able to get right back to where she needed to be, maintaining a 65-70 pound weight loss. And she credits time spent in the kitchen with the Cooking Light Diet for helping her settle down and not sweat the small stuff so much this year.
“When things started getting a little flustered in my life, I started cooking dinner again. And getting back to the plan helps put everything back in place.”
Moran says the familiarity of the Cooking Light Diet and its variety of delicious recipes (more on that in a bit) keep her stress levels in check and give her peace of mind in a year that’s offered anything but.
“I’ve been doing this for a long time,” Moran says. “It’s the way it is now, you know? I go through, click the recipes I want to eat, make any modifications I need to fit into our weekly schedule, and we’re good to go.”
“You can customize it to fit your life.”
Moran may still have lots of things to worry about in 2020, but feeding her family and maintaining her own weight loss aren’t among them. And Moran says one of the biggest reasons for that is her ability to seamlessly customize the Cooking Light Diet to her family’s needs.
“It’s something I can do for myself that the rest of the family can reap the rewards of.”
And reap they have. Moran says each family member has particular favorites from her meal plans, and they’ll frequently request Cooking Light Diet meals on special occasions like birthdays. She says the consensus go-to favorite birthday brunch is the Best Ever French Toast recipe, and the whole family loves how mealtimes can be planned around what they’re in the mood for. When the kids want comfort food, Moran schedules mac and cheese, pizza, and casserole recipes for the week. When they want something light? Salads and lower-calorie mains get plugged into her menu for dinner.
“Having this freedom of being able to choose between all these meals depending on moods and occasions is great,” Moran says. Plus, her ability to build customized menus means that Moran was able to shed the pounds she put on at the start of the coronavirus pandemic once certain items were more readily available in the grocery again.
But it’s hard to customize meal plans and get back to a goal weight without variety, and that’s something Moran says the Cooking Light Diet has in spades.
“Variety is the key and the fact that you really don’t feel like you’re eating ‘diet’ food.” With options like dozens of different healthy tacos; burgers galore; Sausage, Manchego, and Pepper Pizza (shown below); and comfort food recipes for days, Moran knows that she’s always going to be serving up meals that will both appeal to the whole family and help maintain her weight loss.
“This has never felt like a diet—and never will.”
After almost five years and 70 pounds lost, Moran has no plans to either quit the Cooking Light Diet or switch to a comparable meal plan. Because, in her own words, nothing comparable exists.
“[On] other meal plans, you’re given a week’s worth of food—and it’s a serving for one,” Moran says. “What about the rest of your family? That makes other diets and meal plans feel, well, very ‘diet’ feeling. And this has never felt like a diet—and never will.”
She readily acknowledges that she’s had tiny ups and downs in terms of weight fluctuation, but Moran is constantly enjoying what she calls an “infinitely adaptable” meal plan. Because her husband works from home and the kids are around more, she usually schedules a brunch recipe (choosing a delicious breakfast or lunch to big batch) around 10:30 a.m. and then a dinner recipe.
So not only is the Cooking Light Diet working for the whole Moran family, it’s also helping her emotionally in what’s been a tough year. Moran says prepping and cooking everything on her plan centers her and brings a lot of comfort. When asked why she’d still recommend the Cooking Light Diet to anyone looking to make life easier and not necessarily looking to lose weight, Moran had this to say:
“Even if you don’t want to lose weight, having this meal plan that’s flexible in general makes things a lot easier. You know what you’re having for dinner every night. It makes grocery shopping a lot easier since you’re only buying what you need. You avoid getting into ruts with meal options, or you can plan the same meals all the time. But just in terms of it being a meal plan alone, it’s a lifesaver. It saves time planning, shopping, and produces minimal food waste.”
Thanks for letting us follow up on your success, Cyndie! Here’s to the next five years together.
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*Members following the Cooking Light Diet, on average, lose 1/2 lb. per week.