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We’ve lost 120 lbs together — our grocery store hack for healthy eating did the trick – Yahoo News

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A Texas couple lost a combined 120 pounds after a free trip to Hawaii inspired them to adopt a healthier diet — which they achieved thanks to a simple grocery store hack.

Ashley Evans and Brendan Roche, both 34, went on Today Monday to share their weight loss success story, which began with a dream vacation to Maui.

The lovebirds were inspired to change their lives for the better, giving up junk food and cooking healthier versions of their favorite meals.

The Houston-based pair explained that they gained a significant amount of unwanted weight during the pandemic.

“We got pretty big during lockdown,’ Roche said.

“Once the pandemic hit, we were ordering tons of food and staying inside. I worked from home, so it was a very sedentary lifestyle. It was almost a treat-yourself-every-meal kind of scenario,” he said.

Then, Roche won the romantic retreat in a contest through his work, motivating the twosome to start whipping themselves back into shape so that they could look good on the beach.

What began as a vacation project turned into an entire lifestyle change, they said.

“We knew we were nowhere near any shape to be headed to one of the most beautiful places on Earth and to enjoy ourselves properly,” Evans, who has type 1 diabetes, admitted.

“We went from being excited to being embarrassed,” Roche added.

After finding out they won their dream trip, the couple stepped on the scale and Roche weighed in at 260 and Evans was 225 pounds.

Since starting their weight loss journey together, Evans lost 70 pounds and Roche lost 50 pounds.

The couple says a combo of changing their diets and adopting an exercise routine led them to where they are today.

“We got back to the basics, versus the unhealthy choices we had been making,” Evans said.

“It’s the way I should have been eating my whole life.”

The pair also shared a simple hack for anyone trying to eat healthier — and it all begins in the grocery store.

“I avoid the middle section of the grocery store. The healthiest choices are on the outskirts,” Evans said.

The couple stopped drinking alcohol and threw away all their processed foods.

They swapped donuts and chips with veggies, lean meats, and nuts. When ordering takeout they only got salads and smoothies, though they mostly opted for at-home meals since Evans had the time to cook.

Evans decided to prepare some of their favorite dishes, including Philly cheesesteaks, but in a healthier way.

Instead of using bread for a Philly cheesesteak sandwich, Evans stuffed peppers with steak, cheese, mushrooms, and onions.

“These little, gradual changes were enough for us to still feel like we were eating what we wanted,” Evans said.

“And when you’re making things at home, you’re in control of what you’re putting in,” she added.

Evans also changed how much food she prepares to prevent the couple from overeating.

“I used to cook enough food for a family of six, and we would have leftovers that the two of us would just eat endlessly,” she explained.

Roche said his biggest challenge was giving up late-night snacking, but instead of ditching the habit altogether he swapped out his snacks for healthier ones and he now seldom craves salty foods.

By changing their diet alone, the couple each lost 40 pounds before their big trip. Then, they joined a gym, just before heading to Maui back in May 2023.

“That’s what I think took us to the next level,” Roche said of working out.

Evans focused on cardio followed by weight lifting and saw an improvement in her body and her diabetes. Roche lifts weights and also plays pickleball multiple times a week. The couple has continued to eat healthy and exercise following their trip.

“My doctor said my numbers are beautiful, and that’s something I hadn’t heard in a number of years. I’m constantly monitoring my blood-glucose levels, and I could see a significant change once I wasn’t eating a ton of carbs. My blood sugars are a lot more manageable and in the normal range,” she said.

She now needs only half the amount of insulin to control her diabetes, versus what she once used.

Roche said he now has more energy than ever before.

“When I was at my biggest, I would take naps in the middle of the day. I had zero energy. And I lost the passion for the things I used to love to do. I wouldn’t go fishing anymore. I wouldn’t go out to the gun range. I’d sit and play video games and sleep. Now I sleep better, and I wake up excited about what I’m going to do for the day,” he says.

They offered the following health tips to people who want to follow in their footsteps: Keep it simple by implementing small consistent changes, find someone to celebrate with and keep you accountable, only buy healthy foods from the grocery store and keep track of your progress to keep you motivated.

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