Half Their Size’s Eve Guzman: What I Eat in a Typical Day (and When I Allow Myself a Cheat Meal)

01/11/2016 at 12:50 PM ET

Eve GuzmanCourtesy Eve Guzman

Eve Guzman was featured in PEOPLE’s 2015 Half Their Size Issue after going from 277 lbs. to 138 lbs. by dramatically decreasing her portion sizes and sticking to a high protein, low-fat, moderate carb diet. Since her weight loss, the genetic toxicology research assistant and mom of two, 33, has coached people all over the country on how to lose weight, helping them drop a combined 2,950 lbs. In the next phase of her journey, Guzman is preparing to compete in a figure competition, and will be sharing her preparation in an exclusive PEOPLE blog. You can also follow her on Instagram.

My last check-in with my figure coach Jennifer Sturges was on Christmas Eve morning. I was nervous, but excited to see if I would earn a cheat meal for Christmas. We did my measurements and I was down 3 lbs. of fat, gained 2 lbs. of muscle, and dropped my body fat by 2 percent in my first three weeks of prep! I knew my weight was down, but the fat drop blew me away.

We decided to break my Christmas cheat up into two meals: one on Christmas Eve and the other on Christmas day. I went high fat on one day and high carbs the next. I chose nacho dip and chicken tenders for my fatty meal, and on Christmas day I had Cajun shrimp and grits and Christmas cookies. I indulged in three Reese’s Peanut Butter Cookie Cups, two sugar cookies and four chocolate chip cookies.

The cheat meal was guilt-free because my body was ready for a re-feed, and I had worked so hard to earn the cheat meals. I weighed in five days after the cheat meals and lost an additional 2 lbs. Trusting the process is critical!

When I’m not having a cheat meal, my meals typically consist of whole eggs, egg whites, oatmeal, protein shakes, complex vegetables and carbs, lean-to moderate-fat meats, whole grains and small amounts of dairy daily. The progress I make will dictate if I get to have cheat meals.

I have gotten very creative with my meals, and learned to make protein pancakes, waffles and mug cakes that taste amazing.

Here is an example of a typical day during my January prep:

Meal One: Whole egg, egg whites and rice

Meal Two: Protein shake

Meal Three: Chicken Breast, green beans and rice

Meal Four: Steak, potatoes and broccoli

Meal Five: Ground turkey zucchini noodle-free lasagna

Meal Six: Blueberry protein pancakes

My coach calculates my macros (proteins, carbs and fats) based on my current measurements to figure where I need to be to hit my stage weight and final body fat percentage. I am shooting for a body fat percentage of 10 percent for my first show.

There are days where I am completely exhausted and want to give up, and other days where I have endless amounts of energy. Every time I want to quit I think about a quote from Eric Thomas: “You have to want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe.”

Eve Guzman

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Showing 11 comments

Susan on

I hate that term “cheat meal.” You should love everything you eat, or don’t bother consuming it. We were given taste buds for a reason, and you can make any healthy meal taste amazing because cooking is what separates us from the animals.

button on

I agree with Susan. If you have to cheat, then you haven’t changed your eating and may give up one day. I have healthy meals that include something I really crave like 10-12 potato chips along with my sandwich or a cookie after a healthy grilled chicken with veggies lunch. If 90% of what you eat is healthy, real food and you exercise, you’ll be normal weight without all the drama.

Christie Allen on

Please send the recipe for the pancakes. They look amazing!

Sharon on

Congrats!!! I am lucky that I love healthy food… I love junk
food too! If you are REALLY hungry, anything tastes good!
I eat when I’m hungry and balance is key. I also exercise.

sally on

I would get bored eating these same things! It does not seem a realistic way to eat. Who has time to worry and think so much about their food? Three healthy meals a day- with moderate portions & exercise does the trick. If you wean yourself off of sugar- the cravings stop. Stay away from snack foods- grab fruit instead.

Garda on

She’s mentioning “cheating” so I expect her to get half her size twice as fast. You shouldn’t cheat, just make your diet as feasible as possible. I’ve lost 24lbs with the Loaded Gun Diet eating everything just less, that’s what works for me.

Gabriella on

Mrs. Guzman you are an inspiration! Keeping in mind she has already dropped half her size and that she is reaching for beyond normal physical results, her nutrition regimen is going to look different than someone who is simply looking to be healthy. Her story chronicles going from overweight to healthy weight to being a fitness competitor. That is a huge undertaking and it is important we all keep in mind the old addage, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Enjoy your healthy meals and your well deserved holiday cheat meals too. I am sure your coach has you in good hands, especially if you’re dropping fat while enjoying the things you love. Thanks for your candor and best of luck moving forward!

Joy Vinson-Roy on

I gave myself a Sunday evening cheat after 15 days of cleansing my body from vacation naughtiness. Three small cookies with chocolate filling and 3 chocolates, one small sip of wine. Got on the scale this morning and I dropped 2 more pounds from yesterday! Goal wt. is just a week away abs goal three months.

Patrick on

itsashame on

That sounds exhausting. If all you do is think about what you’re eating, isn’t that still disordered?

Jenny on

That food just looks gross. How about this? Cook healthy, great meals, and only eat one small portion with a nice vegetable or salad. Then save the leftovers for lunch the next day. And make sure you move every day, doing something you enjoy that works up a good sweat. This way, you can enjoy your food, not feel guilty, and be a “normal” weight. I used to weigh 40 pounds more, and at the age of 50, decided to lose the weight myself, and get in better shape, for free!

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