“I dropped about 20 pounds since the beginning of the year, mostly just by cutting out processed foods and soda.”

English Lesson: I dropped about 20 pounds since the beginning of the year, mostly just by cutting out processed foods and soda.

You're thinner than you were a few months ago. You see a friend who's surprised that you're so thin. You explain how you lost the weight.

I dropped about 20 pounds since the beginning of the year, mostly just by cutting out processed foods and soda.

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pounds

"Pounds" are a unit for measuring weight in the U.S. One pound is equal to about 0.45 kilograms.

I (did something) since (some time)

This should probably be "I've ____ed since ____":

I've dropped 20 pounds since the beginning of the year.

Correct grammar dictates that we should "have ___ed" whenever we specify the time period using "since" or "for":

I've been practicing for over 3 years.

I've been waiting since nine o'clock.

But sometimes English speakers make mistakes when speaking and use the simple past tense instead.

drop (weight)

"Dropping" weight means losing weight and getting thinner.

We usually use the word "lose" along with "weight":

I've lost ten pounds already.

But "drop" works as well. It sounds like you lost the weight a little faster than when you use "lose".

the beginning of the year

Use this phrase to talk about the time around January of a given year.

I went to Canada on a business trip around the beginning of the year.

Since the beginning of the year, we've had over 20 million dollars in sales.

cut out (something)

"Cutting out" something means to stop using it. People mostly use this phrase to talk about eating or drinking things that aren't healthy. For example:

I've been trying to cut out sweets.

You need to cut out sodas.

processed foods

"Processed food" is food that's been prepared in some complicated way before being sold to customers. Examples include:

  • crackers
  • canned soup
  • snack bars
  • candy
  • frozen dinners

People think of processed food as being unhealthy. If you want to talk about this kind of food in a more positive way, you can call it "prepared food".

The word "food" is usually uncountable. However, if you're talking about a variety of different kinds of food that you don't eat all at one time, you can call them "foods". So you say:

I ate so much food!

But you can say:

A healthy diet consists of a wide variety of different foods.

soda

In some areas, "soda" refers to drinks that contain bubbles, like Coca-cola.

In other areas, "soda" is called "pop".

A more technical term for soda is "soft drinks".