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Nic's Calorie Counting Success

AKA "Nic75" lost weight with Weight Loss Resources*

Nic's Details
Age 32
Height 5' 7"
Start Weight 14st 10lbs
Current Weight 9st 10lbs
Goal Weight 9st 10lbs
Weight Lost 5 stone
Working to Rate of Loss 2lb - 1lb per week

Nicola Now (right): 9st 10lb

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I am a million times more confident, at work, in my personal life, everywhere really. I feel more positive about life and it’s just so much more enjoyable.

About Nicola

I work as an account manager at an advertising agency and so largely I sit at my desk all day.  It’s quite a social industry with endless opportunities to go to the pub after work and as I work in a reasonably large team, birthdays come along very regularly which means cake/champagne and a lunch with plenty of wine usually.

Out of work my social life mainly entails meeting friends/family to eat out or just for drinks.

I live on my own and throughout this journey I have been aware that this makes things slightly easier.  I don’t have a boyfriend or kids in the house which could mean there are temptations of the wrong sort of food in the house that I could scoff.  If I don’t buy it, I can’t eat it.

Eating out has become easier. My tastes genuinely have changed and I’m far more educated about food in general.  I can now look at a menu and see any potential pit-falls.  Generally I will have whatever I fancy when I eat out, but make sure that I’ve earned the calories to enjoy it.

Dieting History

I’ve done all sorts. 

I did the Cabbage Soup diet and lost 1 stone in a week.  However, I could’ve died (not from the diet as such, but because as a result of not having enough food I fainted on a train platform!). I found that I got so utterly sick of the soup that I just stopped eating it and was only eating the other items that you were allowed in a day.  The day I fainted it was about 4pm and I had had 1 banana and some skimmed milk.  I put the stone back on within the next 2 weeks of eating normally.

I have also tried Slimming World with green and red days.  I had some success with this, but it’s just so restrictive.  As soon as you go out to eat either at a restaurant or even at someone’s house you struggle to keep to the plan.  And also the free foods encouraged me to eat far too much of certain things.  On red days (protein) I would eat ridiculous quantities of meat e.g., 10 slices of turkey at a time and on green days I would eat GIANT portions of pasta.  It really taught me nothing about a sustainable healthy lifestyle.

The most success I had previously was with a super healthy diet and exercise regime.  I was featured in a National newspaper in an article called “Couch potatoes” – we had a personal trainer and nutritionist for 3 months to see what we could achieve.  It was essentially a calorie controlled diet about 1200 calories a day, and a personal trainer 3 times a week.  During this time I didn’t drink or eat out.  When my friends all had a take-away curry I would join them but bring my own Be Good To Yourself curry to microwave and eat with them.  I lost just under 2 stone in 3 months and then went on to lose another stone on my own. 

This wasn’t sustainable and clearly I never found the happy medium between my previously unhealthy lifestyle and the super-healthy 3 months where I’d lost all the weight.  I started to drink again and eat more “normally” with the odd take-away etc.

I got made redundant and totally lost my routine, which meant that I stopped going to the gym as regularly.  I wasn’t really aware of it but over the next few years slowly, but surely I put all that weight back on and another stone too.

How being overweight has affected you…

As I got bigger and bigger I felt totally out of control… The mountain had become so high I didn’t even want to start climbing.

Nic Before

Nic Before:

As I got bigger and bigger I felt totally out of control and didn’t know where to begin with losing the weight.  The mountain had become so high I didn’t even want to start climbing.

In hindsight I can see that I was very depressed in the end at my size.  None of my friends were big like me and my confidence was on the floor.  I would be out in a bar in a group of girlfriends and I would think “I know that I’m the last one that any boy would look at out of the people I’m with”.  I just felt rubbish about myself.

Motivation to Diet

I just got fed up of feeling so bad about myself.  I knew I had masses of willpower. I just needed to channel it. 

How Weight Loss Resources Helps

WLR has been amazing at educating me.  I have loved feeling so in control.

The positive link between exercise and being able to eat more calories is such a great motivation!  Most diets restrict your calorie intake and then ask you to exercise even more calories off.  WLR means you literally can eat what you like – you just need to earn it.

The other thing that I have found invaluable to keep my motivation going is that when I knew I had been 100% honest with my food and exercise diary and the weigh-in result didn’t go my way then I KNEW it was just a blip and not to worry.  If I hadn’t eaten 3500 cals over maintenance then there was NO WAY that the gain on the scales was “real”.  I just sat tight and without fail it all sorted itself out the following week.

The Best of Weight Loss Resources

It goes without saying that the food/exercise diaries are invaluable.  If you are honest with these the weight WILL come off.

I like the Tried and Tasted section too – good to know what’s good and what’s not worth wasting your money and calories on.

I have tended to lurk on the boards in the Members Forum more than post.  But all the advice there is so helpful and it is really great support to know that you’re not alone.

Why do you think WLR has helped you lose weight where other diets have failed?

WLR is a lifestyle change, not a diet.  That’s the fundamental difference. 

If you view this as a diet I believe you will end up eventually putting all the weight back on again.  If you see this as a diet and deny yourself things you enjoy then there is always the (more attractive) option of not being on a diet.  If you love pizza, make sure you can fit it in your meal plans as you go along – not every day, but when you’ve earned the calories.  If you deny yourself for too long there’s the risk of going a bit crazy and going mad eating a giant stuffed crust pepperoni pizza with extra cheese!  As long as you know a couple of slices is never off the menu it should be much easier to manage.

Nic's Calorie Counting Tips

Find an exercise you can do and enjoy (perhaps you won’t enjoy it at first, but as you begin to see results it will grow on you, I promise!).

The day I started losing weight was the day I cancelled my gym membership.  It had been hanging over me for years making me feel guilty for not going.  I dumped the £40/month membership, bought a mini-stepper and started doing that for half an hour about 3 times a week. 

Taking control of the situation instantly made me feel better so instead of sitting on the sofa watching Eastenders I stepped through it and earned myself a couple of hundred calories. 

Running will change the shape of your body.  I am not a natural runner at all but started doing the walking/running interval training and now can run 5k.  Go to the Runners board, Members Forum for support.  If I can run, anyone can do it.

Mini-Milks!  Make a great little “dessert” if you fancy something sweet after your dinner and they’re only 30cals!

One thing I have learned is that the “Healthy” option is not always the lowest calorie.  For example in Sainsbury’s I was looking at crisps and they have some in their Be Good To Yourself range which are about 94 calories a packet.  But the “normal” ones are only 88cals a packet.  The fat content is lower in the BGTY ones but it’s such a small amount anyway I don’t worry about it. 

Also ready meals; check out the labels because it’s often to do with fat content not cals that they are put in one range or another.  Sometimes the “normal” Shepherd’s Pie will only have about 50 cals more than the “Healthy” one.  Obviously it’s good to watch fat intake too, but it’s just something I’ve noticed.

Lifestyle Changes

I am a million time more confident, at work, in my personal life, everywhere really.  I feel more positive about life and it’s just so much more enjoyable.

Foods that you eat now and didn't before or don't eat any more

There’s nothing that I don’t eat any more.  My tastes have changed dramatically and largely I’d choose a far healthier option now anyway.  I haven’t had a McDonald’s for months and months.  Not because I have denied myself but because mainly I’d rather have a nice salad or fresh sandwich instead.

I eat MASSES of cherry tomatoes.  They make a brilliant snack and also form part of a lot of my meals.  A punnet of 250g of tomatoes is only 50 calories – a great snack on the go or just sat watching TV.

Typical Evening Meal:

Before: Spaghetti bolognaise with too much pasta and cheddar cheese (portion size generally was a problem!)

Now: Prawn stir-fry followed by fruit salad with natural yogurt.
Pasta with tomato sauce packed with loads of veg.

Exercise Routines Adopted:

Joined a running club at work.  We have a personal trainer twice a week who takes us out and we do some running and some circuit training. It’s good fun with other people and I definitely push myself harder than I do when I’m just on my own!

I am just generally more active.  Walking places whenever I can, rather than taking the tube or bus or driving.

Any Major Changes?

I started my new job almost at my target weight and it has been great being ‘Slim Nic’.  Whilst it’s lovely that so many old friends tell me how amazing I look etc it’s nice to just be me as I am now and not have anyone think of me from before when I was fat. 

I am very proud of what I have achieved with my change of lifestyle and weight loss, but now I’m here and happy and sure that I can maintain it I don’t want the weight loss to define me.

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* Note: The success stories published on Weight Loss Resources are written by WLR members, past and present, telling their own stories in their own words. As you will see if you read more than one or two of them, everyone's story is different and they have reached their success from a variety of starting points and lost weight at varying rates. Individual results may vary.

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Start a Free Trial Today

Try WLR's online calorie counting tools and databases free. You can keep food and exercise diaries, and find out how many calories you need each day to reach your weight loss goal. Take a free trial and see for yourself.

Take our FREE trial »

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