Woman loses half of her body weight by eating the ‘foods I love’ every day

Nicola is a dog walker who lost an incredible 10 stone after a devastating stroke: “When I was 41, my son Ben, who was 14 at the time, returned from school to find me lying on the bed unconscious. An ambulance was called and it turned out I’d had a stroke.

“Results of tests showed that I had a hole in my heart and needed surgery. Although everything went okay with the operation, I knew that being overweight had been a contributing factor to the stroke,” she explained.

“I was horrified that my son – and my whole family, in fact – had to go through such an ordeal.”

Nicola, who weighed 22 stone at her heaviest, decided to join her local Slimming World group in Sheffield, which was a turning point in her life after having struggled with her weight since she was little.

She explained: “I’d struggled with my weight since childhood and, being a yo-yo dieter as an adult, I’d tried many times on my own to lose weight.

“It would work for a bit, then I’d put the weight back on as I’d feel restricted and unable to eat the foods I love. I knew what I needed was a long-term solution, not a quick fix.”

However, although Nicola “desperately wanted to make a change”, she was scared. “So much so that I actually didn’t go that first week, it took another seven days for me to pluck up enough courage. I went the following week, and I’m so glad I did! As soon as I walked in, my fears went away, and I was put at ease as everyone was so welcoming.”

The slimmer admitted that she was “one of the biggest people there” but when her consultant took her through the plan, “I remember thinking, ‘this could actually work’”.

Nicola started a “flexible” diet plan where she could “eat the foods you love, never go hungry and still lose weight”.

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She cooks all her meals from scratch now and admitted that cutting out butter and using low-calorie cooking spray instead of oil has massively helped.

The best part of the personalised diet plan is that she can still enjoy her favourite pub meals: “We’re quite a sociable family so we’ll often visit the local pub or enjoy meals out with friends and none of that has had to stop.”

In terms of alcohol, Nicola shared her weight loss trick: “Instead of drinking lager and lime or cider, I’ve swapped to gin and when we eat at a restaurant, I swap out the chips for a jacket potato and salad with my steak.”

Since losing weight, Nicola can enjoy more quality time with her family. They cycle together every week and she now loves being “out in the fresh air” where she used to struggle and ended up out of breath even on short walks. “Being healthier has given me a new zest for life and I’m over the moon that I can say yes to the things I love and still lose weight.”

Nicola’s diet before:

  • Breakfast: Either nothing or white toast with butter
  • Lunch: Sandwiches and crisps
  • Dinner: Shop-bought chicken Kiev with cheese or steak pie and mash made with butter or spaghetti Bolognese, made from a jar of sauce, garlic bread
  • Snacks: Crisps, biscuits
  • Drinks: Sugary fizzy drinks

Nicola’s diet after:

  • Breakfast: Fresh fruit with low-fat yoghurt or porridge
  • Lunch: Homemade soup or ham or crabstick salad with Slimming World chips
  • Dinner: Slimming World spaghetti Bolognese with salad
  • Snacks: Fruit, grapes, apples, low-calorie yoghurt, low-fat crisps or low-calorie jelly
  • Drinks: Water

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