Woman loses three stone in weeks after she ‘couldn’t fit into clothes’

With the help of her local branch of F45 Training, Theodora lost a huge 19.6kg, or three stone. This was 11.3 percent of her body fat. But how exactly did she do it?

Theodora, a graphic designer based in Manchester, was “unsatisfied” with the lifestyle she was leading when it came to fitness and nutrition.

At 91.8 kg, or 14 stone, she was a notorious “yo-yo dieter” and binge eater, and her only method of exercise was walking her dog.

She said she was “finding myself constantly disheartened when not being able to fit into my clothes”, and minor exercise would leave her “completely breathless”.

When the pandemic hit, like many others, Theodora turned to food for comfort and ended up putting on more weight.

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It was at this time, when she reached the peak of her unhappiness, that she knew it was time to make a change.

She had tried and tested all the popular diets, and was on the search for something that would educate her about nutrition, as well as transform her lifestyle entirely.

“I knew I was unhealthy, but I was starting to worry about the long-term impacts it was having, and knew drastic changes needed to be made,” she explained.

The 36-year-old signed up to her local F45 studio in August 2021, shortly before embarking on her first F45 Challenge.

This challenge was a comprehensive fitness and nutrition programme offered on a seasonal basis.

Theodora set herself the target to see how she would improve both mentally and physically.

While doing the F45 Challenge, Theodora said her eating habits improved greatly. She followed the mainstream F45 meal plan that required her to eat small, more frequent high-protein meals, drink more water, and reduce her coffee intake.

Even though the first few weeks of doing the challenge were a struggle, especially because of caffeine withdrawals, Theodora said she felt supported by the F45 community.

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Her F45 studio had a WhatsApp group with all Challenge participants, which meant they could help keep each other motivated.

The F45 mainstream meal plan is a macro-balanced diet that includes a healthy portion of complex carbohydrates, fats, and lean protein, such as grass-fed beef, salmon, white fish, chicken, and turkey.

Mainstream breakfast recipes range from healthy bowls, such as the Chia Peanut Butter Bowl and Chocolate Peanut Butter Porridge, to protein-rich egg recipes, including the Zucchini and Avocado Omelette and Turkish Scrambled Eggs.

Mainstream lunch options are quick and easy to prepare, including recipes like the Thai Roast Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Soup, or the Grilled Chicken, Kale, and Red Quinoa.

Dinner recipes include a number of healthy options, such as the Teriyaki Salmon with Sweet Potato and Broccoli, and the Black Bean Beef, Broccoli, Carrot, and Brown Rice.

After a few weeks, Theodora’s routine began to change. Her diet was healthier, but so was her exercise regime.

She took part in three cardio classes and four strength training classes each week. For the first time in a very long time, she said she felt that “I had a proper routine, and no longer felt like food was controlling me”.

Theodora’s mental health improved too. The F45 Challenge restored her confidence. “It left me feeling stronger, happier, and most importantly, healthier,” she said.

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