Christmas is fast approaching – and it’s not just the geese getting fat as we over-indulge on festive nights out.
But these four women have gone from Xmas puddings to total crackers after winning their battle to shed the pounds this year.
Here, they share the secret of their incredible 2019 results, and give top tips on how to beat the bulge and keep the weight off.
KATE HILL, 25, of Bradford
“I cut food portions and play rugby”
Kate was so conscious of her weight that she used to take her own towels to hotels in case theirs would not fit round her.
And she was inspired to diet after realising she weighed more than her dad James.
Now the customer service worker can’t wait to walk down the aisle with her new figure when she weds her partner Sarah, 27, in October next year.
Kate said: “Sarah loved me when I was at my biggest – but we’re happier now because I’m happier with the way I look.”
She joined Weight Watchers (now WW) and started eating breakfasts for the first time, usually scrambled eggs. For
lunch she replaced takeaways with microwave meals from WW, and at teatime she cut down her portion sizes of pasta and home-cooked food.
She also began exercising and joined a women’s rugby team.
Kate said: “I’d advise people to find an exercise they love and stick to it. I tried the gym but it didn’t suit me.
“I recently got the confidence to try rugby – something I’ve always wanted to do.”
For Kate’s diet, see weightwatchers.com
LIZ YOUNGMAN, 56, of Rushden
“It’s a way of life. I gave away party dress, it’s now”
Keen cook Liz has squeezed into a pair of size 12 jeans for the first time in 20 years – and partly reversed her diabetes as well.
Facing daily insulin jabs, she heard last year about a low-carb diet that was changing lives.
Vegetarian Liz says: “The nurse at my GP’s surgery said to give it a go but not to expect too much.”
She ditched starchy bread for a homemade version, used shredded cauliflower instead of white rice and quit sugar-laden fruit.
She says: “It’s a way of life and I have no intention of coming off it. I even make my own muesli. It was a shock to find apples and bananas were no good for me. I gave away the Christmas dress I’d had for years because it was too big.”
For more on Liz’s diet, see lowcarbprogram.com
ANGIE MOORE, 63, of Hornsea, East Riding
“If you fall off wagon, get back on”
Angie says she feels like a new woman after losing six stone by ditching crisps and sugary snacks for banana pancakes, lettuce wraps and nuts.
She had osteoarthritis and was struggling to get about when she began dieting – but now walks six
She said: “I feel great – I’m really proud. I realised I was snacking out of boredom a lot. I’d sit at home at night, get fed up and go and open the fridge or cupboard.” The mum-of-six adds: “I’ve tried all sort of diets but none worked. I don’t think I was ready. This time I was determined.”
Angie adds: “My best advice is that it’s all about tomorrow – if you fall off the wagon, get back on it and never give up.“I’ve also got rid of my old size 24 clothes so I can’t ever get back into them.
“You need to appreciate that you will be a little hungry sometimes at first because it’s not easy, but you will eventually get used to it.
“I used to pretend I was happy being this big woman – but I was not.”
RACHEL DARLASTON, 23, of Dudley, West Midlands
“I’d have found it harder without the support from others”
Teaching assistant Rachel shed four stone after her weight ballooned at university.
Rachel says she had always had difficulty keeping her weight down, but as a student she had substituted proper meals for toasties and takeaways.
Determined to shift the bulge after university, she joined Slimming World.
Rachel says: “It was really easy to follow and I lost five and a half pounds in the first week.
“That spurred me on. I’d managed to shed two stone for my cousin’s wedding in 2015 on slim shakes, but it didn’t stay off.”
Rachel has changed her eating habits drastically – ditching fatty takeaways, fry-ups and lunchtime sandwiches for a diet that does not ban any foods, but limits high-fat.
She says: “I feel a lot better and so much more confident. My partner Ryan isn’t on a diet, but has been eating the same as me and he’s lost a stone and a half as well.”
She advises future slimmers not to go it alone. She says: “I went to group classes every week – I’d have found it a lot harder without the support of others. My top tip would be to join a class or recruit a friend on the journey.” For more on Rachel’s diet see slimmingworld.co.uk