Mike was “severely overweight, depressed and anxious” before losing weight but he now feels more comfortable than ever in his new “totally unrecognisable” body. At his heaviest, the dieter weighed 21 stone, and his diet consisted of takeaways and unhealthy snacks. “If I managed to get myself out for a walk, I’d reward myself with a takeout and some sweets and ruin any chance of the exercise having an actual effect on my body,” he admitted.
“My brain wanted me to be unhealthy – it wanted me to reward myself for doing something small with an enormous meal and I felt like no matter what, I’d always be the big guy,” he said.
Mike explained: “For 31 of my 33 years I had always been heavier and never imagined I would be anything else. This was always around the 18-19 stone mark.”
After struggling with mental health because of his weight, Mike realised that something had to change.
He explained: “It’s always made me feel like I don’t belong anywhere. I felt like people were judging me at every turn, but not nearly as much as I was judging myself.”
He lost seven stone in just one year by using the exercise bike at home regularly and by sticking to his new diet.
“I knew that I wouldn’t always be motivated, so I only allowed myself to watch my favourite TV shows whilst on the bike – this is called ‘habit stacking’ and it’s really useful for keeping up consistency. You have to find ways to make your goals seem as attractive as possible and it’ll help you stick to them.”
Mike also managed to slim down by tracking the foods he was eating and consuming the Skinny Food Co drinks and snacks.
He explained: “I’m also a huge coffee lover and used to drink cup after cup, each one filled with copious amounts of sugar.
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“Now, however, I use the Skinny Food Co’s Sugar-Free Barista Syrups and highly recommend others do the same to satisfy their sweet-tooth cravings, as I didn’t notice the difference in taste, but the calorie difference and savings I’m making is huge (30 calories vs 300 calories from a coffee shop).”
The slimmer admitted: “Not once have I felt like I’m on a diet”, and by incorporating The Skinny Food Co into all his cooking, he “never missed out on my favourite meals, but this time they were all cooked with low-calorie alternatives”.
When he gets hungry late at night, he uses the Skinny Food Co’s Low-Sugar Chocolate Spread on toast, for instance, for a “nice low-calorie snack”.
“It’s all about making healthy substitutions – I can’t believe it’s been so simple all this time,” Mike explained.
The dieter is now happier than ever in his new body. “I had friends and family pointing out the changes in my body, and this in turn changed the way I acted. I felt my confidence grow as I began to need smaller sized clothing and my mental health began to improve day-by-day as people began to look at me differently,” he said.
The Skinny Food Co are “low-calorie, low-sugar products” designed to help people on a diet lead “a healthier lifestyle without sacrificing on taste”.
Mike shared his best advice for those who want to lose weight before the summer: “The best advice I can give is to start small and work your way upwards – by that I mean you don’t need to start on day one with a 10k run and 20,000 steps.”
Instead, “start tracking your calories and how many steps you do per day, as these are the two things you can truly manage,” he suggested.
“Above all, be consistent! One bad week or a few boozy weekends doesn’t mean you’ve fallen off the wagon and they certainly don’t leave you back at square one. Just get back to it the next day and over time you’ll see changes start to appear.
“You can lose just as much weight from walking and maintaining a good diet as you can from using a gym every day – it’s just about finding what works best for you. Most importantly, stop resisting the urge to eat and start incorporating healthy alternatives into your diet.”
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