A media student who hated her super skinny frame and only allowed herself to eat vegetables and nuts has now grown the curvier figure she has always wanted by doubling her calorie intake and eating meat.
Paige Gowland, 20, from Hawarden, north Wales, was an underweight 8 stone, eating just 1,000 calories a day. In photos, her ribs protruded.
But by swapping cardio workouts for weight training, she has managed to gain a stone-and-a-half of muscle in just two months and is now a healthy 9st 5lbs.
The former vegetarian, who went from a size six to eight dress size to a size eight to 10, eats double the calories she once did, and now includes meat in her diet to help her bulk up.
Paige has tracked her transformation from 51kg (left) through to 54kg (centre) and 56kg (right). She’s gained a stone and a half, but says she is happier and healthier than ever
Paige now has the curiver figure she has always wanted after spending years hating her super skinny frame
‘I grew up in quite an active family, so exercise has always been a part of me,’ Paige said.
‘I had very low confidence when it came to my figure. My mind set was so damaged that the first thing I would think about when I woke up and the last thing I would think about when I went to sleep, was changing my body.’
Paige, who has 4,000 Instagram followers, added: ‘I had been so restricted for such a long time that I didn’t even feel like a human being anymore.
‘I achieved these results by hard work, determination and re-gaining a good relationship with food. I decided to go on a slow bulk, where I would be in a calorie surplus and this was subsequently fuelled by workouts.
Paige says swapping from cardio to weights helped transform her body from super skinny (left) to healthy and curvy (right)
Paige used to eat between 1,000 and 1,500 calories a day when she just did cardio workouts and was lean and skinny (left). Now she still has a tiny waist but has gained muscle and curves (right)
Paige says she is much more confident and happier now she has put on weight
Paige now just does weight-based workouts in the gym instead of doing cardio which she says is the reason why she has bulked up so quickly
‘I feel so much better about myself; both mentally and physically.’
Before her transformation, Paige was eating a repetitive diet of a fried egg, vegetables, spinach while only snacking on nuts and dried fruit. On her Instagram, where she shares motivational fitness posts to her 4,000 followers, she says she used to be ‘extremely underweight’ on this diet.
But she now eats a varied diet, including: two bagels, flavoured chicken, and battered fish.
Instead of focusing on cardio, she now lifts weights five to six times a week, and has gained 1st 5Ibs in just two months.
‘I was eating around 1,000 to 1,500 calories before the transformation and now I’m eating double that amount,’ Paige said.
Paige says switching from a vegetarian diet to one that includes meat and fish has helped her bulk up
Paige now loves her curvier figure, which she flaunts in bikini snaps on Instagram
Paige now has an enviable hourglass figure now she eats between 2,000 and 2,500 calories a day
Paige weight lifts in the gym five to six times a week to hone her incredible physique
‘The hardest thing about the process for me was breaking the barrier I had put up regarding food,’ she said.
‘I had tried so many diets, such as gluten-free, vegetarian, paleo, so the thought of eating normal food was quite scary to me.
‘Luckily my amazing parents helped me a lot with this and showed me that it was okay to go back to eating normally.’
Her friends say Paige now exhibits a new-found confidence in her current curvier and healthier body.
‘Those who have commented on my transformation have said how much better I look for putting on the weight,’ she said.
‘My close friends and family voiced their concerns many times over my weight previously, so for them, I think it’s a relief.
‘The main advice I can give anyone is to be persistent. It can be so easy to give up after not seeing immediate results, but sticking it out will be the best decision of your life.
‘It helps to write down your goals in figures and then build up on your workouts each week.’