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Woman, 28, STOPPED dieting and lost 26 kilos

For Crystal Barclay, the realisation she was overweight came in the form of a photo.

The 28-year-old from Ballarat in Victoria admitted that she had always been a yo-yo dieter, and her weight tended to fluctuate by 10-15 kilos.

But it wasn’t until she saw a snap of herself on social media that she realised that she was overweight.

‘I was horrified… was I really that big? I think I had lived in denial for a long time,’ she told Daily Mail Australia.

The 28-year-old from Ballarat in Victoria admitted that she had always been a yo-yo dieter, and her weight tended to fluctuate by 10-15 kilos

'I was horrified... was I really that big? I think I had lived in denial for a long time,' she told Daily Mail Australia

‘I was horrified… was I really that big? I think I had lived in denial for a long time,’ she told Daily Mail Australia

By the end of 2016 Crystal, who is 160-centimetres tall, was 84kg. It was the heaviest she’d ever been and put her in the ‘obese’ category on the BMI scale.

‘I avoided social situations at all costs, making excuses for why I couldn’t attend,’ she said.

‘The reality was I was so overweight and unhappy within myself the thought of having to find a dress that would fit me and I would feel comfortable wearing was intimidating. I have shed many tears in change rooms.’

But after trying ‘every diet known to man’, including soup diets, celebrity eating plans, frozen meal delivery and crash diets, nothing stuck for longer than a few weeks – and she’d only lost a few kilos.

‘After an amazing holiday to America in April last year I returned home to find I’d gained all the weight I had previously lost depriving (and starving) myself by eating heavily saturated, fatty foods and large portions,’ the 28-year-old said.

But after trying 'every diet known to man', including soup diets, celebrity eating plans, frozen meal delivery and crash diets, nothing stuck for longer than a few weeks - and she'd only lost a few kilos

But after trying ‘every diet known to man’, including soup diets, celebrity eating plans, frozen meal delivery and crash diets, nothing stuck for longer than a few weeks – and she’d only lost a few kilos

By the end of 2016 Crystal's 160cm frame was carrying 84 kilos. It was the heaviest she'd ever been and put her in the 'obese' category on the BMI scale

By the end of 2016 Crystal’s 160cm frame was carrying 84 kilos. It was the heaviest she’d ever been and put her in the ‘obese’ category on the BMI scale

'I salute the people that can go to a conventional gym and smash out a killer workout too - but this isn't me. So I joined a girls only group fitness style gym, attended 3-4 times a week and started to notice small changes,' she said

‘I salute the people that can go to a conventional gym and smash out a killer workout too – but this isn’t me. So I joined a girls only group fitness style gym, attended 3-4 times a week and started to notice small changes,’ she said

‘I salute the people that can go to a conventional gym and smash out a killer workout too – but this isn’t me. So I joined a girls-only group fitness style gym, attended three to four times a week and started to notice small changes.’

But Crystal said she knew her eating habits needed to change as well.

‘I ditched all the fad diets, and just decided to focus on eating real food,’ she said.

‘I cut out all of the unnecessary added sugars and processed carbs (soft drinks, white breads, cakes etc). I started taking note of nutritional information and focusing on the ingredients list with everything I ate.

Crystal said she knew her eating habits needed to change as well 

Crystal said she knew her eating habits needed to change as well 

'I couldn't pronounce half of the ingredients in these foods that were marketed as diet or healthy, let alone try to explain what they were so I made a decision to convert to vegetarianism,' she said

‘I couldn’t pronounce half of the ingredients in these foods that were marketed as diet or healthy, let alone try to explain what they were so I made a decision to convert to vegetarianism,’ she said

'I started making stir fries, curries, pastas, salads - all from scratch- no jar sauces and I was able to control everything that went into my meals,' she said.

‘I started making stir fries, curries, pastas, salads – all from scratch- no jar sauces and I was able to control everything that went into my meals,’ she said.

DAY ON A PLATE 

  • Breakfast – Overnight oats with almond milk, chia seeds and sliced fruit
  • Morning tea – Handful of almonds or a homemade bliss ball
  • Lunch – leftovers from dinner the night before
  • Afternoon snack – Veggie sticks and cherry tomatoes with guacamole
  • Dinner – Stir-fry, curry with brown rice, homemade pasta or risotto with lots of veggies or a veggie loaded baked potato (make an extra serve for lunch tomorrow)

‘I couldn’t pronounce half of the ingredients in these foods that were marketed as diet or healthy, let alone try to explain what they were so I made a decision to convert to vegetarianism. 

‘I also stopped drinking cow’s milk as it caused havoc for my skin and made me feel sluggish. I started making stir fries, curries, pastas, salads – all from scratch- no jar sauces and I was able to control everything that went into my meals,’ she said.

Her usual snacks of chocolate and chips were replaced with almonds and veggie sticks with guacamole. Soft drink was also exchanged for soda water and fresh lime or lemon. 

‘This food was delicious and barely tasted like I was on a diet. I stopped following a plan – every time I had done this in the past I was constantly looking for my first opportunity to binge. I started focusing on whole foods, real foods and sensible portion sizes,’ Crystal continued.

'I don't calorie count, although I did when I started to get a feel for the amount of food I should be eating (I was aiming for around 1500 calories),' she said

‘I don’t calorie count, although I did when I started to get a feel for the amount of food I should be eating (I was aiming for around 1500 calories),’ she said

Now weighing a healthy 58 kilos, Crystal now comfortably fits into a size eight

Now weighing a healthy 58 kilos, Crystal now comfortably fits into a size eight

'People often ask me how I do it, how I cut out all of the bad food. My answer is I don't! I am human and I still eat bad food,' she said

‘People often ask me how I do it, how I cut out all of the bad food. My answer is I don’t! I am human and I still eat bad food,’ she said

‘I don’t calorie count, although I did when I started to get a feel for the amount of food I should be eating (I was aiming for around 1500 calories). This in conjunction with doing group fitness classes has seen me lose 26 kilos since January last year.’

Now weighing a healthy 58 kilos, Crystal now comfortably fits into a size eight. 

‘People often ask me how I do it, how I cut out all of the bad food. My answer is I don’t! I am human and I still eat bad food. 

‘I still enjoy chocolate and the occasional deep fried food. In order to live you need to allow yourself to eat the treats. When I have a birthday or celebration on I will eat the cake! But it is all done in moderation, with sensible portions and after a treat I always reset for a good day the following.’

'I still enjoy chocolate and the occasional deep fried food. In order to live you need to allow yourself to eat the treats,' she said

‘I still enjoy chocolate and the occasional deep fried food. In order to live you need to allow yourself to eat the treats,’ she said

CRYSTAL’S TOP WEIGHT LOSS TIPS

  • Ditch the jar and packet sauces/meal bases – make your sauces from ingredients that are healthy and you can recognise. Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Google are all full of recipe ideas. 
  • There is no need to spend a fortune on books, programs or food deliveries.
  • Eat sensible potions – clasp your hands together, this is a good guide for how big your meal portions should be (this helped me a lot). 
  • Get your body moving – I aim for 3-4 classes a week but remember nutrition is most important to see weight loss results. 
  • Consistency is key, results don’t happen overnight but they do happen! 
  • This lifestyle isn’t hard to maintain once you have found rhythm, I now enjoy exercise and fueling my body with healthy food.

She also doesn’t believe in the art of meal prepping, instead choosing to make all of her dishes fresh and when she feels like them. 

‘I eat what I feel like on the day. If I want pasta I will make a pasta dish, if I want stir-fry then that’s what I’ll have. But everything is made from scratch using good quality ingredients.’

You can find Crystal on her Instagram page here



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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