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The Healthy Food Guide team believe that making small diet and lifestyle changes brings the best long-term gains. We look at the science behind the headlines and promote a balanced way of eating.

Find out how our six Get Waisted candidates have been getting on one month into the challenge

 

Louise Trenwith

Weight: 15st 11lb (no loss)

Waist: 41in (no loss)

My progress so far

This month has been a bit hit and miss as I have maintained my weight but not lost any inches from my waist. Breaking my routine and putting things into practice has been hard, but I’ve begun to make a conscious effort and I have made a lot of the Healthy Food Guide recipes. My favourite meal by far has to be the veg and tofu curry, which was very delicious and easy to make.

The most important change I’ve made

I’m most proud of resisting temptation at my nan’s when I went to visit her. She makes lots of unhealthy food and has lots of biscuits. Instead I bought some fruit to snack on at her house to resist temptation. I think it’s thanks to this that I haven’t put on weight this month.

My target for next month

I have found weekends a struggle because it means I’m out of my routine and am tempted to pick at unhealthy snacks. I was advised last month to drink eight glasses of water a day, which I struggled to remember. Next month I need to make more of an effort to drink water.

 

Wendy Moore

Weight: 14st 13lb (3lb loss)

Waist: No measurement taken

The hardest part

The most difficult part was starting. In the first week, although I was reading everything in Healthy Food Guide for inspiration and trying to work out the changes I needed to make, I was still eating more or less the same as before, including chocolate, sandwiches and crisps. It is so much easier to continue to eat that way! It took me a little while to make the changes, but having taken the first steps, it’s starting to be easier to choose healthy foods. I still find it difficult if someone near me is eating something I like, especially cakes, but I’m planning on making several cakes from HFG.

What I’m eating now

I’ve had salad, or soup with gluten-free crackers, for lunch each day. I made the chocolate, date and coconut balls, which gave me a chocolate fix and boosted my energy. I am still trying out different foods and really enjoyed the chicken curry with chickpeas.

What I’m proud of

I’ve managed to increase my exercise from one class a week to two – and I am aiming to go to a third. I’m proud of myself for not eating chocolate when it has been in front of me and not having biscuits at work. The third week has been easier – I seem to have got my head around it. The changes have made me feel so much better, brighter, more positive and more energetic. I don’t feel so bogged down with food any more.

This month I learned

I have discovered that when I am stressed or upset I tend to want to eat more and look for chocolate or cakes. I have not eaten any of my usual chocolate bars and I’m finding that I don’t even want them. I’m also going to start measuring my waist so I can monitor the progress I’ve made!

 

Gary Hunter

Weight: 14st 4lb (16lb loss)

Waist: 39in (3in loss)

What I’ve been eating

This last month, I have become healthy! No cakes or sausage rolls for me. It has mainly been lots of vegetables and lean meats. I’ve also fallen in love with sweet potatoes (which I really didn’t like before). By cooking them in different ways I’ve discovered that actually I love them, especially as roasted wedges. The best meal I cooked was honey-mustard chicken and sweet potato cakes with sweated down courgettes, aubergine and garlic. To my surprise, even my partner enjoyed them and the last conversation we’d had was, ‘If you’re cooking, I don’t want any of that diet nonsense!’

My proudest moments

I’m proud of so many things this month. I think one of my biggest moments was losing an incredible 11lb in one week. I really pushed myself at exercise classes. So much so that I love attending a HIIT session. I also managed to resist handfuls of chocolates brought home by my partner as a special treat for me.

The hardest part

At the beginning I found breaking my old habits difficult – like popping to a cafe and having coffee without cake, or not buying chocolate every time I filled my car with petrol. I suppose these were difficult as they were my way of life. I was always hungry and therefore always eating. By not eating healthy meals I was filling my sweet addiction and not my stomach.

What I’ve learned this month

My fitness instructor Jo is there not to just weigh me and lead the work out, but to bounce ideas off, talk through worries and actually be my friend. I’ve also learned that I can eat loads of healthy stuff and it fills me up. One of the biggest things I have learned is that I’m not the only one doing this journey. There are so many people out there who are now starting their journey. With our hugs, support, laughs and sometimes tears, we are never on our own.

 

Lisa Woodruff

Weight: 14st 4lb (7lb loss)

Waist: 38.5in (2.5in loss)

What I found hard at first

I found it a bit tricky at the beginning to get into a routine of preparing meals, making packed lunches and fitting in regular exercise. But after the first week I got into it and actually found it surprisingly easy.

Grazing and large portions have always been my downfall. I’ve been like that my whole life so at first it was difficult finding healthy, filling snacks to reduce cravings. I’ve found cashews and almonds to be a great handy snack to have on standby and occasionally dried dates.

What I’ve been cooking

My favourite lunch at the moment is smoked mackerel fillet on a bed of mixed leaves and cherry tomatoes with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Overall, my favourite meal has been a vegetable and bean chilli. Sometimes I add quinoa too – it’s a really handy ingredient as a little goes a long way and it’s very filling.

My biggest change

I’m most proud of doing more exercise. I’ve worked out a daily routine for 20 minutes of HIIT, which I can do any time and anywhere! I even got the kids to do it with me and they really enjoyed it! I am so focused now I’ve even ordered my wedding dress!

What I’ve learned this month

I don’t need as much to eat to feel full.

 

Sarah Alcock

Weight: 12st 9lb (3lb loss)

Waist: 39in (1in loss)

My biggest challenges

I found the first few weeks the toughest, trying to kick old habits, such as having wine and nibbles in the evening. I’m proud of the changes I’ve made, mostly not having anything in the evening. On a few occasions, when I need something, I have baked chickpeas, which makes a lovely savoury snack.

My favourite healthy meals

I loved the spiced prawn pilaf, which was beautiful, and the chicken and mushroom quinoa risotto, which was my husband’s favourite.

What I’ve learned

I’ve realised I didn’t drink as much water as I thought I did. Since upping this, I don’t snack anywhere near as much as I used to.

 

Christine Wilkinson

Weight: 12st 6lb (3lb loss)

Waist: 38in (2in loss)

What I’ve been eating

I’ve dug out previous issues of HFG and am re-reading them – the Ultimate Healthy Recipe Collection (Sept 2014) has some great tweaks on old favourites. I’ve been trying to vary my breakfasts, too – for instance, eating warmed fruit with fat-free yogurt sprinkled with pumpkin seeds. Some of my favourite evening meals are sesame salmon and cauliflower rice, which is very yummy. My friend cooked us chicken, chickpea and spinach, which was a resounding success! My husband watched with apprehension while I made chicken, mushroom and quinoa risotto but he was pleasantly surprised with its flavour and texture.

What else has helped me lose inches

I feel so invigorated by getting out for a walk every day, but the later in the day I leave it the less chance there is that I will go. So I eat breakfast, get on my gear and I’m off. My fitness instructor Vikki has been setting us weekly challenges. Walking was one of the first ones (that’s what got me going), then squats, press-ups, plank and sit-ups. I hate press-ups and I’m not good at the plank, but Vikki is encouraging and supportive!

My progress so far

I lost 5lb in the first two weeks, but in week three I was slightly disappointed with a half-pound loss. I reminded myself how great I had felt that morning putting back on a pair of jeans I had ‘shelved’ due to their snugness. There were words of encouragement from the coaches and other people on the Get Waisted project.

What I’ve learned

I’ve enjoyed reading articles in HFG, particularly the diet swaps to lower cholesterol (Nov 2015). My recent reading was 6.5 but I learned it should be no higher than 5.0.

*Weight-loss results will vary and are down to your individual circumstances and the amount of weight you have to lose.