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Louriel, a 43-year old Grants Officer from London, has lost an incredible six stone 10lbs, going from 18st 8lbs to 11st 11lbs, and is now learning to enjoy life again after suffering from severe health issues caused by her unhealthy lifestyle. She spoke exclusively to Express.co.uk about her previous diet and the changes she made to lose so much weight.
Louriel initially weighed 18 8lbs stone (117.9kg), and in January 2020, her life was “turned upside down” when she began feeling unwell. She ended up in hospital later that year and was told she needed a total abdominal hysterectomy.
However, for her to undergo this procedure, she needed to reduce her BMI from 40.1 to 35 as her weight put her within a ‘high risk’ category.
Speaking about her diet when she was at her heaviest, Louriel said she had a “carb and sugar-heavy diet”.
“I would never have breakfast, my lunch would always be carb-heavy which used to spike my energy and then make it dip really low shortly afterwards,” she explained. “I would compensate this with loads coffee and tons of sweets and chocolate throughout the afternoon.
“Dinner would also be very carb-heavy, e.g. lots of pasta, rice, dough-based meals and I would spend the rest of the evening eating sweets, cake, ice cream, basically anything sweet until bedtime.”
Speaking about her health at the time, Louriel added: “I experienced heavy and continuous bleeding that went on for 11 months nonstop, but I was unable to receive treatment due to the pandemic.
“Eventually, in November 2020, I was rushed to the hospital, had an MRI and was told I needed a hysterectomy.
“It was January 4, 2021 [when] I was told I needed to reduce my BMI from 40.1 to at least 35 to qualify, which was the catalyst for me to start my health journey that same day.
“I began educating myself and making changes in my diet and exercise habits,” and as a result, Louriel ended up losing so much weight she no longer needed the hysterectomy.
When looking for ways to enjoy great tasting food whilst staying on track with her health, Louriel discovered products from The Skinny Food Co as staples in her new, low-calorie diet: “I have such a sweet tooth, so I didn’t want my new diet to feel restrictive. I wanted to find a balance of sweet treats without surpassing my daily calorie allowance.
“Whilst doing research I stumbled upon The Skinny Food Co, I couldn’t believe how low in calories they were. Their products have been a lifesaver at every stage of this process – especially in the early stages of my weight loss.”
She added: “I had to change so much about the way I eat, drink and look after my body. If I had to give up my snacks and treats too it would have made it so much harder to lose the weight and for me to sustain my journey.
“Honestly, the Skinny Food Co has been a literal lifeline for me. To be able to lose weight, whilst not feeling deprived and enjoy my treats guilt-free has been amazing. It has given me a new life I never thought I would experience.”
Reflecting on her journey so far, Louriel describes how losing weight has made her significantly happier: “Getting healthy has taken an absolute weight off my shoulders and I have my life back again. My quality of life was practically non-existent as my condition caused me so many problems in my personal life and in my work life.
“My advice would be to find your reason. If you don’t have the motivation to change your diet and lifestyle you will find it harder to stay on track.”
Louriel shared her favourite memories since her weight loss, she said it was when her daughter commented: “Mummy, now my hands can touch each other when I hug you!”
Louriel’s outlook has significantly changed, and it is apparent that she now wants other people to feel the same way she does: “I have had to completely change my mindset on this journey; originally I stayed focused because of my health issues as it was so important that I rectified them.
“Once my health improved my mindset was focused on keeping the momentum going and focusing on strengthening, toning and encouraging others.
“Lots of people are extremely happy for my success and have been rooting for me so that encourages me to keep a positive mindset.”
Louriel finished: “If I can do it, with all the obstacles I’ve had, not having a clue where to start or what to do, then you definitely can do it!”
The Skinny Food Co range features over 300 great-tasting, healthier alternative products; from sauces and syrups to high protein, low sugar snacks, cooking sprays, flavoured coffees, Fakeaway sauces, meals and more.
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