How We Lost 8 Stone in a Year – My 365 Days with My Fitness Pal

how we lost 8 stone in year, my 365 days my fitness pal, last krystallos, losing weight, weightloss, Last year, a new phenomenon hit my family’s life – and we lost 112lbs in 365 days.

Bridesmaid Bekah © Lisa Shambrook

Bridesmaid Bekah © Lisa Shambrook

My oldest daughter began using My Fitness Pal to lose weight. She wanted to be a slimmer bridesmaid for her best friend’s wedding, and once we saw the pounds falling away, we joined in!

I’d been unhappy with my rising weight for a while, and though I wasn’t overweight I was far off my preferred mark on the scales. So I decided to follow Bekah’s example and download My Fitness Pal, a free calorie counting app. Several weeks later, after a loss of a fair few pounds, hubby joined in. We very much wanted to return to sizes we were many years ago…

What we once were... © Lisa Shambrook

What we once were 2001… © Lisa Shambrook

Vince was overweight, but not unhappy, just disillusioned with the idea of dieting. He didn’t think he’d stick to a diet, as such, and didn’t believe it would be easy to lose weight. It was seeing Bekah lose a stone (14lbs) that spurred him into action. We explained that calorie counting wasn’t dieting in the sense of banning certain foods, but more about understanding calories, how much we needed to eat and how many calories you needed to allow you to lose weight.

What we were in 2011 and now in 2015 © Lisa Shambrook

What we were in 2011 and now in 2015 (or from cosy to bad ass) © Lisa Shambrook

The recommended calorie intake for a man in the UK is 2,500 Kcal, and a woman 2,000 Kcal, advised by the NHS. My Fitness Pal asks about you, what you weigh, how much weight you want to lose and gives you a daily calorie intake to achieve this*, over a period of time.

*Note: it’s advisable to contact your Dr, when making serious weight loss plans or if you have health problems.

healthy food, salad, egg and bacon salad, soup, watermelon, tomatoes, lettuce, eggs,

© Lisa Shambrook

We soon realised we knew nothing about calories or the amount we were actually eating each day, and, certainly, it was far more than the recommended intake. For our goal weights My Fitness Pal reduced our intake, mine was decreased to 1,200 Kcal, to lose one to two pounds per week. You can adjust the intake to what you desire.

We very quickly learned how many calories lurked in each item of food we bought! We then went about changing our diets. We didn’t eat much processed food to start with, I prefer cooking from scratch, but we did learn that our portions needed to be downsized, fast! We cut our intake of carbohydrates drastically, reducing potatoes, bread, pasta etc by about 80%, and I soon realised I was putting cheese, large amounts, on and in everything! Dairy and carbs were the first things to go. I stopped buying mild cheddar completely, preferring much smaller amounts of good quality mature cheese instead. We switched to semi-skimmed milk, and cut the amount of desserts and chocolate. We didn’t ban anything, but discovered that healthy, low calorie was better for us. We experimented with soups and salads, and lean meat, and cut our portion sizes.

my fitness pal, the last krystallos, keep fit, lose weight, losing weight, weightloss,

My Fitness Pal © Lisa Shambrook

Now, far from making us hungry, the smaller portions helped us appreciate what we were eating and stopped us feeling bloated from ‘too much just because we could’ syndrome. We found low cal snacks and just ate less of what was higher in calories.

My Fitness Pal requires you to fill in what you eat each day and how much you exercise. From that information it predicts what your weight loss will be. It was dead on. The weight began melting away.

trainers, weight loss, tape measure,

© Lisa Shambrook

Six months after starting using the app, we joined the local gym. Up ‘til then our exercise consisted of long dog walks, and as we lost weight, the walks got longer. Now we added a gym plan, and instead of just losing weight, we began to tone. Vince noticed the results most, the strength exercises worked for great muscle development and cardio offered stamina and fitness. Calorie counting to lose weight works, but exercise is the key to maintaining and toning.

My two stones - all gone © Lisa Shambrook

My two stone – all gone © Lisa Shambrook

After nine months, I’d pretty much lost 2 stone (28lbs) and hit a plateau. You can kick start a plateau in several ways, have a few rest days, then step up the exercise, or vary your calories and then reduce for a few days. I plan to lose more, but have decided not to use My Fitness Pal to do so. It taught me everything I need to know and I can count my calories in my head with the knowledge I have. Our family eats much healthier and I don’t feel the need to log it every day. You can find me on My Fitness Pal as lastkrystallos, and I may return to it one day, if those pounds creep up on me!

Vince's weightloss, before, during and after.... © Lisa Shambrook

Vince’s weightloss, before, during and after…. © Lisa Shambrook

So at the end of 365 days, I lost 2 stone (28lbs), Bekah lost 3 stone (42lbs) and so did Vince, a total of 8 stone (112lbs) between us!

We are truly shadows of our former selves who love the vitality and va va voom we’ve caught…now we get out into the fresh air and enjoy it! 

cloud chasing, clouds, wispy clouds, blue sky, the last krystallos, lisa shambrook,

Chase the Clouds © Lisa Shambrook

What are you doing to become healthier, or have you lost weight and how did you do it?   

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9 thoughts on “How We Lost 8 Stone in a Year – My 365 Days with My Fitness Pal

  1. Miranda kate (@PurpleQueenNL)

    Wow, you do all look fabulous. Vince looks a change man! I need to do this as does my husband. The difficulty is that the foods for the UK version of this app are different from what is available in Holland. And knowing what calories are in what – doing all the weighing and measuring, but then again if I want to get serious about it… *pulls face*

    Well done all of you!

    (and I have now Pinned that picture to link to this 😉 )

    Reply
    1. Lisa Shambrook Post author

      I know what you mean about finding the foods on the app…it was a bit of a bind to put in homemade recipes too, but once in, they were there for future ref. British food is easy to find, other countries, I don’t know… Good luck for when you start!

      Thanks for linking back with the picture, Miranda, I also used it for my The Shutterworks Photoblog photo today, can’t get enough of a good thing! https://theshutterworks.wordpress.com/2015/05/20/chasing-the-clouds/

      Reply
  2. Lizzie Koch

    Such an inspiring blog post. 8 stone is remarkable! I’m in the process of losing weight after piling it all on whilst lounging around after my op. I joined Slimming World and lost 16lbs in 6 weeks; post op weight gone. Now I’m doing it by myself as can’t afford to pay. But think I’ve got it in my head.
    You all look amazing!!!!! xxxx

    Reply
    1. Lisa Shambrook Post author

      Lol, Lizzie, remember that was eight stone between three of us! 😉
      It takes hard work and perseverance and discipline, but you’ll get there… Yay, Lizzie!

      Reply
  3. Blue Harvest Creative

    What an amazing and inspiring blog. You all look awesome. Thanks for sharing your tips and secrets 😀

    Reply

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