‘I halved my size during the pandemic by cutting out soft drink and upping my step count’

‘I halved my size during the pandemic by cutting out soft drink and upping my step count’

While an estimated 22 percent of us experienced weight gain during the pandemic, Jacinta went the other way. Significantly. This is her amazing weight loss journey. 

Ahh yes, the ‘COVID kgs’ or ‘quarantine 15’. More affectionate, even cute, terms for that not-so-cute but totally understandable weight gain that so many of us experienced at the height of the pandemic due to stress, decreased movement levels, and probably being in closer proximity to our refrigerators.

Not Jacinta, though. In January 2020, right before the world got turned upside down, she experienced sharp joint pain in her ankle. At 128kg, she recalls being “quite unhappy” and “closed off to other people”. Mentally, she was in a negative place and physically tired most of the time and her diet was high in calories with a non-existent exercise regimen. There was a lot of take-away food, sugary drinks, and late-night binges.

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But that moment in January last year was the 27-year-old’s lightbulb moment. She knew she needed to make some lifestyle changes and almost immediately started weening herself off soft drinks. Jacinta went from low-sugar options for the first six months and then transitioned completely to water instead.

Going on Lite n Easy helped the retail assistant manager stay on top of her calorie and portion control, which she admits came with some challenges but being persistent was key to her success.

“It was tough, I can’t say I stuck to all the changes from the get-go but I picked myself back up daily and weekly,” she says.

“When I found myself slipping backward, I tried again until all the changes stuck and new routine became second nature.”

Jacinta’s exercise regime has increased significantly, too, with a solid and varied mixture of weights and high-intensity cardio on alternating days, six days a week. She also takes a one-and-a-half-hour walk, averaging around a whopping 18,000 to 20,000 steps total for the day.

Her hard work has paid off. In 14 months, Jacinta has halved her size and shed 64kg. Her biggest lesson for those wanting to embark on their own journeys is sound and achievable.

“Start slow and make small changes daily,” she says.

“Those small changes eventually will build healthy daily habits and a routine that will drive your weight loss and better improve your health and well-being.”

Jacinta’s day on a plate

Breakfast

Black coffee, Pink Lady apple slices with 1 tbsp peanut butter, Two Good vanilla yoghurt pot.

Morning snack

Mandarin.

Lunch

Lite n Easy Lite Meal Creamy Chicken and Risoni.

Dinner

Lite n Easy Mini Meal Fried Rice with BBQ Chicken.