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Claire Jones, 48, is a former NHS senior manager turned life coach who spent 25 years yo-yo dieting but not managing to maintain a healthy weight. However, around 10 years ago, Claire found the diet and lifestyle for her and, after sticking to it, achieved her target weight.
When she started to focus on her diet and exercise regime, Claire lost a whopping five stone, dropping from 13st 7lbs to 8st 9lbs.
Claire told Express.co.uk that this weight loss transformation “doesn’t sound very much, but at only five foot three I was a size 18 to 20 and felt very unhealthy and unhappy”.
She continued: “I did it because I was so unhappy and lacking in confidence, and loathed myself, and wanted to be able to do so many more things in my life that my weight was getting in the way of.
“I could see a miserable life ahead of me but realised I had the power to change it.”
After putting the weight she had lost back on again, Claire “gradually lost weight by changing my attitude and mindset and focusing on being healthy and active”.
One of the main ways Claire did this was by taking up long distance running.
She explained: “I only had short periods where I cut my calories to lose weight, a stone at a time, by doing the Cambridge Diet for three to four weeks once a year for three years.
“In between I had long periods where I learned how to maintain my weight each year, eating to support my health and doing long distance running, as you can’t do that and diet very well at the same time without getting too hungry – and I didn’t want to stop running.”
The Cambridge Diet – now renamed the 1:1 diet – is an extreme weight loss plan that is based around low-calorie foods such as soups, protein shakes, and snack bars.
Similar to the keto diet, it works by forcing you into a state of ketosis, which is when the body does not receive all the calories it needs to function properly, and so turns to fat stores.
However, for Claire, it was the running that helped her the most.
She said: “It was doing the weight loss in short bursts combined with long periods of maintenance and working on my health and fitness that I believe enabled me to break free from the yo-yo diet cycle.
“The focus on my running filled the gap that food had left behind.
“I developed a much more positive relationship with myself.”
Claire has managed to maintain her target weight by eating a “mostly good diet with plenty of protein and wholesome non-processed foods, as well as resistance training and running”.
She added: “I also have plenty of room in my life for eating less healthy foods for pleasure but I now know how to keep to quantities that are in line with goals of being healthy and maintaining my weight.
“I lost a clothes size from 2011 to 2014 while maintaining a weight of 10 stone as I changed my body composition through consistent resistance training.”
Claire is now much happier that she has quit “binge eating” and “conquered the need to be in a hurry”.
She said: “I have the right mindset backed up with the right knowledge and practical actions, and I have learned to separate myself emotionally from food.
“It completely transformed my life,” the 48-year-old added.
“I feel so happy and still to this day a huge sense of achievement as well as lighter, healthier and more confident.
“I wouldn’t ever go back to where I was, now.”
Having achieved long term success herself, Claire Jones now helps others as a healthy weight coach at www.youronelife.co.uk.
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