Justin Paul on LighterLife Fast

After seeing his weight reach 18 stone at Christmas 2017, Justin decided 2018 was going to be the year for change…

I started doing LighterLife Fast on 1st March 2018. I’m approaching 50 this year, and after seeing my weight creep up during the festive season at the end of last year, I didn’t feel very good about myself.

To kick-start my weight loss journey, I decided that one of my New Year’s Resolution was to lose weight, and I started exercising hard. I signed up for the Bath Half Marathon as motivation and started training hard for it – I was running around 20 miles a week.

I managed to lose half a stone through exercise alone, I was feeling good and then disaster struck. I managed to injure myself, suffering with Plantar Fasciitus; a strain of the arch of the foot. While it wasn’t a major injury, it was painful and meant I couldn’t run at all. I knew that all my good work at the start of the year would be undone, and from past experiences I didn’t think I could lose weight without exercise AND diet.

Shortly after this injury, I decided to give the LighterLife Fast plan a go. My starting weight was around 17st 7lbs, and if I’m honest, I was sceptical. I fully expected to “pile on the pounds” as I’d stopped running and I didn’t think fasting a couple of days a week would work.

LighterLife Fast is designed to fit in with your lifestyle, it’s dependent on how much weight you want to lose, the time you have to do it, how quickly you want to lose weight, what days you are able to do it – it’s totally up to you.

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As I wanted to hit a goal of 15 stone, I decided to follow 3 fast days and 4 smart days, with a target of reaching goal in 6 months. To put this into perspective, 15 stone is the same weight I was after my first year in the Army – 25 years ago!

I found the first week very hard, although you pick your Fast days, it’s still hard to take yourself out of social food situations – I had no idea how much time I spent around food! One of the hardest moments was sitting down with my children to eat dinner, watching them eat while I had a shake or a tiny bowl of LighterLife Fast Spaghetti Bolognese to compare.

However, after the first week I learned a lot of skills to make Fast days easier. For one, I am very aware that it’s three days a week – the other four days I get to eat normally but healthily. I now plan my meals on my Fast days in advance, particularly when I’m travelling, which I do a lot for work. This means I know what to expect and I can mentally prepare for it. On some days I even look forward to them!

I know find fast days pretty easy. I tend to plan my fast days during the week – typically Monday, Tuesday and Thursday to keep the weekend free. I do find clearing up after meals in the evening on a fast day difficult, but I know that picking at leftovers won’t do me any good ultimately. I sometimes “fall off the wagon”, I feel like I’m human and we all do, but I now know to have a few little high protein, low carb snacks on hand, such as beef jerky, which help with cravings.

Another tip for those following the plan, is that I’ve also stopped drinking milky coffee’s. Cappuccino and lattes used to be my weakness, so to continue getting my caffeine fix (we can’t give up everything ha!) I now drink my coffee black. It saves me a fortune at Starbuck and Costa! I also carry (sugar-free) chewing gum which helps if I get really hungry.

To date, I’ve lost just over a stone and I’m now at 16st 6lbs. One and a half stone to go over the next 4 months. Not as easy as it sounds, but I’m excited for the challenge..

As I said, I find “Fast” days fairly easy. My challenge is the “smart days”. My “smart days” are a work in progress and I’ll tell you about them next week…