'I Switched From 3 Big Meals A Day To 6 —And Lost 18Kg'

‘I Made This Simple Switch To My Diet—And Lost 18Kg’

by | Jul 23, 2018

Growing up, I was always an active person: I played a sport every season in high school, all while eating whatever I wanted—ice cream, cakes, cookies, you name it—whenever I wanted.

That athleticism is why I joined the Air Force as soon as I turned 17—but, in 2013 everything changed. I had two back-to-back accidents that left me basically incapable of doing anything for myself.

The first was a softball injury in 2013. Doctors thought I had a sprained leg, but I was later diagnosed with severe nerve damage that extended from the toes on my right foot all the way up to my upper calf.

As soon as I started getting better from that—I had surgery on my right leg in September 2013—I was in a bad car accident that sent me back to square one with my leg injury. I had to have surgery again in March 2014.

During that time, I became very depressed. Because I couldn’t move without pain, I had to rely on others for help—something I had never been comfortable doing. Not moving didn’t really bode well for my eat-whatever-you-want diet, either.

RELATED: ‘How I Lost 30kgs And Built My Confidence After 3 Pregnancies’

After my second surgery, I knew I had to get back in the game.

“This isn’t who you are,” I told myself. I decided to let myself heal and then start pushing myself as hard as I possibly could.

I was working for the Military Police at the time, but I wanted to challenge myself even more, so I chose to put myself through a police academy—you know, for training purposes. Once I completed that, I knew I could put my body through anything.

After that, I started expanding my workouts: running one day, crossfit the next, high-intensity interval exercises on another. I made a point to work out five days a week (shout-out to my personal trainer and boyfriend, who’s also in the military and who kept me going).



I had to change my eating habits, too—by actually eating more.

I didn’t necessarily eat unhealthy prior to my surgeries (okay, except for my sweet tooth). But the meals I did eat were very high in calories and also very spread out (I was big into the three-hearty-meals-a-day idea).

I chose to switch things up by cutting down my portions sizes and eating more often throughout the day—at least five or six smaller meals. My body just seemed to like that system better—I had more energy throughout the day and didn’t need my usual caffeine boost around 3 p.m. like I had previously.

But eating more, smaller meals also meant I had to be smarter about them, too—I made sure to add in protein wherever I could, to stay satisfied. I also made sure to track my carbohydrate and fat intake, to make sure I was getting the right amounts.

Here’s what a typical day of eating looked like for me:

  • Breakfast: Protein shake (I like MuscleEgg’s Cake Batter Egg White Protein Powder)
  • Mid-morning snack: Yogurt with granola
  • Lunch: A salad with ground turkey
  • Afternoon snack: Another protein shake or protein bar
  • Dinner: Usually it’s lean chicken, veggies, and rice, but I’m a big sushi fan, so sometimes I do sashimi

I’ll be honest: It’s not easy to stick with a weight-loss plan when you’re stationed overseas.

Earlier this year, I was deployed to Al Dhafra Air Base in Abu Dhabi, where I’m now stationed—and it’s definitely a change from when I was home in New Jersey following my workout and diet plans.

Our meals are made for us, so I have to pay special attention to my portion sizes, since I don’t know exactly how they’re prepared (like, what type of oil they cook the chicken in, for example).

Luckily, friends and family keep me stocked up on my favourite snacks from home: PB2 powdered peanut butter and Veggie Straws are my must-haves.

As for exercise, there’s no shortage of that over here for me (I just completed a 25-K carrying a very heavy rucksack, so there’s that). Still, on days when I don’t have an intense fitness challenge, I make sure to get at least some exercise in—like the 20-minute HIIT workout that recently kicked my butt.



I put in a lot of hard work to lose weight, and in the process, I learned that weight loss is an extremely personal decision—you’re the only one who can decide when and how to do it. But I promise that as soon as you get started and begin seeing results, your progress can help keep propelling you forward.

I’ll tell you what I tell myself every single day: If it’s something you truly want, never give up, no matter what.

As told to Amber Brenza. This article originally appeared on Women’s Health US.

RELATED: How This Woman Gained 10kg And Stayed The Exact Same Size

Recommended to you

8 Of The Best Exercise Shorts That Will Power You Through A Summer Of Movement

It’s official: Shorts Season is officially here. While lockdown has seen many of us realise that activewear is less something to be worn for a workout and more a uniform we choose to do any and all daily activities in, when the warmer temperatures roll around, that favourite pair of sweatpants and leggings sometimes don’t cut it. Sure, they might be a staple in any wardrobe, but the Aussie sun doesn’t listen to reason, no matter how comfortable or cute it might be. And when it comes to summer, working out in leggings can feel like being trapped in a sauna, the sweat pooling at your ankles and around the waistband – as well as those other areas we won’t mention here. 

But as we transition from leggings to shorts, it becomes clear pretty quickly that not all shorts are created equal, and certainly not all shorts are fit for a workout. Take it from us at Women’s Health HQ, we’ve been there, tried it and lived to see the consequences. From the shorts that look cute but ride up to show your undies on the run, to those that feel like being strapped into a harness that’s digging into your hip bones. Then there are the fabrics that can cause chafing – a big no – and those that basically shine a spotlight on any area you might be sweating. 

Thankfully, a number of brands are here to cater to your exercise needs with innovative materials, fabrics and sustainable options to see you through a summer of movement. Regardless of your workout preferences or daily activity, we’ve selected the best shorts that will ensure you feel good in your body, shorts that get you excited to embrace the day and attack it with energy, that make you want to get outside and enjoy the outdoors, whether it be walking, running, or socialising in the park. Here are our pick of the best bike shorts below. 


Uptown Biker, $240

What says summer more than a pop of orange and the sleek shape of these Nagnata biker shorts? With its mid-length and horizontal raised rib side detail, these are shorts you can wear both for a workout and out to meet the girls. Made in Australia with a technical knit fabrication, the double-layer jacquard provides gentle sculpting qualities for the body, making it an excellent choice for light to moderate fitness activities like yoga, pilates or barre. 

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.defineSlot(gamData.adUnit, [300, 250], 'gam_midarticle_pos2_3') .defineSizeMapping(gamData.sizeMap.midarticle) .setTargeting('pos', '2') .addService(googletag.pubads()); googletag.display('gam_midarticle_pos2_3'); });

New Balance

Q Speed Fuel Short, $70

We love the colour of these shorts from New Balance which are cut with a sleek, speedy look that also helps to elongate the legs. Featuring NB DRY moisture wicking fabric, these are the shorts you want for high intensity exercise or long runs, keeping you comfortable and dry. There’s also an interior brief for added comfort and a stash pocket to keep your essentials. 

All Access

Ultra High Rise Zip Front Biker Short, $78

Yes, the colour is amazing but the fit is equally sensational on these All Access shorts. For those who love a high-rise fit and wide waistband that holds you in at the waist, look no further. The sleek, shiny look offers mid-compression and the fabric is moisture-wicking, so you can stay comfortable even during your sweatiest workouts. 


Nike x Naomi Osaka Utility Short, $90

Few things are worse than heading out the door for a run and realising your shorts offer no pockets for those essentials you need. You’re left to hold your iPhone, keys, and anything else you might need in your sweaty palm. Thankfully, Naomi Osaka knows what we need when it comes to exercise shorts and these utility shorts from her collaboration with Nike offer all that and more with a relaxed fit and elastic waistband. 


Session short Tights, $72

When it comes to bike shorts, you want to feel supported and held in but you also want to be able to breathe. These Tracksmith session short tights are exceptional in offering support while still ensuring comfort remains a priority. Forget about chafing, these shorts won’t ride up and down and the fabric offers more coverage and support against the body. 

Outdoor Voices

Relay 3” Short, $48

Who said summer shorts have to be boring? Outdoor Voices brings fashion-forward style and playfulness to their collections with fun prints and exciting colours. We love the relay 3” shorts for their ultralight, quick-drying fabric that also happens to be made from recycled polyester. But more importantly, we love the print and Poppy Swirl is as good as it gets. There’s even a hidden pocket for your valuables, too. 


Align High-Rise Short 6”, $69

If you’re familiar with the buttery-soft feel of Lululemon’s tights, you’ll want to get your hands on a pair of their shorts, too. Made with the same Nulu fabric that their tights are known for, these shorts feel weightless and super soft. They might be our go-to staple for any workout, but the feel is so second-skin that it’s hard to not wear them for every other activity, too. 

Spiritual Gangster

Seamless Biker Short, $112

These biker shorts from Spiritual Gangster move with you, thanks to a three-tiered compressive waistband that offers a flattering high waist that hugs you in all the right places, without proving constrictive. They offer medium compression but are built for all day comfort, and the colour is a true summer staple because, let’s face it, who doesn’t love tie-dye?