I lost 5 stone WITHOUT giving up takeaways – here’s my 4 top weight loss tips

FOR Sophie Mitchell, being known as ‘the big one’ among her friendship group was something she’d grown used to.

Her weight had yoyo-ed from the age of 16 and, at her heaviest, she was tipping the scales at almost 17st.

It was only when she went to see her GP for a regular check-up that Sophie, 27, realised she needed to do something about her weight.

The insurance adviser, from Huddersfield, West Yorks, was warned that her blood pressure was so high she would have to be put on medication to control it.

“I was only 24,” she told The Sun. “That was when I decided enough was enough.”

Sophie had tried various diets in the past and seen some success with Slimming World, but every time she lost weight, she’d pile it back on just as quickly.

She knew she had to find a different solution so in 2018 she decided to join her local WW group.

“I went on my own, which was a bit daunting,” she said.

Most read in Diet & Fitness


I'm a nutritionist and here's 5 carbs you CAN eat to lose weight faster


I'm a doctor and cutting these two food groups will boost weight loss

Diabetes ALERT

I'm a doc and avoiding these breakfast foods can stop a blood sugar spike


How many sit ups a day do I need to do to get abs?

“I was very nervous walking in but the coach was very lovely and bubbly, so I immediately felt welcome and at ease.”

Sophie shed 2st in the first four months and went on to lose another 2st the following year. 

She’s since continued to watch her weight steadily drop and is now exactly 12st – going from a size 20 to a size 12-14.

Sophie said: “Measuring everything out properly made me realise just how disproportionally large all my portions had been up until then – it was a total gamechanger.

“I also learned to stop putting pressure on myself and that’s helped me stop putting it all back on as I have done in the past.”

Sophie first noticed her weight going up when she started college at 16 and began struggling with depression.

She said: “I hated it. I went through a rough time and my mental health suffered as a result. That started this emotional eating cycle and I began to binge on everything – often in secret.

“At lunchtime, I’d buy boxes of doughnuts and eat the lot or I’d snack on big bags of crisps. Then when I got home I would eat chocolate bars I’d hidden in my room. For me, eating was a way of coping.”

She continued: “When I got myself in a better place mentally, I tried losing the weight but every time I did it would only put it all back on again.

“Then I met my now-husband and moved out. Our house was sandwiched between two convenience shops and several takeaways – it was a recipe for disaster and I watched the weight pile on.”

Seeing how my weight was affecting my health was the tipping point for me. I did not want to be on medication in my early twenties

Before tying the knot to James in 2017, the couple went on diets to feel good on their big day and managed to shed some pounds. 

But Sophie admits that, as she settled into married life, she stopped being conscious about what she was eating and it all crept back on once more.

She said: “It was the portions that were the problem. I was eating huge bowls of pasta without even thinking twice.

“I got to a point where I thought maybe I’m just meant to be bigger.

“I was confident in my own way, so people thought I was fine. I hid behind my ‘being the big friend’ persona, but underneath I really lacked confidence and ultimately I wasn’t very happy.”


Her wake-up call was at a routine GP appointment in the summer of 2018, when her doctor told her she had high blood pressure and would need to go on medication.

Sophie said: “Seeing how my weight was affecting my health was the tipping point for me. I did not want to be on medication in my early twenties.

“I knew a girl at work had been to WeightWatchers and lost a stone so I thought I would give it a go.”

Sophie lost 8lbs in the first three weeks and it was the motivation she needed to spur her on to ultimately lose 4st 12lb over the next three years.

She added: “I’ve still got some more I’d like to lose but I’m not putting pressure on myself. That’s where I’ve made the mistake in the past and this is the first time I haven’t put it all back on.

“For me, I’ve never felt like I’m on a diet and wouldn’t say I’m on one now because the food you can eat doesn’t feel like typical ‘diet food’.

“I love going out with friends, especially for dinner, and before doing WW, I used to check the menu before I went out so I could pick something healthy – usually the most boring option.

Sophie’s 4 top tips for weight loss

  1. Be kind to yourself: Everyone beats themselves up when they’re trying to lose weight, but it doesn’t do you any good. If you’re not going to be kind to yourself then who is?
  2. Track your food: It’s really important to track everything you eat. If you’ve gained weight and feel like it’s not working then this is the easiest way to see why. 
  3. Find an exercise you enjoy: If you don’t like Zumba, don’t go to Zumba! There are so many other ways to burn calories whether it’s tap-dancing or simply walking.
  4. Buddy up: Having someone to lose weight with can be so important. I know that having my mum encourage me to get out of bed for a run was the push I needed because I don’t want to let her down. You can also be there to support one another.

“Now if I’m out I order exactly what I want. At first, my friends would go ‘you can’t eat that, you’re on a diet,’ and I’d be like ‘actually, yeah I can’.

“I used to go round to my friend’s house and we’d still get a takeaway – and I’d still lose weight.”

Sophie explained: “It’s more a case of not ordering absolutely everything or making slightly better choices and then factoring it into your points.

“So if I have a takeaway or a treat now I’ll just make sure I have a better week the next week or the next day.

“It fits into your lifestyle and because you get points, there’s no guilt – it takes away that good and bad food situation and instead it’s about finding a balance.”


Sophie also admits working out or going to the gym is not for her, but she has found a fun alternative way to burn calories instead.

She said: “I’ve never been one for exercise. I used to half-heartedly go to the odd Zumba class but I’d end up making excuses – and you will never catch me in the gym.

“But when my mum started going to jive dancing I thought it sounded fun and decided to go along with her.

“Eventually I managed to drag my husband along too and it became a nice thing we could do together. We even bust some of our dances out at weddings which always goes down well.

“When lockdown happened, jive dancing got cancelled so I started doing Couch to 5k.

“I said I’d try anything but I’d never run – I am morally opposed to it,” she joked. “But when my mum said she wanted to do it with me it was the boost I needed.

“Now we go about three times a week. I wouldn’t say I love running but it’s nice to get outside – we go for a run and a rant. 

“It’s also great just having someone else to motivate you. When your alarm goes off and it’s still dark outside it’s so easy to want to roll over and go back to sleep, but now I’ve got my mum saying she’s waiting for me and you have to get up.

“We have also recently taken up tap dancing and it’s so much fun. The best part is not feeling like you’re exercising and meeting new people.”

    Source: Read Full Article