I Lost 72 Pounds By Eating More Food

Meghan Gilbert, 20, 5’4″, from Dallas

Before: 200 lb., size 16

After: 128 lb., size 0

Total pounds lost: 72 lb.

Total sizes lost: 8

Growing up, I never knew the importance of exercise (the most activity I would get was at band practice). That, combined with my love of sweet tea and fast food, was a recipe for weight gain. In fact, by my senior year of high school, my petite five-four frame was weighing in at 190 pounds. I thought the only way to lose was to severely restrict my calories, so I started limiting my meals to just a few crackers here and there. Sure, I shed a few pounds, but I was constantly famished and exhausted. It was clear that if I wanted to drop weight, I needed to fuel my body the right way.

RELATED:6 Reasons Why You Can’t Out-Exercise a Bad Diet

Falling for fit

I revamped my eating habits, adding protein-packed meals, like chicken or eggs with a side of good carbs and veggies, to my diet. I also started jogging-slash-walking for an hour and a half three times a week. Within two weeks I had more endurance, and my energy levels were up, too. The real change came, though, when I began dating a personal trainer. With his help, I started hitting the gym twice a day, five times a week, doing cardio in the morning and strength training at night. I loved the feeling I got after putting my all into a workout—and the soreness the next day was confirmation that I was steadily working toward my goal. My can-do attitude paid off: Four months later, I was down about 65 pounds.

Sharing the health

Today I no longer pay attention to the scale. I’m also more lenient with my diet—I eat healthy most of the time but treat myself when I want. I love that I found a balance that keeps me happy, healthy, and loving my body. I try to project this message on my Instagram account, @megsmotivationn, to inspire others to reach their goals, too.

RELATED:57 Ways to Lose Weight Forever, According to Science

Steal Megan’s moves

Follow your inspiration: My Instagram feed is filled with accounts that encourage me to love and take care of myself. One favorite is @tk_line09; every day, she posts a motivational quote or an empowering gym selfie. These help keep me on track.

Amp up exercise: On days I’m feeling sluggish, I’ll have a cup of coffee 30 minutes before I go to the gym. The caffeine keeps me working hard. Plus, research shows it can help you burn more calories post-exercise.

Indulge with friends: I typically have one or two meals each week where I eat whatever I want. To make them more rewarding, I use them as a time to socialize with pals.

Counter cardio: The treadmill is great, but I believe my weight loss came more from strength training. Exercises like deadlifts and squats helped me shed pounds fast.

Meghan is wearing: Reebok OSR Compression Bra ($55; reebok.com for similar); Reebok C Spike tights ($65; reebok.com); and Zoku Runner ULTK sneakers ($125; reebok.com).

As told to Lindsey Murray

Read More at health.com

Get more stuff like this
in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Got 10 Minutes? This Kettlebell Workout Only Has 3 Exercises
Screen kids and teens for obesity, U.S. experts say
How Your Sandwich Changed The World
Why You Should Move Your HIIT Workout to the Pool
Lena Dunham’s Trainer Tracy Anderson Says She Wanted to ‘Feel Better’ and Not Make Her Body ‘Look Different’
Ashley Graham Maintains Her Body Year-Round But Sometimes Still Feels Shy in a Bathing Suit
4 Ideas for Using Herbs You Probably Haven’t Thought Of
Bobbi Brown’s Top 10 Superfoods for Beauty and the Fun Way She Eats Them
5 Father’s Day Gift Ideas for Food-Loving Dads Everywhere
The Making Of Emotions, From Pleasurable Fear To Bittersweet Relief
4 Foolproof Tips to Make Healthy Veggie Chips at Home
A Food-Lover’s Mother’s Day Gift Guide
Here’s Why a Man Died After Swimming With a New Tattoo  
A MRSA Infection Cost Me $300,000—and Nearly Killed Me
Novartis heart drug success opens up new care option
Obamacare replacement bill to take center stage in Senate