‘I gave up dieting, and lost 20kg and dropped 6 dress sizes’

‘I gave up dieting, and lost 20kg and dropped 6 dress sizes’

Years of yo-yo dieting and intense cardio only caused Jade to gain weight. She then decided to give it all up and adopt a more balanced approach to food and exercise – and saw the weight fall off. Here she reveals  how she’s managed to keep it off for five years.

Jade Spooner was only nine-years-old when she became conscious of her weight and developed an unhealthy relationship with her body.

“It stemmed from just being naturally on the ‘fluffier’ side as a kid rather than super slender and lean,” the 28-year-old reveals to body+soul.

Jade then entered high school with one goal in mind: to lose weight. She began calorie restricting, which only led to “blow outs and rebounds”, and would spend hours doing cardio each day.

After years of yo-yo-dieting and clean eating, followed by weeks of binge eating, Jade’s weight spiralled to her heaviest at 78kg.

“I remember the day I weighed myself and saw 78kg, and I just stood there and stared at the number. It was like time stood still,” she recalls.

Although Jade now understands the number on the scales is “meaningless”, it was a “gut-wrenching” moment.

“The number signified just how much I neglected my health, and it was an agonising reminder of how I felt in my skin.”

Jade knew that in order to successfully lose weight healthily, she needed to break her bad habits and form a newfound friendship with food.

She made simple changes to her lifestyle and dropped 20kg, going from 78kg to 58kg, in two years. Five years later and she has still managed to maintain a healthy weight, sitting at the 60kg mark. Moreover, Jade went from wearing size 12 clothes to a size 6-8.

Here’s exactly how she managed to lose weight – and keep it off over the years…

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Jade’s diet

Jade adopted a Flexible Dieting approach.

“Flexible Dieting allowed me to understand food as the body does, not as good or bad, but instead for its macronutrient value.” That means she focused on macros – protein, fats and carbs – over calories.

“I started meeting my body’s calculated intake targets rather than discriminating foods based on a clouded stigma of what I considered ‘healthy’ and ‘unhealthy’.”

Here’s what a typical day on a plate looks like to Jade:

Breakfast: Eggs on toast with avocado.

Snack: Protein yoghurt with berries and honey.

Lunch: Tuna salad on rye biscuits or a Moroccan chicken wrap.

Snack: Ricotta, banana and honey on rice cakes.

Dinner: Fish and steamed greens with air-fried potatoes.

Dessert: Chocolate or protein ice-cream.

Jade’s exercise routine

Luckily for Jade, she had always being disciplined with working out so keeping active every day was no challenge for her. But the biggest change in mindset she needed to make was seeing her weight loss journey “as a marathon, not a sprint”.

“I needed to keep a grounded perspective, celebrate all the wins – big and small – and be kind to myself in the process.”

She starts every day with a walk or run. “I find moving in the morning has been a huge contributor to keeping off my weight just through setting the tone for a day.”

Jade then does two training sessions a week with a personal trainer, and then on the other days she does weight sessions in her own home gym.

Jade’s message to others wanting to lose weight

The biggest lesson Jade has learnt over the years is to be kind to her body. “I often forgot to look at the bigger picture – health is not just aesthetic; it’s how you think, eat, move and your outlook.”

She continues: “Remember when you’re on a journey you’re also living a life worth living, too. While achieving a weight loss goal and optimal health is important, so are other facets of life that shouldn’t be compromised.”

And her secret to long-term weight loss is simple: “Anything you can’t sustain long-term will be short-lived, so consider the bigger picture. Take baby steps and make progress day by day. If you chip away at your goal and are consistent with the right method, you will get there.”

Jade Spooner is the co-founder of Equalution.

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