Megan combined intermittent fasting with a vegan diet while completing the F45 8-week Challenge, and lost all her stubborn body fat.

When Megan Garbutt returned home from spending three months volunteering in Guatemala, she spent many nights catching up with friends over food and drinks.

Once healthy and fit, Megan slowly let her diet go by the wayside.

“My weight gain was prompted simply by eating unhealthy food with large portions, as well as not exercising,” the 32-year-old told body+soul.

But when she stepped on the scales and saw her weight had reached 95kg, she was determined to get on top of her health.

“I wanted to get rid of being sluggish and unmotivated,” she explained. “I also really wanted to challenge myself to see what I could accomplish if I really put my mind to it and pushed myself as hard as I could – what my body could do and how it could change for the better.”

She signed up to F45 and lost 14kg over two years, however was determined to lose more weight. This promoted Megan to sign up to F45’s popular 8-Week Challenge. Two months later and she was awarded the women’s global winner of the challenge – a result of losing a further 14 kg and 12.7 per cent body fat.

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Here’s how she accomplished this…

Megan’s diet

Megan was a long-time vegetarian for five years, but decided to make the switch to vegan, which involved cutting out all plant-based products.

“I had heard and read a lot about the benefits of a plant-based diet, especially when it comes to athletes’ performance. So I decided to give it a try for this challenge to see how it would affect me,” she said.

She also incorporated intermittent fasting into her eating routine, following the 16:8 diet whereby she eats between an eight hour window and fasts for the remaining 16.

“I also looked into intermittent fasting as well to see if there would be benefits for me. Turns out they were both amazing for my body and I loved them both.”

Although she is still reaping the benefits of combining intermittent fasting with a vegan diet, Megan admits it definitely came with its challenges.

“First couple of weeks were very hard, especially the fasting. But once my body got used to it and got into a routine, it became normal and second nature.”

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

Breakfast: Black coffee with cinnamon and a bit of sweetener.

Lunch: A big salad heavy on protein-rich ingredients OR a protein smoothie “with lots of toppings”.

Snacks: Hummus and vegetables OR nut butters and rice cakes OR nuts OR a protein shake OR a protein bar OR date energy balls.

Dinner: Stir fry OR curry OR tacos OR spaghetti squash with pasta sauce.

Megan’s exercise routine

With the current coronavirus restrictions enforced, Megan’s F45 gym has closed. However, she is still staying fit by completing an F45 virtual workout every day.

“I also enjoy skipping or going for runs and walks on top of the workout, and giving myself one rest day a week.”

Megan’s advice for others

Since completing the F45 8-week Challenge, Megan admits she has gained some weight back from not being as strict with her diet and exercise regimen.

“I have gained a bit back as expected after finishing the challenge as I’m not training as hard and letting myself have some treats.”

Despite this, she is pleased with her accomplishments and her health now.

And for anyone stuck in a health rut, take advice from Megan, who again, won the female GLOBAL F45 8-week Challenge.

“Mind over matter is real. You can push your body a lot harder than you think. Our bodies are capable of much more than we think!”