Alana Hassett reveals exactly how she managed to drop 20kg by making a few simple diet changes.
Alana Hassett had different priorities prior to her weight loss transformation.
“Before starting my weight loss journey with Vision Personal Training, my life was all about having fun,” the 29-year-old told Body+Soul, “I have an incredible job which pre-COVID-19, allowed me to travel overseas throughout the year.”
And when she wasn’t travelling for work, she had her social calendar packed to the brim.
“My happy-go-lucky life was conducive of a lot of drinking and eating out. Working in the city meant going out for lunch and after-work drinks was a regular occurrence.”
She didn’t exercise regularly, either. “Prior to my weight loss journey, I had a pattern of going through periods of being active and healthy eating. But I never did so consistently. For example, for a few months, I would get up each morning for an early morning walk or join a gym for a three to six month period. But then I’d always stop.”
These unhealthy practices, along with personal health issues, made Alana’s weight surge to 112.7 kg.
“My most recent weight gain has been accumulating over the past four years and was triggered by being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, Coeliac Disease and PCOS – relatively close together,” Alana explained. “I went into a stage of denial where I didn’t necessarily take on board the seriousness of everything. This led to a combination of bad habits, which included eating whatever I wanted, when I wanted it, a lot of drinking and not prioritising movement.”
However, for the sake of her health, she decided to change her attitude.
“My blood test results revealed my diabetes was not being properly managed and an alarmingly high cholesterol reading. My doctor advised that unless this number came down, I would need to be put on cholesterol-lowering medication and once I was on this medication, I would never be able to go off it.”
With a few simple diet and exercise changes, Alana lost 20kg and decreased her body fat mass by 5 per cent. Here’s how she did it…
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Alana’s current diet
Alana’s Vision Personal Trainer explained nutrition would be important when it came to weight loss, therefore she restricted “chips, lollies and all things simple carbohydrates.”
Now, she plans her meals in advance, usually has four to five meals per day and incorporates fruit, vegetables, fibre and protein into each meal to stay satisfied.
“The biggest changes I’ve adapted into my lifestyle is preparing my meals and logging everything I plan to eat in my food diary via the MyVision app. This really opened my eyes to the types of foods I was eating on a regular basis and the negative impact my diet was having on my overall health.”
She is currently still counting macros while maintaining balance.
“I still enjoy my favourite ribs or homemade pizza, but now understand what I need to do to fit the food I love into the macronutrient count that I need to be in to maintain weight loss. I also have a much better understanding of what a healthy portion looks like.”
Here’s what a typical day on a plate looks like to her now…
Breakfast: I always have a fruit smoothie for breakfast. It’s easy to make and a great way to start the day with the nutrients my body needs (protein, almond milk, strawberries and spinach).
Snacks: Snacks for me are usually eggs, carrots or a piece of fruit plus a protein shake.
Lunch: Lunch is always my biggest meal of the day for me. It consists of complex carbohydrates and a healthy source of protein. My staples are a hearty omelette, chicken pasta and chilli con carne.
Dinner: Dinner is often my lightest meal of the day as I don’t have much of an appetite in the evenings. Having a light dinner also helps me maintain an even blood sugar level overnight. Dinner often consists of a healthy cut of meat with vegetables, or a soup with chicken on the side.
Alana’s exercise routine
Before coronavirus saw the closure of gyms, Alana would train at the gym in the early mornings and hike on the weekends.
“Early morning is my preferred time to exercise, as I like to switch off and relax as soon as I finish work at the end of the day. Each week I attended two personal training sessions that consisted mostly of weight training. I then incorporated three to four group exercise classes into my routine that were mainly cardio-based.”
Since COVID-19 restrictions:
During the lockdown, Alana made use of virtual training sessions and maintained her fitness while social distancing.
“Although my pay has taken a huge hit during this time, I have budgeted to keep one personal training session with Vision in my weekly routine as this time with my personal trainer is key to staying motivated and on track,” she explained.
“The positive of being at home every day is having the opportunity to go for more walks and do more classes virtually. I’ve been doing three to four Vision group exercise classes via Zoom along with a Wednesday evening class and I’ve recently started attending the Saturday morning park sessions.”
Alana on the biggest lesson she learnt
While hitting some speed bumps on the way, Alana acknowledged consistency is key.
“Staying healthy and active is something that I’m going to constantly have to work on. Consistency really is key when it comes to losing weight loss and then maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle. I have now found a healthy balance of self-control and discipline that I know I can maintain.”
She has also learnt a few valuable lessons about long-term fitness and weight loss.
“I’ve learnt that it’s okay to have a day or weekend off and that it won’t undo my hard work, because being in a constant state of weight loss isn’t sustainable.”