Melanie Cjepa's incredible transformation story proves losing weight doesn't mean restricting your favourite foods. Here she shares all her diet and exercise tips that helped her lose a whopping 30kg.
Melanie Cjepa’s weight began to creep up on her during her pregnancies.
“Before my first pregnancy I was comfortable size 14 but jumped to a size 20 afterwards,” the 28-year-old tells Body+Soul.
While she did managed to lose the weight in the space of two long years, she gained it all back again during her second pregnancy.
“During my pregnancies, the weight just piled on and it felt like forever to budge or to bounce back so quickly like some women who are luckier.”
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Although she would try her best to avoid unhealthy foods and even picked up calorie counting, it was other eating habits that stopped her from losing weight.
“My food choices had always been relatively good but my portion sizes were way out of control, or I would snack on whatever I could find in the cupboard, which was either chocolate, lollies, chips or biscuits,” Melanie recalls.
“I used to jump on the weight loss bandwagon on and off, and hit the gym hard but I would lose interest because I wasn’t seeing results as quick as I wanted to as I was too impatient.”
After months of trying to regain her health back after her second pregnancy, Melanie decided to take further action and jump on the Lite n’ Easy Jump Start program.
“Within the first week a kilo had gone, and each week another kilo had gone.” In the first five months, Melanie had lost a whopping 25kg. A few weeks later and she lost another 5kg, bringing her weight down to a low 67kg, and she finally fit into size 10 clothing.
Here she shares exactly how she managed to successfully lose the weight – and keep it off.
Melanie started off on Lite n’ Easy’s 1200 calorie program, which included breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner, with two intermittent fasting days.
“It allowed me to have control of my food but still enjoy the foods I loved like pasta, bread, burgers, and even a sweet treat at afternoon tea. It didn’t feel like just another fad diet where I thought I’d have to cut carbs and leave the food I loved.”
Here’s what a day on a plate looks like to her now:
Breakfast: A slice of toast with cereal OR eggs benedict OR baked beans on toast OR a zucchini slice with a poached egg.
Morning tea: Fresh piece of fruit OR a fruit cup.
Lunch: Chicken burger OR pasta OR soup with bread OR chicken salad OR nachos.
Afternoon tea: Muffin OR chocolate slice OR mixed nuts OR yoghurt OR fruit.
Dinner: Slow cooked meals OR fresh salads OR pasta.
Melanie’s exercise routine
Melanie trains five days a week at a gym, doing a combination of “booty training, HIIT and weight training.”
“I also walk the lake nearby, which is 4km and it’s a perfect way to get my kids out in the fresh air as my eldest will ride his bike whilst I push the pram and we play tag to get ourselves around the lake.”
Melanie on her best weight loss advice
“My biggest advice I have to give to those seeking to lose weight is to take the leap and join a program or a fitness group. It may be daunting at the start but everyone is there for the same reasons as you. I can guarantee you will be cheered on your success and small wins,” the mother-of-two says.
“Don’t compare yourself to others, everyone is battling their own insecurities and on their own journey,” Melanie adds. “Take your journey for you and until you feel comfortable with yourself, not until society says so.”