A size 20 nursery worker who used to eat McDonald’s five times a week has transformed her body by losing four stone in three months.
Emma Sinclair made the decision to change her eating habits after her body left her feeling miserable on a holiday to Tenerife.
Before then, the 23-year-old would drink over 1,000 calories in full fat coke every day as well as having a McDonald’s breakfast, consisting of a 1,225 calorie breakfast wrap, hash browns and large coke, four times a week.
After comparing herself to other people on holiday, Sinclair described it as “the worst fortnight of her life”.
She chose not to weigh herself while she was eating from the fast-food chain on a regular basis, so when she returned from holiday and discovered she was 17st 12lb, she was left feeling “horrified”.
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“Something just changed, I can’t describe it, but I suddenly saw myself for how I really looked.
“I think part of it is because a holiday is meant to be an escape, a place to get away from all your worries. But I couldn’t do that – the problem was staring right back at me in the mirror.
“I looked fat and finally had to admit it,” she said.
Sinclair’s BMI was 37 and the NHS recommended BMI for her height was between between 18.9 and 24.5, which classed her as obese.
Many of her empty calories were consumed before lunchtime, with her eating an average of 4,000 per day - double the recommended daily average for women.
She blames the bad habits slowly creeping in for her weight increasing as she got into her late teens: “I started getting into some bad habits, like having takeaway in front of Netflix, that sort of thing.
“The bulk of my weight gain came when I turned 21.
“I’d just passed my driving test and got my first car, a grey Peugeot 201, and I let myself get really lazy.
“I wouldn’t walk anywhere. I’d drive to the bottom of the road to the shop – even though it was only a five-minute walk.”
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“I worked right next to McDonald’s so every day, without fail, for four days a week I would eat a Maccie’s breakfast,” she said.
“Then, on Sunday, I’d go for a McDonald’s with all my family – it’s a tradition of ours.”
The overeating wasn’t exclusive to McDonald’s though, the 23-year-old admitted she would eat large amounts of comfort food, from sweet and sour chicken to trifles while she was at work.
Her intake of full fat coke alone totalled 6,615 calories per week.
“It’s hard to imagine now, but I just brushed it under the carpet. I remember spotting my first stretch mark in the bathroom one day and I just pretended I hadn’t seen it.
“None of my friends mentioned anything. Sometimes my family would, but they’d always do it so kindly I wouldn’t think anything of it.”
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Sinclair admitted that she didn’t think anything of putting her size 20 clothes into a suitcase for her holiday, but on arrival in Tenerife she “wanted to cry”.
She dumped her holiday clothes in the bin before leaving the island, determined to kick her bad eating habits for good.
“I suddenly realised I was so overweight I struggled to sit down with the children on the floor like all the other nursery workers and wondered what the parents thought of me.”
She continued: “Someone my age who was too big to kneel down with the kids was just embarrassing.”
She decided to try the Jane Plan diet, which meant she received a weekly package of 21 pre-prepared meals and seven snacks. She adopted a new 1,200 calorie per day diet.
By switching her food intake from saturated-fat heavy meals to a day consisting of boiled egg on toast for breakfast, soup for lunch and homemade stir-fry for dinner, Sinclair lost 12lb within the first week.
“On the first day of the plan I turned down lunch at work and realised it was the first time I’d said no to food in as long as I could remember,” she said.
She was looking forward to showing off her new size 12 wardrobe during a family holiday to Barbados, but after that was cancelled because of coronavirus, she decided to use the nice weather in the UK to show off her hard work in the garden.
She said: “I feel like a completely different person – I don’t think I’ve ever worn shorts in the UK and now I can’t take them off.”