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Lauren was left “eating her feelings” after suffering with severe IBS, gallbladder problems and having to rely on pain medication. The mother-of-one admitted she couldn’t even get down the stairs without “crying in pain” before she began her weight loss journey. How did she manage to slim down? 

Lauren explained that she struggled with health issues before losing weight: “Ever since I was a kid I’ve always been overweight and known as ‘the big girl’.

“I was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome when I was 18, so I struggled to get pregnant until I lost some weight before I conceived my son.

“Five years ago I gave birth to him, he was premature by two months, and after that I started to have problems with my gallbladder and gallstones. Doctors told me having an emergency c-section kick-started all of the issues.

“I was on really strong painkillers for about two years before I had surgery to remove my gallbladder in 2019, because I was originally too heavy to have it. I had to lose about a stone before I could and I relied on the pain relief to get me through the day.

“After the surgery, I suffered with severe IBS and I became so depressed that I got to my heaviest weight, which was 17st 10lbs. I started eating my feelings and just felt hopeless.

“I couldn’t get down the stairs without crying in pain. Being overweight and having health problems made it more of a struggle to care for my son who needs constant attention, it was a hard time.”

To lose weight, the slimmer followed a diet from the meal replacement brand Exante. As part of her diet plan, she ditched her high-carb diet of pizza, pasta, potatoes and takeaways she used to have every weekend, which were some of her favourite meal options.

Lauren also began consuming two of her Exante meal replacements a day and became the “best and healthiest” version of herself for her son.

Her new diet plan consisted of a meal replacement shake, which contained 27 vitamins and minerals, for breakfast and lunch, and for dinner, she would opt for a healthy option such as chicken with salad.

Lauren explained: “I didn’t look after myself before, I never used to calorie count and I was unaware about what I was putting in my mouth.

“I was with an ex-partner when I started Exante and things weren’t great, I had lost myself. I found the strength to end the relationship after starting Exante so I could concentrate on myself and my son, and the more weight I lost, the more confident I became.

“After the first 12 weeks, I stuck to the shakes but started having around 1,200 calories a day and I allowed myself some more leeway at weekends.

“After nine months I was fit enough to join the gym and start walking up to 10,000 steps a day, so I upped my calorie intake again, and then by May last year I had lost six stone.”

The dieter continued: “Now I have an Exante shake every day after the school run or after I work out and I’ve completed Couch to 5k too.

“That was a big achievement for me because before, I couldn’t run on the treadmill for more than three minutes without feeling like I was going to pass out.

“I try to make meal plans every week now. My favourites to cook are stir fry, chicken with rice and broccoli, and fish with vegetables. I drink more than two litres of water a day, my bottle comes everywhere with me.”

Lauren admitted that she is now “the happiest and healthiest I’ve ever been” and she is a “more confident” version of herself.

The mother-of-one had a goal weight of 11 stone and after she reaches that, she will look into having an abdominoplasty to remove the excess skin she has been left with around her stomach.

“Anyone embarking on a low-calorie diet plan or who has a medical condition and is looking to change their diet, should seek medical advice from their GP or a healthcare professional first,” Exante advised.

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