Name: Liz Bickerton
Home: Croydon, Vic
WEIGHT BEFORE: 75KG
WEIGHT AFTER: 55KG
The weight gain Liz Bickerton's yoyo dieting made Oprah look like an amateur. "I've always lost weight before special occasions," says Bickerton, a physiotherapist. "But as soon as the event was over, my weight would go up again." Determined to be a size 8 for her wedding in October 2006, she busted her butt for a year and whittled down to 52kg. "I really overtrained - some days I did two hour-long cardio sessions - and didn't eat enough. I deprived myself until the wedding. We went to Lord Howe Island for the honeymoon and the food was sensational - I ate far too much." Then Christmas put Bickerton's overeating into overdrive. "I hid my bingeing from people - even my husband. I constantly told myself, 'On Monday, I'll start eating healthily'. But I'd just fall off the wagon again."
The need to change diet and lifestyle "I was sick of my weight fluctuating," she says. "And we wanted to start a family. I wanted to be a good role model for our kids." Bickerton also discovered that she had high cholesterol (6.4mmol/L). "I had to lose weight not just to look good, but for good health." She heard about Ideal Bodies Online (idealbodiesonline.com) through her gym - Melbourne's Croydon Leisure Centre - which was hosting a 12-week challenge. So she decided to sign up.
The new diet Ideal Bodies designed an eating and training plan for Bickerton, but she never went hungry. "I ate more than I did the year before my wedding, but lost the same amount of weight in only 12 weeks," she says. In a typical day, Bickerton ate half a cup of oats made with water and a 30g protein shake for brekkie; a piece of fruit and a handful of almonds for morning tea; salad with 100g tuna or salmon and half a cup of rice for lunch; four Corn Thins with cottage cheese for arvo tea; and 100g lean meat or fish with vegies for dinner. The perk? One meal eating whatever she wanted each week, though Bickerton "didn't even feel like it". She sweated through five workouts a week, doing 25 minutes of interval training or 60 minutes of cardio, and weights every second day.
The reward The 12-week challenge ended August 25, 2008 and, after shedding more than 20kg and dropping to 16.7 per cent body fat, Bickerton trumped 200 competitors. "I only expected to lose 10kg!" she says. Now she's learnt she doesn't have to starve or count kilojoules. "I need to maintain my weight but also let myself have treats."Liz's tips
DOWN GLUTAMINE SUPPLEMENTS. "I took these to ease muscle soreness while doing heavy weights. They totally work."
EAT EVERY TWO TO THREE HOURS. "It's vital to eat small meals so you don't get hungry, which can then lead to a binge."DON'T FORGET GOOD FATS. "Include 1 tbs of flaxseed oil or 50g (a quarter) of an avocado in your diet each day."