Just under a year ago, self-confessed sugar addict Elise Dunstan tipped the scales at 134kg and was a dress size 24.
The 23-year-old student, from Brisbane, said she would constantly snack on chocolate, cake and ice cream – while also downing nearly two litres of soft drink per day.
But in January, Elise turned her life around after overcoming her sweet tooth and switching to an all-natural, chemical-free diet – which is completely free of any added sugar, salt, preservatives, stabilisers, flavourings, colourings and MSG.
This new clean eating regime has paid off after she managed to lose an incredible 59kg and drop six dress sizes in just ten months – all naturally.
Now the business student feels more confident than ever flaunting her brand new 75kg, size 10 figure.
Elise said: “I would snack on chocolate, cake and ice-cream, sometimes more than twice a day. I could never eat just a few squares of chocolate either, it would have to be the entire block.
“Then because of the sweet stuff I’d consume, I would have no problem eating a whole packet of chips to counteract that sweetness. It was such a vicious cycle.
“I’d always been overweight as a child and throughout my teens. I managed to lose some weight during high school but ended up piling it all back on shortly after graduating.
“I was a huge emotional eater and I always turned to food for comfort. I had a real weakness for anything that was loaded with sugar.”
In her genes
Elise was also plagued by frightening health issues due to her weight, with doctors warning that she may never be able to have kids due to her dangerously high cholesterol levels.
And with an extensive history of diabetes in her family, Elise said it was ‘only a matter of time’ before she too would be struck down by the disease.
But it was not until seeing an unflattering photograph of herself with boyfriend William Wright, 25, from Christmas 2017 that Elise realised that she needed to lose weight.
She said: “The turning point for me was when I had a Christmas lunch with friends in December 2017. Someone had taken a photo of my boyfriend and I together. While I do love the memory of that day, but I’ll never forget how I felt when I saw that picture.
“That was the first time the gravity of what I had done to myself truly set in. I looked at the girl in the photo and had no clue who she was. I couldn’t believe I’d gotten myself into such a state of bad health. Seeing that massive girl in the photo flicked a switch inside my head.
“After that, I made the commitment to change my lifestyle and try to regain the happy and healthy life I should have been living at such a young age.”
How she did it
After discussing her ongoing weight battle with her doctor, Elise was referred to a free health program called Diabetic Health Clinic run by Dr. Peter Pratt which focused on helping people manage their diabetes.
Although Elise did not have the disease, she was encouraged to take part in the program due to the fact she was deemed at high risk of becoming a diabetic if she continued her unhealthy eating habits.
Elise kick-started her weight loss by going on a radical juice cleanse which saw her replace all meals with juice for 30 days.
The concoctions needed to be strictly 80 percent vegetable and 20 percent fruit and Elise was not allowed to consume anything else besides water in order to instigate a proper detoxification.
The young woman said this process truly tested her determination, strength and willpower – with Elise even managing to stick to her juice fast while others enjoyed cake at her 23rd birthday party.
Following this, Elise totally transformed her diet by eliminating all added sugars, salts, preservatives, stabilisers, flavourings, colourings and MSG from her meals – instead opting for a clean-eating based approach that focuses on completely natural and whole foods.
Adding in exercise
And it was only after losing 50kg that Elise began to incorporate any sort of exercise into her regime by working out five days week – which helped her shed an extra 9kg.
Now Elise said she is feeling better than ever after ditching her dangerous sugar addiction and turning her life around.
She said: “I try to keep my meals as clean and natural as possible. Anything that comes in a packet or a can I will thoroughly scan all the ingratiates. If there is anything that is not natural in there, I will not consume it.
“It’s hard to believe that I’ve been able to lose so much weight just by focusing on eating natural foods. There were no fad diets, no shakes, no pills, no potions and no surgery. Just a lifestyle change and food overhaul which honestly saved my life.
“I feel happy, healthy, positive and alive. I’ll never look back.”
With additional reporting by Caters.
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