An Australian mother-of-two has revealed the four key factors that helped her banished cellulite and tone her bum in only eight months.
Julia Meadows, 36, from Melbourne, was battling depression and a lack of self-confidence when she decided to take control of her growing body and change it by tackling her sweet tooth.
After her five-year marriage broke down, Julia found her weight creeping up due to comfort eating and ‘lazy days on the couch’.
Just eight months later, Julia shed a staggering 11 kilograms to take her from 66.6 kilos to 55 kilos – and even better, she has managed to keep the weight off ever since.
‘Unfortunately, there is no such thing as spot reduction,’ Julia told the Healthy Mummy.
‘Through healthy eating and regular exercise, you’ll be able to lose body fat and eventually you will lose it in your butt and thigh area too.’
Julia Meadows, 36, from Melbourne (pictured), has revealed the four key factors that helped her banished cellulite and tone her bum in only eight months
Just eight months later, Julia shed a staggering 11 kilograms to take her from 66.6 kilos to 55 kilos – and even better, she has managed to keep the weight off ever since
‘Unfortunately, there is no such thing as spot reduction,’ Julia told the Healthy Mummy. ‘Through healthy eating and regular exercise, you’ll be able to lose body fat and eventually you will lose it in your butt and thigh area too.’
To shed her weight, Julia followed the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge and committed to a healthy, strict diet.
A typical day on the mum’s plate sees Julia enjoy a smoothie with berries, bananas and oats for breakfast, before she snacks on a cup of tea and some Greek yoghurt with fruit mid-morning.
Julia said one of the biggest things that influenced a change in her body was cutting down on sugar.
‘I also embraced meal prep and repeated several meals so I was never without a healthy meal on hand and got tempted to eat unhealthily,’ she said.
‘Lunch is leftovers from the night before – so something like chicken and a salad,’ Julia said.
Then mid-afternoon, she enjoys either some boiled eggs, nuts or rice crackers with peanut butter, before having a Mexican lasagne or one pot bolognese for dinner – some of her favourite foods.
To shed her weight, Julia followed the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge and committed to a healthy, strict diet (Julia Meadows pictured before and after)
Now, the mum-of-two (pictured before and after) swears a by a mixture of bootcamps, incidental exercise and little to no sugar for her svelte frame
What is a typical day on Julia’s plate?
* BREAKFAST: Smoothie with berries, bananas and oats.
* MID MORNING: Greek yoghurt with fruit and a cup of tea.
* LUNCH: Leftovers or something like chicken and salad.
* SNACK: Boiled eggs, nuts or rice crackers with peanut butter.
* DINNER: Mexican lasagne or one pot bolognese.
The weight loss challenge incorporated high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts, which involves extreme cardio.
‘I did three HIIT workouts a week and it has helped me a lot with losing weight and toning up,’ Julia said.
‘I also did a lot of running. I joined my local running group and ran two half marathons this year so far.’
When it came to losing the weight, Julia landed on Australia’s leading weight loss program The Healthy Mummy after browsing their thousands of body transformations.
‘I had seen some great transformations on there so I signed up to a local running group and a bootcamp and started following the meal plans on the Healthy Mummy website,’ Julia told FEMAIL.
‘It was intimidating signing up to the bootcamp because I was already in a negative mindset and because I hadn’t done exercise I was worried that I was too unfit and would hold people back.’
But Julia pushed past her fears and began noticing a change in her body within three weeks of doing bootcamp and eating differently.
‘I saw results really quickly. About three months in I started shopping for clothes and I could see and feel the difference,’ she said.
Julia (pictured working out) said some of her favourite exercises include compound movements like squats and lunges
‘I embraced meal prep and repeated several meals so I was never without a healthy meal on hand and got tempted to eat unhealthily,’ Julia (pictured before and after) said
3. Strength training
As well as HIIT and cardio exercises, Julia tightened her muscles through strength training – which incorporates key compound lifts into a workout using heavy weights.
The lifts that proved to be effective for toning her bum included squats, lunges and step-ups that were done at home.
It’s ideal to train the lower body at least two times a week and increase the weight over time to build muscle.
The mum said you don’t always need to be ‘working out’ to get exercise in (pictured working out); she squats and lunges around the house and jumps on the trampoline with her kids
She also swears by taking progress pictures (pictured), because she said sometimes the scales will de-motivate you but pictures will help
4. Drinking plenty of water
As the human body consists of nearly 60 per cent water, it is essential to maintain health and wellbeing by drinking at least two litres of water each day.
‘I also drink around three litres of water a day and it has made my skin appear much healthier and smoother,’ she said.
Drinking water will help hydrate the kidneys, improve digestion and gut health, rejuvenate the skin and avoid feeling fatigued.
‘I also drink around three litres of water a day and it has made my skin appear much healthier and smoother,’ she said
How does Julia stay on track?
* She remembers why she started: Julia said having a reason is very important to keep her on her journey. This is why she has a motivation board in her kitchen.
* Keep moving: Even incidental movement helps lots. Walking and jumping on the trampoline with your kids will all help you with your goals.
* Meal prep: By making sure she always has something healthy and prepped in the freezer, Julia said she never gets tempted to stray and eat unhealthily.
* Get support: Julia said having the right support will keep you motivated. She likes The Healthy Mummy Facebook pages.
Source: The Healthy Mummy
Speaking about her tips for others who want to start a weight loss journey, Julia told The Healthy Mummy that one of the things that helped her most was taking progress pictures as she lost weight.
‘I’m glad I took before and after photos, because even if the scales aren’t moving I can still see process and know that I’m moving in the right direction,’ she told the publication.
‘I had to learn that scales don’t always tell the truth and now I’d rather go by my progress pictures to reflect on my achievements.’
Julia also said you should have a motivation board up somewhere in your house, so that you know what your goals are and just how far you’ve come.
‘A big one for me is changing up my workout routine regularly so I stay motivated,’ she said.
‘It doesn’t always have to be a walk, run or a gym. Jumping on the trampoline, having a dance off with your kids or running around the play centre with your kids is a great way of staying active – plus, it’s also lots of fun.’
Julia aims for a mixture of strength and cardio with her workouts, alternating walks and runs with compound movements like step-ups, squats and lunges.
She also keeps moving throughout the day, by squatting and lunging around the house while doing chores and looking after her kids.
Now, Julia urges women to stop comparing themselves and focus on their own journeys as ‘any progress is amazing’ (pictured before and after)
‘Any progress is amazing and never get discouraged if your scales aren’t moving because it doesn’t mean you are not achieving,’ she told FEMAIL
Now, Julia urges women to stop comparing themselves and focus on their own journeys.
‘Any progress is amazing and never get discouraged if your scales aren’t moving because it doesn’t mean you are not achieving,’ she told FEMAIL.
‘Us mums are so much more capable than we think and if I can do it I promise you that you can do it too.
‘Go for it, it will change your life.’