Kate Cradduck won Slimmer of the Season earlier this year. Kate was welcomed to exante HQ for the day for her very own special photo shoot, at that point, she had lost 7 stone. Since the photoshoot, earlier this year, she has lost a further 2 stone, and we couldn’t be prouder of her.
Kate has written a blog post, in her own words, about her experience along with her top advice, read below…
My Top Tips of How I Really Did It
“Well, what can I say? I’m still slightly in a state of amazement myself!
After just completing a whole year following the exante 800, I now weigh 9 stone less than I did at the start of my journey! My starting weight was 22st 6.5lb and my weight, today, is 13st 4.5lb… I’m amazed at what has just happened, and I keep thinking back over my year …
It’s been the most amazing experience, there have been tough times, as I knew there would be, because I had so much to lose, I wasn’t expecting it to be a walk in the park. But I must admit once I got stuck in and determined to give it my best shot … there have been far more good times than bad, and many more than I was expecting!
I suppose there have been ways that I made it suit me … and I think that has made me stick to it and be more successful at it then I thought I would be. I realised from the beginning that it wasn’t going to be a quick fix, I knew that it wasn’t going to be an overnight miracle… it took me a while to put on the weight so it definitely wasn’t going anywhere in a rush! So I knew I had to make it work for me, to make sure I lasted the distance…
My BMI Was 46.4
So, I decided on what plan to do, according to my BMI (in my case my BMI was very high at 46.4) I was morbidly obese 3 … it rung in my ears, over & over. Let’s face it, when somebody says the word “morbid” its not good … It meant I could actually die from being the size I was. And it shocked me into action, to do something about it before it was too late!!
I knew that I would be the most vulnerable at potentially falling off the wagon, so to speak, in the evenings , as this is when I used to snack the most , so I decided that I would space my food out between the hours of 12pm & 6pm …I had water & black coffee up until then, then my breakfast loved them, / lunch at 12 and a bar and a coffee at about 3 pm so I could have my last product of the day at 6pm alongside my 200 calories (or 2 products together depending what I felt like)
When I first ordered from exante I wanted to make sure that I tried at least one of everything, so I got the 4 week box, as I knew that the more items I liked and tried, the easier I would find it, and as there are so many items to choose from, I wasn’t disappointed .. as everyone’s taste buds are different, I knew its best to try for myself, as what one person hates, another loves.
I must admit I like the majority of the items, so it keeps it fresh and interesting. And then when it’s time to order again, you will have an idea of what you like and don’t like.
Do look out for the limited‐edition items.
I love them, as it can feel like Christmas to have some new things to try. Great excitement went around the group when something new came out … it gives us all a treat! And again, these little things really help to keep you on track.
Along the way I learnt that some days, no matter how hard you try or how long you have been on it, you just need more. I made sure that I have what I called my go‐to food in the fridge, all bagged up into portions of 50 calories, so if I was really close to a wobble, and it was too soon for a meal pack, I could eat something that I’d already planned and counted out and I take it off my calories for that day, so if I’d had 50kcals of lean ham or an egg, or cooked chicken, I knew I only had 150 calories left to have on top of my packs for the day.
Don’t beat yourself up if you have a blip, it can happen.
Life can throw you a curve ball the main thing is you get back on it as soon as you can, and draw a line. Don’t dwell on it much as that can turn to self‐sabotage… and that’s definitely not the thing to do… I always made the most of my drinks, everyone advises that you have water, water and more water. This is definitely true, the more you drink the more you shrink was a favourite saying.
To a certain extent, this is true, but you don’t want to be having too much. I personally made sure that I drank 3 litres a day, although this gave me regular toilet trips, it seemed the right amount for me. I also had my warm drinks where I substituted sugar to sweetener, I also used no sugar flavourings to add a little treat to my black coffees. This really helped me as it felt like a treat with none of the guilt.
I used my time well, if I found that my mind was wandering to the thought of food, I had a look through the blogs on the exante page, or looked at some of the inspirational stories on there, I also stalked the exante official group page and read some of the daily posts, it kept me going and I like to think I have made a few friends along the way.
I also started to take some me time, with long pampering baths or getting back into a few hobbies I hadn’t done for a while to keep my mind focused, this is when I rediscovered my creative side. I started to turn my mind to pack‐hacks, and coming up with low calorie, lower carb food that would keep me interested and to change things up a bit for my 200kcal meal.
I had worked in the food industry for years, it’s just that I’d liked all the stuff that I shouldn’t, so I decided to retrain myself & my brain. I knew I had to re‐educate myself for the long term, particularly for when I get to the maintenance stage of my journey as after all my hard work, I needed to have a plan.
I started to introduce exercise slowly to my journey, only light exercise at first as I was very mindful of the low calories I was eating, and wanted to stay healthy. Just enough to try and keep my mind and body active.
Top tip: Take your measurements
I made sure I took my measurements, because sometimes comparing your start measurements against your current measurements can really give you a boost. Occasionally the scales may not move, however if you check your measurements you will see your inches shrink, this can keep you motivated. It definitely helped me, more than once. I found trying my old clothes on kept me motivated too, this can be lots of fun as well.
Most importantly I had to dig deep, it’s not easy, don’t get me wrong, the exante plan is very easy to follow as they have taken all the hard work of counting your calories out for you, which at first is a must. It gives your body time to adjust, and you time to retrain your brain with portion control and what food you really need, so you learn to tell the difference between hunger & thirst.
If you follow the plan, it works!
Importantly you have to stay focused and be ready to change your life for the better. Stick with it and stay determined, and give it a real shot. If you do, along with the help of Exante you will amaze yourself, I know I certainly have. I’m looking forward to the next chapter in my exante journey as I’ve a bit more to lose. My exercise is going to dramatically change up a gear, to help me to tone up and get fitter. I will make sure I eat back any calories that I burn so I can keep healthy and happy. I know I’m always going to have the
exante products in my cupboards, as I now have a few items I love and would eat them anyway.
I also enjoy sharing my journey and my favourite pack creations on my Instagram & Blog. This is not going to change, as it’s a part of my life now and I wouldn’t want it any other way!”
Aimee graduated from the University of Bristol in 2019. It was during her time at University that her love of fitness and nutrition truly began. She’s always loved an active lifestyle from a small child. Aimee frequently enjoys going to the gym, regular hot yoga classes and going for long country walks.
She loves trying new activities and in the last 12 months has tried jet skiing, horse riding, and her first 10K race.