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'I Lost 65 Pounds After I Reduced My Sugar And Started Doing Intermittent Fasting'

Women's Health logo Women's Health 6/24/2021 Ritchell Antonio, as told to Emily Shiffer

My name is Ritchell Antonio (@ritchwithlove), and I 'm 32 years old. I 'm from Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, and I work as a unit clerk in a hospital. By the time I was 30, I weighed 240 pounds and had numerous health problems. By eliminating sugar and practicing intermittent fasting, as well as cycling five or six days a week, I've lost 65 pounds.

Before I made the decision to change my life, I wasn't in the best of health. I was always getting sick, and I had surgery every year. My unhealthy lifestyle at the time was causing my organs to fail. I knew I needed to change because my life depended on it.

On top of that, I was medically obese. Walking became an issue. I would take just a few steps and be out of breath. I also had a lower back injury and knee problem. At 30, my weight hit 240 pounds.

I started this journey not to look like a supermodel, but just to be at a healthy weight.

I was ready to change. I told myself that it's never too late to take care of my body. I really wanted to live a long life not only for myself, but for my husband and be the best that I can be. I started this journey with a promise to myself that there was no looking back and this would become a part of my new lifestyle.

The biggest swap I made was cutting out sugar.

For the first time, I started to pay attention to what I was actually eating. I don’t follow a special diet. I just focus on making sure that I have a balance of carbs, protein, greens, and fruit. I've also incorporated intermittent fasting, and I follow a 16:8 routine. I fast for 16 hours and then my eating window opens from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.

I eat balanced meals with healthy snacks in between, and I make sure that I am well hydrated. Usually on weekends I try to give myself some reward, and I call it my "reset" day when I eat breakfast, lunch and dinner at "normal" times.

Here’s what I eat in a day:

  • Breakfast: Two eggs, two pieces turkey bacon, whole-wheat toast with half an avocado and a teaspoon of peanut butter.
  • Lunch: One cup of rice, a piece of meat such as chicken, and a serving of veggies that's stir-fried, sautéed, or eaten as a salad.
  • Snacks: Protein bar or a fruit.
  • Dinner: One cup rice, a piece of meat, and veggies.
  • Dessert: Yogurt.

Early in my journey, I got introduced to at-home cycling using my Schwinn bike.


Video: Intermittent fasting could help you live longer, experts say (TODAY)

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I specifically got into rhythm cycling using the Playbook app. I love taking classes with the instructor Gaby G, @gabrilynn. I 'm so happy I found a workout that I love and that kicks my butt at the same time.

I cycle about five or six times a week now. It feels so great every time I sweat and make it to the end of every ride. It’s also a great way to unwind after a very long day.

Besides cycling, I also love to do yoga and meditation. I also like to get outside for long hikes and nature trips. (Sunday is my active rest day when I do yoga or hikes.) I have more energy at this point, I don't get tired easily anymore. I can enjoy life so much more and have lots of adventures.

These three changes made the biggest difference in my weight-loss results.

  1. I make time for my workouts despite my busy, full-time job. I believe determination is also one of the keys for reaching your goals. I work 12-hour shifts, but I still prioritize fitting in cycling. I either find time very early in the morning to do it, or I ride when I get home from work.
  2. I became consistent. This beautiful journey changed me a lot as a person. I became more knowledgeable with a lot of things, learned more about nutrition, tuned in to my life priorities, and most importantly, learned patience and how to trust the process. Staying consistent is also very important. I wake up everyday and I feel so good.
  3. I learned how to listen to my body. If your body tells you to rest or pause, do it. Meditation also helped me so much with pausing and staying focused. It gives me a strong mind and calmness. Just breathe and the rest will follow.

I have lost about 65 pounds in two years.

I want to encourage other women to always do what's best for you and your body. Find a workout that you enjoy. Don't be scared to nourish yourself with yummy, balanced goodness. Self-love is very important, so do this for you! Enjoy the process with consistency and patience.

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