Alice: I lost 5st and didn’t stop baking cakes!

For baking-mad Alice, losing weight didn’t mean having to give up the things she loves. Here’s how she had her cake, ate it, and lost over 5st too

Alice's story 

Name: Alice
Weight loss: 5st 5lb
Was: 16st 3lb
Now: 10st 12lb
Age: 34
Height: 5'6"

I've always loved cake, but when I became a mum, my baking went into overdrive. While my baby daughter Chloe slept, I was glued to the TV food channels or trying out a new recipe. I could easily spend a couple of hours making Nigella flapjacks and then eat them all myself.

Light bulb moment  When Chloe was 10 months old, we went on our first family holiday, and on the plane, I was horrified to discover that I was too big to pull down the tray table. It was my light bulb moment. Within a few hours of arriving home from that holiday, I'd found my nearest Weight Watchers meeting and signed up! I was so determined to lose weight that for the first few weeks I stopped baking completely and focused on getting to grips with the plan.

My determination paid off and, sure enough, I lost weight steadily. But something was missing. For me, a life without baking is a life half lived – there was no way I could simply give it up completely.

The following week, my then Coach, Kelli, brought some Toblerone cookies into our meeting. They had a SmartPoints®​ value of 2 each - she'd worked it out by putting the ingredients into the online Recipe Builder and tasted so delicious I felt inspired to get back in the kitchen and have a go myself.

Perfect portions  I quickly discovered that, for me, portion size was the key to everything. If I made my usual ingredients go twice as far (for example, by simply doubling the amount of cookies I made from a batch) I could go back to baking all my favourite treats, with just a few little tweaks. And so that's what I did.

Within 18 months, I was at Goal, without ever cutting out my cakes and treats. That's when I fell pregnant with Charlie.

I was diagnosed with postnatal depression after Charlie was born, and, feeling low and anxious, I learned how important it was to do things that made me happy. Watching my weight was one way to help myself, and using my creative side to bake was another. I combined both and, within nine months, I was back at Goal having cooked some fabulous cakes, and feeling much better about myself. I also increased my activity. I walk everywhere, I do three exercise classes each week and run twice a week as well. All of that means I can eat a little bit more cake!

I'm maintaining my weight now and still adapting recipes to fit in with my life. I've also learned not to lick the spoon!

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