A mum-of-two from Lincoln has shared her three tips for losing weight after shedding almost four stone. Paralegal Rachel Potter, 37, slimmed down by three stone and seven pounds over the course of six months after giving birth to her second child.

The pounds she lost were a mix of baby weight and lockdown weight, and she now wants to help others do the same. She told Lincolnshire Live: “I don’t think I’m alone in putting weight on over lockdown.”

“I was eating a lot of convenience food – anything that was easy and quick,” she added. “We’d get a few takeaways in lockdown because we couldn’t go out.

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Rachel Potter has shared her tips.

“It was a treat and soon became a bit of a highlight each week.” She fell pregnant in January 2021, and said it became the ‘catalyst’ for her to change her eating habits.

Mrs Potter said: “I wasn’t just eating for me anymore, I had the baby to think about. However, morning sickness kicked in for the first few months making any food choices difficult.”

Once the sickness subsided, Mrs Potter said that her intentions to eat healthily fell to the wayside and her “soaring appetite” meant she was eating anything and everything. “Chocolate, crisps, snack foods, microwaveable meals – I was eating a lot of that sort of food,” Mrs Potter added.

Mrs Potter said that one thing that encouraged her unhealthy eating was the perceived stigma of healthy food being more expensive, which she now says is “not true at all”. Her midwife expressed concern as to the weight Mrs Potter was putting on and advised injections after the birth due to her high body-mass index (BMI) level.

“I couldn’t believe it and was so embarrassed that I had let myself get into this position,” she said. Her mother encouraged her to join the weight loss support group Slimming World, and she began going within a month of giving birth.

In her first week, she had lost four pounds, and 12 pounds by the end of the first month, leaving her feeling “overjoyed”. One of the main changes Mrs Potter made was cooking her own meals.

She said: “I was starting to cook more and taking more pride in what I was eating. I soon began looking forward to what I was going to be eating.

“You’ve just got to have a go. People who are complete beginners just won’t dare have a go, but you get more confident with it.”

Rachel Potter, 37, who now works as a weight-loss consultant at Slimming World.

Before and after.

Mrs Potter has gone from microwave meals and takeout to cooking beef bhuna curries and homemade onion bhaji. “I love anything involving pasta,” she said.

“Carbonara is a favorite for both my nine-year-old and me.” Planning these meals can also help ensure you eat healthily, Mrs Potter said.

The mum-of-two said: “Doing a proper shop so that you’ve got everything in and know what you’ll be cooking. I make sure I plan my meals for the week ahead and plan accordingly.

“Then I find myself looking forward to what I’ll be eating.” Mrs Potter’s second tip was to have fun and enjoy cooking.

“I genuinely do look forward to my meals,” she said. “But who wants to eat salad all the time?

“Curries, burgers, pasta and chips cooked the Slimming World way all feature in my weekly meal plans. Nothing is off-limits.”

Finally, Mrs Potter advised people hoping to lose weight to keep up with going to meetings. She said: “The impact it has, even if you don’t realize it at the time, is massive.”

She has since trained as a weight-loss consultant with Slimming World and will be hosting her own classes in the village of Saxilby, near Lincoln. “If I can do it then really anybody can do it,” Mrs Potter said.

“Obesity is such a big thing and it’s only getting worse. If people want support in their weight loss, then that’s what I’m wanting to do.”

Mrs Potter’s weight-loss consultant at Slimming World, Kyra Turner, commended her efforts. She said: “Rachel absolutely smashed losing the weight and I’m so proud of all she achieved.

“She fully embraced food optimizing and participated in the group sessions, sharing ideas and inspiring others. I’m really excited to now support her in her new venture.

“She’s going to make an incredible consultant.” Her first classes will be at the Saxilby Village Hall on Monday, May 23 at 5.30pm and 7pm.

People interested in losing weight are invited to come along to Mrs Potter’s Slimming World sessions or to contact her on 07468 469065.

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