After 30 years of failed New Year’s resolutions in which he pledged to lose weight, Paul, 53, knew he had to take action. He told Express.co.uk how he completely transformed his body, and in turn his life, through diet and exercise, while enjoying the occasional cookie.
Paul attributed his weight loss to Noom, a program that prioritizes the psychology behind our relationships with food.
He began: “A big thing for me was that with Noom you can eat whatever you want. But while making those decisions and recording what you eat on a calorie counter, you quickly realize how much point some of the high calorie ‘red foods’ are for you.
“You also choose how fast you want to lose weight. For me, I wanted to see results and I wanted to see them fairly quickly because that’s what drives me.”
A crucial lesson Paul learned is that most of the time when he thought he was hungry, his body was actually thirsty and crying out for water: “It opened my eyes.”
He revealed: “Boredom to eat was another big issue.”
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Paul admitted that despite being “skeptical” about the program, Noom completely changed his perception of food and his own eating habits.
Along the way, Noom’s Whatapp support network has been a big motivator for Paul, with people of all ages, genders and backgrounds using it to encourage each other through good times and bad.
“People provided tips, recipes and substitutes for certain foods. It’s almost like a community, where everyone is on the same journey.”
While the help was there, Paul revealed: “I found it remarkably easy. I look back and can’t quite believe how easy I found it, but to be honest it comes in largely from the fact that I’ve seen results.”
Weighing himself every day so he could see the pounds come off has also kept him on track to achieve his goals.
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When it comes to exercise, Paul “made it a point to walk for at least an hour a day” regardless of the forecast.
“Even when it was raining, I would go out, because at the end of the day, you just get wet.”
Rather than walking slowly and leisurely, Paul picked up the pace to maximize calorie burn: “I want to feel like I’m exercising, so I walk as fast as other people jog.”
Paul said: “I’m not a runner, but I’ve always wanted to be able to run 10k in under an hour. When I did, I posted on social media saying, ‘This is the last time you’ll see a message from me about running, because now that I’ve done it, I won’t.”
But his passion for golf also helped him lose weight. according to The Golf News Net, “Playing a round of golf on foot is like hiking four to five miles in a backpack.”
Paul knew he was really making progress when his friends on the golf course started commenting on his new slim physique.
“They always knew me as the big guy. At first when I lost weight they thought maybe I was sick because it was coming off so fast, but when I told them what I was doing , they couldn’t believe how well it was going.”
Compliments and words of encouragement from those close to him were a great motivation, which meant that he was “afraid of failing”.
“I don’t want to be seen as the guy who yo-yoed.”
Noom was extremely effective for Paul, but at one point he felt he had lost too much weight.
In just nine months, Paul’s weight dropped from 19 stone to 14 stone, and as a naturally large guy at 1.80m tall, he actually decided to take his weight to 15 stone.
“My wife says I’m the perfect weight now. She says I look healthy, happy and not too skinny.”
Four years ago, a doctor told Paul he was having a “walking heart attack”, but Paul’s weight loss has allowed him to reduce his blood pressure tablets to just a third of his original prescription.
Although he still has fun and enjoys socializing over a few beers, he knows when it’s time to switch to low-calorie gin, and that going outside means he needs to make healthy, conscious choices in the days ahead. .
He also changed his snacking habits; Previously, Paul instinctively grabbed a packet of cookies while enjoying coffee and watching television.
“Now I’m like, ‘Do I really need the cookie?’ and take grapes instead.
“I have a chocolate chip cookie with my coffee maybe once a week, and I really enjoy it because it’s a treat, whereas before it was the norm.”
Her advice to others embarking on their own weight loss journey: “Focus on the long-term goal and remind yourself why you’re doing it.”