By Following The CICO Diet Rule And Doing Kettlebell Workouts, I Lost 100 Pounds In Only A Year

My name is Georgia Malbrough (@georgiabethfitness), and I’m 26 years old. I live in Houma, Louisiana, and I’m a stay-at-home mom. When I started my weight-loss journey, I researched how metabolism and weight loss work and adapted the CICO rule. Now? I've lost over 100 pounds.

Before my weight-loss journey began, I was a young mother to three kids who struggled to find a healthy relationship with food. I finally realized that in order to enjoy my life as a mom and to really be there for my children, I needed to find balance and somehow prioritize my own health while being a parent.

I was tired of living as a watered-down version of myself. Playing with my kids was exhausting. When I pictured my future, I often thought about how I wanted to be that grandma that would take her grandchildren on hiking trips. But there was no way that was going to happen if I didn’t make a permanent adjustment to my day-to-day life right then.

In the past, I had tried every fad diet that gave me quick results, but those results would be gone the second I slipped up. In July 2018, something changed in me, and I'm not even sure what made me change my ways. But I was finally ready to commit to that change—and I did.

The first thing I did was research how the body burns fat and how metabolism works.

The simple fact I discovered was that weight loss and fat loss generally come down to: calories in versus calories out. A lot of people refer to this as the CICO diet, though it's not a diet at all—it's just a basic way of thinking about weight loss. (Of course, there can always be other factors at play that impact weight loss, but I knew that my health was generally okay—so it worked for me to zero in on calories.) All I had to do was eat fewer calories than my body was burning each day—and that I'd have to start recording what I ate in order to spot the discrepancy.

When I started living by this simple rule, I was able to still eat the foods I love, without eliminating them forever. Let's be real: I was never going to stop eating at the dinner table with my kids because they were eating pizza and I couldn’t. I needed to be able to live my best life in my own reality. Thinking about calories in, calories out, allowed me to do that.

Tracking calories also allowed me to see just how much I was overeating. Once I was keeping tabs on my food intake, there was no longer room for me to say, “well, I didn’t eat that much.” I could look back and see that I actually had, and that’s why I wasn’t seeing progress. It took out the mystery and guessing.

Here’s what I typically eat in a day:

  • Breakfast: Black coffee (always) and a protein shake, or scrambled eggs.
  • Lunch: Ground meat with taco seasoning added to a Birds Eye Southwest Protein Bowl, topped with shredded Mexican cheese and sour cream.
  • Snacks: Grapes, cucumbers and salsa, or an apple.
  • Dinner: Smothered chicken thighs with Lima beans, white rice, and steamed broccoli.
  • Dessert: Plain Greek yogurt mixed with a chocolate pudding pack and strawberries.

I also started drinking more water, which was a game changer for me. I had no idea just how dehydrated I was all the time. When I would hit a plateau, I’d up my water intake and see a difference overnight (seriously). If I knew I just ate a decent amount but was still hungry, I’d drink water, and the cravings would pass.

Another change I made was to my mindset: I started thinking about food as fuel. I used to think of food as an emotional crutch. Once this new perspective clicked for me, I could separate when I was enjoying food for its quality from when I was eating to soothe myself emotionally.

I work out six days a week now. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays are my favorite because they’re my leg days.

Right now, I'm focused on building strength in my hamstrings, glutes, and quads, and I'm working on my hip mobility. Tuesdays I work on my back and shoulders. Wednesdays I work on my triceps, biceps, and chest. Saturdays are my full-body day, which I use to work on new techniques or try a random workout that I saved on Instagram.

I love mobility, kettlebell workouts, and hip thrusts. I got into mobility once I broke my ankle and researched more on how to rehabilitate it. Kettlebells make me feel like a total ninja, and hip thrusts make my booty grow. (I got into both of these while researching how to strengthen my posterior chain!)

I lost over 100 pounds in 13 months, and I’ve maintained it for six more months.

I want other women to realize just how strong they are. I want them to find inspiration in themselves and the women around them, rather than the women they see photoshopped all over the media. The most empowering part of this was doing it on my own—because no one could take away the hard work that I put into myself.


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