‘Portion Control And A Low-Carb Diet Helped My Drop 126 Pounds Naturally’

My name is Adrianna Velazquez (@bodyfromthebasement). I'm 28 years old, live in New Jersey, and work as an administrative assistant. After reaching 298 pounds and losing complete control over my life, I knew something had to change.

I have struggled with my weight my whole life. I remember being the biggest friend in the group and being called fat. I'd hear lines like, "oh, you’re pretty for a big girl."

I tried to lose weight more times than I can count. In 2013, I lost about 60 pounds. But in 2015, I became pregnant and used my busy life as an excuse to be unhealthy. I gained every pound back and more.

Eventually, I was physically unable to keep up with my 1 year old. I knew something had to change. I was tired of it all—tired of the pains I developed, tired of the way I looked, and more importantly, tired of the way I felt. I was sick of feeling like my heart was beating out of my chest and tired of the anxiety and panic attacks that I would have over my weight.

It took two more years before I made the commitment to change my life...but I got there.

In 2018, I realized that I couldn’t continue to look my son in the eyes and know I was killing myself because I couldn't put down the fork. That's when I became determined to shift my mindset around food. Now I make a conscious decision daily to use food as a tool to fuel my body, rather than as a tool to make me feel comfortable. I realized that you can control what you eat and still enjoy your life at the same time. It's about creating a sustainable lifestyle.

I started out by switching to a low-carb, portion controlled diet.

I went on a low-carb diet because I knew carbs were my biggest struggle. But I also knew this diet would still allow me to to enjoy delicious food (in moderation this time!). I kept eliminating unhealthy foods one at a time. For every unhealthy food I got rid of, I would add a healthy alternative. I knew I had to start slow and steady because, otherwise, I'd get overwhelmed.

I started with beverages. I knew I wanted to cut out soda, but to do that, I decided I would treat myself to one a week and gradually cut it out completely. I also started reducing the amount of sugar I put in my coffee and made sure to up my water intake, drinking at least 16 ounces of water before any food, drink, or coffee.

Once I got my drinks under control I moved on to the next challenge: fast food. To limit trips to the drive-thru, I started meal prepping lunches and dinner and cooking breakfast every morning at home. I also started weighing my portions. It was eye opening to actually see a healthy serving size. And after a year of maintaining a healthy diet, I no longer craved the foods I used to.

Now, I prefer to eat the same meals in rotation. I know I like them and they're healthy. I've found that simplicity is best for weight loss for me. Good nutrition is too hard for me if I over-complicate things.

Here’s what I typically eat in a day:

  • Breakfast: Coffee, egg whites, and turkey bacon.
  • Lunch: Premier Protein Shake or a spring mix salad with chicken, cucumbers, roasted or fresh veggies, and peppers with a drizzle of some kind of vinaigrette.
  • Dinner: 3 to 5 ounces of meat or fish (like chicken, salmon, or ground turkey) with a side of roasted veggies and cauliflower rice. I also love making wraps. One of my favorites recipes includes sautéed chicken with onions, spinach, roasted red peppers and a 1/4-cup of mozzarella cheese in a Mission Carb Balance wrap.
  • Snacks: Built bars, almonds, light string cheese, hummus with veggies, rice cakes with peanut butter, hard-boiled eggs, and Fiber One bars.
  • Desert: Sugar-free Jell-O or pudding with a little whipped cream.

I started working out simply by walking up and down the stairs.

Then I started incorporating YouTube video workouts into my day—anything that fit my activity level and got my body moving. Now, I incorporate strength training, cardio, HIIT, and endurance training. I always work out at home and I am gradually adding new equipment and tools to my home gym. My goal is to promote fat loss and build muscle at the same time. My favorite workouts are the ones where I've lost track of time and just zoned out and had fun.

I’ve lost 126 pounds and I have been following this routine for almost two years.

As a mom, it can be hard to put yourself first, but this journey has taught me that I cannot be the best version of myself without doing that. Being able to show up as the best mother, partner, friend, and daughter requires a commitment to myself to wake up earlier and make sure that I have time to exercise to make my physical and mental health a priority.

At first, it may feel like you’re never going to be able to maintain this lifestyle. And the motivation won't always be there. But you have to learn that it's okay to fail sometimes as long as you don't quit. I fell in love with the process of bettering myself. And learned that it takes determination to give yourself the healthy life you want.

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