July 6

25lbs Down and at Peace with Food – Amanda’s Online Coaching Story

Online Coaching testimonial

The above testimonial is from my online coaching client Amanda, and you can find out lots more about her journey in my latest podcast here:

#193 – 25lbs Down, at Peace With Food, and No More High Cholesterol – Client Amanda’s story

When Amanda started online coaching, she’d been working on weight loss for a while and been struggling to see much progress.

She’d been dealing with the challenges of perimenopause, hypothyroidism, and a diagnosis of high cholesterol, which led her doctors to suggest going on cholesterol medication. (Amanda decided against medication initially, in favour of making lifestyle changes first).

Furthermore, she’d been working with a personal trainer and following all advice given, but only lost 1lb in 8 months of trying.

Over the last 6 months of our coaching together, Amanda has made brilliant changes to her habits, and seen some fantastic results. Importantly, these changes have felt doable, enjoyable, and sustainable. We talk a whole lot more about these changes in the podcast, and I’d highly recommend you check it out here:


Online Coaching Tips for Success

If you’re reading this and wanting similar results, here is more of a deep dive on the key points that have helped Amanda and many other clients.


Building a Healthy Relationship with Food

mindful eating for weight loss

To lose weight and keep it off for good, you need to lose it in a way you can live it.

That means planning in less healthy foods you love, and enjoying them guilt-free.

Having experienced various diets, Amanda found this concept really helpful. Nothing off limits – just making sure what you have is really worth it to you, and that you slowly and mindfully enjoy every bite.

So often we feel guilty for eating foods, or binge on them mindlessly when we’re stressed.

If you love it, plan it in.

Give yourself time to get the most from it – noticing each delicious bite and stopping when you’ve had enough. You can always have more later.

Seeing it this way can remove the ‘f*** it’ mentality of deciding to eat it all now because you’ve ‘ruined it’, and then you’ll ‘start again’.

It can also help to think about saving calories for the best of what you love. Planning in the treats that feel most worth it to you can help you say no to other tempting choices that are ‘nice’ but not exceptional.

Over time, saying no to the generic choices that aren’t that amazing can save you a considerable amount of calories, that wouldn’t have made you feel great anyway. Some of those can be ‘spent’ on your favourite indulgences, and some can be ‘banked’ for weight loss.


Self Compassion

Speaking kindly to yourself. Refusing to listen to that self critical voice that pops into so many of our heads when we look in the mirror or do something wrong. Choosing instead to encourage and support yourself.

Why is this such an important part of weight loss?

First, self compassion helps us feel better. Being kind to ourselves tends to put us in a better mood than being harsh and critical whenever we make a mistake.

When we feel better, we’re in a better state to take positive action, and keep going.

Many people worry that being kind to themselves means they’re letting themselves off the hook and they’ll just stay where they are, but it tends to be the opposite.

When you think about it, you might have found before that beating yourself up tends to sap your energy, which leaves you LESS inclined to then make a great food choice or do that next workout, and MORE likely to think ‘well I’ve ruined it now so I may as well just eat XYZ and start again on Monday’.

On the flip side, when we recognise that we’re human and don’t need to be perfect, and that it’s OK to slip up or not do ALL the things… we feel lighter, more positive, more ready to take that next step in the right direction.

Amanda found the book in the image above to be very helpful in reframing this mindset. You can find it on amazon here:

Self Compassion by Kristin Neff


Tracking food, habits and progress

weight loss tips

When it comes to weight loss, there is so much more to track than just your weight.

For success, we need to keep track of habits. The biggest impact will come from your food (and drink) intake, so it’s really important to keep a record of this. By doing so, you can see where to make small doable changes.

These are ideas for what you can track when it comes to health and fitness:

Ways of Measuring Progress

  • Weight – not the only form of data and always not the most reliable (as it’s affected by hormones, carbs, salt, sleep, stress and more) but still important.
  • BMI – seeing this drop towards the healthy weight zone can be a good motivator for some.
  • Measurements – sometimes your weight won’t change much for a few weeks or more, but your measurements show that things are happening. My clients take waist, hips, arms and thigh measurements every 2-4 weeks.
  • Item of clothing – not strictly ‘data’ but trying on something that’s a bit tight, and feeling it start to fit you better, is another good way of tracking progress. Many of my clients like this method the most.


Here’s Amanda’s weight loss graph over our 6 months of online coaching together:

weight loss coach


Key habits to Track

  • Food intake – obviously extremely important when it comes to weight loss. Keeping a food diary or using an app such as ‘my fitness pal’ or Nutracheck (if in the UK) can both work very well. Amanda found that the ‘my fitness pal’ app was the most effective tool for her. It enabled her to find ways to increase her intake of protein and fibre, which helped with reducing cravings, and staying fuller for longer. And it empowered her to fit in some favourite less healthy foods, while making a few tweaks to other choices, to help balance things out.
  • Steps – using a fitbit or other step tracker will help boost your general activity, and can significantly improve both general heath and weight loss.
  • Training – keeping track of your strength and fitness, and aiming to improve them over time, is hugely motivating. My online weight loss coaching clients have a training plan on an app, that enables them to record their sets, repetitions, and weights used. Adding repetitions or weight when you can means gaining strength, and building or maintaining muscle. This increases your metabolism, helps you tone up, and brings a host of other benefits – more explained below.


Let’s dig into these habits a bit more…



protein foodsbenefits of protein

Eating more protein keeps you fuller for longer and can reduce cravings for snacks. which is something Amanda found particularly helpful.

Protein is also the building block of our muscles, helping us stay strong and recover from exercise.

From around the age of 30, we gradually start to lose muscle mass, and this accelerates after menopause. We also become less efficient at digestion and using protein as we get older.

So for optimal health and body function, we need to make sure we’re eating enough of this vital macronutrient.

But how much is enough?

Well, if we’re being specific, 1.5-2g per kg of your ideal bodyweight is a good number to aim for.

Higher or slightly lower than this is fine too. For example, if your ideal weight is 65kg (10 stone 3lbs, or 143lbs):

65 x 1.5 = 97.5g

65 x 2 = 130g

For most women, 90-130g protein is a great range to aim for.

If you’re not counting grams, aim for a palm size serving of protein in each meal, plus a high protein snack such as Greek yogurt with fruit, a couple of boiled eggs, or a protein shake.


Fibre for gut health, weight loss and heart health

fibre foods

We also focused on eating more fibre. As well as supporting a healthy gut, fibre is particularly important for heart health and reducing cholesterol.

As an added bonus, it supports weight loss by keeping you fuller for longer.

30g daily is the recommended amount, and the average adult intake is around half this amount.

So how do we hit our 30g daily? Adding more fruit and veg is one of the best ways to do it. Half a plate of veg at dinner is great to aim for, with as many different colours as you can find. Sprinkle in foods like nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, and wholegrains across the week, and you’ll be at a very good level.




Strength Training

Such a powerful tool for weight loss, and for living your best life.

Strength training helps you build and maintain muscle – keeping your body strong, protecting your bones, and boosting your metabolism.

It also helps you see noticeable changes in your figure, and get the ‘toned’ feeling that boosts confidence and makes you feel amazing in clothes you love.

To get the most out of resistance training, it’s really important to aim to get stronger. You can do this by adding repetitions or increasing the weight over time.

Don’t worry – you won’t get big bulky muscles. As women, we only have 10% of the muscle-building hormone testosterone that men have. You can build more if you want to – you just have to work hard and consistently to do it. It won’t happen by accident.

What lifting weights will do, is help you strengthen, shape, and maintain the muscle you have.

And the more muscle you have, the more calories your body burns each day.

ALSO – even more importantly – the more muscle, you have, the greater your chances of living a healthy, independent, fun and active life with the people you love, well into your old age.


Aim to get stronger over time

Chances are high that you’re stronger than you think.

One of the common mistakes many women make when lifting weights is lifting fairly light weights, and not trying to lift heavier over time.

Another common mistake is mixing up workouts on a regular basis, and not following a progressive plan.

To be clear, random workouts are WAY better than not doing any workouts at all.

But progressive workouts, where you focus on the most effective exercises (see below), and aim to get stronger at those exercises over time by doing more reps or increasing the weight… that’s where you see by far the best results.

Here’s a graph of Amanda’s progress over time with her goblet squats, showing how the amount of weight she could lift for 10 reps increased from 11kg to 18kg:

weight loss coach


We changed things up during the 6 months of training, but we kept a few key lifts present throughout – this is one of them. And that’s some fantastic progress right there.

Moreover, Amanda really enjoyed making that progress – seeing and feeling her body getting stronger over time by tracking her lifting. It’s amazing how many women find that they fall in love with strength training when they see their strength improving. And it’s incredibly empowering when you lift more than you could before.


What are the best strength exercises to do?

The biggest ‘bang for your buck’ will come from big compound movements – exercises that work lots of muscles and multiple joints, like squats, deadlifts, push ups, rows, presses and pulldowns.

These moves keep you strong and able to do all the movements the human body is designed to do.

Dumbell exercises
kettlebell exercises
resistance band exercises

Through strength training, you’ll be less likely to suffer aches and pains, and more likely to be enjoying life to the full for decades to come.

Training at the gym is fantastic for being able to use a variety of equipment and keep building strength, or having your own home gym like Amanda did. But you can get a lot out of workouts at home with just one or two bits of equipment too.

The majority of my clients are busy working mums and do strength training at home to save time.

There are plenty of ideas, in the form of videos and infographics, on my Instagram page – @hayleyplummerpt

And to find useful home training equipment, check out my store page HERE.


These are just a few of the points discussed in the podcast. There is so much more here:


Online Coaching for Health and Weight Loss

Many women get to the point where they’ve tried various diets and are left feeling lost, frustrated and confused.

If that’s you, seeking professional guidance from a nutritionist, personal trainer, or weight loss coach (I am all three) can make a huge difference.

Through online coaching, my goal is to help you reach YOUR goals in a way that’s both enjoyable and sustainable. We work together to simplify the process, focus on what really works, and support you in creating a lifestyle that works for you.

There is a ton of free information and advice on both my instagram page – @hayleyplummerpt – and my podcast:

Think Healthy with Hayley

And if you’re interested in having personalised support, find out more about Online Weight Loss Coaching here:

Benefits of Having an Online Weight Loss Coach

online weight loss coach


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