Megan Kuhner had struggled to lose weight balancing shift work and three kids, but then she started dieting in ‘shifts’ and everything changed. Six months later and 17kg lighter, she shares her story.
After having three children, Megan struggled to lose weight, and it didn’t help that she’d developed poor eating habits from doing shift work. ‘As a paramedic, you’re either busy or sitting around in the ambulance or in hospitals,’ Megan told us. ‘We call it gaining an ‘ambo-butt’. One of the biggest challenges is actually being organised when it comes to food. If you haven’t packed it, you’re basically in trouble and you’ll end up eating take-away or snacking on sugary or salty snacks. There are no set breaks, so you eat whenever you can, and often whatever you can. Plus, it doesn’t help that you’re tired when working irregular hours, so you’ll often eat to get you through.’
Having three children also added to Megan’s weight gain. ‘Shift work was a problem before I had kids but then I put on even more with pregnancies – 27kg each time. I would manage to lose 10 kilos but then I would just stay at that weight, keeping on the extra 17kg. Post-children, other diets didn’t work because of all the meal prep and set menus and exercise – it was all too time-consuming and wasn’t a long-term solution for me. Who’s got time for hours and hours of exercise when you’re a mum and a shift-worker? And you can’t cook a different meal for yourself every night of the week – well I can’t anyway. You want to eat the stuff you’ve already got in the cupboard.’
So how did she feel about going on a diet in ‘shifts’? ‘SuperFastDiet is all about intermittent fasting or dieting part-time. There are a few methods, but I combined the 2 day with the part-day which meant eating 500 calories two days a week during an eight-hour window, then eating normally the other five days. At first I didn’t think I could get through a day on only 500 calories but I kind of breezed through the first one, which was exciting. I love doing this diet because you just get the two diet days over and done with quickly and the rest of the week you pretty much eat what you want.’
So what difference has losing 17kg made to her life? ‘Being comfortable in my own skin. I used to hate getting ready for anything and now I don’t worry about it anymore. I can get ready easily and wear jeans – regular ones, not maternity jeans or stretchy pants. I’m looking forward to summer and wearing bright colours too, that was something I wouldn’t normally do. I would only wear grey and black and white….and I used to change four or five times because I would worry I was too big to be wearing what I’d chosen.’
‘SuperFastDiet is easier than all the other diets I’ve tried because I know I can just do two days of 500 calories and doing that in an eight-hour window has just become a natural part of my life. As it turns out, medical experts now say that breakfast is not the most important meal of the day and fasting instead has massive health benefits. I skip it now without even thinking about it because I know I can have brunch if I want to. 17kg on, ‘shift’ eating has changed my life.’
‘I tell anyone who I’m talking to about it that it’s actually easier than it sounds and it’s hard to believe that you can do 500 calories in a day but you can. It’s surprisingly easy. Give it a go! Because if I can do it? Anyone can.’