Success Stories

Abdullah Al-Ani Lost 40KG with Lofat Juniors!

As many of us know, the battle to lose weight is not an easy one and has many obstacles to overcome. There are many temptations around that make the journey even harder to pursue, however with strong will power and support it is possible to succeed. This was the case with Abdullah Al-Ani, a 15 year old who has been suffering from obesity from the age of 12. He decided one day to start taking control of his life and health, and with the support of both his parents and Lofat Junior he was able to shed an alarming 40 kg! Abdullah Al-Ani is an inspiration to both teenagers and adults alike and he was kind enough to share his story with us in the interview below.

When did you become unhappy with your weight?
Since I was young, 12 years old.

What made you decide to lose weight?
I never was comfortable in my own skin. Last summer, when I came back from holiday, I was bigger than I have ever been. My weight was 108kg. I remember looking in the mirror and just thinking to myself, how did I let this happen to myself, and I decided to lose weight.

What were the most important changes you made to lose weight?
In the past year, I may have eaten 'fast food' no more than ten times. The year before I would remember eating fast food more than 4 times a week.

What was most challenging about losing weight?
Cravings. Sometimes although I try to follow my diet 100%, I get these cravings for example, a pizza, or a burger. Usually when I get these cravings I allow myself to eat what I crave, but that means I would have to work extra hard the remaining week to lose or maintain my weight.

Why did you choose Lofat?
I remember once trying the Lofat restaurant and the food was amazing compared to other diet companies/foods I have tried before. It tasted like 'real' food, as opposed to some diet foods I have tried before. So I took the brochure, called Lofat and set an appointment, I didn't even have to decide between other companies.

Also, Lofat is the only company in Kuwait that actually has a section dedicated to children and teenagers up to age 16. This was another factor that pleased my mother when joining a diet company.

How long did it take you to start to see results?
I remember on my first consultation with my dietitian at Lofat, I lost 2.7kg. This was a week into the diet. Since my eating habits changed considerably, it was the reason why I lost so much in one week. After that I lost on average 1kg a week. But of course, although I lost an average of 1kg a week, there was a period where I didn't lose any weight at all, which I think lasted about 4 months. My advice if that happens to anyone, is to just to stick to the diet and keep exercising, you will start to lose weight again eventually.

How long did it take for you to reach your current weight?
I joined Lofat in September 2010 my weight was 108 kg. It has been one year and four months since I have started my diet and lost 40 kg.

How long have you maintained your weight loss and how do you do it?
I have maintained my weight loss since the start of my diet by just trying to get exercise in to my week at least 3-5 times. With school, this is difficult, but I try to manage it.

How has your life changed now that you've lost weight?
My life has changed drastically now that I have lost weight. The best thing is just how I feel. Inside, I just feel better, healthier. It is a feeling I haven't experienced before my weight loss.
Everything I do is easier and less stressful now that I have lost weight.

How did Lofat help you reach your weight loss goals?
Having a weekly consultation motivated me to want to lose weight every week. My dietitian at Lofat, Tanya, makes sure that I follow my diet regularly, and gives me advice, which I find very helpful. Also the variety and selection of the meals offered by Lofat made it easy.

How would you describe your health condition before you started your weight loss journey?
My weight was 108kg. I never played any sports, and I would be out of breath from just walking up stairs. After doing a blood test, my blood showed that I had high lipids and cholesterol in my blood. It was scary to think that me at 15 would have high cholesterol.

What motivated you to make a change? What keeps you motivated?
My health, the way I looked, my body, the fact that I couldn't play any sports, the fact that I couldn't walk up the stairs without losing breath, the fact that I found it difficult to fit into clothes. All of these are factors that motivated me to make a change, and still motivates me, as I know I would never want to go back to the way I looked before, and my eating habits, which were very unhealthy.

Another thing that keeps me motivated is setting and achieving weight loss goals. My first goal was to get to 99kg, breaking the 'triple digits'. Then to 78kg, which according to my BMI was the boundary from being obese to overweight. My next goal, which is 2kg away, is to get to 65kg, the boundary from being overweight to normal, healthy weight. Also the support from the Lofat team helped me stay on the right path.

Do you mind if we ask how much you have lost?
Not at all. I have lost 40 kg since my first consultation last year.

How have you done it? What's your secret?
Honestly there really isn't a secret. I followed the Lofat diet set out for me by my dietitian Tanya, and I just exercise regularly.

What I have noticed from many people who try to lose weight, is that when they start to exercise, they go all out. They try to run for a whole hour in the first week of exercising, which obviously won't work. They would give up about 10 minutes in and won't try again because they would be too tired.

When I first started out my diet, for about 2 months, I was just walking at a steady pace for an hour a few times a week.
After 2 months, I jogged for 15 minutes and walked for 45 minutes.
After 3 months, 15 minutes became 30 minutes, and so on, until I came to where I am today, which is being able to run 6-8km at a steady pace without stopping, after swimming for an hour or so.

Also, there are so many alternative options out there for things that I crave which I try to eat instead of going all out and eating fast food, which my dietitian Tanya at Lofat brought to my attention.

For example, when I crave something cold, I would buy a small sized frozen yoghurt from eg. Pinkberry.

When I crave fast food, I would order a kids meal instead of ordering a medium/large meal.

When I crave chips, I would buy these chips from Marks & Spencer which are 100 calories per packet.

Instead of drinking Cola, I drink Diet Cola.

Instead of using sugar, I would use Splenda.

If I want to eat chocolate, instead of eating the whole bar, I would eat half of it.

Also I try to drink a cup of green or white tea often, as they help with weight loss.

Another tip is, if you are craving something really badly, is not to deny yourself it. You can eat what you are craving, just try to not do it often, once a week is good, but I do not suggest you eat outside of your diet more than once a week.

There really are so many substitutes out there, you just have to go looking.

How is your health after losing the weight?
I do many sports regularly. I run an average of 6km 4 times a week as well as swim.
My blood has no lipids or cholesterol in it, and I feel better than I have ever been.

Has your weight loss improved other areas of your life?
My weight loss has improved every aspect of my life.

Did you ever think you'd be where you are today?
Never. I never actually thought I would lose 1kg, let alone 40kg.

What are your future goals?
My future goals are to just maintain my weight, keep eating healthy and one day to do a half marathon, and soon enough to do a triathlon.

Do you have any advice for others who would like to lose weight?
No matter what you think, nothing is impossible. If you really want something, you can achieve your goals. Good luck to anyone like me, who is trying to lose weight!