In September 2015, fitness influencer Briana Shaffer weighed 190 pounds—and she was ready to make a change. Now, this 24-year-old from Carlsbad, California is an amazing 70 pounds lighter.
Her secret? She attributes her weight loss to a workout regimen consisting of weight lifting and high intensity interval training (HIIT). She also began eating five to six small meals per day, as opposed to the typical two to three larger ones most of us have. She shares her meal ideas and workouts on her YouTube channel and Instagram.
As Shaffer discovered, eating smaller meals more often can help shed pounds, and it's proven to help dieters stay on track, Keri Gans, RDN, a nutritionist and author of The Small Change Diet, tells Health.
”For some individuals, consuming smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day is a successful weight loss method,” Gans says. “If these meals are well-balanced, in other words consist of protein, a healthy fat (i.e. avocado, olive oil, nuts) and a carbohydrate packed with fiber, they are more likely to stay satiated until their next meal. Also by wisely planning out these meals there is less opportunity for over-eating and giving into cravings."
Let me start by saying how much you weigh does NOT determine your worth. 🙅🏻♀️ – In the left photo I was regaining confidence and I felt damn good posing for those photos, until I saw them. I was ashamed and wanted to photoshop my body. When I was 150, I felt good but still wasn’t where I wanted to be. I think sometimes we get so wrapped up in where we want to be that we forget to take a moment to look at how far we’ve come. We have to remember to appreciate each accomplishment no matter how small. I had already lost 40 lbs at that point and I didn’t bother to congratulate myself. All I wanted to do was keep pushing. It upsets me to look back on that time. I was trying everything on the market to be skinny. I was taking pills that were supposed to make you lose weight (who knows what harm that did to my body), I was trying waist trimmers, teas, etc. 🙈 – It’s so hard not to compare yourself to women you see online or the women in movies. I so badly wanted to look just like them. Slowly, I realized I could be my own kind of beautiful. I didn’t have to put things into my body or drink ridiculous teas to be healthy & happy. We are all made differently and healthy won’t look the same on everyone. Let’s be ourselves and stop trying to fit in with society. Let’s appreciate our bodies and own the skin that we are in. ❤️🙏🏼
Shaffer posts regularly, and a recent one talked about her insecurities. “It’s so hard not to compare yourself to women you see online or the women in movies,” she wrote. “I so badly wanted to look just like them. Slowly, I realized I could be my own kind of beautiful.”
It hasn't been a smooth ride the entire time either. After losing the first 40 pounds, Shaffer says she experienced a plateau. In her Instagram post, she said, “When I was 150, I felt good but still wasn’t where I wanted to be. I think sometimes we get so wrapped up in where we want to be that we forget to take a moment to look at how far we’ve come.”
Though she tried pills, “ridiculous teas,” and other products geared toward losing weight, she said she saw real results after adjusting her mindset and began appreciating her own body.
“Some things that helped me were never going cold turkey,” she says. “I’ve always allowed treats into my diet and have believed in living a healthy balanced lifestyle.”