Meet Claire, Eric, Laura and Sinead

They are some of the weigh2live members who have used this website
to help them adopt a healthier lifestyle.

The fact the word DIET was not used was so encouraging

My name is Claire McKeefry. I'm 51 years old and manage my own business.

I wanted to try out this online weight loss tool as the weight is creeping on and I need to do something about it. I'm keen to start the weight loss plan as I need to become more disciplined and the extra online support will really help.

I find I really enjoy walking but the motivation isn't always there.

I also find I can work better when I know other people are doing the same as me.

I am really looking forward to getting help with dietary needs and learning about what I should or should not be doing.

It's reality time now and I need to realise that I cannot eat and drink what I want any more without seeing the results on my waistline.

Week one

I've lost two pounds during the first week of using Weigh2Live and hope to keep this up. I'm eating more fruit and trying to snack less on sweet things. I'm now much more conscious of portion sizes and eating smaller portions of everything. I'm also filling up on fruit and veg.

I've had no slip ups this week and am continuing to keep a food diary as I find it very useful. My exercise is also going well and the good weather helps!

Week two

I lost ½ lb last week but found it difficult to exercise because of work commitments. To be honest, a lack of exercise left me feeling a little de-motivated but with a weekend away planned, I'm hoping to include some more exercise.

My healthy eating plan is going well and I'm watching my portion sizes more and allow myself a bar of chocolate once a week which helps prevent cravings. My goal for next week is to include 3 good exercise sessions.

Week three

I didn't lose any weight last week which was disappointing. I'm finding that my regular diet has become mundane so my goal for this week is to try some new recipes from the Weigh2live website.

On the positives, I had no slip ups and while my regular exercise wasn't great, I was doing quite a lot of housework which can count towards my exercise. That's reassuring when things aren't going too well, as is having support from family and friends. And introducing some new recipes and foods into my diet should also help.

Week four

I feel I'm doing well now and lost another 1lb last week. I did have some hungry days but snacking on fruit and carrot sticks and avoiding the kitchen during these times helped me to cope.

My exercise programme is going really well too and I feel that I've much more energy. I haven't kept going with my food diary but feel more confident about food choices.

And, if I have bad days, I go back to my food diary which I find very useful.

Week five

I've lost 9lb overall and am really pleased because throughout using Weigh2Live, I have either kept my weight steady or lost weight. The main objective for me was to reduce my portion sizes and eat more fresh fruit and vegetables and I have found this relatively easy to do. I've had a few slips ups along the way but I don't let these affect my motivation and I just get back to eating healthily. I also exercise much more. Before starting this, I would go for a walk once or twice a week - now I walk to work most days and try to go for longer walks at least three times a week.

I really do intend to keep going with this as I found it very easy and the fact that the word DIET was not used was so encouraging. I loved the recommended recipes and by using the food diary, I was able to look back and see where I was slipping.

For the future, all I need to do is eat sensibly and healthily, exercise more and I will continue to see the results!

I've busted my sugar addiction

Eric Crowley

My name is Eric, I'm in my early 50's and live in Dublin with my wife and two children. I have a lifestyle that ranges from hectic to non-hectic. I played sport at a reasonably senior level for most of my adult life. Nowadays, I vary between jogging the odd time and golfing and am an occasional gym visitor (no weights).

I suppose I would have an irregular eating pattern and wouldn't think about it that much. I don't eat fast food or drink fizzy drinks. I enjoy the odd glass of wine and the occasional pint or two.

I hope that this weight loss plan will give me ways to achieve a more balanced daily diet, give me ideas about how to achieve that and suggestions for better variety of meals in my diet. I would also hope to get a better understanding of when fruit and vegetables are in season and the best places to get them.

Week one

I haven't lost weight this week but was more focused on eating healthier and re- balancing my diet. I've reduced my biscuit intake from an average of 12 a day to two per day and managing to keep this up!

I'm also trying my best to include more fruit and vegetables every day and would say I'm near to the recommended five a day. I'm not so keen on yoghurt but am trying to include more calcium rich foods like cheese and milk. I have to admit that my exercise wasn't great this week but with the weather improved, I'm planning to start back with some running.

Week two

I managed to lose 4lbs last week even though I was away for a few days at a wedding. I've also managed to include more regular exercise in my week and have managed to go to the gym a couple of times.

I feel that I'm getting more balance into my diet, eating more fruit and cutting back on biscuits especially! I find myself hungry after exercise but know that having a low fat yoghurt or a slice of bread will help me avoid unhealthy snacks and overeating at dinner time. My goal for next week is to try to continue with more exercise as part of my routine.

Week three

My weight was the same as last week, which I'm happy with as I was away in Cardiff for the European Rugby Cup final. I have found it difficult to eat healthily lately but have managed to keep my portion sizes under control.

I didn't have any planned exercise last week which was a disappointment but am very motivated for getting back to my regular exercise habits and have set this as my goal for the coming week. I feel that my diet has really improved overall and am enjoying it, particularly taking extra fruit and only rarely having biscuits.

Week four

I've been on holidays so haven't been able to update my weekly profile – however, I'll have an update next week when I'm back!

Week five

Despite being on holidays for a couple of weeks during Weigh2Live, I've lost over 15lbs in total. I really feel like I've busted my sugar addiction and I now rarely eat sweets and biscuits compared to almost a packet a day before starting this.

I'm really enjoying my new eating habits and portion sizes and I don't feel hungry or deprived in my daily diet. I think the difference for me during all this is that I've changed my diet but without being actually on a diet. I'm going to keep up the good habits in the future together with regular exercise and aim to get exercise at least 3 times a week.

My exercise programme has been good

Laura McDonald

Laura is a 36 year old professional who lives and works in Dublin City Centre. Laura works in a sedentary job so she walks to and from work each day to get some exercise.

She is taking part in the safefood Weigh2Live programme to learn more about nutrition and to lose some weight. "I want to lose some weight so that I don't feel so sluggish and tired all the time and I'm really looking forward to a fabulous new wardrobe post the challenge!"

Week one

My exercise slipped a bit last week but I'm taking steps to get moving again. I find it is easier to eat less when the weather is hot but find I've struggled with portion sizes lately. I'm doing my best to tackle this by eating less and eating more often – it doesn't always work out but at least I'm thinking of it more now. I'm going to do a big food shop this weekend and get back on
track by having food available at home
rather than having to do frequent top-up shops.

Week two

I found last week went okay and lost 2lbs. My exercise levels were also up and I think that helped with the weight loss. I'm doing my best to keep up 5 fruit and veg portions a day but find it can be challenging. I did have a slip up, probably because I ate out twice in the week, and one of those was quite late. I find that how well I do during the week depends on whether I've shopped in advance and planned my week out or not.

Week three

Last week was ok for me and what I found most challenging was trying to eat less by reducing my portion sizes. I set myself goals of increasing my daily calcium intake and the number of fruit and veg portions I have.

I almost managed to achieve my goals, which was encouraging. I'm also keeping up a food diary which I find helpful. I did have a few slip ups along which I put down to too many goodies last weekend but I'm back on track now during the week. My goal for the week ahead is to try to watch my portion sizes.

Week four

I didn't lose any weight last week or the week before but my goal was to watch my portion sizes and try to eat more fruit and vegetables every day. I find that planning my shopping works well for me and not eating out as frequently is also good as I can control what I'm eating.

I find it challenging to eat 5 portions of fruit and veg a day and increasing my calcium intakes.

Week five

Overall, my weight remained constant during the course of this programme. I have adopted dietary changes like increasing my fruit and vegetable intake and taking 3 portions of dairy a day.

To be honest, I don't feel that the programme suited my own personal needs and feel that probably a more structured approach with weekly weigh-ins would have worked better for me.

Having said that, my exercise programme has been good while using Weigh2Live and I enjoy that.

I have more energy as a result

Sinead Mc Larnon

My name is Sinead McLarnon, I'm 32 years old and live outside Castledawson with my husband and three children. I am a full-time registered childminder and work from home but I am on maternity leave at the moment.

I am really health conscious when it comes to my family and always make sure that my children and husband eat organic, healthy, nutritious food. But I find that due to my demanding schedule that I don't plan or think about what I'm eating myself and sometimes I go without or usually go for the quickest, easiest option.

I hope that this weight loss plan will give me simple, easy to use diet tips to help me plan what I'm eating and ultimately help me lose my extra baby weight.

Week one

My exercise slipped a bit last week but I'm taking steps to get moving again. I find it is easier to eat less when the weather is hot but find I've struggled with portion sizes lately.

I'm doing my best to tackle this by eating less and eating more often – it doesn't always work out but at least I'm thinking of it more now. I'm going to do a big food shop this weekend and get back on track by having food available at home rather than having to do frequent top-up shops.

Week two

I didn't lose weight during the past week but was more focused on maintaining my weight and improving my diet. I felt really motivated and have started including two regular exercise sessions - one game of badminton and one evening walk. I've almost managed to replace white bread with brown bread in my diet and am including three portions of dairy every day.

Because I'm getting very little sleep right now, I find myself snacking more during the day; I'm hoping to include healthier snacks like cereal bars, scones, popcorn and smoothies.

I've got a weekend away planned and am going to try low-calorie mixers if I have a drink. My plan for next week is re-look at my portion sizes.

Week three

My weight was stable during the week and being away last weekend allowed me to enjoy my food on Saturday night and resist the big fry on Sunday morning – I enjoyed fruit and yoghurt instead.

I'm now including more brown bread and fruit in my diet and enjoying three portions of dairy most days. Even though I'm up most nights with my children, I feel like I have more energy.

I'm probably having a little too much caffeine so am going to try some herbal teas as a healthy alternative. With two regular exercise sessions a week, my objective for the week ahead is to try and include an extra session.

Week four

I'm doing very well and lost 1 lb last week though my exercise plan wasn't great because of family commitments. I've now fully removed white bread from my diet and occasionally have the half white/brown bread variety.

I've worked really hard on managing my portion sizes and have realised where the extra calories were coming from. My objective for next week is to book an extra exercise session – I find this works best for me; I find it hard just to get up some evenings and go out for a walk.

Week five

I lost approximately 8 lbs overall which is great as my main objective was to improve my eating patterns and maintain my weight as I had recently given birth to my third baby. As I was getting less sleep than normal, I found myself relying heavily on white carbohydrates like bread, pancakes and rolls to get through my days.

I now eat only high-fibre brown bread and feel I have more energy as a result. I have also started building more exercise into my life and have joined classes & groups like badminton and aerobics which I also enjoy, as it allows me to get out and meet people.