Aug 23, 2023

Mum who ate NINE tins of fruit a day loses 15 stone after lifestyle change

Lucy Austen began comfort eating in lockdown and was diagnosed with diabetes in March 2021

Serve the food you really want to eat by signing up for our tips and recipes and never be bored by your cooking again

We have more newsletters

Serve the food you really want to eat by signing up for our tips and recipes and never be bored by your cooking again

We have more newsletters

A mum who spent thousands of pounds a year eating NINE cans of tinned fruit a day has managed to lose 15 stone.

Lucy Austen, 37, hadn’t struggled with her weight until she started comfort eating during lockdown, reaching 29st 7lbs and becoming a size XXL. She was getting through four £1 tubs of ice cream a day and kept her freezer stocked up with nine at a time.

But she soon got “bored” of ice cream and transferred her habit to 99p tins of fruit – soon gorging on up to nine tins a day. Lucy, from Cambridge, was diagnosed with diabetes in March 2021 and was “vomiting a lot” but didn’t stop until April 2022 - when she was told she needed insulin as her blood sugars were so high.

Try MEN Premium for FREE by clicking here for no ads, fun puzzles and brilliant new features.

She gradually cut out the snacks and forced herself to go swimming three times a week before taking up cycling and running. Lucy has now lost 15st 3lbs and slimmed down to 14st 4lbs, a slender size 14, and was able to take her daughter, 13, on holiday as she felt confident in her new figure.

Lucy, who works in NHS admin, said: “At one point I was eating three to four tubs of ice cream a day. Then I got bored of ice cream and started on tinned fruit. I ate nine tins a day.

“I went to sleep with pillows behind me and I’d wake up choking because my neck was so big. I was giving myself liver damage. Now I have more energy and I was able to go on holiday.”

Lucy started piling on the weight while working from home over the Covid pandemic and struggled to control her addiction to sugary foods. She said: “My freezer was stocked up with ice cream. I just comfort ate through lockdown.”

Join our WhatsApp Top Stories and Breaking News group by clicking this link

She had a health scare after ending up in hospital and on a ventilator with Covid in February 2021 but still couldn’t kick the habit. Even after being diagnosed with diabetes type two in March 2021, she kept snacking on sugary foods – moving onto tins of fruit when she got sick of ice cream.

Lucy said: “I was vomiting a lot. I couldn’t fit in the table at the Pizza Hut restaurant with my daughter.”

Lucy finally knew she had to make a change when she was told she needed to take insulin after her blood sugar levels became too high. She said: “I gradually cut down on snacks. I couldn’t walk to begin with, so I forced myself to go swimming. I couldn’t even get out the pool.”

After reaching 20st, Lucy began taking up cycling and running and now does a combination of the two for 40 minutes, three times a week. She makes sure she stays hydrated and eats healthily – swapping tinned fruit for homecooked stir fries and curries.

Lucy still allows herself high calorie treats such as chocolate and crisps but controls her intake. Now at 14st 4lbs, she is nearly at her goal weight of 13st and feels like a different person.

Lucy said: “I couldn’t get up from the sofa before. Now I have energy. My daughter deserves it. I wear loads of dresses now instead of a vest and leggings.”

Lucy's diet before

Breakfast – Chocolate bars, cheese and Ryvita

Lunch – Sandwich, chocolate, ice cream

Dinner – Three tins of fruit

Snacks – Tubs of ice cream, tins of fruit

Lucy's diet now

Breakfast – Two Weetabix

Lunch - Egg sandwich

Dinner – Stir fry or a curry

Snacks – Low calorie crisps or chocolate