Couple shed 90kg with simple steps
Stephanie and Brandon Engblom shed nearly 91kg together.
The routine began with a simple change to Stephanie's coffee order and turned into a huge weight-loss success for the couple.
The couple live in Duluth, Minnesota and Stephanie says that she and her husband of two years simply woke up one morning in January 2020 deciding that they needed to make a change.
"We looked in the mirror, looked at each other and said, 'You know what, this is one of our lowest lows,'" Stephanie told TODAY.
"We were both over 300 pounds (136kg), Brandon had just gotten diagnosed with sleep apnea and I was just feeling awful. My whole body ached every day."
"We needed to make a change if we wanted to live a long, happy, healthy life together and maybe someday start a family," said the 25-year-old.
Less than a year later and Stephanie has lost 53kg. Brandon shed more than 80kg himself.
The couple went on to explain that they didn't follow a strict diet or any extreme exercise plans. Instead, they focused on changing up their lifestyle by turning it into something that they can keep up with forever.
"I've been overweight my entire life," said Stephanie.
"I have early memories of trying fad diets like Weight Watchers or low-carb and I would initially lose a little bit of weight, but I would never be able to keep it off long-term. I'd always gain it back plus five pounds."
They say that it was sustainability that was they key to becoming healthier.
"We wanted this to be something where we could not only see results immediately," Stephanie, who works as a photographer, continued, "but something we could stick to for ideally the rest of our lives so we wouldn't have to keep playing this game."
In fact, the couple shared exactly what they did to achieve their goals.
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Stephanie explained how it was cutting out little things that added up to an unhealthy lifestyle.
"For me, that was cutting out my sugary coffee and replacing it with lower-calorie options," she said. "I'm still drinking coffee - I still have my lattes - but instead of whole milk and chocolate and syrup, I'm drinking almond milk and just espresso."
Amazingly, they still enjoy their favourite things like pizza and tacos, but they've made it a little healthier.
"For tacos, instead of cooking with ground beef we use ground turkey or chicken, and we use Greek yogurt instead of sour cream and a little bit less cheese with more veggies," she explained. "For pizza, we make it at home and use turkey pepperoni."
"You can eat everything you want still, just in moderation," she continued. "It's more about portion size and being mindful of how much you're eating rather than completely restricting yourself of certain foods."
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For Brandon, a 29-year-old attorney, he put all his focus into protein.
"It was a big shift away from really carb-heavy pastas and things like that, and shifting into a much more protein-based diet because protein keeps you fuller for longer," he told TODAY.
"You can have really good meals that are based heavily in different types of protein and not feel like you're missing out or depriving yourself of a meal you really want to have.
"We use things like chickpea noodles for example rather than traditional pasta - the difference in calorie load and protein you get out of that is just astronomical."
Stephanie explained how it even brought them closer together.
"It's strengthened our relationship," she said. "I feel like we've only gotten stronger together and doing this with him has made it more possible than doing it alone."
Originally published as Couple shed 90kg with simple steps