Nessa, a 39-year-old from Luxembourg, grew up never having trouble with her weight. She was one of those people who ate whatever she wanted, and her body somehow managed to stay the same. It wasn't until she started a new job in finance that she began to notice a difference in the way she looked."I was focused on my job and not on my body. I was making poor food choices, and I constantly felt stressed and tired," she told Cosmopolitan.
In fact, it wasn't till she saw a photo of herself that she realized she needed to start focusing on her health. "I didn't realize how much my body changed during the time that I didn't care enough about it," she said.Finally, Nessa decided it was time to turn things around earlier this year. She started to make small changes that helped her adopt a healthier lifestyle. She started working out in the mornings because she could never find the motivatation to hit the gym after work. While getting used to waking up at 5 a.m. was not pleasant, within weeks she began looking forward to it and waking up before her alarm went off.
Fast forward six months and Nessa noticed her body start to transform. But soon she plateaued, despite feeling like she was giving it her all every day. At that point, she realized it was time to pay more attention to her diet. Though she thought she was eating pretty healthy, she soon realized she wasn't paying attention to her portion sizes, skipping meals when she was too busy and then stress-eating later to make up for it.
To help make better eating choices, Nessa turned to a coworker with a personal training certification to help her come up with a meal plan to stay on track. She started by eating every three hours and eating five to six meals, amounting to approximately 2,000 calories.
During the work day she ate sweet potatoes, chicken breast, broccoli, and avocado; basmati rice, cod, and green beans dressed with olive oil; or whole wheat pasta with zucchini noodles, shrimp, and homemade pesto. She usually prepped all her meals before the start of the week so she wouldn't have an excuse to over-indulge in other foods.
For dinner, she either had scrambled eggs with spinach and tomato, toasted whole-wheat bread topped with peanut butter and banana, or a green salad with smoked salmon and rice cakes.
After following the meal plan perfectly for 11 weeks, Nessa has noticed an incredible difference. Even though she's gained four pounds since starting her fitness journey, her body is now incredibly sculpted — giving way to some seriously impressive abs.