"When I entered a toxic relationship, I would always be eating my feelings. But I realized no matter what my circumstances were on the outside, I had to deal with what was going on inside."
Pureness Taylor’s weight loss journey was as much about a mental transformation as physical. From Toronto, Canada, the celebrity hair and makeup stylist used food to cope with stress and anxiety following toxic relationships. Although careful diet plans, adjustable dumbbells and the best exercise machines to lose weight played a role in her transformation, it was more about learning to love herself.
Speaking to our sibling YouTube channel Truly (opens in new tab), Taylor said: “My weight definitely crept up in my early 20s. The doctors would dismiss me as 'oh, you're just heavy'.
"Mentally I was destroyed, but I was smiling through it."
Weighing almost 400lbs, Taylor knew that something needed to change. She started the ketogenic diet, which is very low-carbohydrate, high-fat, and high-protein. By cutting carbohydrates, it's designed to induce a state of "ketosis", in which your body runs out of its stock of carbs and begins harvesting body fat for fuel.
It can be extremely effective when it comes to weight loss and it's become very popular online, although diets that demonize large food groups can lead to a harmful yo-yo effect in some people, according to research (opens in new tab). Make sure you're making healthy, sustainable choices you can stick with over the long term, even if that's one simple food swap every meal. For example, switching fries with a salad; a processed, greasy burger in a bun with a naked chicken breast; or a chocolate bar for a piece of fruit.
Watch Taylor's inspiring transformation here:
After trying keto, Taylor also took up intermittent fasting, specifically the OMAD (one meal a day) diet, packing in her calorie intake into a small window during the day to encourage long-term weight loss.
The science behind intermittent fasting is strong when it comes to weight loss: a compilation of 27 different scientific studies (opens in new tab) found "all 27 [intermittent fasting] trials found weight loss of 0.8% to 13.0% of baseline weight, with no serious adverse events".
Intermittent fasting doesn't always have to be extreme as only eating one meal a day: Hugh Jackman was a big proponent of fasting for 16 hours and eating for eight. IF isn't for everyone, but if you feel as though it's something you'd like to explore, our guide to lose weight by fasting can tell you more.
Taylor has lost an incredible 240lbs over the last two years, as the lost weight gave her added energy to work out. With CrossFit-style resistance training exercises such as tyre flips, sled pushes and more conventional dumbbell exercises, she's now focused on building lean muscle as well as maintaining her weight loss. If that sounds like you, our best protein powder for women list can help you get started.
Her personal trainer Brent said "I knew you'd come in and do well, but you have exceeded my expectations. Well done!"
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Matt Evans is an experienced health and fitness journalist and is currently Fitness and Wellbeing Editor at TechRadar, covering all things exercise and nutrition on Fit&Well's tech-focused sister site. Matt originally discovered exercise through martial arts: he holds a black belt in Karate and remains a keen runner, gym-goer, and infrequent yogi. His top fitness tip? Stretch.
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