Real life weight loss: How this woman lost 200lbs through healthy lifestyle changes

Danitza Casas lost an incredible 200lbs with the help of walking, spin classes and an accountability partner

Brand New Me: Danitza Casas weight loss
(Image credit: Mike Myers / Barcroft Studios / Future Publishing)

At her heaviest, Danitza Casas, 32, from Scottsdale, Arizona weighed 350lbs. Nicknamed ‘gordita’ or chubby girl, when she was young, the weight gain accelerated in Danitza’s adult years when she partied hard and lived on a diet of unhealthy junk food. 

Outwardly Danitza seemed confident and the life of the party but inside she admits using humour and a larger than life personality to mask her insecurities and the disgust she felt with her body. After going to the hospital for what she thought was a heart attack – but in fact turned out to be a panic attack, Danitza knew she needed to change her lifestyle. 

Watch Danitza's incredible weight loss journey below:

How Danitza did it:

Danitza started with very short walks. If you're like Danitza and just getting started on your fitness journey, making movement a habit is one of the best things you can do. It doesn't even have to be structured exercise: taking the stairs instead of the lift, or walking 15 minutes to the store instead of driving, adds up over time. All you need is some comfortable clothes – and the best shoes for walking to get started. 

She soon progressed to spin classes, which are great for weight loss (especially for beginners) because exercise bikes are low-impact, causing no stress on your joints while offering a great cardiovascular workout. Spin classes contain periods of frantic sprinting followed by active recovery, so you're getting the benefits of HIIT training without performing burpees or other more advanced boot-camp style exercises. The best exercise bike models offer a way to do spin from home.  

It was when she accidentally met her personal trainer Bo (a colleague had a workout session they didn’t want to do alone) that Danitza made the breakthrough, losing 200lbs. 

Research has shown that compared to those without a partner, those with a workout buddy were twice as likely to lose a "significant" amount of weight in the time frame of a year. Teaming up with an accountability partner, such as a spouse, friend, colleague or an online personal trainer, has great results as you're looping in someone else to help you stick to your goals. 

Since the weight loss, Danitza has also had excess skin removal and is now embracing her new look.

Matt Evans

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.