Real Life Weight Loss: "I lost 203lbs by swapping burgers for salmon and veggies"

Samantha from California lost over 200lbs after prioritising her health to set an example for her daughter

Real life weight loss
(Image credit: Future/Truly)

Samantha Rawley, 31, from Orange County, changed her life through a combination of diet, exercise and surgery. She was "focused on protein", gave up sugary drinks and stayed within a calorie deficit, eventually losing a huge 203lbs. 

In school, Samantha wouldn't give in her homework as it meant her having to walk up in front of the class. At her heaviest, Sammi weighed 363lbs. However, what changed her life was deciding to get healthy for the sake of her daughter, who she had at 19. Sammi adjusted her diet and maintains her current weight of 160lbs by working out and controlling food intake by going from "hamburgers to salmon and vegetables". 

Lean protein is very important for building muscle, but all too often it comes loaded with additional calories due to the way its cooked, or what it comes with. A burger is high in protein, but it's highly processed and when you factor in the bun, sauces, fries and typically a sugary drink, it becomes a veritable calorie bomb. 

Lean sources of meat such as salmon, loaded with healthy omega-3, are a great replacement when served with healthy vegetables, which are loaded with nutrients. For best results, use as little added fats as possible with one of our best air fryer list. The best protein powders for weight loss can help reduce your total calories while not compromising on building muscle. 

Watch Sammi's inspiring weight loss journey below:

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Sammi had vertical sleeve gastrectomy surgery to help her reduce her appetite and remain in that calorie deficit, making her weight loss easier. However, this might or might not be the right path for you – always check with our doctor if you're considering any surgical options.  

The main reason Sammi says she started her weight loss journey was because of her daughter; she wanted to "set an example for her and be a better person for her" and thought "if I can do this then she can do literally anything she puts her mind to". She has now lost over 203lbs and has a podcast all about weight loss with her best friend.

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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.