I lost 5st and dangerous belly fat without having to diet or run – it's made me a better mum | The Sun

RACHAEL Sacerdoti’s size was stopping her from being a good enough mum.

The 44-year-old, from London, “lost her identity” and “confidence” after years of yo-yo dieting and trialling dangerous weight-loss pills failed to knock off the extra pounds she gained during pregnancy. 

Weighing 90kg at 5 foot 5, she was tired all the time, short of breath and had trouble keeping up with her children – Sam now 11, Rebecca nine and Gabriella six.

“I couldn't get properly involved in their lives and be the mum they needed – I felt like a complete failure,” she told the Sun.

It was only when she realised her attitude that had to change, and not necessarily her diet, that she began to drop the pounds – and fast.

Within just six months, she had lost five stone.

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And her new founded energy and enthusiasm has since transformed her own and her children's lives. 

“It’s changed my entire family dynamic,” she says. 

“We spend a lot more time together and go on outdoor adventure holidays, it’s amazing.”

Rachael’s new attitude to health has also influenced how her children are growing up.

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"I was never taught what a balanced diet was when I was young," she says.

"So I'm making sure I share everything I've learnt about food and fitness with my kids, so they can make well informed decisions for their own lives," she adds.

Before her radical revamp, Rachael suffered from a commonplace ‘all-or-nothing’ approach to life, including her health.

“I wanted my body to change immediately, so I’d starve myself then binge when it didn’t work,” she explained. 

It was at beach in Bali in 2018 when Rachael decided it was time to shake up her life for her kids. 

Her brother Ben had noticed his sister, then 39, was bingeing on ice cream and looked unhappy. 

“He told me I didn’t look like myself anymore, it was a huge wake up call,” she says. 

The day she returned to London she made the decision to take her fitness journey “one step at a time”. 

“This small mindset switch was probably the key to my success,” she says. 


Rachael began to lose 1kg a week by slowly changing her diet and exercise routine.

She started by taking herself on a ten minute walk around the block.

“This actually really hurt my feet and joints at first as my body couldn’t support its own weight,” she explained.

After her feet adapted to the new routine, she extended her walk to the park. 

Five weeks later Rachael started lifting some light weights in her home. 

And just a month after that she was in the gym. 

"As soon as a I began seeing results, that was enough, I had the motivation to continue.

"It no longer felt like a chore," she adds.

Four years on Rachael is weight lifting three times a week – and sometimes son Sam joins her too. 

She says: “He’s inspired by my transformation and my love for the gym. 

“When he comes he picks up light weights.”

Rachael doesn't incorporate running into her routine – and never really has.

"Many people, especially women, seem to think running the easiest way to losing weight because it's convenient.

"But weight-lifting can be a lot more effective and is better on the joints."


Alongside regular exercise, Rachael adjusted her diet too.

Although she no longer restricts what she eats, she makes sure every meal is high in protein and fibre.

"This means I don't crave the sugary treats I used to lived off," she says.

Studies suggest boosting protein intake can assist in effective weight loss because it keeps you feeling fuller for longer.

On top of that, protein helps the body retain muscle while shedding fat.

While fibre, can help slow digestion which reduces the feeling of hunger.

Unlike before, Rachael eats what she wants, when she wants.

"If I want my lifestyle to be sustainable, it has to be enjoyable.

"This, for me, means eating a spoon of Nutella when I really want to."

Rachael also goes out for dinner more regularly than ever before.

"I just try to order something with lots of protein, like a chicken or turkey dish," she explains.

Even her children have picked up some of their mum's protein habits.

"I don't believe in telling kids what they can and can't eat.

"But if I catch my daughter eating a bowl of rice and no protein, I will suggest she adds some chicken and explain why.

"They're very receptive!" she adds.

The fitness-fanatic has even influenced her friends.

"They're constantly asking me for tips and tricks – even the ones who were fit before me!"

This interest from others kick-started Rachael to launch her wellness programme that is a mix of fitness, nutrition.

The only person who hasn't been spurred on by Rachael to make healthy lifestyle changes is her husband, David.

She says: "He's naturally very balanced person.

"He’ll eat what he wants when he wants, but normally it’s pretty healthy."

On Instagram he's created an account known as 'It’s So Complicated' – the antithesis of Rachael's 'It's So Simple' wellness account.

On the page, David can be seen hugging a deep fat fryer and promoting sugar-filled cereals.

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"He keeps me grounded and helps keep my diet realistic.

"And it's all about being realistic when it comes to your lifestyle, otherwise you'll never stick at it."

Eat like Rachael

Breakfast: egg omelette (28g of protein)

Ingredients: 2 x eggs and 1/2 cup shredded cooked turkey

Lunch: chicken bagel (31g of protein)

Ingredients: bagel, chicken breast shredded, 6 slices of cucumber and lettuce

Dinner: tuna pasta (28g of protein)

Ingredients: can of tuna, 100g of pasta, 1/2 tin tomato sauce

Snacks: Banana or protein bar

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