A mum who was inspired to drop nearly four stone after her own mother died due to heart complications and obesity is now helping others to lose weight too.
Elina Hyman Cabral, 40, a make-up artist, was shocked when she saw obesity as a listed cause of death on her mum’s death certificate and says it was the wake-up call she needed.
Elina, who lives in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, with her husband, Pedro, 44, a restaurant owner, and their twin seven-year-old sons, Nathan and Leo, went from 16st 10lb to 12st 13lb in about five months and has since become a weight loss consultant herself.
Elina said: “My mum passed away in August 2020. On her death certificate, the first cause was hypertension of the heart and the second cause was obesity.
“It really shocked me and made me think about my own health.
“Turning 38 just three months prior, and the twins still being young, made me really consider my diet and I knew I needed to make a change.”
As a New Year Resolution for 2021, Elina stopped smoking and began searching for a food programme to follow.
She said: “I’ve tried different plans in the past but none of them quite worked for me.
“In January 2021, a Cambridge Weight Plan consultant’s account popped up on my Instagram, I had a look at her photos and decided to follow her, which led me to message her in March.”
Breakfast – toast and eggs
Lunch – Leon halloumi wrap and fries
Snack – crisps or chocolate
Dinner – fish with potatoes and vegetables
Snacks – crisps, biscuits and a bowl of cereal
Weight loss consultant Maria got Elina started on a food plan, which consisted of three meal replacements and one 200 calorie meal a day, totalling 800 calories.
She said: “It sounds drastic but I needed something that would give me quick results in order to keep me motivated.”
Elina stuck to the plan and within weeks, she noticed the weight starting to shift.
She said: “Once I put my mind to something, I stick to it. Plus, I’d told people that I wanted to lose weight so there was the added pressure of not wanting to fail in front of others.
“I kept to the calorie limit each day and, within three months, I had lost three stone.”
Elina says her friends and family were stunned by the transformation.
She said: “It was quite a quick weight loss so I think it was surprising to other people when they saw the difference in my appearance.
“I took a break from the plan in August 2021, for the anniversary of my mum’s death, and put on a bit of weight during that time due to emotional eating.
“But I’m now back on the plan and have since lost another stone.”
Elina now weighs 12st 13lb after losing nearly four stone.
She said: “I was having people coming up to me all the time, asking for advice on how I’d lost the weight.
“I would always refer them to my weight loss consultant, Maria, but eventually she suggested that I could become a consultant too, which I did.”
Breakfast – The 1:1 Diet by Cambridge Weight Plan porridge
Lunch – tuna salad
Snack – The 1:1 Diet by Cambridge Weight Plan meal replacement bar
Dinner – chicken and vegetables
Snack – The 1:1 Diet by Cambridge Weight Plan replacement bar and a herbal tea
She added: “Now I get to help people who were in the same situation as me and it’s a great feeling.
“I understand exactly what they’re going through.”
After tackling her weight, Elina is now focusing on exercise, too.
She said: “Now I do weekly Pilates with my sister and walk regularly.
“Finding the time to exercise as a mum isn’t always easy so I make sure to set aside time for at least one class a week.”
And Elina hopes to hit her goal weight by Christmas.
She said: “I’d really like to get down to 12st before the end of the year. That’s the end goal I currently have in my mind.
“Although, my friends and family are already shocked by how much weight I’ve lost. My dad has worried about my weight for years and he is really happy that I’m getting healthier.”
And Elina’s sons are also proud of their mum.
She said: “The boys are very aware of fitness and are already pestering me to let them lift weights, which I’ve told them they’re too young to do.
“They’ve noticed my weight loss and make comments that only kids could get away with. Nathan said to me one day, ‘Mummy, your tummy’s not as jiggly anymore’.
“I’m really proud of the hard work I’ve put in to lose the weight, not just for me and my health, but as a role model to my sons.
“I want to make sure I’m around a long time to be there for them.”