I lost 3.5 stone in seven months by changing one thing about my routine

Maria Fox, 51, is a police superintendent and lives in Staffordshire

Last October I was crying down the phone to a friend and she said: “I don’t think you’re very well – you need some time out.” She was right: I had memory loss and brain fog, and some physical symptoms like a blood clot and a resting heart rate of over 200 beats per minute at one point when I was sitting down in a meeting, which turned out to be a symptom of supraventricular tachycardia (a type of abnormal heart rhythm). 

I was signed off sick from my job in October 2020 with chronic fatigue and burnout. I felt like everything had spun out of control and I didn’t know how to get back on track. I had some brilliant counselling from work, and they told me that I had to let go of the big stuff and try to focus on smaller things that I could control. 

I realised I could change my diet. I would eat lunch on the run – a sandwich and a bag of crisps, then takeaway for dinner as I worked long hours. I’d often have a glass of wine in the evening, too. All of it didn’t leave me feeling great.

I saw an advert for a Lumen – a device that assesses your metabolism – and started following its personalised nutrition plans. You breathe into it several times a day – before and after eating and exercising and getting up and going to bed – and it works out from the CO2 in your breath if you’re burning fat or carbs. The ideal is to be in the fat-burning zone, but most of us, especially if we have a poor diet, just burn carbs. 

I started on quite a low carb plan and I lost 50lbs (3.5 stone) in seven months. Now that my body has adapted to fat-burning, I can have more carbs. I’ve successfully changed my metabolism, which feels amazing. 

I’m the fittest and slimmest I’ve ever been, but more importantly, I’ve improved my health. My cardiologist said tests showed that I’d reversed my heart condition just by the change in nutrition. It’s also really helped with the pre-menopause symptoms I was experiencing, although I’m also now on HRT. I’ve been back at work since the end of April. This hasn’t been just a quick fix for me, I’m going to be living and eating like this for life.

My workout week

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