There have been some weight loss success stories which have inspired us to no end. Just when we hang up our sneakers in frustration, thinking that we will never make peace with our weighing scales, there comes a weight loss success story so inspiring that it manages to restore faith in our own weight loss plans. One such recent jaw-dropping transformation was that of Melissa McCarthy.
Melissa McCarthy (born August 26, 1970) is an American actress. She also shines in other roles like in that of a writer, comedian, fashion designer and producer. Melissa started appearing in television and films in the late 1990s, and first shot to nationwide popularity for her role as Sookie St. James on the television series Gilmore Girls (2000–2007).
Melissa McCarthy’s Amazing Weight Loss Transformation
Melissa McCarthy was just making her presence felt in the Hollywood arena, ensured that the spotlight remained focused on her when she made that drastic weight loss transformation. It has only made her look slimmer and happier. The steep drop of 45 pounds shocked both her fans and the media.
Mellisa was always very comfortable with her weight, and never bothered to bring about any change to her body. But something triggered her steely determination and she took to changing her path to weight loss and fitness, and ended up losing a whopping number of pounds to look slim, svelte and quite revelling in her brand new avatar.
The Secrets behind her Tremendous Weight Loss
How did she do it? That’s the million-dollar question. She has also been very forthcoming about her weight loss secrets and has revealed everything about her smooth transformation from fat to fit, in various interviews.
- She started taking her workouts seriously- As she started getting serious about her workouts, the first thing she did was make going to the gym a regular habit. She had to be in shape for her film “Spy” and was in the gym most days of the week – Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. For Monday and Thursday, she incorporated compound strength training, while on Tuesday and Friday she tried a weight machine based circuit training program which was designed in a way to boost the blood flow around her body and accelerate maximum fat burn.
- The diet plan- What is the diet plan she followed which got her so much success? It was the Mediterranean diet plan. She had visited Italy once and was drawn to the eating plan of the Italians. What worked for her was the easy lifestyle they followed there. They did not mind having a glass or two of wine. They could enjoy all kinds of food but in moderation.
Instead of focusing on the calorie count of foods, all you had to do is focus on fresh fruits and vegetables eat healthy fats like olive oil and less of meat and grains. Eating such foods also took care of her incessant cravings. She reduced her carb intake and focused on eating a plant based diet.
- Eat every three hours- She made it a point to eat every three hours to boost her metabolism. That way she was not ravenously hungry when she ate her next meal. You only tend to bungle on your diet when you are too hungry and you eat everything you catch sight of. Hunger so often sabotages your weight loss efforts.
- She stopped worrying- It so often happens that you worry too much and the stress stops you from losing weight. Yes, instead of always thinking of how much you have put on and how much you need to lose, just let go of the constant worrying. Things fall into place in a surprisingly easy way. We also ignore sleep as an important weight loss tool. We exercise hard and eat right, but ignore sleep, and thus don’t get the right results.
Melissa too discovered this simple fact in her weight loss journey. She hit the snooze button at 7. She laughingly admits that she leads a boring life. Yes, boring it might be, but what worked big time was that she was able to keep stress at bay. The pounds just started dropping after that. Now how simple is this method of losing weight? But how often we give it the importance it deserves?
Melissa McCarthy’s Exercise Regime
You need to overhaul your entire exercise regime to get any real results. Melissa made some sweeping changes too, in her diet plan and her fitness plan. She hired a personal trainer too. The rest just fell into place really easily.
Melissa’s Monday and Thursday Workout Plans
- Smith Machine Squats- Melissa’s trainer had chosen the Smith Machine version of the squat exercise so that there was not too much pressure on her lower back, which shielded her from any injuries. She did an warm-up set of 20 repetitions with only the bar, then put 20 pounds on either end and then tried her way to do three sets of 12.
- Farmer’s walk- The actress used to grab a pair of moderate dumbbells, and all she would do is walk the entire length of the gym, taking giant lunges to work on her glutes and hamstrings.
- Dumbbell Bench Press- She used dumbbells in place of the traditional bar which helped her to get a greater extension and a full contraction on each of the repetitions she did on this machine, which is great for the torso. She would do this exercise for at least 3 sets of about 12 repetitions.
- Dumbbell Deadlift- The weights she used for the previous exercise were used for this exercise as well. The focus was largely on the correct form to ensure that you a deep contraction, particularly in the lower back muscles.
- Inverted Pull Ups- The Smith Machine bar was set at hip height, and this helped Melissa to do pull ups even if she couldn’t pull off a traditional pull up all by herself. She did 10 repetitions of this exercise.
Tuesday and Thursday Workout
Resistance training did her good, but she also wanted to focus on the aerobic part of her workouts. She went all out for 1 minute each with little or no rest. It was a welcome change from her regular day workouts.
- Bench press
- Military press
- Triceps press-down
- High knee sprint
- Leg press
- Rowing machine
- Bicep curl
Even in the days she missed her regular workouts at the gym; she would sneak in at least 30 minutes of workouts. This was each different from the other. She would walk her dog, play tennis, and also play volleyball.
Recipes Based on the Mediterranean Diet Plan
Melissa kept her recipes simple; she ate more protein, fewer carbs and basically followed the Mediterranean diet plan, which was all about a food pyramid. The Oldways Preservation and Exchange Trust had made a unique food plan also known as the Mediterranean Food Guide Pyramid. It is largely based on the food traditions followed by the people on the island of Crete, and southern Italy in the 1960’s.
During this time, Crete’s were regarded as the healthiest people on earth. Right at the base of the Mediterranean food plan, are healthy foods such as whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds. These foods are healthy enough to be consumed every day. The next level consists of fish and seafood, white meat and eggs. These foods can be consumed several times a week.
In the next plane are Cheese and yogurt, followed by red meats and sweets, which are right at the very top of the pyramid; indicating that these foods should be consumed the least of all. So, check out these recipes, some of which Melissa tried during her weight loss journey, and especially the soup recipe which helped her get back in shape.
1. Broccoli Soup
When it comes to weight loss, you can seldom go wrong with broccoli soup. Broccoli is a great source of vitamin K, folate, vitamin C, and chromium. It is an excellent source of dietary fiber, pantothenic acid, manganese, choline, vitamin B6, vitamin E, phosphorus, vitamin B1, vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids), copper and potassium. Broccoli has great anti-inflammatory benefits which help the body fight chronic diseases. This is a really healthy soup and you can consume it to drive away your hunger pangs.
- 2(16 ounces) bags frozen broccoli or fresh broccoli, chopped finely.
- 1(16 ounces) bag frozen succotash
- 2quarts chicken stock
- Ground black pepper
- Garlic powder
- Combine broccoli, succotash and 2 quarts of chicken stock in a large stockpot (about 7-8 quarts).
- Add salt, pepper, garlic powder and seasoning to taste.
- Partially cover the pot and bring it to boil over medium heat.
- Reduce the heat and allow it to simmer for 15-20 minutes.
- Puree it with an immersion hand blender until it is slightly chunky.
2. Pasta Salad
You seldom think pasta is healthy, but if you consume the whole grain version, it will provide you with more vitamins, minerals and fiber. This is a complete meal in itself as it has the essential combination of good fats, protein, and carbs, something which will keep you full for longer and give you the essential nutrients for a fit and healthy body.
- 8 ounces of multigrain farfalle
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 2 teaspoons of olive oil
- 1 13.5- ounce can artichoke hearts packed in water, drained and chopped
- 8 ounces of fresh part-skim mozzarella cheese, chopped
- 1/4 cup of chopped bottled roasted red bell pepper
- 1/4 cup of chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup of frozen peas
- Cook pasta according to the package instructions, omit the salt and fat.
- While the pasta cooks, combine the zest and juice of 1 lemon and also 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a large bowl; stir it well with a whisk. Add the artichoke hearts, cheese, bell pepper, and parsley; toss well to combine.
- Place the peas in a colander; and when the pasta is cooked, drain it over the peas. Shake well to drain, but do not try to run under cold water. Add the pasta and the peas to the artichoke mixture, and toss well until thoroughly combined. Serve it warm or even at room temperature.
3. Chickpea Patties
Chickpea is one of the most weight loss friendly foods. A good source of vegetarian protein, it also packs in manganese, folate, fiber and so on. It contains a powerhouse of nutrients, helping you to stay on the healthy path with ease. The fact that it is really tasty makes it a real sought-after food.
- 1 (15.5-ounce) can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup of fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon of ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper, divided
- 1 egg, nicely whisked
- 4 tablespoons of all-purpose flour, divided
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1/2 cup of low-fat Greek-style yogurt
- 3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
- 8 cups of mixed salad greens
- 1 cup of grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
- Pita chips (optional)
- Pulse the first 4 ingredients (through cumin) and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper in a food processor until coarsely chopped and the mixture is well blended. Transfer it to a bowl, add egg and 2 tablespoons flour; knead into 8 (1/2-inch-thick) patties. Place the remaining flour in a small dish and roll the patties in it with floured hands; brush off the excess flour.
- Heat the oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook the patties for 2-3 minutes per side or until they turn golden.
- Whisk the yogurt, lemon juice, and the remaining salt and pepper together. Divide the greens, tomatoes, onion, and patties evenly among 4 plates; drizzle each salad with 2 tablespoons of dressing. Serve with the pita chips, if desired.
So now that you know all about Melissa McCarthy’s weight loss success story, you will realize it is not rocket science, just some basic rules. What really made the difference was her determination and willpower to shed the excess pounds. You can do it too, just take the first tentative step forward towards health and fitness and you will surely reach your weight loss goals.