Bianca Nico lost over 12.5 kilos when she took on the BodyBlitz 12-week challenge. Find out how she did it!

Bianca Nico - August 2013 BodyBlitz winner - Women's Health & Fitness

I have always been overweight. It really hit me when my relationship broke up and I realised how much weight I had put on in the last six months. All that takeaway and lack of exercise had not only affected me, but my two children, too.

I knew I had to do something about it both for myself and my children. I wanted to stop being one of those mums who didn’t have the energy to play with their children. I know I wasn’t spending enough time with them. I felt tired constantly and preferred to sit and watch a movie (which always led to indulging in buttery popcorn and junk food). These unhealthy habits were rubbing off on them, too.

Before the challenge, I had an extremely unhealthy lifestyle; eating takeout a few times a week, a lot of carbohydrates, soft drinks and sweets. It left me with no energy and feeling negative about myself.

I had tried everything to get the weight off: diet pills, shakes, high-protein diets; you name it, I’d tried it. They all worked a little, but nothing was long-lasting and none of them teach you how to eat right. Not to mention how costly it can be.


My new lifestyle change started as a bet that I could get back into my favourite old pair of jeans. It was just the right motivation I needed to start and stick to it this time. I aimed to lose eight kilos, and I had six weeks to do it.

After spending hours reading and researching online and in books, I’d finally taught myself the right way of doing things, how to fuel my body with the right foods and feel better about the way I looked.

I used a calorie-counting app that really helped me at the start, though towards the end I found that I had learnt what I could eat to stay under or around 1,200 calories a day.  It didn’t even feel like a diet and I’m surprised how much healthy food I could eat for 1,200 calories. What was really exciting was that I was able to reach my goal (and fit back into my favourite jeans) in just five weeks – I was over the moon! It was the best motivation to keep going.

Diet & nutrition

Since starting my new lifestyle, I haven’t felt like I am missing out on anything. One night a week I still enjoy a pasta or rice dish, and instead of takeout pizza, I make home made pizza on pita bread with the kids. I also really enjoy making soups and hearty stews and freezing them.

I think the key to my weight loss is always being prepared and having loads of fresh fruit and vegetables in the house. I use to think there was nothing worse than going to the gym and doing exercises, but I found over the 12 weeks that it really made the world of difference to my life. I felt so much better; it made me happier and gave me so much energy. Who would have known how much it would change me?

Sure, there were days that were hard and I just wanted to be able to eat whatever I wanted, or days where I couldn’t be bothered going to the gym or for a walk. Still, I knew if I didn’t I might slowly slip into my old lazy lifestyle. I hadn’t worked this hard to throw it all away mid-challenge!

Meal plan

  • Breakfast: Coffee – almond milk, no sugar; oats or two Weetbix with almond milk and half a banana
  • Lunch: Tuna and salad or rice cakes with tuna, cottage cheese and salad  
  • Dinner: Grilled meat, chicken or prawns and vegies
  • Snacks: Natural yoghurt and fruit, protein shake, raw nuts
  • Fluids: Lots of water and 1-2 cups of green tea a day

Exercise plan

Now I exercise almost every day, even if it’s just a half-hour walk a day. I go to the gym a few times a week and do weights and floor exercises at home. I stay motivated by the feedback I receive from family and friends. An upcoming holiday is another instigator and also a reward for how far I’ve come. I’m still working towards losing another six kilos by the end of the year.

I’m a hairdresser, but when I first started the challenge I was working in a hotel doing waitressing, gaming and bar work because I had didn’t have the confidence to apply for a job in a salon. I had in my head that you needed to look a certain way to get a job; you’re selling a beauty service so how can you sell that if you don’t even feel comfortable with yourself?

Since losing weight, I am now working as a hairdresser and I love my job and love making people feel better about the way they look. I still want to lose more weight and tone up more, and to do that I will be starting a boot camp. I know I will be able to do it because I want to be looking as good as I can for my trip for Thailand. I’ve never been this motivated in my whole life and if I can do it, I believe anyone can.

Exercise routine

  • Monday: Walk
  • Tuesday: Gym
  • Wednesday: Walk and weights at home
  • Thursday: Gym
  • Friday: Walk and home exercise
  • Saturday: Rest
  • Sunday: walk

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