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'I didn't want to be the chunky monkey' Lisa Riley reveals how Strictly started her weight loss journey

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Lisa Riley
Actress Lisa Riley has opened up about how she lost a staggering 10 stone.

The 39 year old, who is best known for playing Mandy Dingle in ITV soap Emmerdale, famously dropped from a UK size 30 to a size 14 in a year, and now she's been showing off her incredible results (and even letting us in on her slimming secrets!).

Reflecting on her recent weight loss, Lisa has said that 'diets don't work', so if you fancy following in her footsteps and losing weight without ditching the calories, read on to find out her weight loss secrets!

1. Get exercising

Lisa first started changing her lifestyle when she was a contestant in the 2012 series of Strictly Come Dancing, which saw her initially lose four stone.

As a guest panellist on Loose Women, Lisa opened up about the struggles she faced about being one of the larger contestants on Strictly, and how she learned to overcome her insecurities.

'I wanted to prove people wrong that I didn't want to be the chunky monkey. And prove everyone wrong that I could dance. I knew I had natural rhythm and I wanted to show people my skill. I wanted to be on national TV... I thought, don't brand me.'

Her main worry was being lifted during the dance routines, mainly because of her fear of heights but also because she was self-conscious about her weight.



'Of course I was petrified. The main thing that frightened me was being lifted. We had to switch it round. I'm not sticking to the rule book. We did it the other way round.'

Sure enough, she made history as the first female contestant on Strictly to lift her male partner, and ended up placing fourth in the entire competition!

Do you think Lisa can still do the splits? Find out...

A video posted by @loosewomen on


Watch the brilliant moment Lisa did the splits on Loose Women!

Instead of leaving the BBC competition and going back to her old ways, Lisa vowed to keep up her exercise regime by taking part in zumba and yoga classes and going walking.

'I've been going to zumba classes which is fun. I find the gym is boring', she said during the Loose Women episode.

'I don't want to be a statistic. I just want my health to carry on, to live my life to the fullest.'

Love this!!!

A photo posted by Lisa Riley (@lisajaneriley) on




2. Bin the booze

The former Emmerdale star has also revealed that she feels 'so much better for not drinking'.

Lisa, who has given up drinking over the last year and admits to drinking fizzy water instead of Champagne to celebrate her 40th birthday recently, told the Mirror: 'Now I don't think I'll ever drink again. I never say never, but at the moment I don't think I will. This is what baffles me most - not drinking doesn't bother me at all.

'I'm still the life and soul of the party but If you'd told me I would toast my 40th birthday with a glass of water, I'd have thought you were crackers.'

Lisa told Bella magazine that one of her biggest changes that meant she could finally shift the pounds was ditching the booze.

'I've not drunk alcohol for a long time now. I pat myself on the back every day that not one drop of alcohol has passed my lips.

'I don't think it ever will [pass my lips] again.'

3. Begin with a kick-start

According to reports, Lisa also credits her weight loss journey to a seven-day retreat at Slimmeria boot camp. Diet guru Galia Granger told the Daily Mirror, 'I'm so proud of her. Slimeria isn't about adopting a sustainable diet, it's a kickstart approach to get people back on track while educating them on food so they can make lifestyle changes - exactly what Lisa has done.

'It annoys me when people say she's cheated. I watched her transform before my very eyes and can tell you she did it through sheer determination and hard work.

'It's not easy at the retreat and detoxing can be tough as your body cleans rubbish from your system. But, gruelling as it is, we it gets results, and Lisa is the proof.'

4. No surgery, supplements or fad diets

While most people have been amazed by Lisa's incredible weight loss achievement, she has also had to deal with her fair share of critics who accuse her of having secret surgery to achieve her goals.

Lisa took to Twitter to defend herself against the allegations, and to remind her fans that she has never had a gastric brand nor uses weight loss supplements such as Raspberry Ketone.


Lisa says; 'It has all been hard work and life change!'

The Waterloo Road star also explained that yo-yo dieting is not the key to her successful weight loss: 'I've not done a diet - diets don't work.'

5. Cut the carbs

Even though Lisa is not following any specific diet, there's one thing she decided to take off her plate for good - carbs.

During an appearance on Loose Women as a guest panellist, she said: 'I only eat a carb if I need one and absolutely no bread.'

As well as her no carbs policy, Lisa also revealed that she eats smaller portions now and has no food after 6.30pm.



6. Think about the future

Lisa credits her most recent attempt at a healthier lifestyle to her father being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

Her dad Terry was admitted to hospital in 2015 with a cancer scare and subsequently diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

The Manchester-born star had already lost her mother to cancer, aged 57, and didn't want history to repeat itself; 'Losing my mum then seeing my dad wired up and nearly losing him and becoming an orphan was a shock to my system.'

Time to make a wish on the Buddist Tree!!!ð’ð’ð’â­ï¸â­ï¸â­ï¸

A photo posted by Lisa Riley (@lisajaneriley) on



7. Share your progress

Lisa has been sure to share lots of photos of her weight loss on her social media platforms, most recently on her holiday to Singapore, and receives encouragement and praise from fans.

Many have commented on the photos admiring Lisa's achievement, Kelly McKeely said; 'You look amazing Lisa what a transformation. Well done girl x'

Georgina McDermott said; 'U r looking smashing gives me hope xx.'

This positive reinforcement and acknowledging just how far you've come is important for sticking to your diet and exercise regime.

Continued below...


I am liking the "school girl" LOOK!!!â­ï¸â­ï¸â­ï¸

A photo posted by Lisa Riley (@lisajaneriley) on


Lisa, we think you look amazing!

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