Mallory King may have lost almost half her body weight in 2013, but it wasn’t in the “quick-fix” way so many restrictive diets advertise.
“One thing that really inspires people about my story is that my weight loss averaged
out to only one pound a week,” says the online fitness and nutrition coach. “After one month, I was ‘only’ down about four pounds. But it was progress, and I knew if I kept going, it would add up.”
And add up, it did. Over a two-year period, King lost 100 pounds by counting her calories and macros with MyFitnessPal and lifting weights at the gym.
Before she decided to get fit, the 27-year-old Coloradoan had struggled with her weight for a long time. She remembers being a sedentary child, never really exercising or even eating many fruits and vegetables. At 13, she was diagnosed with depression and anxiety, and the prescribed medication caused her to gain even more weight.
“I was not only miserable in my body, but in my life,” explains King. “I did not take care of myself and felt I had no control in getting my life together. I remember feeling hopeless a lot and that I would always be overweight.”
She tried different diets, including Weight Watchers, cutting out carbs and going on strict meal plans, but nothing stuck. The turning point came during a visit to her family doctor, when she weighed in at 217 pounds. Unaware she had even reached 200 pounds, she was shocked at the news.
Her doctor explained the many health issues she could soon be facing, many of which her family members were already experiencing, like heart disease and diabetes. The news “scared her straight,” and King resolved right then and there to take back control.
“I remember thinking to myself, ‘I don’t care how long this takes. I don’t care how hard it is. I don’t care how many times I screw up. I’m not giving up on this,’” she says.
As she started to research more about nutrition, she focused on finding a way to eat that she could sustain for the rest of her life.
“I wasn’t interested in losing 100 pounds as fast as I could,” she says. “I was interested in losing weight in a way that would allow me to keep it off for good. I wanted to change my lifestyle.”
Having heard of the MyFitnessPal app in the past, King decided to give it a try and soon found exactly what she was looking for.
“Before I used the app, I thought to lose weight or be healthy, I had to eat only ‘clean’ foods,” she says. “I was extremely uneducated. The app opened my eyes to the fact that I didn’t need to cut out my favorite foods. I just needed to eat them in smaller portions.”
King tracked her calories for the next six months and lost almost 40 pounds. She then started tracking macronutrients to target fat and later began lifting weights as a way to get stronger and feel empowered in the gym; these two things combined helped her lose another 60 pounds.
But true to her commitment to sustainable living, she later made the active choice to gain back 10 pounds in order to settle at a weight she knew she could maintain for the long run.
“My goal was always to lose 100 pounds because I thought that would be a cool goal to reach,” she says. “However, I realized I felt much healthier 10 pounds above that. This weight is easy for me to maintain, and I feel my best.”
King wants others to know that, as surprising as it may seem, allowing all foods into her diet, while being smart about portions and overall balance, was the healthy habit that made the biggest difference in her weight loss.
“It’s an approach that I can follow for the rest of my life, and that makes it a lifestyle versus just another fad diet,” she explains.
King says she often sees people give up on their weight-loss goals because they’re not getting the results they want quickly enough. However, she firmly believes it’s not how quickly the weight comes off, but whether or not it stays off.
“If the goal is so important to you, why does it matter how long it takes?” she asks. “Isn’t it more important to keep the weight off versus how fast you can lose it? Be patient. Stay positive. Keep persisting.”