I gave up binge-eating and booze — and dropped 80 pounds

By | December 26, 2018

The Post talks with six New Yorkers who were looking for and found fitness and diet plans that work, helping them to shed pounds and gain confidence and hope in 2018.

Melissa Meier, 36, had put on close to 80 pounds since her college years. The Brooklyn bartender had developed unhealthy habits, with easy access to alcohol and the slices of pizza she grabbed during her late-night shifts. After work, she would often binge-eat entire boxes of pasta multiple nights in a row.

These binges left her feeling sluggish. Worse, they seemed to exacerbate her years-long struggle with depression and anxiety. “I turned to food for comfort, but then after I binged, I just felt worse,” she says.

In November 2017, Meier filmed Bravo’s “Welcome to Waverly,” a reality TV show that challenged city slickers to work in small-town Kansas. At the time, Meier, who is 5 feet 4 inches tall, weighed 190 pounds.

The on-camera experience made her resolve to make drastic changes. In January 2018, she started the trendy keto diet, a high-fat meal plan that allows moderate amounts of protein but strictly limits carbs and sugar.

Instead of spaghetti with a whole ball of mozzarella thrown in, she whipped up meals such as turkey “taco” salad (hold the tortilla).

Meier also gave up booze entirely for the first 40 days, and now only occasionally indulges in low-sugar cocktails. She started running and doing at-home fitness DVDs, such as yoga and BeachBody.

‘I’m also more comfortable in my own skin, which makes me much happier.’

By the time “Waverly” aired in October 2018, Meier hardly recognized herself. “I literally said out loud, ‘It looks like I ate my former self,’ ” she says.

Today, she’s 150 pounds, and she has no plans of stopping the keto diet.

Though critics say it can be difficult to maintain, Meier says it’s the only thing that’s worked for her “all-or-nothing” personality type.

“I’m either going to eat a whole box of pasta or none at all,” she says.

Beyond weight loss, she’s also seen a big impact on her mental health: “My anxiety and insomnia aren’t nearly as bad. My panic attacks are less frequent and I sleep better,” she says. “I’m also more comfortable in my own skin, which makes me much happier.”

Tip: Find a social-media group that shares healthy recipe ideas so you don’t get sick of the diet food you’re eating. Meier swears by the Facebook group “Lazy Keto Women.”

Living | New York Post