After losing an impressive 12 stone, Lisa Riley reveals the simple tricks that have helped her keep her weight under control.
What is Lisa Riley’s weight loss secret? The 41-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.
Now, a couple of years after she surprised fans with her initial weight loss, the actor has done it again by sharing a picture of herself on the cruise ship where she’s performing with her Strictly Come Dancing family.
Alongside the snap, Lisa wrote: ‘First night off on our @pandocruises @bbcstrictly cruise the Showcases are going to be so EXCITING…loving working with @mr_njonesofficial @giada.lini @grazianodiprima @thedebbiemcgee what a beautiful, talented, funny group of people!!!
‘Makes my job a breeze. Here’s to many more fun days ahead. Where we get so many MORE strictly faces #strictlycomedancing #cruise #dancing #nightoff #chilling #restaurant #cruiseaway #relax #shiplife.’
Fans were quick to congratulate the star on how great she looks, with one saying: ‘Oh my god. You look bloody amazing! Well done.’
Another wrote: ‘You look gorgeous @lisajaneriley This picture just made me think wow so I felt I had to say it 👍🏻🤗xx’
A third commented: ‘You look incredible @lisajaneriley !! 😲😍😍😍 such an inspiration!!!!! ❤️’
There’s no denying that Lisa looks amazing, but she’s said in the past that ‘diets don’t work’ – so how has she achieved such impressive weight loss results?
If you fancy following in her footsteps by losing weight and feeling great, read on to find out her weight loss secrets!
1. Cut the carbs
Even though Lisa is not following any specific diet, there’s one thing she decided to be especially strict on – carbs.
During an appearance on Loose Women Lisa said: ‘I only eat a carb if I need one and absolutely no bread.’ However, in an interview with The Mirror Lisa explained that now if she wants carbs she has them before 1.30pm and makes lunch her main meal. She has a small dinner before seven but nothing after this.
2. Find healthy replacements for your favourite treats
Lisa has managed to keep on track with her incredible weight loss, and now she’s revealed the one sweet treat that has helped – and you won’t believe how easy it is to make!
She shared on Instagram: ‘SERIOUSLY HEALTHY!!!! Made in only 25 minutes. I love my Banana Oat Wedges… perfect for before or after your gym session. And RIDICULOUSLY EASY… only 62 calories per wedge’, she wrote.
‘Get three bananas, chop them up, place them into your NutriBullet, whizz them up for two minutes. Place two and a half teacups of fresh oats into your mixing bowl. Add the banana mix, stir thoroughly. Put the oven to 190 degrees, make your wedges in the palm of your hands and bake for 15-20 minutes. And there you go!! They are DELICIOUS, and guilt free. ENJOY!’
3. 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!
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.’
4. 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 and admits to drinking fizzy water instead of Champagne to celebrate her 40th birthday, 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.’
5. 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.’
6. 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.’
7. 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.’
8. 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.
9. Forgive yourself if you have a blip
Lisa recently admitted that her healthy lifestyle doesn’t always go to plan but it’s all about forgiving yourself and moving on to better choices.
‘Everyone is bound to have little blips along the way, but don’t see that as failure and a signal to give up – just draw a line under it and move on…’, she said.
‘I had made myself fat by gorging on bread, crisps, crumpets and red wine. Once I accepted responsibility for my health, weight and lifestyle it made it easier to take control. You don’t have to have starter, main and pudding.’
Lisa, we think you look amazing!