Skip to main content

How I Lost 50 Pounds Without Going to the Gym

• Oct 20, 2013

Re-posted from



You have all been SO supportive of my healthy changes and I thank you!!!

Some of you have expressed wanting to give Weekday Veg a try and I am SO excited about it! However, many of you couldn’t imagine giving up meat for 5 days- “What would I eat? Salads everyday?!”

Well, here are 6 examples of dishes that not only have NO MEAT but were delicious enough to fool meat eaters, AND KIDS! (can’t use the ‘family wouldn’t go for it’ excuse either! Haha!). I’ve also listed some responses to frequently asked questions I’ve received about the food I eat.

Pictured clockwise: 1. Veggie Fried Quinoa/Rice, 2. Tacos, 3. Flatbread ‘Sausage’ Pizza, 4. Dairy Free Broccoli Mac and Cheese, 5. Shepherds Pie 6. Spicy ‘Beef’ & Mixed Veggies.

Each meal takes about 30 mins or less to prep (not including oven time) For more details check out my ‘unofficial’ recipe, foods, and healthy journey blog:

Napturally Thin, a site

1. Do you have meal plans, where do you come up with ideas?

I make them up or I Google a favorite meat dish, but put the word ‘vegetarian’ in front of it. I find a vegetarian or meat recipe that’s easy and change it to suit my tastes. Sometimes I just take a dish I always make, and remove the meat. And there’s always just chopping up any veggie, adding salt, pepper, and olive oil and stir frying it. Throw it over veggies or brown rice and you have dinner. I grew up in an African household where we ate elaborate African dishes for EVERY meal. So this style of cooking is 100% new to me. If I can do it you can too.

2. Are you Vegan (no milk, animal anything)?

I am NOT vegan (not that I’m anti). I eat milk, carbs, cheese, yogurt, honey, and other animal byproducts during the week — in moderation. I also eat meat on the weekends.

3. Are you worried about eating too many soy products?

A little. That’s why most of the dishes above are made using ‘seitan’ which is a wheat based grain meat replacement or textured vegetable protein (Quorn style products). I buy them prepackaged from Whole Foods or my local grocery store. Also, this is easier than real cooking! No thawing, no worries of ‘food poisoning or ecoli’ and everything is just chop, slice, layer and cook/sauté/stir-fry. SOOOO EASY!

4. Do you eat carbs (bread, grains, rice)?

Every single meal, in moderation.

5. Do you eat gluten?

Yup. I don’t even worry about if something is gluten free or not.

image (1)

6. Do you count calories?

I did in the beginning (like two weeks) mostly because I was worried that I wasn’t eating ENOUGH calories! I could eat a whole mixing bowl of lettuce and veggies, feel totally stuffed, and it would only be like 100 calories! Lol I tried to get smarter about balancing out my foods to make sure I was getting the right nutrients and vitamins with my calories. Since the first day I never eat more than 1700 calories a day (unless I was particularly active, or it’s a holiday or special occasion) and never less than 1200 calories a day. Each portion of each meal I eat is between 400 to 500 calories. I don’t count my snacks (they are always fresh veggies or fruit). Ultimately the weekday veg lifestyle is nothing more than eating healthy food in the right portions, and trying not to be too lazy with exercise — basically what your doctor always said. Putting some structure around it, and eliminating excess meat intake just accelerates the results and has additional health benefits for me.

7. Do you exercise or go to a gym?

No. I do try to get out on the weekends and walk around (even if it’s just the mall! Ha!). I also know that I need to exercise so I can get my booty nice and high, and carve myself some Michelle Obama arms! Hahaha! But before I am ready for that, I gotta take this fat suit off! Haha!

8. Do you follow a meal plan?


9. Are there foods you do not eat?

I almost never eat fast food (McDonald’s kids size fries once a month maybe?). I rarely (twice a month) drink soda (including diet soda), and almost never drink juices. It’s water ALLL the time. My fro thanks me for it! ;) I also don’t really eat candy, ice cream, pastries, or processed/insta food (Kraft Mac, microwave dinners, pastas in cans etc).

10. Are you worried about not enough protein?

No. I eat more complex, healthy, easily digestable protein than most meat eaters. Vegetables have moderate amounts of protein. Vital Wheat, Quorn, and Soy Meat replacement products are all pure healthy protein. And of course, I eat meat on the weekend. So with weekday vegetarian, I’m right on track!

11. What’s your weight, how much have you lost? What’s your goal? When are you going back to eating meat everyday?

I haven’t (and won’t) share my specific weight number at this point- a girl’s gotta keep some stuff to herself! But I have posted a TON of pics from when I started living weekday veg (March 2013) to now. All together, as of today (July 2 2013) I have lost 49lbs. I am not sharing my goal weight specifically, but let’s just say I still have some work to do. As for ‘returning’ to regular meat eating, that will never happen. This is a LIFESTYLE (permanent) change — not a temporary diet. I chose this life so I can be healthy forever and raise healthy children, not to look good for summer. While some may start to get quick results ultimately you’ll gain it all back and then some when you return to bad habits. I equate my new lifestyle with going natural. I never plan on putting a relaxer in my hair, it’s not even an option for my life. It’s damaging and toxic for my body. I feel the same way about eating saturated fats, frequent fast food, and excess quantities of low quality meat. I especially don’t plan on feeding my children this way — it’s as important as providing education and shelter. Returning to the ‘ignoring the fat facts’ lifestyle is not an option anymore.

image (2)

If there are any other questions that I’ve missed- leave them below, and I’ll try to answer them ASAP!

Hope this helps, curlies!!!


Do you have a favorite veggie recipe to share? Share them below!

Nicole is the creator of where she tracks her natural hair and fitness journey.

Leave a Reply

53 Comments on "How I Lost 50 Pounds Without Going to the Gym"

Notify of

wow. kudos to u gurl! inspirational!


Congratulations! Cutting down on meat helped me drop weight too. I made the mistake at first of replacing the meat with carbs. But it’s totally worth it for a lot of reasons. Mostly, it forced me to stay away from fast food.

I don’t understand the lack of exercise here. Maybe something was left out of the article. Regardless of what the scale says, shouldn’t everyone be getting at least thirty minutes of exercise five times a week?


I know a lot of people who don’t like to exercise. They focus on just the diet to manage their weight. I’m not one of those people. On average I like to exercise 4 days a week for at least 30 minutes. I eat pretty healthily but, if I miss exercise for a week I notice that I am much more diligent about eating right.


Yes the best way to lose weight and MAINTAIN the weight loss is the COMBO of healthy eating and exercise.

I agree. I workout… well constantly, along with eating a diet of quality meats, fruits and veggies. I stay completely away from grains/gluten as much as possible. I don’t want to steal her thunder (and please do not think I am, fitness is just a huge part of my life) and with a little exercise you can go from simply losing weight to building muscle, toning up, and having a healthy well balanced body (I am posting this picture simply to prove that I’m not just talking out of my a**). She said it herself, “Michelle Obama’s arms” that comes… Read more »

Your stomach is Hott! I be so glad when I get my Hott belly on:) good job!

Thank you 🙂 I am big into healthy spirit, mind and body. My nieces and nephew live with me and my 8 year old niece already has body image issues. I try really hard to show her by example what it means to have a healthy body image and a healthy fit body, not necessarily just a skinny one (I try to show her good examples of skinny and big, as long as it’s healthy!). I am 25 and I have no kids of my own, so my nieces and nephews are like my children and I want to make… Read more »

It sounded to me like she is focusing on changing her diet/lifestyle before incorporating exercise. I don’t think it matters what order/how she’s tackling weightloss as long as she is doing it in a healthy way (which she is).

I, personally, can maintain weightloss with the proper diet. I know exercise is important, but something is better than nothing!

Anyhoo, good article. 🙂

Congratulations on your weight loss. However, I must chime in about the whole “Our bodies can only digest so much meat” science. Humans ate nothing but meats, veggies, fruits, whatever we could hunt and gather for a LONG time. Agriculture (grains) is still very new to the human diet. Digesting meat is not the problem. Digesting the crap meat that is sold in stores and is pumped full of hormones and antibiotics is the problem. Again, I am absolutely NOT criticizing your diet/lifestyle. I have nothing but respect for people who want to make healthy lifestyle changes, but this article… Read more »

There’s not really any choice here in America. Either you are getting GMO poisoned meat from factory farms, or you are not getting meat at all… 99% comes from factory farming with nasty results that are terrible for us.

Poster Girl
Well actually DP, that is incorrect in a few ways. What she said is not an assumption, nor a claim by vegetarians but actually proven by science research and doctors admittedly. Being one who knows the in’s and out’s of the Bible and having a science background, if you study the history of Genesis, you will actually find that the first people were not meat eaters. As a matter of fact, God never intended us to be be meat eaters. In the first 2 chapters he told us he gives us animals as companions, trees and herbs as a source… Read more »
Poster Girl
Sorry I meant to say they didn’t eat meat until after the flood. & the fact that people have been eating meat for 100s of years doesn’t mean much. If we eat chemically modified food for 100s of years we will still endure, but that doesn’t mean it is healthy and has a positive effect. We simply have greater medicine today than we did before. But previously we died of many disease through eating animals. Just as in Papua New Guinea they practiced cannibalism, and for generations did not know it was unhealthy and caused a disease called Kuru (folding… Read more »

I respect your opinion, but I disagree with it. I believe in evolution and I read the Bible more as a guide for living an honest, God-Centered, empowered life and not really as a science based factual piece of literature.

I agree D.P., I totally commend her for her weight loss as I’m trying to lose weight myself, but I sometimes feel too like meat gets a bad wrap. Meat in general, isn’t terrible, but it’s the type of meat, like beef (red meats), pork, such as sausage, bacon, hot dogs, and other processed meats. Many grocery stores have natural or organic chicken and turkey on sale sometimes and you can also get the wild-caught, fresh fish, if you like seafood. Meat has lots of b vitamins, omega vitamins, and etc., so if you’re going to cut it out altogether,… Read more »

the term “natural” means absolutely nothing. it’s just a “green”, gimmick word as it is not USDA regulated.


Meat is not bad, but most studies agree at no point in history did we eat as much meat as we do today. It is not natural part of human evolution to have meat with every meal or even every day and in many countries meat is still a special addition to a meal. We have been spoiled with the abundance of the terribly unhealthy factory farmed meat. It really makes sense to only eat meat once a week or less.


That’s not true. It depends on the culture. Cultures who mostly hunted, were nomadic, and lived in areas with little vegetation; as apposed to cultures who farmed and settled in one area; ate meat at every meal. This is true of many Native American and African cultures especially those in desert or arctic climates.

First and foremost, Congrats NapturalNicole! I like your blog! Now, I tell people all the time that a lot of the bs out there on meat, eggs, and dairy don’t make any sense when you look at the fact that many cultures have been eating those foods for centuries with no problem. Heck, even in the 40s and 50s, people were downing meat and potatoes with no problem. It’s when all the processed crap (and decrease in physical activity) was introduced into our diet that you saw an increase in weight and weight related health problems. Most of the time,… Read more »

Ummm but she stated that she is eating meat at the weekday and that she cut non-quality meat “excess quantities of low quality meat”. So for me it sounds not bias at all, just her honest opinion about this topic.


… studies have shown that our bodies have trouble processing more than 4 oz of meat, eaten only 5 times a month.”

I was referring to this quote, specifically.


Congrats on the weight loss, you look great!!

I agree D.P. that meat isn’t necessarily the issue, it’s as you say “crap” meat. I would instead go really easy on salt, sugar and carbs and incorporate in some type of exercise, especially for the long term.


Good for you for finding a method that works for you! You look absolutely amazing. I know I feel better when I eat more veggies and fruits (even though I love meat with passion). I think I’ll try incorporating a few more meat free days.

And many different lifestyles/diets work. Atkins works, weight watchers works, jenny craig works, it’s the ones you can stick to that keep the weight off and this seems to be one that would be easy to stick to.


You look great!
I’ve probably done this backwards and by default work out daily but have found my body doesn’t like meat. I find it funny that people try to say it’s OK and wonder what you do instead. So I’ve tried doing veg weeks and meat on weekends only and i feel better for it. When I do eat meat it’s from the local butcher or grass fed. My body thanks me for it. Glad to see it works for others as well.


Great Job Diva!!!!!

Congratulations on your healthy accomplishments!!! I have also gone meat free. But i have become a vegan and it has totally changed my life!!! I am Puerto Rican and we love our meat, but I found that leaving the meat, dairy and eggs has really helped me. I feel mentally sharper in the mornings and I have lost alot of weight. If you eat any meat in the US, it is processed terribly and the animals are fed a genetically modified diet that ultimately affects us all. Watch the movie Food Inc.…you will never look at a chicken or cow… Read more »

That’s great for the effort of cutting back your portion sizes and watching your caloric intake. But nutritionist and upcoming dietitian, not working is and being proud of it, is NOT CUTE!!

There are more benefits to working out (walking, running, taking group fitness classes) than just losing weight. It improves your cognitive functions, gives you more energy and you perform better all round. Everyone should try and at least walk for 30 minutes a day.


From her website:

(*just to be clear, since there is some feedback from the article- I am in NO way advocating abstaining from exercise or minimizing the importance of working out in accomplishing healthy weight loss goals. Exercise is an essential part of ANY healthy weight loss regimen, and lifestyle. It was a personal choice to approach my weight loss in this manner, and I plan on integrating cardio and strength training as I reach personal milestones.)”


You look great! And I know you are so proud of your accomplishment. Keep up the great work. I’m glad the system is working for you. Good luck!


When you say no meat monday-Friday do you mean no seafood as well?


I am completely inspired by your story and achievement. Thank you so much for sharing.


I love these articles. I’m by no means overweight and I now this is a NATURAL HAIR blog but I love to read these inspiring makeover changes from a fellow natural. 🙂


…before I’m ready for that [exercise] I gotta take this fat suit off!”

But isn’t exercise a sure fire (and faster) way to get rid of your ‘fat suit’? Especially with your diet — the weight will fall right off! But kudos for doing something; I know personally how hard it is!


Can we say Bravo!! Great job and thank you for inspiring me to get back on track with transforming my diet to less meat and more Veggies/ Fruits and H20.

Awesome job!!!!!


black women are waking up and making 180s. the beautiful thing is we are helping and supporting each other. Yay us!


you look amazing! I’m trying to lose weight too and I’ve been struggling. Your method seems reasonable and sustainable which is what a weight loss plan should be. I’m going to start incorporating your ideas into my journey. Thanks for sharing

Stop your hair breakage


WOW this is tremendous! Glad to see that a normal person has been able to lose weight the healthy way without super expensive meal plans. Congrats! I hope to start my own healthy weight loss journey by controlling my meal portions.

Keep it up!!

Taylor @


Amazing!!!! I am 14 years old, but have been raised a vegan Vegetarian my entire life. I’ve always been asked if I get protein and if the only thing I eat are vegetables every single meal. HECK NO!!! You can be super creative while eating healthfully, and It’s delicious!! I cook all the time, and the sky is the limit when it comes to healthful eating. And congratulations on your weight loss! You look GREAT!!! and I loved your pics too!! Okay, I’m done. 😀

lola a

Hi D.P. i really enjoyed and was blessed by your posts. I will like to know what kind of meals you eat and what kind of exercises you do .I am trying to eat as healthy as possible for myself and lay a good example for my kids as well.

I actually contacted the site creators about writing a fitspiration article for the website! I participate in a workout/sport called Crossfit, but I started out at my local YMCA running on the treadmill. Then I was introduced to the weight room and I never looked back. I mainly lift weights and do a lot of body type exercises (pulls ups, push ups, jumping etc). I try to maintain a gluten/grain/dairy/excess sugar free diet. I eat a lot of meat and vegetables. I am not perfect however, and I do still find myself sometimes eating fast foods or toast! My workout… Read more »

Awesome job.


I primarily eat chicken and fish regularly. Would adopting a meal plan like you have make any grave difference for me since I am not eating a lot of beef or pork anyways?

first of all, she’s really gorgeous. look at that smile! second of all, GREAT JOB at the weight loss! it’s hard to lose weight! third of all, i recommend cutting out dairy. i personally suffer with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) and cutting out dairy has helped me with my acne. so far i have gained weight because i eat a lot more and it’s my fault, but i think i would have gained even more weight had i continued to eat cheese, milk, and other products with dairy in it. i don’t eat the same foods anymore precisely because of… Read more »

Geri, I too have PCOS and struggle with my weight I find that you have to work out twice as hard to lose weight. Keep doing what works for you. I’ve never noticed any issues with eating dairy but I do have to limit my simple carb intake.

toronto naturalhair meet up. nov 16

Hi Nicole. great job on your accomplishment. that’s a lot of weight loss in just 3months!
It’s good that you’re keeping your diet permanent because I was worried it might just be a temporary.
as for me, I always advocate eating in small portion, as I don’t believe in dieting and food restrictions, unless they are harmful to you.

btw, are you Nigerian, because you look like me :)If you happen tobe Nigerian, I understand your radical diet changes, I started cooking less Nigerian and more western this year, and it’s been working GREAT for me.

Hey Nicole, Great post and great job on your progress!! You go girl!!! Going meatless can be a challenge. I have been living a gluten free and 90ForLife nutritional life style for over a year and also have lost almost 50 lbs with little to no exercise. I am encouraged by your post to go more days withOUT meat. I know from going gluten free that such changes make you feel SO much better. I am in the best shape of my life and I am loving it. If you are ever interested in adding natural supplements to your regimen… Read more »

she should not wait until she’s at a certain weight to exercise. she should do it now. diet is very important, but exercise is too.


I have to agree. Cardio PLUS strength training will get rid of the fat faster.

Bri Bri


Great job and great info! I just finished my grocery shopping and racked up on veggies!!! I have one question. Did you exclude seafood as well on weekdays? I know some do not include seafood as meat so I am curious of your take. Thanks.


Will I be allowed to have coffee while on this dietplan?


Do you ever stir fry your veggies in vegetable oil or canola oil?

Great job on the weight loss too!!! I have a lot of medical issues that prevent me from doing heavy exercise. I do try to get out to walk on the days I feel alright though.

Thanks for the inspiration!!!

- Focusing on weight and not fitness is very bad advice. (Mentally or physically) Sorry to be a party pooper, but this isn’t healthy. Plenty of thin people aren’t healthy. - Carbs aren’t an animal byproduct… Not sure why it’s mentioned in the are you vegan question. - Losing drastic amounts of weight very quickly is also unhealthy. - Mock meats tend to have a large amount of sodium. So it isn’t smart to eat them constantly. Congrats to you! But I must say I’m disappointed in the content in this article. Stories like this keep women staring at scales… Read more »

Shopping Cart