Weight loss secrets: Aussie size 16 mum Laura Kukulovski who drank 2L of Coke a day loses almost half her body weight | 7NEWS

Three months after welcoming her third child, Aussie mum Laura Kukulovski sat staring at a photo of herself in a nightclub.

It was February 2021, and the dental assistant found herself weighing 94kg and wearing size 16 clothing.

WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Aussie mum of three shows off her incredible weight loss.

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She was “devastated” by how she looked.

Then 30, the mum from Wagga Wagga in NSW, suffered abdominal muscle separation during her C-section, and was now experiencing severe bloating, with her belly bulging.

“I thought they would be nice photos to keep but I was absolutely mortified,” the mum tells 7Life.

“I understand that I had just had a baby, but it was getting to the three-month mark and no weight was shifting – I was really putting more and more on.”

Kukulovski had never struggled with her weight, but as she approached her 30s she found herself getting heavier.

She tried a number of diets but nothing seemed to work.

“There were some keto diets and fasting, I tried all those little things,” says the mum to Jai, 12, Taylor, 10, and Hudson, two.

“And a lot of the food actually irritated my stomach as well.

“I had no idea how I was going to lose the weight.”

She stayed at 88kg for two years before putting a further 9kg on following the arrival of her third baby, Hudson.

“I just felt like I had fat hanging off me everywhere and that there was nothing I could do about it,” she says.

“I honestly didn’t think I was ever going to be skinny again.”

Kukulovski’s diet played a big role in her weight gain.

The mum would often buy takeaway food and, on the occasions she did cook her meals, she would cover them in extras such as cheese or salt.

Most notably, she would often drink two litres of Coke a day.

“It was pretty shocking,” she concedes.

“When I was carrying more weight, it was harder to walk, it was harder to move.

“My body just couldn’t really carry the weight, and I just couldn’t do the things a skinny person could do.

“I felt bloated, full and heavy all the time, which then made me lazy and unmotivated.”

Changing her life

For two years, Kukulovski had been following health, fitness and wellness program The Healthy Mummy on Facebook.

“It was just this massive community of women supporting each other,” she says of the online tools offered to mums wanting to lose baby weight in a healthy and sustainable way.

She had always looked at other mother’s stunning results, but had never subscribed to the program.

But, as she stared at the nightclub photo, she decided it was time to do something about it.

Kukulovski signed up and started by looking at her diet, trying different recipes from the app.

“It’s a lot to take on in the beginning because of the pantry changes, diet changes and that’s why I did it quite slowly,” she says.

The mum held off on trying to improve her exercise until later in her journey, fearing it would be too much all at once.

“I knew that if I was overwhelmed and had too much to do then I wouldn’t do it,” she says.

“So I started with my food.”

She says she was taught how to portion her meals and to balance out the ingredients put in the dish.

“You never go hungry and that is the most important thing,” she says.

“There are no restrictions – you can still have chocolate, you can still have bread and pastas.”

She swapped out staple ingredients, like white flour, for healthier alternatives, such as wholemeal.

Kukulovski also implemented meal prepping, saving her and her family money.

“You’ll make like a base meal, like a shepherd’s pie, and you turn that into three different meals for the week,” she says.

Getting fit

After Kukulovski had her diet under control she began working out.

“I wasn’t very fit, I couldn’t breathe very well,” the mum says, adding that Pilates helped her build lean muscle and tone her body.

She also began working out for 30 minutes as part of a ‘28 days stronger’ program.

“When I started doing the exercises, that’s when (the weight) started to melt off,” she says.

Within six months of overhauling her unhealthy lifestyle, Kukulovski lost 24.4kg.

And by September 2022, she reached her goal weight of 60kg.

“I do feel better about myself and I do feel more confident and more able to go out and do the things that I want to do,” she says.

“I definitely have a lot more energy and can do a lot more than I used to be able to do.”

But her weight loss didn’t stop there.

In February 2023, she surpassed her goal, and now weighs 55kg and wears size 8.

She is 39kg lighter than when she started.

“I wasn’t really expecting to lose any more weight,” she says.

“I was being more active, so I guess that’s where that little bit extra came off. (It) has really made me feel better.”

Despite the mum’s changed diet and fitness regime, she hasn’t restricted herself.

“I still enjoy having a Coke, I haven’t cut any of the things that I do enjoy, I just don’t have it all the time,” she explains.

“You can have those things, as long as you can count it into your calories for the day.”

She says the online community has helped her on her journey.

“There’s always someone willing to give advice,” she says.

“Even if you’re having a bad day in general, there’s always someone listening.”

Diet before

Breakfast: Usually miss breakfast and just have an energy drink

Lunch: Kebab with lots of cheese and sour cream, KFC, subway, pies, sausage rolls

Dinner: Take away, jar sauces for meals, hot chips, left a lot of vegetables out of the dishes

Dessert: Ice cream, chocolates, cakes, lollies, toast loaded with chocolate spread

Any snacks: Chips, chocolate, MacDonald’s, cookies

Drinks: Coke, Mother, Redbull, sugary juice, cordial

Diet after

Breakfast: Healthy Mummy smoothie, or one of the breakfast bowls or muffins

Lunch: Rice paper rolls, BLT, a light salad, usually a Caesar type salad

Dinner: Three pot meals from The Healthy Mummy app such as butter chicken, savoury mince, chicken mince stir-fry

Dessert: Apple pie mug cups, chocolate dipped bananas, simple panna cotta

Any Snacks: Garlic and rosemary roasted nuts

Drinks: Water, occasional no sugar soft drink

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