My weight loss journey at uni: student Oliver Stockton shares his tips
Healthier lifestyle sees Oliver lose 16 stone
BA (Hons) Marketing student Oliver Stockton lost nearly half his body weight through healthy eating and exercise while studying at Solent. We caught up with him to ask about his inspiring story and find out how he transitioned to a healthier lifestyle while balancing student life.
Tell us about your weight loss story
I have always been obsessed with sport and wanted to try, first-hand, sports like boxing and mixed martial arts, but my weight prevented me from doing this. On 7 January 2013, I had just returned back to Southampton after the Christmas break. I decided this would be the day I changed my life. I started tracking calories and on this day, my starting weight was 25st 8.5lbs.
Over the course of two years, I shed my weight down to 14 stone purely with nutrition and no exercise. At this point I decided to join a gym where I lost my remaining 2 stone. My overall weight loss was 13st 8.5lbs and now I feel absolutely incredible. During this time I also achieved a diploma in Nutrition whilst continuing my degree at the University. Since losing this weight, I have also started a health/fitness/nutrition related Instagram which helps keep me focused and motivated.
What was the most challenging part of your journey? How did you overcome it?
The most challenging part of my weight loss journey was following my strict nutrition and fitness plan without it affecting my social life. I overcame this by pre-planning social events and taking the additional time to calculate my macro-nutrition and calories. This helped me ensure I provided my body with enough fuel and energy. I was then able to enjoy time with friends without it affecting my weight or making me feel guilty.
How did uni life affect your journey?
Being at university massively affected my weight loss in a positive way. The independence away from home allowed me to do my own food shopping and cooking. This helped me be more aware and conscious of what I was putting into my food, and identify a lot of my bad food habits. I was then able to cut out the bad habits, which aided my weight loss greatly.
What tips would you give students on how to be healthy on a budget?
I would actually say living healthier and cooking from scratch is considerably cheaper than buying convenience food and takeaways. My top tip is to buy enough ingredients to cook big-batch meals such as bolognese and curry. I did this often where I would spend a few hours cooking and then portion out the food into containers to provide several meals. I would find that I could make around two weeks worth of dinners for around £1 a meal. That cannot be beaten and is considerably better (and tastier!) than any ready meal or convenience food at the local shop.
What tips would you give students on balancing uni work and a healthy lifestyle?
I had the best of both worlds at university. I didn't restrict myself in going out with friends or other social events. I would just make sure to be conscious of what I ate during the day to allow some extra leeway for some treats or drinks. Of course university is also about enjoying yourself too. I would have the occasional complete day off where I wouldn't track calories or worry about eating/drinking. However the following day I would just make sure I got back on my usual eating as if nothing happened.
Oliver is now fulfilling one of his goals to partake in a boxing competition. He’ll be competing in the Ultra White Collar Boxing event this July, and has a created a Just Giving page to raise money for Cancer Research in the lead up to his match.