by Caitlin H,
Sep 12, 2022
Name: Denise Vitola
Occupation: Marketing Executive
Meal Plan: Keto-Carb30
Favorite Meal: Swiss Cheese Hamburger and Cream Spinach
Start Date: January 2022
Starting Weight: 202
Pounds Lost: 22
Goal Weight: 172
Activity Level: Group Fitness Instructor: Weight training 5 days a week, spin class 3 days a week, yoga one day a week
When I get a craving, my go-to trick is: Light whipped cream. I eat a couple teaspoons, treat it like it’s ice cream and think, “I just had a real treat.”
My favorite app for tracking weight loss is: myFitnessPal
As a longtime spin instructor and avid weightlifter, Myrtle Beach resident Denise Vitola can attest to just how critical proper nutrition and portion size is to losing weight.
Denise, a 47-year-old marketing executive for a major pharmaceutical company, has been exercising nearly every day for years. She teaches spin classes three days a week, lifts weights five days a week and does yoga one day a week. Despite her incredible fitness level, Denise knew last December that her 202-pound weight meant it was time to make a change.
“I put on my bathing suit because [my husband and I] were going on vacation in January,” she said. “I have string bikinis and the strings were squeezing my sides like a sausage…and I thought, ‘What the heck is going on?’”
She hopped on the scale and made the decision that very moment to make a change.
“I realized I had put on a lot of weight, and I thought, ‘Ok, this ends here,’” she said.
Denise started with Diet-to-Go’s Keto-Carb30 meal plan in January. Since then, she’s lost  pounds and has nearly reached her goal weight of 172.
“I’m very busy,” Denise said. “I don’t have to think about anything with Diet-to-Go. It’s all on paper for me. It tells me, ‘This is what you’re going to eat today.’ You tell me I’m eating chicken for dinner, so I am eating chicken for dinner. And that’s perfect, because I don’t want to think about it.”
Denise said while she always understood proper nutrition and fitness, her biggest struggle with food wasn’t eating healthy — it was eating too much.
“Even though I make healthy food, I overdo it,” she said. “If I make a salad, I’ll eat what you’d make a family of five. Portions are a huge problem for me. This plan shrunk my stomach. The portions are so perfect, that I don’t have to worry. It figures it all out for me.”
Denise added that even when she has bad days, she doesn’t let it get her down or deter her from reaching her goal.
“I travel a lot for work and occasionally pick up gummy bears in airport,” she said. “One day is one day. I’ll say, ‘I fulfilled a craving,’ and I move on. You can’t turn one bad moment into a lifetime of bad moments.”
Denise experienced an especially proud moment at one of her recent gym workouts when a 22-year-old class participant approached her.
“This beautiful girl comes up to me and says, ‘You’re muscular and curvy, and you have the most incredible body,’” Denise said. “It was the cutest little gal with a great body and she’s saying this to me. I was over the moon. I was on Cloud 9 for probably five hours after that.”
Denise said she loves that Diet-to-Go helped her get to that moment with its ease, portion control and high-quality food.
“This is like paint-by-numbers for dieting,” she said. “For people who really struggle to stick with any program, this is the easiest way to lose weight.”
Denise also hopes her success story inspires others to understand that there’s no quick fix and that losing weight takes diligence.
“I don’t like when people compare themselves to others,” she said. “Just pay attention to yourself. Celebrate your small successes. A half pound is a lot. Put in the time, and you’ll get to where you want to go whether your journey is short or long.”
Author: Caitlin H
Diet-to-Go Community Manager
Caitlin is the Diet-to-Go community manager and an avid runner. She is passionate about engaging with others online and maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle. She believes moderation is key, and people will have the most weight loss success if they engage in common-sense healthy eating and fitness.