How I Lost 40 Pounds Without Dieting (2021)


Nagina Abdullah


October 1, 2020

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Want to lose 40 pounds?

After all, losing 40 pounds would mean so much — feeling great in your body, not hiding in a bikini on the beach, and getting more energy to focus on the things you love.

Here’s how I lost 40 pounds without dieting or spending hours at the gym (and you can, too).

weight loss transformation

Want to learn more? Read on! 

Want to lose 40 pounds?

Get your own downloadable Sweet Spice Cheat Sheet PDF with the sweet spice that helps you boost your metabolism and lose weight. Bonus: A fat-burning recipe that will help you melt off your belly fat.

I lost 40 pounds without dieting… Here’s how. 

When I was in my mid-thirties, I was heavier than ever. With two toddlers and a stressful managerial job, I realized that I HAD to do something about my weight and health. 

I just couldn’t keep up if I was constantly yo-yo dieting and eating foods that made me feel tired and sluggish. The thing was, I didn’t feel like I was fully present when I spent time with my kids and at work, I didn’t always perform like I knew I could.

At the same time, the insecurity I felt about my weight kept me back in so many ways. 

Every time I went to the beach, I wouldn’t take my cover-up off and I kept myself from enjoying myself. A bikini was unthinkable. I wouldn’t swim, I wouldn’t play with my kids. I felt exhausted just by the thought of doing any water sports. 

And whenever I gave a presentation at work, I felt like I couldn’t wear fitted dresses or tight shirts because, well, belly and back fat.

I’d look at my old clothes that were still hanging in my closet and think, “If only I could fit into them one day.”

nagina abdullah
Now, a few years later, I feel comfortable and at ease wearing all types of clothes.

Nothing seemed to work for me!

It wasn’t like I hadn’t tried anything.

I had — for years. I had tried every diet under the sun. And while they did help me lose weight, I would gain it back (and more) within a few months. 

For lasting results, I knew I didn’t want to sign up for one of those extremely restrictive diets that make you count every crumb. I also didn’t want to use unhealthy dietary supplements — I wanted a solution that would help me lose weight sustainably… And keep it off. 

I couldn’t radically change my lifestyle. How would I have been able to make food for myself and then for my family… all while keeping down my 9-5?

Also, I didn’t have the time or energy to spend hours at the gym. I had to find a better way. 

How I finally lost my extra weight (and kept it off)

Finally, I was triggered to start researching different ways to lose weight. 

After a lot of trial and error, I found the perfect combination of weight-loss friendly foods and a system that helped me keep my weight off for good. 

Within nine months, I had lost 40 pounds. The best part? Years later, that weight hasn’t come back. 

And the difference it made to my life is remarkable. 

Today, I have so much more energy than I used to. 

Every day this past summer, I, together with my kids and husband, have been jumping off our diving board and gone swimming. Together, we go on hikes, ski, swim, and do all kinds of fun and active things together. And I never feel uncomfortable in a bikini or a fitted dress. 

paragliding with family
Me and my son parasailing, something we love doing but I would not have felt comfortable doing just a few years ago.

I feel so free! I feel like I’m on vacation every day in my own body. 

A pretty great side benefit of losing that weight? 

hiking with kids
I took my kids rock climbing!

With the right diet and lifestyle, I finally had the energy to start a side business, MasalaBody. Over the years, I’ve grown this to a multiple 6-figure business.

And to this day, I’ve helped hundreds of women lose weight through personal weight loss coaching

For example, my client Anjali successfully lost 40 pounds and completely changed her emotional eating patterns. 

You see, as a Vice President of a bank, Anjali didn’t have too much extra time.

But within four weeks of implementing my program she had flattened her stomach. Three weeks later, she had lost 15 pounds and over the next few months, she went on to lose 25 pounds. 

Anjali lost weight

You can read more about Anjali’s story here. 

Why it’s so important that you take action NOW 


You probably know just how many studies there are that show the benefits of losing weight.

A quick recap…

Losing weight will help you avoid plenty of health risks, such as high blood pressure and diabetes. You will reduce heartburn, knee pain, improve your sexual function, and become more energized. You’ll sleep better (study). And you’ll improve your self-image (study). 

The good news?

Studies show that even a modest weight drop helps you avoid many of these worst-case scenarios.

A study published in Cell Metabolism shows that losing five percent of your body weight can help you lower your blood pressure and improve your insulin sensitivity. 

Other studies show that a 10% weight drop can help you lower LDL cholesterol, insulin, and triglycerides. A modest weight loss can also help you decrease the risk of suffering a heart attack.

In other words:

If you lose 40 pounds, that will have huge benefits on your health. 

That said, it’s easy to think you’ll start losing weight “one day.” Here’s why you should get started right now instead of pushing it off to a distant future. 

Women who didn’t take action regret it later in life 

I talk to so many women in their fifties, sixties, and seventies who didn’t lose weight. Now, they’re on blood pressure and blood sugar medication and they are prediabetes or they have diabetes. Basically, their whole life is based around giving themselves insulin shots. 

And here’s the thing…

If they would have lost weight earlier, they wouldn’t have to go through this. 

They look back at pictures of themselves from the last 30-40 years. And they feel like they hate looking at their pictures from the past three decades because of those extra 40-60 pounds. They look back and they feel such remorse and regret that they didn’t enjoy themselves at that time. 

Ultimately, losing weight is completely possible — even if you’ve struggled with your weight for years. 

Take my client Heather, an entrepreneur and mom who lost 13 pounds in eight weeks. She went on to lose 42 pounds and created a lifestyle that helps her lose more pounds every year. 

weight loss client female

Before, she used to struggle with restrictive diet-culture methods that ended up being temporary quick-fixes that didn’t last. Plus, they just required too much of her time.

Heather told me:

“I love savory foods, spices and flavor, and was burned out on programs like the 4-Hour Body that were just bland and didn’t work in real life or in the long run. I found with your method, I actually spent LESS TIME in the kitchen than I was used to, and the fat was “melting” within the first two weeks!”

And this is someone who had struggled with losing weight for such a long time!

Want to lose 40 pounds?

Get your own downloadable Sweet Spice Cheat Sheet PDF with the sweet spice that helps you get off of sugar. (You also get my late-night sweet & slimming tea recipe!)

My strategies have helped busy women lose 40 pounds and beyond and melt off their belly fat.

Don’t lose your weight too fast

That said, you shouldn’t lose your weight so fast that it bounces right back on.

So if you’re thinking “I want to lose 40 pounds in 60 days,” think again.

Losing 1-2 pounds per week is safe, according to the CDC. But faster weight loss can actually be bad for your health. According to research, you risk malnutrition, muscle loss, as well as a drop in metabolism. 

The study looked into how Biggest Loser participants had been able to keep off their weight. And it showed that they had in fact regained their weight within six years. Their metabolism had also slowed down, which made it difficult to lose weight in the long-term. 

With this in mind, what’s a good way to lose weight?

That’s what we’ll look at next. 

How to lose 40 pounds and keep it off 

Want to lose weight for good? 

There are NO “quick fix” diets.

Sure, they sound compelling… Do this one simple thing and you will magically lose weight.

But if that thing doesn’t work for your lifestyle, it will be hard to stick to it in the long-term. 

You should pick an approach that isn’t restrictive and that lets you live your life, while you’re losing weight. THAT’s the secret to lasting results, and the strategy I’ve personally used to keep off my extra 40 pounds of weight for years. 

How foods help you lose weight

The food you eat has a huge impact on your ability to lose weight and your health. 

A study of almost 80,000 participants showed that those participants who followed a Mediterranean-like diet (rich in vegetables, fruits, fish, and oils) had a reduced risk for suffering from weight-related health issues. 

Processed foods, on the other hand, make it harder to lose weight.

That’s also why I focus heavily on food in my weight-loss programs. More specifically, my meal plans focus on two things:

  • Metabolism-boosting foods. 
  • Easy recipes that are simple to integrate into your life. 

I work with busy professional women and one thing that these women don’t have is time. So their weight-loss plan has to fit into their schedules so that they follow the steps almost without thinking about it. And that’s why the right food is so important. 

Some of the foods that help you boost your metabolism include (but not limited to — there are hundreds of other foods you can eat and simultaneously lose weight): 

Lentils, beans, peas, and chickpeas

Research shows that eating one serving a day of lentils, beans, peas, and chickpeas can contribute to modest weight loss. Study participants felt fuller after eating these pulses than other dinners. They also helped to reduce bad cholesterol. 


Studies have found that nuts can reduce weight gain. They are rich in energy, good fats, protein, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals and they can keep you full for longer. Nuts also have other benefits, as they’re associated with healthy aging and memory function. 


Salmon is a fish that helps you keep up a healthy diet while losing weight. It contains Omega 3 fats, which help burn fat. 


Who said that food that helps you lose weight has to be bland? No way! Plenty of studies show how spices (like turmeric, cinnamon, and cumin) help you lose weight — while making your food tasty and delicious. 

green salad

(The foods YOU eat depend on your dietary restrictions and other individual circumstances. In my program Slim Down Transformation, we tailor the program to each participant. Our plans are gluten-free and are based on a low-glycemic diabetics diet. We have vegan and vegetarian specific plans and frameworks.)

But the food you eat is just part of the solution.

You also need to have the right information and support at hand. 

That’s what we’ll look at next. 

How to not let plateaus keep you back 

One of the main reasons why people fail to lose weight, be it 40 pounds or 100 pounds?


When you’re losing weight, there are going to be ups and downs. You WILL hit plateaus where you have to do something different to keep losing weight. 

Most women will give up when they plateau.

They think… 

“I’m not meant to lose this weight”, “It’s not worth it to have to work so hard with no results” or “I’m meant to be in this overweight body…”

But that’s simply not true. 

You just have to make a change that you don’t know to make. 

If you have an expert who supports you and knows what to change and when, you will get through these plateaus. This person guides you and tells you exactly what to change. 

The result? You reach your dream weight. 

In fact, research shows that support is key to losing weight. 

In my own program, Slim Down Transformation, I have a nine-step plateau busting process.

It’s a science-backed process, which has been tested and perfected by over 500 women, with a checklist of what to change first, second, third, and all the way to nine. 

Most women don’t even have to get to the ninth change. Instead, they only have to do two or three of these things to bust through their plateau. 

Something else that has a significant impact on weight loss is having a community.

In my own program, we have a Facebook group and live interactive phone calls where women share their progress, support each other, and ask questions. It’s so valuable to see other women going through the exact same thing you’re working through! 

Want to lose 40 pounds?

Get your own downloadable Sweet Spice Cheat Sheet PDF with the sweet spice that helps you get off of sugar. (You also get my late-night sweet & slimming tea recipe!)

My strategies have helped busy women lose 40 pounds and beyond and melt off their belly fat.

What helped these four women to lose their extra weight

Hundreds of my students have successfully lost weight. Here are just a few clients who achieved their dream weight thanks to my weight-loss strategies. The best part? They’ve successfully kept off their weight (or continued to lose weight). 

Sarah – Lost 34 lbs

My student Sarah, a physician and mom, had put on 25 lbs. She knew things had to change, but the things she had tried in the past hadn’t worked. After giving it a bit of thought, she joined my program and ended up losing 34 pounds. 

She even said:

“I honestly can’t believe that I am upset to be at the last week of your program (who says that when they are losing weight?!). I have tried so many times to lose weight (some with success) but your program is one that I have actually enjoyed doing!”

Pamela – Lost 40 lbs

Pamela, one of my clients in her 60s, lost 40 pounds JUST by changing her diet. Within five months, she had lost a total of 50 pounds. And within seven months, she had lost 70 pounds. And now? She’s lost a total of 100 pounds! (Yes — at the age of 60.)

Pam is also a diabetic, which makes her weight-loss journey a bit more demanding. But she told me: 

“Being a diabetic I use your recipes and if there is something I can’t eat – I substitute, no big deal!”

Pamela health coaching client

Shilpi – Lost 50 lbs

Shilpi, one of my star students, lost 29 pounds during my program. She then went on to use my strategies in her everyday life. Ultimately, she lost 50 pounds.

The reason she was able to do this when she had gone through so many programs that didn’t work? She could easily integrate my strategies so that they worked for her lifestyle.

shilpi weight loss client

Tree – Lost 20 pounds

Tree is a busy professional woman, who works 12+ hours at a Fortune 500 company. When she joined my program, she was at her heaviest weight ever. 

But thanks to non-restrictive weight-loss methods, her weight started melting off. 

And within three weeks, she fit back into her size 4 jeans (after three years of not fitting into them). She ended up losing 20 pounds WITHOUT going to the gym AND while eating chocolate cake.

weight loss client tree
Want to lose 40 pounds? 

Get your own downloadable Sweet Spice Cheat Sheet PDF with the sweet spice that helps you get off of sugar. (You also get my late-night sweet & slimming tea recipe!)

My strategies have helped busy women lose 40 pounds and beyond and melt off their belly fat.

Want to start losing 40 pounds today? 

There you have it. Now you know WHY you need to lose 40 pounds… And how to do it. 

What it comes down to is taking consistent action and doing things that work with YOUR life and goals. 

Now I’d love to know:

Why do you want to lose 40 pounds?

Let me know in the comments below!

Avatar photo

Nagina Sethi Abdullah, BA, MBA

Nagina Abdullah is a health coach for middle-aged women and professionals. She coaches women to boost their metabolism naturally, shed pounds and keep them off. Her work with weight loss clients led to the creation of Masala Body, an online weight loss platform that provides an easy and accessible system that helps women sustainably lose weight. She has helped over 1200 women successfully lose from 10-80 lbs and create a sustainable lifestyle change. Nagina earned her degree in Molecular and Cell Biology from UC Berkeley.

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