Losing Over 100 Pounds – What Worked For Me

I lost 110+ pounds in about a year. Although I spend most of my time indoors and my social life pales in comparison to a platypus this didn’t escape notice from some. Although I don’t like particularly talking about my past diet or my health in general, I do realize I wondered how some people in my industry did it. I watched some health talks (some at tech conferences, so that trend has effected me directly) – and the speakers sharing what worked for them, why they did what they did… that helped inspired my changes.

So instead of repeating myself, I wanted to write this quick blog post and point people to it although i’m more than happy to be someone’s source of inspiration or point someone in the right direction.

Warning I shouldn’t have to give: i’m not a doctor or anyone even close to knowing medical things… your doctor should be the one who gives you real advice. In fact, this isn’t advice i’m giving but just things that worked for me. Everybody’s body is different.

Changing My Diet

Before: I was basically consuming half a take-out pizza, some fast food (I wasn’t big on fast food but it was good on the road), bread, pasta, and anything with carbs. On the brighter side: I wasn’t big on deserts or soda. I drank mostly water. I never smoked and was not a heavy or even a moderate drinker. This didn’t keep my weight down however BUT likely saved my body some additional damage.

After: Diet was I think maybe 80% of the reason why I changed and how fast I did it.

  • Stage One: Immediately go low-carb and no processed sugar. I initially still had bananas but eventually worked those out of my diet (natural sugar was still sugar). Made sure I ate some sort of veggies, even if it was a salad, every day. I did this for about five months.
  • Stage Two: Kept going but I gradually lowered my fat intake, ate more veggies. In the end though I discovered the right kind of fat in the right kind of amounts WAS good, so I just made sure if i was taking in fat it was from meat and sources that were “healthy” (coconut butter or oil, steaks or burgers that I cook myself vs getting something at a fast food place).
  • Stage Three: Basically trying to get as close to Keto as possible and tracking myself on an app. This means you eat a certain ratio of fats, proteins, and carbs. 30-50 carbs per day I think is the requirement. For Stage three I was keeping it at 20 or below each day.

For me, I couldn’t either find good pre-made food for Keto or most of it was too expensive. I couldn’t rely on anyone to cook for me, so I was kinda forced to try some Keto recipes for myself. I never cooked much in my life but in my early 40s i’m doing it now. Pizza, cinnamon rolls, brownies, and almond flour bread (which can be made into hamburger buns, etc.) are my favorites. I don’t think I would be as happy or even stayed on my diet if i didn’t learn to cook some dishes. Oh and fat bombs are great. It is amazing what can be made without real sugar and be low carb (sadly things won’t taste like Papa Johns or Wendys, but over time you will actually forget what they tasted like and my desire for them is a memory now).

Exercise

Before: I had a desk job as a computer programmer. I didn’t do any sports and wasn’t active at all. My phone wouldn’t record more than maybe 500 – 1000 steps on a GOOD day for me.

After: I thought I could exercise more and stay low carb (stage one, see above) but I wasn’t losing weight fast enough. I made a goal of 10k steps per day for a year, which i recently accomplished. I did some cardo but it was basically going from no activity to being active. I think that maybe was 10% of the total plan. That’s not alot – diet is the biggest factor for me, but just to be ACTIVE I think improved my mental attitude as well. Still want to regularly work out at a gym someday but time hasn’t allowed me that luxury. But i’m still getting in 10k-12k steps every day, even if i’m still waking up at 5am to do it.

Personally if you were eating as crappy as I was and NOT being active, you might not have to go all “gym and exercise” nuts so don’t let that scare you. Diet is the biggest thing but I never did more than walking (although I did every day).

Fasting

Before: I would literally eat any time I wanted.

After: Once I got maybe six months into my “diet” I was slowing down and then I heard about fasting. I wasn’t a big breakfast eater anyway so I gave it a try. At first it was hard – I wasn’t hungry most days (because by then my body was using my stored fat as energy thanks to Keto) but it was just a mental thing. I *should* be eating. In any case, you work yourself from eating at 2pm and 6pm to eating at 3pm and 5pm… and I got to a point where I ate one meal a day. It takes me about an hour or two to eat, but technically i’m fasting most days now 22 hours on average. Today i’m not fasting as much to lose weight but as much as trying to maintain my weight. And I’ll stop fasting for conferences or special occasions – and as long as i stay on my diet and don’t eat something stupid then I have no withdrawals when i resume fasting. Fasting was 10% of the total plan but it was an important 10%. It really helped push me over the line into “no longer obese” land.

Important to note that there’s little chance of getting all your nutrients on “one meal per day” so I started making sure I took daily vitamins and started using nutritional yeast.

Below is a screenshot of the app I use to track my fasts – Zero.

David Bisset

David is a full-time freelancer who specializes in WordPress (and BuddyPress) for startups, Fortune 500 companies, and everything in between. Organizer of WordCamp Miami for 10+ years.