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How I lost over 6kgs in a month (without paying a cent)

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I read in my blog reader today a post on Zen Habits entitled The Simplest Diet. It basically outlined Leo’s vegan diet which helps him stay lean. It reminded me of the success stories of Jenny Craig or Lite n’ Easy. Or those sensationalist diets that you hear about on those bastions of current affairs – Today Tonight and A Current Affair.

Well I would like to share with you my success story, and how I got there. Now, it must be said, I’m still in the middle of my diet, and I have a long way to go. But one month in, I’m enjoying it, and have no plans on breaking.

At the start of the year, I made a new years resolution to lose some weight. I weighed in on January 1, and saw a sight that I had always sworn I would never see. My weight was 100.1kgs. I had never thought of myself as obese, but this had gotten out of hand. I needed to do something about it, and I needed to act fast. Thankfully, my wife was more than willing to help out, wanting to lose some weight herself. So she went out and bought this awesome cook book, Crunch Time Cookbook by Michelle Bridges (of The Biggest Loser Australia). That was one of the big changes that we made, was that our dinners – since the start of January – have mostly come from that book. There’s been the odd time when we haven’t had dinner from there due to extenuating circumstances, but overall we try to eat healthy.

One of the big things that I’ve realised through this cook book is that you don’t need a lot of meat to feel full. For example, one meal that we make, Mustard Steak with steamed veggies, calls for 220g rump steak. Now before the diet, I would have considered that enough for one person, but no – that’s enough for two serves!

But we don’t miss out on eating though – we don’t starve. We have lots of stir-fries, in particular one that we love is a Mixed vegetable stir-fry with oyster sauce. Now I probably would have thought that having no veggies in it, the meal would be a bit light on. But no – it’s actually the vegetables that fill you up. This stir-fry feels particularly filling because you’ve got chunks of broccoli which really give the stir fry some bulk.

Our lunches too have become healthier. I generally will limit myself to a very simple sandwich – peanut butter, nutella, lemon butter or jam. Liesl will have a bit more variety, but we’ve found that the pre-made Caesar salads that you get from Coles are really tasty, and light on calories. Fantastic!

We also try to drink a lot of water, and are drinking Green Tea as well, as that’s supposed to increase your metabolism and help you lose weight.

I have also cut out most soft drink. I started saying I would have none, but over time I’ve realised that sometimes it’s ok to treat yourself. But when I do have one, I now have the smaller size instead of the 600ml bottles. Even still, I have cut down significantly from the 4 or 5 bottles a week that I used to have.

In terms of exercise, I generally do at least half an hours stepping on the Wii fit each morning. Some mornings, if I have time, I might choose to do laps in our pool. In the evenings, when we can Liesl and I will go for a walk, which is great because not only do we get some exercise in, but we also get a good block of time to catch up and chat.

So, if you’re looking to lose weight, here’s some tips:

  • Start exercising, and use what’s available to you. You don’t need to go out and buy a gym subscription, or a whole heap of fancy weights or stuff. Just use what’s available. If you have a Wii fit, do the free stepping while watching TV. If not, go for a walk. It’s simple, and really effective.
  • Lose the bad food. We’ve stopped going to Fast food places, and that’s helped a lot. We’ve also stopped having soft drink, and chocolate. We have the odd bit of bad stuff every now and then, but it generally isn’t more regular than once a week.
  • Eat healthy. The biggest piece of advice is to figure out what you actually should be eating. Three quarters of your plate should be veggies, with half the plate being green leafy vegetables, and one-quarter of the plate being low-GI veggies such as sweet potato or cauliflower. The rest should be lean protein – fish, chicken breast, lean red meat. Try as best you can to cut off the fat.

So that’s it. I’ll post every now and then about how I’m going, but after one month, having lost 6kgs, I’m over a quarter of the way to my goal.

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