How I lost 30 lbs in 71 days

Article by Carl Derving | Founder & CEO of Jacqd

What I am about to share with you is no secret. There was no magic pill, no special fad diet, no crazy amount of exercise. It was simply a case of setting realistic goals and monitoring them.

This picture was taken on May 31st and it shocked me into starting my diet the next day. I say diet but when you hear the word 'diet', people automatically think you have to stop eating regular food and eat rabbit (vegetable and salad) food. You really don't need to.

My diet started June 1st and my wedding day was set as October 3rd. I weighed 18st 4lb (256 lbs) and my target weight was 14st 7lb (203 lbs). This meant that I had to lose 53 lbs in 125 days, which was roughly 3 lbs a week. This is a good number and any more than that is unhealthy in my opinion.

Now that I had my goal of 53 lbs in 125 days, I set myself mini goals, which just happened to be weekly ones. If I could lose 3 lbs every week, in just under 18 weeks I would have met my target weight of 203 lbs.

The first thing I did was document these weekly targets in a spreadsheet, so I could record my progress. My background is in accounting, so I am pretty big on spreadsheets as they have been a big part of my career.

If I lost more than 3 lbs in one week, it meant that I didn't need to lose as much the following week, but my plan was not to mess around with slacking. My goal was 3 lbs per week and anything more was a bonus which I banked and could use in future weeks, when the weight did not shift so quickly and I can tell you that this will happen. It gets harder as you get slimmer, as your body starts to fight back. 

The first thing I did on Day 1 after weighing myself, was think about what I could do to lose weight. I could eat less, eat healthier, start exercising or do a combination of all of these things. As I had 18 weeks to do this in and I didn't want to shock my body too much, I chose to eat healthier.

While in lock-down, I was going to the Fish & Chip shop most days for lunch. On top of this, I was eating around 3 takeaway meals a week for dinner. Most nights I would drink nearly a bottle of red wine while eating a large chocolate bar, sat in front of the TV. 

So from Day 1, the Fish & Chips lunch went completely and I swapped this for healthier options such as grilled bacon, scrambled eggs and baked beans. Some days even Super Noodles, which are still a lot healthier than fried fish and chips.

The next thing to go was the 3 takeaway meals a week. This was reduced down to 1 and that is now on a Friday night as a treat. Also on a Friday night is the red wine and a chocolate bar, which is now a small one. I no longer drink alcohol or eat chocolate more than once a week.

One thing that was bothering me and concerning other people around me, was my soda intake. I love fizzy drinks and were most of them have lots of sugar and calories, Pepsi Max apparently has neither. I can easily go through 2 to 3 litres a day and I prefer this to water.

This is the one thing that I never gave up as it keeps me hydrated throughout the day and this is another important thing for weight loss. You can tell when you are hydrated because your urine is clear and that I believe is absolutely key for losing weight. Some people may say that drinking Pepsi Max will make it harder for you to lose weight and you should drink water, but this has not hindered my progress and so I continue to drink it each day. 

What did I do next you may wonder? Did I do loads of exercise? No, not really. I did no formal exercise. I didn't go the gym and I didn't go out running or jogging. I did do a few miles of walking each night initially. After dinner, my partner and I would take the children on a circular walk that was probably no more than 3 miles. We did this for about two months and it probably helped but I don't believe it was that significant.

The key for me in losing that 30 lbs, was mostly down to the cutting out of unhealthy food. Some weeks I lost 4 or 5 lbs and some other weeks I only lost 1 or 2 lbs, but overall I was losing 3 lbs a week on average. The important thing to focus on was my week to date target and as you can see from the tracker (below), I was dead on target the week ending August 9th.

If you look at the following 2 weeks, you will see that I hit a plateau and to be fair, I was expecting this. Before, I mentioned that your body will fight back. I strongly believe that everybody has an ideal body weight and this is not the one they want but the one their body sets. For 2 weeks, what was once working, had now stopped and to be fair, I should have got a handle on this after the first week, but I let it slide for another week.

So now what? This is where we now start to take it up a notch. I need to lose 23 lbs in just over 5 weeks.

On August 24th, I joined my local Pure Gym and plan to go 5 days a week for around 30 - 45 minutes each session. My focus is on weight training and some cardio. Believe it or not, weight training probably burns more calories than cardio and it is more enjoyable in my opinion.

Today (August 25th), I weighed myself and had lost 1 lb. So I am hoping to lose more than 3 lbs a week now, in order to reach my overall goal and catch up on the 6 lbs I've missed over the last 2 weeks.

If you take anything away from this story, let it be this. If you are unhappy with your weight and want to start to lose it, start with improving your diet. It's not about what you eat but how much of it you eat. Set one day a week as a day you can eat what you want (within reason) and always keep your body hydrated with something that does not contain calories and sugar.

Don't worry too much about exercise or going to the gym. Start off with going out for a walk and if you do want to go to the gym, don't be worried about what others may think inside the gym. Most people in the gym are not bodybuilders. They are there to lose weight and to keep healthy and many were likely overweight once and have put in a lot of hard work inside that gym to look the way they do now. Now it is your turn to do the same.

To be continued...


Article by Carl Derving | Founder & CEO of Jacqd

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