How I lost 12kg in 100 days

This is neither an advertisement nor clickbait. Otherwise, the headline would read “How I lost 12kg and got a six-pack in 7 days without lifting a finger”.

I’m just writing my personal experience in going from 102kg on June 2 to just below 90kg on Sept 9. That’s a total of 100 days.

Basically, I just did what most weight loss plans tell you to do but with some adjustments on the advice of my son Johan who is a fitness buff.

Body-toning, muscular arms or six-pack abs were never part of the plan. It was only to shed some extra kilos as I was “heavily pregnant” and it was taking a toll on my body (and looks).

Also, there is no scientific evidence this will work for everyone. I can only vouch that it works for me. See? I told you I’m not selling anything.

It all boils down to calorie-counting.

First, I had to set a realistic target. You cannot attain Jason Momoa’s physique in three to six months, especially if you have been obese like me for the past 25 years.

All I wanted was to get reasonably fit so I don’t become immobile in years to come as I am already past 60 now.

Actually, I set four targets. I’ve already achieved the first two – go below 95kg, and then below 90kg. The next target is 87kg. My final target is 85 kg.

Of course, maintaining my weight will be another hurdle but I’ll worry about that later.

My plan allows me to eat whatever I want. This is based on Johan’s unorthodox belief that it’s not what and when you eat but how much you eat. He keeps telling me: “I’ll see you at 85” (that is what he weighs but then he’s taller and muscular).

He told me I could even eat before bedtime, but that’s where I pulled the brakes on his bright ideas. He cannot be smarter than me. As such, I hardly ever have late meals.

Counting calories has worked wonders for me. Be it a banana leaf rice meal or a carb-free grilled fish dish, I will know how many calories I can spare.

There are many apps which can help with calorie-counting. I use MyFitnessPal. It’s a rough guide but good enough as I also record the meals I take, so I can gauge where and when I am overeating.

The app calculates for me how many calories I can consume a day based on how much weight I want to lose each week. I started with 0.75kg. I also record my daily weight.

In the first five weeks, I incorporated intermittent fasting. I would eat only from noon to 8pm and fast for the rest of the 16 hours. It was tough for the first week but I was determined and adapted well. I’m not bragging but Ramadan will be a breeze next year. Ahem!

I then took a 10-day break (yes, breaks are allowed, according to my sifu Johan). But it was not a total break. It was weight maintenance. At 96kg, I had already lost 6kg in the first five weeks. So, I ate a little more but didn’t go into celebratory mode.

After that it was back to intermittent fasting until the 11th week when Johan appeared shocked one day. “What? The intermittent fasting was only for the first few weeks to let you get used to dieting. You eat whenever you want lah. Just keep counting the calories.” I could have strangled him. Why didn’t he tell me that earlier?

Anyway, I was so used to those hours of noon to 8pm that I didn’t stray much. I do have an early lunch or late dinner sometimes but I still fast for at least 13 or 14 hours daily.

I also have cheat days once a while. Believe me; I do it with a heavy heart because it sets me back by two or three days. But at the same time, I don’t get bored with the dieting as there’s a break. So there are pros and cons.

Then there’s the inseparable twin of dieting – exercise.

I have tried losing weight several times over the years. The results were never promising because I mostly just dieted or exercised but never both. Any ill-conceived plan is doomed from the start.

This time, however, exercising has been my “cheat mode”. My calorie-counting doesn’t make allowance for calories lost via exercise. That is why I sometimes lose a little more than the scheduled 0.75kg a week.

I started with short brisk walks. I was a shambles in terms of fitness since I had been gorging food relentlessly without much movement for a few weeks. That period was aptly called Movement Control Order. I struggled to walk 30 minutes for the first two weeks. Then it got easier.

A few weeks ago, I took out the exercise bicycle which had been gathering dust for a few years. Now I cycle on most days. Regardless of what exercise, I never exceed a total of one hour daily. That’s because I am not in a 100m race against Usain Bolt. If I am impatient, I’ll never see the finish line.

Over the past five weeks, I have also been doing some light resistance training on alternate days. Just 10 minutes each time. That’s to build a bit of muscle to replace the fat loss, I guess.

I also invested in a digital weighing machine. Why digital? Because it shows me more accurately whether I lost only 100gm or half a kilo, or if I added a bit because of overeating.

OTHER TIPS

  • Sip water regularly throughout the day. I don’t know if water can kill the coronavirus but it sure helps to clean the body of impurities. It also keeps me sort of full so I don’t feel too hungry. Plus it’s zero calories.
  • Don’t overdo things whether dieting or exercising. You might end up with gastric or injuring yourself. Pace yourself. The results will show eventually.
  • When walking, remember you are not at the pasar malam. It has to be at a brisk pace so you actually sweat.

CONCLUSION

There’s nothing new about most of what I have written. The biggest and most important tools are discipline, determination and having a purpose (as if you didn’t already know that).

I am now on another break, so I’ll try to maintain my weight at 90kg to 91kg for about a week before I “reboot” to head towards my next target.

My journey is far from over as that flab is more attached to me than my kids ever will be. Some abdominal exercises might help but I’m lazy with that. Hehehe. Let me consult the wise one, Johan.

I think my ideal weight would be 75kg. But that’s not my target. I’d be asking too much of myself.

I always tell friends: “It’s easy to lose weight. I’ve done it so many times.” What I don’t tell them (but they know) is that I have always added back those few kilos in double-quick time.

I’ll try to succeed this time. See you at 85, Johan.

If you have weight issues, it is best to consult a medical practitioner. I did get some basic advice from a doctor before going on my weight loss regime.