How I lost 50 Pounds in Three Months

  • Comments: 28
  • Written on: March 25th, 2011

In November of 2010 I turned 34 years old and I was as heavy as I had ever been.  On a lark one morning I stepped on the scale and I weighed in at 260.2.

For the first time ever I weighed more than 260 pounds and something inside me snapped.  I decided that morning I was going to lose weight, I was going to lose it as quickly as possible and I was going to do whatever I needed to do to get there.

A Simple Equation

A few years ago I was a member of a local gym where I had a personal trainer.  It obviously didn’t last, but there was one simple equation he gave me that has stuck in my head.

He told me that weight loss is a simple equation.  Take your calories in, subtract the calories you burn and to lose weight the balance remaining needs to be less than what your body naturally burns to maintain its self.

When I was at the gym, and analysis said it took 2,100 calories a day to maintain my current weight at that time.

For me, my simple equation was that to lose weight I needed to cut my calories to at least 1,900 a day.  So I did.

In the first week I had the usual 10 pound instant drop as my body adjusted to fewer carbohydrates and less food volume.  Encouraging, but we all know that is not real weight loss.  One big meal and you get it all back.  I decided to keep going.

Increasingly Harder to Lose Weight

One of the nasty little things about losing weight is that as your body gets smaller you require fewer calories to maintain your body weight.  After losing about 25 pounds I plateaued and had to cut my calories again to about 1,600 a day.

It wasn’t too tough to cut from 2,100 to 1,900.  I wasn’t really hungry all the time.  It was more of a willpower cut.  I just had to decide not to eat the fast food, not eat in my car, and cut portions down.

Cutting from 1,900 to 1,600 is a different story altogether.  My body was wise to the plan now and it responded with lower energy levels and hunger at times.

The craziest thing is that before then I couldn’t remember the last time I had been physically HUNGRY.  That is a testament to the world around us, but that is another topic all together.

As the days turned into weeks I started losing weight again and soon crossed the 30-pounds lost threshold.

Enter Supplementation

I could handle the hunger at times, but the energy loss was crushing to me.  I am a workaholic and I move as fast as I can all the time.  I stand for about half of my day working in Schrock Innovations‘ Service Centers.

One afternoon I was in a gas station getting a fountain drink and on a lark I decided to try a Five Hour Energy shooter.  I was amazed at the results.

Understand that 5 Hour Energy is not a weight loss product.  It is marketed as a substitute for your morning coffee.  If you look at the ingredients it is loaded with tons of amino acid and b vitamins and a small amount of caffeine.  Maybe it was the placebo effect, but for $3.00 a shot, it kept me moving and helped me cross the 40-pound threshold.

What Was I Eating?

Cutting calories did require me to make some dietary changes, but not as many ass you would think.  In the beginning I was militant about what I ate, but as I lost the weight I experimented with the foods I previously denied myself and found that if I moderated or borrowed calories from one day to use in the next day my long-term goal was still achieved.

The biggest dietary changes included:

  • No French Fries
  • Ate Panera’s BBQ Chop Chicken Salad almost daily (550 calories and very filling)
  • Qdoba naked burritos with salsa were good for variety (great online calorie calculator)
  • 2 Packets of Quaker Oatmeal every morning for breakfast (about 300 calories)
  • Daily Centrum multi-vitamin
  • (2) 5-Hour Energy shooters daily (careful, not too close to bed time)

The last 10 Pounds

It took me longer than expected to drop pounds 40-50.  Because I was not working out while I was cutting calories I did see some muscle loss.

In an effort to push the loss further I cut calories again to about 1,200.  That was a mistake.  I was tired all the time, moody, and the cravings for prohibited food were brutal.

On top of that, if I went over 1,200 one day – say a nice dinner out with my wife – making those calories up the next day means cutting below 1,000 calories.

On top of everything the increased effort and challenge was not resulting in additional weight loss.  I returned to 1,500 – 1,600 calories a day and slowly – almost imperceptibly – dropped to around 210 pounds.

What is Next?  Do You Want to Lose More?

The funny thing about losing weight is that while you are losing it you are obsessed with the scale.  Once it is gone you almost feel that “ok, now what” feeling.

I am 5′ 8″ and at 210 pounds I am still technically obese.  I would like to get down to 175 – 185 pounds eventually, but additional losses are proving increasingly difficult.

One month after hitting 210 pounds I have ventured as low as 204 and weighed in today at 206.  I think I may have to dust off the treadmill to get my body losing again.

What’s Your Weight Loss Story?

Do you have any hints or tips for me?  Share your story below.  I appreciate the tips!

  1. John said on March 25th, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    Ok… I lost a good bit of weight in a very short amount of time – maybe faster than is normally healthy for weight loss. Like 40 pounds in 4-6 weeks. For me, I just had to cut out wheat protein (gluten) because it was messing with my digestion & metabolism.

    Simple formula, calories in > calories out, right? Well, if you’re like I was and sleeping most of the day because you’re sick & tired, you can’t really burn any calories. So when I stopped eating gluten I probably actually increased my calories by at least 1000 per day, immediately, because I wasn’t nauseous and exhausted anymore.

    Now, even though I was still eating a lot of fried meat and potatoes, most of the the starch and sugar just vanished from my diet. No more bread, no more chips, no more fast food – just un-processed meat, vegetables & herbs & roots, butter, and olive oil. There’s something about that combination of steak and spinach that makes all that potential energy available, so my body temperature and metabolic output have been running on high.. Conversely, sugars trigger insulin production, and that hormone basically tells your body to stop building muscle and store fat instead. From what I’ve researched, this is an odd adaptation unique to humans and just a few other mammals, and it is basically designed to help us get fat off of fruit when it is available, so that we can live off stored energy during the winter. Problem is, the grocery store still has bananas and pineapples and pears all year round, so there’s no such thing as out of season anymore. Instead, we add sugar to just about everything, even things that aren’t too sweet to begin with!

    It’s been 5 years for me on this diet, and the biggest problem I’ve had is trying to gain some weight back. I’m even trying to aim for 3000+ calories and lifting weights every day (alternating upper & lower body muscle groups) but the most I have accomplished is adding back 5 pounds of muscle for a grand total of 160 5’11 (pretty dang skinny for someone trying to lift & gain!) Of course, finding gluten-free food is occasionally tough when I’m on the go, but it has gotten easier as I learn more about it and word about gluten intolerance spreads through the various doctor’s offices and restaurants.

    So what works for me is sort of like a combination of paleo and low-carb, without any of the extremism often attached to either. Paleo diets advise against milk, but that is one of the potentially troublesome foods that isn’t a problem for my unique genetic mixup. Atkins won’t let you have a glass of OJ or it will make you count your pieces of broccoli, and I don’t agree with that either.

    Mostly just plain, fresh foods, without any kind of sugar added. Now I’ll let you in on the biggest secret: that fresh food actually tastes better, too!

  2. John said on March 25th, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    Oh yeah, CONGRATULATIONS!!! It isn’t easy to make the kind of lifestyle changes that result in a healthier weight. Modern life isn’t conducive to cooking every day, and the convenient alternatives available just aren’t that good for us. It is tough, and it takes a good bit of discipline that should be commended & encouraged!

    My big piece of advice is to eat enough to keep your energy and mood high. Just eat the right things (veggies!) and build some muscle. Lifting with heavy weights is quick and effective, and if you don’t want to commit to buying the weights/gym membership you can just do some pushups, situps, and leg lifts.

  3. Komodo Dragon said on April 2nd, 2011 at 3:28 am

    Congrats Thor, it really is great to see a plan put into action and pay off. I need to start off on something like this for myself again as I let myself go over the last few years and now I’m almost 30 lbs. over what I should be based on my height. I have started to watch what I eat and try to keep carbs and greasy foods in moderation of course but also not eating too much at one sitting and eating in small amounts more frequently instead.

  4. nustian said on April 2nd, 2011 at 11:24 pm

    you are a daring man.. keep it up. you lose so much weight in minimum time

  5. college textbooks said on April 4th, 2011 at 8:32 am

    That is awesome. Congrats. I have just recently started walking and jogging to help me lose some weight along with using the minimal gym equipment at my condo complex. Hopefully I can be as successful as you. I have been curving what I eat and drinking a ton more water which helps curve my hunger. Good luck with your continued progress

    ~Paul

  6. Laptop Briefcases said on April 5th, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    Congratulations on the impressive weight loss Thor. It is not surprising that your body had trouble adjusting to the rapid weight loss. Perhaps it is better to progress a little slower. One thing I did notice is that you mentioned you discovered the energy shots while getting a fountain drink. Those fountain drinks may be one major obstacle in your weight loss. Many people gain weight by consuming too much sugar which is just converted into fat. If you can get used to drinking water all the time, it can help considerably. It would also help to combine some exercise with the diet. Good luck.

  7. cheap college textbooks said on April 6th, 2011 at 11:23 am

    I have just started to walk and run a bit along with using what little gym equipment my condo has. I too have been drinking a lot of water and that does seem to be the key. I also drink a glass of milk after a workout because it helps with re hydration and muscles. Good luck with your weight-loss and hopefully I can keep up with mine.

  8. job personality said on April 6th, 2011 at 11:45 am

    Really thor its great achievement.You done good job loose 30 pound weight in just 3 months.You do all the combination stuff for it, drinking lots of water,regular exercising everything.Thanks for the wonderful experience you shared with all….

  9. setx shyop said on April 6th, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    It isn’t easy to make the kind of lifestyle changes that result in a healthier weight. ;)

  10. Best watches for men said on April 8th, 2011 at 10:39 am

    congrats for losing 50 pounds in 3 months. It is no mean feat :) . Every change in our lifestyle is a daunting task in the beginning but it could be turned to a normal routine with some strong will and persistence.

    thanks for this inspirational story
    Steve

  11. William
    William said on April 8th, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    Congrats. I have a similar story. I am 34 also, 6’2″ and was 285 pounds. I went on a diet starting january 3rd of this year (2011) and I am down to 235 pounds by just cutting out sugar, fatty foods and started excercising. And it feels damn good too. I was worried that I lost weight so fast, so i went to my Dr. and he said it was totally normal for how overweight I was. He told me that my body didn’t want to be fat and that I made it fat with my diet. And he is right. I used to eat 3-4 candy bars a day, gummy bears, Ice cream, cheeseburgers, etc….all in one day. And the other big thing I cut out was alcohol and soda. Two big ones for empty calories. Weight loss is not a secret. Burn more calories than you take in and you will ose weight.

  12. EasyStreet Realty, Inc. said on April 11th, 2011 at 7:44 am

    Congrats to you. It really takes dedication to stop eating french fries! Keep it up!

  13. Bill @ Backlink Energizer said on April 11th, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    Congratulations. 50 pounds in 3 months sounds quite impressive. I can lose 5-10 pounds fairly quickly, but the problem is, once I stop dieting I quickly gain back the weight.

  14. Darin @ General Liability Insurance said on May 30th, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    Congratulations on your success Thor. I’m a bit older than you (41 as of January), but I hope to achieve similar results as my weight has ballooned up over 240 lbs and the resulting lack of energy and negative effect on my moods is quite unacceptable. I have a program in mind to help me shed about 25 lbs, but I may incorporate some of your approaches as well. Good luck and congratulations again!

  15. Clayton Rice said on June 4th, 2011 at 12:09 am

    Nice job! It’s hard to stay focused and motivated when trying to lose weight and I never end up doing well with that. Although I’m not overweight at all, I would like to get into shape… and your post certainly motivates me to starting exercising and eating healthier.

  16. wholesale caviar said on June 18th, 2011 at 2:23 am

    your story of lost 50 pounds is instresting. i read this story and i told you that your story is true and i belives in your stories.thankssss..

  17. wizforbiz said on August 21st, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    i admire your power of will. i would like to lose pounds as you did…anyway congrats! at least you gave me the hope so i can get rid of fast food lol :)

  18. Chris said on September 2nd, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    so how did this experiment work out for you?

  19. Johan Smith said on October 19th, 2011 at 7:38 am

    Hi ,
    Good time of the year to lose weight ! I’m guessing you are younger , a student ? Ok you can make great progress just in June and July then it gets slower . I have to say 30-35 pounds loss is about the best you can hope for and that loss will require a great effort .
    Of course I always stress to drink 4-5 liters of water every 24 hours . You can read my other posts for exercise suggestions . I don’t know what you have to work with ? I get a little extreme with exercise but it works for me . Workout twice a day , 2-3 times in June then in July you will need to skip a day a week .
    Much good nutrition advice on this board much of which is suited for you . Water water water ! Enjoy the heat .
    Good luck ……… Russell

  20. Dani Dixon
    Dani Dixon said on December 8th, 2011 at 10:48 am

    Hey CONGRATS! :D that’s awesome!!! Keep up the good work! A great exercise routine that I’ve run accross is the DVD P90 with Tony Horton…it works amazing. I have 3 kids and with the last two, it worked and helped me drop all baby weight almost immediately (along with eating 1,000 calories or less a day). I’m having some trouble with losing weight from baby #3 and it’s driving me insane. For the past month I’ve been eating 200-600 calories a day and exercising when I can (which is difficult with 3 kids and a husband who’s in the military and as a result is gone all the time). It’s driving me insane lol. At one point, I lost 60 pounds in 4 months, but that was due to anorexia and I really don’t want to fall back into that hole again lol. Congrats! So happy for you!!!!

  21. victoria
    victoria said on February 22nd, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    im 19 years of age and im a college student im about 5’5 and weigh 215-220 i want to get to 140 before the summer and i want to know if anyone has any tips on a diet i could do to reach that goal.I was thinking just a water and fruit diet until the end of may and excercising atleast 3 hours a day…if you have any tips on how i could complete this goal please let me know

  22. donna
    donna said on May 4th, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    Hi Congrats and I am where you are
    Last june I went on a diet and excercise program and lost 50 LBS
    In the past 2 months – my weight has remained the same – despite increasing my exercise – I now do aqua aerobics for an hour 7 days a week instead of 5

    My diet is high protein and vegs and little anything else. I do my carb thing when I feel I need energy. I guess what caught my attention is that fact that if your body loses so much weight (I went from 269 to 215 and from size 22 to a 14) maybe your body says hey enough we need to adjust to this loss

    My skin even in my face seems to go through stages of sagging – then it tightens up – then starts the sagging

    I am not happy that in the past 2 months I have just maintained my weight but atleast not a weight gain and maybe the bodies way of saying I need to catch up to these changes

  23. Babygirl
    Babygirl said on May 16th, 2012 at 12:44 am

    Nice job!! I am a 32 yr old skinny girl at heart!! Married for 13 yrs with 2 kids, and have let myself go! Taking care of everyone else, kinda lost myself in the mix. I weighed in today at 194lbs, at 5ft. 1in. I have always had an athletic build, and loved it…. never super skinny… wide hips, wide shoulders, and the girls have always been big, so I have always had a perfect weight of 125….. I realized today that something had to give!! I WILL loose the weight, and get active again!! Byebye fatty!! Here comes fit and healthy! Thanks to all for the motivation!!

  24. miriam bun
    miriam bun said on May 20th, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    I gotta say when you weighed more you look older and now that you lost the weight you look younger and sexy. Well anyway I’m glad you lost the weight I’m trying to lose 30 pounds I hope I am as strong as you .

  25. George
    George said on May 27th, 2012 at 8:53 am

    i read this because last year i went on a weight loss frenzy myself. i lost 30 pounds in a month just by cutting out carbs. i did no exercise, absolutely nothing. i was raised on water so drinking sugar wasnt a problem. i maybe have soda a few times a year as it is. cutting out white carbohydrates will make you drop so much weight so fast. HOWEVER, somewhere in that weight that you drop incredibly fast, muscle starts to go. Since muscle is denser than fat, a little bit of muscle lost could possibly make you incredibly happy on the scale. But you are still not losing fat. Exercise needs to become a daily routine, and i still havent found a way to fit it into my life. I gained the weight back needless to say. I will lose it again though, and hopefully keep it off. For everyone out there, play handball… insane amount of calories lost per hour if taken seriously, its fun, and a sport :) Almost all muscles are used in it. For everyone wanting to lose weight, less white carbs, and fun (i don’t want to say exercise but i will) exercise.

  26. gracie
    gracie said on June 3rd, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    I am 16 almost 17 yrs old. I am 5′ 6″ and weigh around 190 lbs. Last christmas I went for a flu shot and the doctor told me, “no more french fries at lunch or cake all the time.” (verbatim). I don’t even like french fries and eat cake only for birthdays and such. (I eat healthy foods and play sports) My out of the 20 prom dresses I tried on, only two fit. My mother, when we went to get my prom dress hemmed, made a crack about my weight to the seamstress when she thought I couldn’t hear from the dressing room. My brother calls me “beached whale”. My grandpa told me to “bring it [my weight] down”. My crush chose my personality-less but VERY good friend to go to prom with after I asked him. I have a good fashion sense but can’t show it off because I can only buy clothes in XL and with flattering cuts. I can’t wear cute skirts when my friends have “skirt day”. Now, when the stress from exams is over, I’m GOING to lose weight. I am GOING to.

  27. Adii
    Adii said on June 24th, 2012 at 1:57 am

    I’m 14 . 4’12 in height. I weigh 210 lbs.I Ended Up here because I wanted a quince and my mom told me no because I was toooo fat and that I wasn’t even pretty and that quince were only for pretty girls. And with this I will be pretty enough and skinny enough to have my dream quince. My goal is actually to lose 50 in 3-4 months.and with this I will dk exactly that

  28. nika
    nika said on August 2nd, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    I am a 35 yr old woman with 5 kids i just had a boy 3mths ago and went up to 230 pounds im only 5’2 and thats extremely obese,im down to 185 but really need to lose 40 more pounds its just getting a little difficult any suggestions out there

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