The Quickest Way to Lose Weight Explained
“I’m going to a celebration or holiday, or wedding etc. Can you tell me the quickest way to lose weight?”
Probably, ok, almost certainly, that’s most requested topic in our inbox on a daily basis.
However, we must establish the starting point, timescale and past problems before we can answer it truthfully. After all, their idea of the quickest way to lose weight, might not be the same as ours. Vice versa, optimism may have clouded their judgement and it’s only right that we tell them what’s realistically possible. For instance, losing weight is a really tricky business for most people,. That’s why people that we help must first fully understand what we’re asking them to do, and fully get on board with the concept.
In addition, they must clearly agree with the logic of why and how it will work. If it makes sense they will stand a greater chance of following the plan to get them there.
I’m Rick Wilson, one of the co-founders of Be Strong. We’re a not for profit organisation based in Lancashire in the UK that uses ethical methods to help people to transform their lifestyles.
Our programmes and methods are supported by Doctors within the Exercise and Health Psychology faculties at two of the top UK universities.
Embarrassingly, I was awarded a British Citizen Award at the Houses of Parliament for Services to Healthcare in the UK. I like to think it’s in recognition of all those amazing people who put the hard work in to make their lives better.
P.S. There are no photos of me at my biggest. I was never comfortable being photographed.
Rick’s Past Attempts at Losing Weight Quickly
Bit of Background First – Morbid obesity seemed to appear from nowhere for me
I’d gained weight gradually from aged 21 to 24, until I eventually weighed 360 pounds. It coincided with the time I had my two children and started to lead a more sedentary lifestyle as they went to bed early and I looked after them whilst their mother went out to work.
It was really simple how it happened. However, I didn’t go from eating well, to crazy food binges overnight. Over time, it just kind of crept in; the larger portions, cheaper more calorific foods, sugary drinks, crisps and sweets. Most people enjoy these things now and again, but boredom got the better of me. I was eating purely for entertainment; hunger was something I didn’t experience as I was always uncomfortably full!
The alcohol had also started to play its part, and I went from a few beers and a glass of wine at weekend, to grabbing alcohol on the way home from work most evenings. Thankfully, the alcohol didn’t cause me any lifestyle problems apart from weight gain. Above all, it was another routine that was causing me to be really unhappy, yet I just couldn’t stop it. I was smoking cigarettes too.
In conclusion, everybody was worried about me and rightly so!
My Own Experiences of the Quickest Way to Lose Weight
Firstly, I had 8 very serious attempts at the quickest way to lose weight between 1995 and 2013. In summary, the first seven had some success, but ultimately failed. However, the last one has served me well for a long time.
It’s really easy to tell you what I did, because I followed the same process each and every single time. In truth I was desperate, and prayed for different results each time I tried to lose weight. In other words, I honestly thought it was me. Somehow I was born with genes, a personality, character traits, metabolism and anything I could think of to justify why I wasn’t being successful.
However, the reality was that it wasn’t me that was the problem. Of course it wasn’t. It was my perception of what it took to achieve the quickest way to lose weight.
Meanwhile, my plan had two simple steps.
Step 1 – Food and Drink
Breakfast – One poached egg on a small slice of dry toast
Lunch and Dinner – Grilled chicken or fish with broccoli and other mixed vegetables
Drinks – Black coffee with each meal.
Step 2 – Exercise
I had a very cheap exercise bike that I used to dust down and pedal for 20 minutes every other day. I didn’t work that hard on it and barely broke a sweat
There was a mixture of what I perceived as ‘success’. However, in reality, it was shrouded in failure which brought lots of frustration, disappointment and left me feeling resigned to being a bigger person forever. I was so unhappy too, although the outside world would never know.
To clarify, the most weight I lost was 84 pounds and I averaged around 42 pounds on the others. Each time it all went back on, and often more, within two to four months of losing it.
In conclusion, I had 8 attempts at the quickest way to lose weight, spanning 18 years, and I was even bigger than when I first started all those years ago.
What did I learn?
For example, I definitely learned that the methods I was trying were not the quickest ways to lose weight. Yes, the weight did come off, but at a massive cost.
A multitude of negative associations with losing weight had been ingrained within me:
- Hunger / Starvation
- Sense of Failure
The Day I Changed My Life
Luckily, everybody knows that moment when it’s now or never, the last roll of the dice and I’d reached that point when I stepped up for attempt number eight on Sunday April 6th 2013!
Rick’s Final Attempt at the Quickest Way to Lose Weight
Sometimes you just know that this is it. Your moment is here and the stakes are really high. The goal you’d been desperate to achieve for eighteen years is up for grabs again and I was going to give it everything I’d got to make it work.
The Review Phase
I got smarter this time and reviewed where I’d gone wrong in the past.
My strategy on the previous attempts was simply to eat a very small amount of high protein food, plus lots of vegetables on a daily basis. My attempts to stay in the game for long enough always ended up giving in long before I’d anticipated. I blamed myself, yet I realised it wasn’t me – nobody could sustain that.
Alternative options were ignored, because for me, the logic stated, that the quickest way to lose weight would always be to eat and drink as little as possible until the weight had gone.
My Final Plan
Over a period of eighteen years I had seven serious attempts to lose weight quickly, and none of them worked. I was bigger than ever and could now accept that my old methods would never work. I needed a new outlook and a clear plan!
Firstly, I needed to understand what I wanted. That was easy, it was still the same. My goal was to create a plan to achieve the quickest way to lose weight, but this time it would last for lifelong and I would never regain the weight. After all, anything that took less than 18 years would be an improvement! There was nothing to lose and a life to regain.
Anything complicated or unrealistic would be avoided and I would aim to keep it really simple.
I put together the following steps and dedicated myself to them. It wasn’t easy but it was the first time it all made sense and I felt as if I was completely in control. Somehow, that seemed to make it easier.
Step 1 – Food and Drink
- Stick to a realistic calorie deficit every day
- Create a new daily meal planner each morning as soon as I woke
- No food or drink would be out of bounds
- The priority would always be to make my food and drink fit my daily calorie target
Step 2 – Exercise
- Started the Couch to 5K programme and followed all the advice and guidance that came with it
NOTE: I have since created a totally free Digital Couch to 5K programme that you can use. The advice in the one I originally followed was more about running. In mine you get 27 sessions where I get inside your head about anything and everything that’s lifestyle and weight loss related.Rick
Step 3 – Mindset
- I knew I had to reinvent myself – ‘Big Rick’ had to become ‘Rick’ again
- All of my negative thoughts were addressed by the minds of real people that I’d never met
For example, when I was making choices about whether to exercise, or eat healthy, or make a sacrifice or new commitment I had to have a long conversation with myself (self-talk)!
- Poor food choices were negated by asking myself ‘What would Mo Farah do?
- When I wanted to avoid an exercise session I would put myself in the shoes of Muhammad Ali, and do what he would do!
- In addition, If I was unsure about committing to something I would put myself in Nelson Mandela’s shoes.
This worked miracles for me!
Step 4 – Lifestyle
- Stopped smoking
- Abstained from alcohol throughout 2013
Achieve Consistent Weight Loss with Be Strong!
Building a habit of healthier eating, consistent routines and manageable exercise can help you reduce your weight variability (the yo-yo effect).
You will lose weight more consistently with us. When measured over the time needed to achieve your goal, we will always outperform an online weight loss programme that promotes larger weight losses, over shorter periods of time.
Was it the Quickest Way to Lose Weight?
Only you can be the judge of that so I’ll give you the stats. It was certainly a lot quicker than 18 years of getting nowhere!
- April 2013 – Dec 2013 (105 pounds weight loss)
- Jan 2014 – Dec 2014 (42 pounds weight loss – total 147 pounds)
- Jan 2015 – May 2015 (14 pounds weight loss – total 161 pounds)
- Competed in way too many of 5K, 10K, 10 miles, half and metric marathon running races to remember them all
- Tough Mudder Competitor
- Three Peaks Finisher
- Chester Marathon
- Leicester Marathon
- London Marathon
- Dublin Marathon
- Chester Marathon (again – unfinished business!)
- Frankfurt Marathon
The quickest way to lose weight is to develop a realistic plan and make sure you fully understand the logic behind it. If you believe it will work, then it most likely will. Whichever way you look at it, hard work and uncomfortableness lies ahead. However, we can ease that by sharing some of our resources with you to help you find the quickest way to lose weight for you.
Most importantly, please don’t do what I always did. The food tastes absolutely awful, its bland, your hunger will never be satisfied. You will be despondent, lose motivation, your commitment will wain, you will never ever be able to dedicate yourself to it for long enough for you to be successful. You will quit this time, for all the same reasons as you did every single other time. I know I did.