This is how I lost 15kg in just 12 weeks... 

During Covid lockdowns, I ballooned up to a staggering 93kg, which is nearly 20kg over my healthy body weight. Like many people around the world, the restrictions and general doom and gloom of the pandemic got me down, and I often turned to food for comfort. 

Boredom also played its part, and being stuck indoors for months, it was too easy to overeat, and drink. The weight piled on, and before I knew it, I was well over 90kg. I am around 5'11 in height, and my natural, healthy weight is around 75kg-78kg. Anything above 80kg I consider to be overweight, for me. 

So, after six months of heavy binging and constant snacking, I decided enough was enough, and that it was time to make a change. It was time to lose the fat and get as fit and healthy as possible. 

Now, I'm not the most patient of people, and so my aim was to try and lose the excess weight quickly. Losing weight quickly can be unhealthy, so caution is always advised. I would never compromise on my health, so everything I did on my weight loss journey was going to be healthy, without compromising on any aspect of my health. 

So, how did I lose 15kg (nearly 2 and a half stone) in only 12 weeks? Well, I won't lie, it was challenging, and there were some obstacles along the way, but once I overcame them, the reward was worth it. I am now at a lean 78kg, but even after the 12 weeks, the journey isn't over yet. 

Here, I'll go through some of the key things that got me through this weight loss journey, and helped me lose fat and gain muscle... 

Don't go in too hard, too soon.

I would consider myself to be a naturally fit and active person. I was quite fit before I put on so much weight, as I play a lot of tennis, and I also enjoy training, but it was still vital that I showed some patience during the early stages of my weight loss journey.

I was nearly 20kg over my 'fit weight', therefore simple things like running and even push-ups were a lot harder than usual. I could feel the excess weight during my training, and this led to more pressure on many parts of my body, such as my knees and ankles. The good thing is, the initial weight drops off quite quickly, as it's mostly excess fat and water retention. Once that initial fat comes off, the journey gets easier. I managed to lose over 5kg in the first week, but after that, I lost no more than 1kg per week. So, expect a heavy drop at first, but don't expect that kind of drop to continue - just stay patient, and keep at it. 

Eat the right foods.

Weight loss journeys can't always go smoothly. You will, at some point or another, experience a lull in your performance, or a stall in your weight loss. This can be countered, but you've got to try and get to the bottom of the issue yourself, and identify what's causing the problem. 

In my case, I stalled at around the half way point of the journey (week 7). I got myself down to about 84kg after five weeks, but it wasn't budging from there. After some trial and error, I came to the conclusion that I was undereating carbohydrates, and therefore my body was lacking the energy to burn fat. I was also lacking energy and strength in my workouts, which was halting my progress.

So, to fix this, I increased my carbs, and I also implemented 'cheat days' into my weekly routine. Having high-calorie weekends has helped take my progress and performance levels through the roof. I have more energy in my workouts (especially during the early part of the week), and the weight started falling off. It's almost as if the cheat days kick-start the metabolism. 

Losing weight is not about how little you can eat. A good, structured diet throughout the week, with a cheat day thrown in, can do absolute wonders for your fat loss and muscle building goals. 

Intermittent Fasting

Around about the week 7 mark, I decided to give intermittent fast a try. Intermittent fasting, also known as intermittent energy restriction, is an umbrella term for various meal timing schedules that cycle between voluntary fasting and non-fasting over a given period. Methods of intermittent fasting include alternate-day fasting, periodic fasting, and daily time-restricted feeding.

I found intermittent fasting to be hugely beneficial. I was losing fat quite rapidly, even though I was actually consuming more food than I was before. The difference is, I was consuming all my food into a five hour window, from Monday to Friday. Aldo, it didn't affect any of my muscle gains. 

I still fast five days a week, from Monday to Friday, with weekends off. This has helped me hugely. I have my first meal at around 3pm, and then a second meal at around 8pm. It might take a few days to get used to this method of eating, but once you adapt, you'll likely see the benefits very quickly. 

Be active! 

You can't solely rely on a healthy diet to get the weight off. If you want to get lean quickly, then physical activity is an absolute must! Try and push your body physically, and remember, the fitter you get, the faster your metabolism will work. 

Adding resistance training and endurance sessions to your weekly routine, will speed up the weight loss journey dramatically. I like training, but I understand that not everyone does. To keep your training interesting, and fun, mix it up - do a HIIT workout one day, and then perhaps a long walk the next. Sprints one day, with a long jog the next. Keep your body guessing, and keep it active. With a good diet, the weight will fall off, and you'll notice changes in your physique very quickly.