Losing Weight – how I lost nearly 25 kilograms in 6 months, doing intermittent fasting, low carb, more exercise

Writing that headline feels like I am writing something that is deliberately ‘click-bait’ content. But really, I did lose nearly 25 kilograms and yes, I lost it in a 6 month time period. And yes, I am still maintaining my weight to around the BMI 20-21 range.

The simplest thing I learned? Once you put your mind into a goal, you can achieve it.

I mean, 25 kilograms is a LOT of weight and I still can’t believe that it happened in a 6 month period.

The day I decided to change my life, I posted an update for help on ways to go about it. I took on board the advice and suggestions, and I went with it. I went with a low carb, low sugar diet. I did not watch calories and same with fats.

I changed my diet and I moved to something more healthier. More fruits, more vegetables. Less refined sugars, less refined carbohydrates. Yes, I ate potato chips, I had a burger, I had some cake. It was still OK, not punishing myself over this.

One of the big challenges I had was facing a working period from 6-7pm to 2 am due to timezone differences. I decided to do intermittent fasting where I stopped eating from 8pm and I would eat again at 1pm. It was a bit brutal, and each morning I felt lazy not being able to get up due to staying late. But my body adjusted – first meal by 1pm, exercise at around 3 or 4pm, a meal after that and final meal by 7 to 8pm.

Yes, I also had the plateau. In fact, I think I plateaued for about three months and seriously wondering how the heck I could move against it.

To top it off, I was on a five week holiday throughout Italy, and Croatia in the summer season. But, I still had pasta (the most delicious was one with raw shrimp near Lake Como) and I still ate SO much gelato (I have lost track of how many flavours of gelato I had, maybe more than 20). And still, during my holiday I kept eating salads and fruits, walked a lot and if available I would also go to the gym. Somehow that is how I moved from my plateau, lost several more kilograms while back in Paris.

One person even commented that while back in Paris, I would gain weight. Well to that person (who themselves is also overweight…) no, I have not gained weight, in fact I have not only lost but I am also maintaining it. All these even though I have been a bit more free eating fresh bread and cheese and enjoying croissants AND enjoying pastries.

It was not just the weight loss that had changed, but also my mindset around healthy eating in general. It was just so, so, so easy to do it now.

Verdict: Doing a ‘No Added Sugar’ Month in Paris in November

Photo of a glass of champagne with a slice of cake through it.

All throughout the month of November, I decided to do a ‘No Added Sugar’ month here in Paris. This means, no gâteau, no pâtisseries, no sugars in coffee, no artificial sugars, no fruit juices and so on. This also extends out to not eating foods high in sugars in the carbohydrates dietary information that is available in foods, which these days could be anything.

After watching a couple of YouTube videos, I really thought that I’d have a hard time doing this say within the four day and 15 day mark. I thought that I would lack energy, that I would be irritable, that I would constantly complain and so on. But take note, these videos were coming from people either used to consuming mass-produced types of foods all the time.

How my body dealt with it

However, it turns out that my body did quiet well. In fact, I had very little complaints or issues taking out refined sugars and artificial sugars from my diet.  I don’t have this problem in the first place anyway, having completely changed my diet in the past several months. In fact the diet changes I did (intermittent fasting, LCHF type, ketogenic recipes) were far more challenging to go through.

Sugar-free was good for the budget

I went to the gym about 3-4 times a week, which meant that I went through a very busy entertainment precinct in Paris. Doing this sugar-free month actually helped with dealing with the cravings of getting ‘something’ to eat on the way to and from the gym.

It also made purchasing decisions much easier since I defaulted to bananas, clementines, freshly squeezed orange juice (not the ready made stuff), 99-100% cacao (with 1g or 0g sugars for the whole block) and lots of tea to snack on.

There was very little effect with social events

In social events, I usually just have something to eat before going and then have a glass of water.  There was a tart involved which I declined in one of the events. There was also a lunch where I opted instead for coffee. Otherwise, there were little negative effects when it comes to social events and minuscule, compared to if you were vegan.

Expat How To: Take Yoga Classes in Paris

I just started a subscription at a yoga studio here in Paris since early last month. Ever since I moved here late July, I’ve been looking at what my fitness options there. There is actually a range of options – from aquacycling, to the free ‘fitness machines’ available on the streets, large parks where you can even meet with a group and exercise together, as well as a number of gym offerings and other sports centres. They are not usually in large ‘warehouse style’ buildings like you’d expect in North America or Australia, usually quiet smaller buildings just off the street or tucked away in a private driveway.

Whenever I looked for options, I usually considered the following (and is applicable beyond studios):

  • How close is it to me? Can I walk? Or take a bike? I want an option that does not take long for me to get to, especially during the colder winter months.
  • What are the subscription options? For one month? 6 months? It’s really unfortunate, but I have noticed that many gyms will offer low subscription options but they tack on high fees to join, to be able to leave flexibly, to use the lockers and so on.
  • What is the facility like? I’ve seen gyms that look quiet upbeat, and others that are more depressing such as actual doors that had been broken into and dark rooms.
  • What are the people like? If you are about to spend an hour or so in a centre, you might as well also gauge the community vibes.
  • What is the area like? Paris is a very built up city, with many different personalities. It is an extra plus if the area that you go to happens to have a lot of activities or things to do before our after your practice, or if it’s a central transport hub.

Late in September, I was browsing along and noticed an ad that a yoga studio near me is offering yoga in English classes. Not only that, but the classes were free. There was no option to sign up, so I had all the dates in my calendar and I ended up attending to quiet a few free yoga classes in English.

If you are new to the activity and don’t know the language – starting in English is recommended

This is the case in yoga, but can be applicable elsewhere. The reason why is that you are doing a new intensive physical activity. If you are new, then you are not only unaware of the posture names being used, but also what the possible alignment is.

Instructors should be there to make sure that you are not overly straining your arms, legs, back and so on. Doing so can lead to some injuries or at least some discomfort after the practice.

If English is not available, learn the poses first (such as on YouTube) and learn the French language names of the poses.

There are some key terms and phrases that you need to know to get a grasp. Hopefully after taking a few lessons in French, you get an idea of the instructor as well as the French language!