When Terry started the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet in 2018, he had joint pain, high blood pressure, a new pre-diabetes diagnosis and weighed in at 185.5 kg. He was unfit – unable to walk 100 metres without feeling exhausted – and would worry about breaking chairs when he sat on them. Terry's mental health was also suffering before he joined the weight loss program, and he knew he needed to make a change.
Over the course of two years, Terry lost an impressive 100 kg*, which was over 50 percent of his body weight, reaching his goal weight of 85.5 kg in June 2020. What's even more impressive is that Terry has maintained his weight loss ever since!
His amazing story goes to show that with the right tools and mindset, long-term weight loss is achievable.
*Individual results may vary.
Read: How Terry lost over 50% of his body weight
Terry at the beginning of his weight loss journey, weighing 185 kilograms
Road to success
Consistency and use of the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet's online tools has been a key factor in Terry's success. He uses the online tracker to create his own meal plans and regularly has sessions with his online Health Coach to stay on track.
He makes time to meal prep, exercises daily and has recently joined a gym to build up his strength. For Terry, these habits have become part of his new lifestyle, making his health journey sustainable.
"I am super organised with meal prep and every weekend I dedicate time to ensure the week or weeks ahead have plenty of pre-prepared meals to make my busy work week fit my health goals. I also exercise daily, and make time every day to go on my daily 6 km walk with my dog."
"All the changes I have made to my life have now become my new lifestyle. This makes my health journey sustainable to me, which has been critical to my ongoing success. My meal prep and exercise are now just part of my new lifestyle. I don’t even think about them, they just happen."
Terry's climb to the top
In 2022, to celebrate his two year maintenance milestone, Terry achieved something he would never have thought possible four years ago – he climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge!
"After losing 100 kg in two years and keeping it off for nearly two years, I was 'On Top of the World'," says Terry. "Losing that weight has liberated me and given me my life back. I'm no longer behind the camera missing out on all the fun, I'm now living my best life, jumping in with enthusiasm, and living life to the fullest. My only regret... not starting earlier."
Terry's top five tips for weight maintenance
1. Keep it sustainable
"When it comes to my exercise and meal plans
, I chose what I knew would be sustainable to me. If I chose an exercise or diet regime that I couldn't commit to for life, I knew that I would eventually go back to old habits. And once I went back to old habits, I would go back to my old weight. This is why I chose to simply walk for an hour each day
and I created my own meal plans based on CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet guidelines. This has now transitioned into my new healthy lifestyle which I know I can commit to for life."
2. Go back to basics
"We all lose focus and face challenges on our health journey. The most important thing I do when I 'fall off the wagon' is to go back to basics. I make sure I follow the core guidelines and use the online tools – I weigh everything, measure everything and track everything. I make sure I meet but don't exceed the daily food units (but I can go over my free Vegetables unit.) And, I trust the science
3. Be prepared
was critical to my success along my weight loss journey and is also now critical to my continued success on maintenance. Like most people, I'm time poor, so I make time for my meal prep each weekend as I know I won't be able to find time to do it later. I spend the best part of a full day each weekend shopping and cooking my meals for the week ahead. This ensures I always have healthy pre-prepared meals on hand at all times."
4. Use the online tools
"I used the online tracker
to create my own meal plans based on the Total Wellbeing Diet guidelines. I regularly have sessions with my Health Coach
, and I find those really helpful for when I face challenges and for keeping on track. I also find the Facebook group
to be really supportive and motivating."
5. Reset when you need and be kind to yourself
"During my weight loss, I pretty much solidly lost one kilo every week till I hit goal. I have had several setbacks while on maintenance, most recently the month before Christmas in 2022. After Christmas I decided to refocus, and reset myself by going back to basics by weighing and tracking everything I ate. I reset my mindset by being kind to myself, remembering how far I had come and reminding myself that the weight gain was temporary. I also set myself daily achievable goals, and these strategies have helped me get back to my maintenance weight window."
Want to learn more about weight loss maintenance? Watch the Facebook Live session with CSIRO Total Wellbeing Dietitian Pennie McCoy: