Peter's GP was the one to put him straight and make him decide to lose weight. During a pretty confronting conversation, his GP explained that unless he changed his eating habits, he would be too sick to enjoy his retirement when that time came up.
He took the challenge head on and lost a massive 31 kg*, putting him comfortably within a healthy weight range and BMI. He’s not even finished – Peter’s not happy and will continue losing weight until he’s steady at a very healthy 75 kg.
*In 4 months. Individual results may vary.
Q. How did you put on the weight?
A. I stacked on the weight a few years back while waiting for back surgery. I was severely restricted in what activity I could undertake. I underwent a spinal fusion eventually, but had to wait for 10 months before I could have the operation and during that 10 months gained a huge amount of weight.
I never really got rid of it after, and gradually kept gaining weight until my GP challenged me when I was 109 kg. He was pretty confronting and said that unless I change my lifestyle, including eating and exercising habits, I would be too sick to enjoy retirement - or worse.
Q. What did you eat on a typical day before your weight loss?
A. I never had breakfast – only a cup of coffee. Around mid-morning, I’d have a toasted sandwich – generally with egg and bacon. For lunch something with either pasta or rice, and some meat of some sort. In the afternoon, I’d have coffee and sweet snack and then for dinner more pasta, potato or rice with some meat.
Q. Have you tried other diets in the past and how was your experience?
A. Yes, and they generally worked for a period of time because they were deprivation diets. It was unpleasant because you were starving the whole time and once you lost the weight you’d be itching to get back to eating again so the weight loss never stuck.
Q. Why did you decide to join the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet?
A. I trusted CSIRO more than any other provider. The program is based on sound research and does not advocate starvation diet but is more about changing lifestyle and habits to take with you into the future.
Q. What do you like about the Total Wellbeing Diet so far?
A. The menu plans allow me to get an indication of how much and what to eat. I might not always follow it to the letter, but the unit system works very well for me.
Ultimately, for me I had to find a way of fitting the change in lifestyle into my current lifestyle, if that makes sense? I knew that if I changed too substantially, it would be easy to go back to what made me gain the weight in the first place, so it was important that I was able to take the guidance provided by the Total Wellbeing Diet and mould it into my lifestyle. So, I didn’t always follow the recepies exactly, or in the order that the menu plan outlined, but stayed within the units per day and it was a roaring success.
Q. How is your life changing now that you are losing the weight?
A. I can find clothes that fit!
I don’t need to take blood pressure medicines and I'm enjoying life much much more. Looking forward to doing things with my family that I would have avoided in the past because of my weight.
Q. Describe a typical day now in terms of what you eat and exercise?
A. I follow the plan insofar as the units go. So for breakfast, I’d have a bowl of high fibre cereal and blueberries. On weekends, I’ll have some Burgen toast with a couple of eggs for breakfast. I’d have an apple for midmorning snack, and usually a sandwich of some sort for lunch with Burgen bread – turkey and tomato or something like that. Apple in the afternoon too, and for dinner 200 g of lean meat of some sort, tons of vegetables and sometimes a small tub of light yoghurt with mixed berries. And I have had a small piece of chocolate every night.
Q. How have you changed physically and emotionally?
A. I’m unrecognisable physically – I had to get a new photo for my work intranet site because security didn’t believe it was me. I’m much more confident and am a better husband and father as a result.
Peter's weight loss tips
- Just start. Just do it – set a date, plan your food and have it ready to go for the first 3 or 4 days when you are going to feel the change and may be ravenous.
- If it is a choice between cooking healthy or breaking the diet to eat less than ideal food because you don’t have time to cook because of exercise, scrap the exercise. I experimented with both, and found there is no way I could work off an unsuitable meal through exercise.
- Use the website. Make sure you track your weight and food intake so you can make adjustments if you need to.
*Individual results may vary