My 20kg weight loss story: How I lost weight

Lyndi Cohen Dietitian

I used to be a yo-yo dieter for more than a decade. I lost the same 10kg, 20 different times (at least)! 

I got the short-term results, the before and after photos and was so proud. A couple of months later though, my weight would steadily return back to normal as I struggled to keep up with my new eating aspirations.

After trying to be 'good' all the time, I'd quickly lose motivation. 

From there, I started binge eating. With a slowed metabolism from dieting, I ended up gaining more than what I weighed before. The word 'frustrating' doesn't even come close to explaining how it makes you feel. 

After a decade of trying to lose weight quickly, it had never worked! 

So I made a deal with myself.

If it takes a year to lose 5kg - but I never gain it back, then the year will have been well spent. And that is what I did. 

I didn't lose the weight over 12 weeks. Nor did it take me 6 months to lose. My weight loss, like most other people, happened over years.

I lost weight slowly. Very slowly.


It took me 4-5 years to lose 20kg.

I changed my lifestyle habit by habit.

Every few weeks, I'd find another new habit. Like...

  • Not drinking wine every night

  • Getting 10,000 steps a day, every day.

  • Cutting back on portion size, especially meat

  • Buying less processed junk food (If it's not in the house, you won't eat it)

  • Walking to get the groceries

  • Sharing dessert with my husband

After a few weeks of adopting one habit, it became second nature.

When I was ready, I'd adopt another. And then another. And another....

I lost weight by collecting habits - not restrictions.

Because the process was so slow, it never felt tiresome or arduous. And over time, naturally my preferences changed. My brain changed and rewired so healthy options became my default.

I never had to be 'strict' or watch everything that went in my mouth.

There was no sudden lifestyle overhaul where I ate completely new foods and exercised in a different way all of a sudden, so it didn't feel like a struggle. 

So my advice if you want to lose weight?

  • Accept that forming new lifestyle habits takes time and happens gradually. 

  • To lose weight really quickly, you need to track your intake with ninja-like precision and guard everything that enters your mouth. Because your metabolism slows, you have to be 'strict'. Is that really how you want to live for the rest of your life?

  • Ignore the temptation to control every morsel of food that goes into your mouth. Some weeks you will lose weight, and some you will regain some of your weight loss. The difference between people who successfully lose weight and keep it off is acceptance than weight loss is not fast, and weight loss is not linear

  • Don't even focus on weight-loss! Just focus on eating well. The weight will follow. Focus on the habit and how good you feel - not a number on a scale.

  • Don’t expect to lose a kilo a week. Personally, I would much prefer to lose a kilo a month (or every 3 months) and never put it back on again then to constantly yo-yo diet. The inevitable regain is not good for your body or soul.

  • If you have lost weight quickly, do not wear it as a badge of honour until you have kept it off for 2+ years. It may come back to bite you in the bum. 

  • Be weary of anyone trying to sell you FAST weight loss. If I were you, I'd call their bluff. Don't give them your money. It's a waste. 

I'm definitely not the first person to tell you that adopting healthy habits, not restrictions, will lead to weight loss. 

And I certainly won't be the last.

I'm just hoping that at some point you come to realise that dieting (even the diet you don't know you're on) don't work. And if you want something different, then it's time to try something you're never tried before.

If you want to stop dieting forever and create a healthy, balanced relationship with food, Keep It Real Program is for you. 

Praise for Keep It Real program

"This is without a doubt the best program I have ever participated in".

"Normally I would hit the chocolate stash in the office, but for the first time ever, I did not feel the need to console myself with food".

"I was going to bed at night feeling guilty about everything I had eaten. I decided to learn how to keep it real... and then the weight started to come off".

Find out more about the Keep It Real Program.