Want to achieve great weight loss? This is how I lost 25 kg in 5 months!

Losing weight and ways to aid weight loss have been buzz phrases for many years. It is a well known fact that cycling is an excellent way to help to lose weight in a fun and healthy way.

I have been a cyclist ever since I can remember. I have always had at least one bike which has tended to be among my most treasured possessions, however, cycling was a means of exercise, not an aid to help with weight loss.

Many years of unhealthy and unregulated eating started taking their toll and over a period of 25 years, I went from a very skinny 55 kg to just under 100 kg and eventually settling at 94 kg. Earlier on this year after a chat with a doctor, he made a few eating habit suggestions; which to me, made perfect sense. Sometimes, the most obvious of things can be staring you right in the face but you fail to see it.

His suggestions were:

  1. Reduce carbs
  2. Stop/ reduce things such as pasta, rice, bread and potatoes as well as fried foods and high calorie desserts
  3. Reduce portion sizes
  4. Aim to have your main course at lunch time and a small evening meal
  5. Continue with the cycling and gym

I took his advice on board and made an immediate change and got onto it straight away. I came up with a few bits to add to it too, which has made a massive difference, especially on those days when you crave something sweet or something which you know you shouldn’t be having.

Running a bit

During July when we were in Bulgaria on holidays, I was struggling to get out on my bike (yes, my bike travels with us!) so I decided to do some running. It was tough and a 4 km run was not only slow but I had to do several stops too. But, when I saw the number of calories you burn running, it gave me an idea which was to combine running, cycling and my two days in the gym.

After the first couple of “runs” I could barely walk. In fairness, when I say runs, I was more like a snail making its way through treacle; but I persevered. I gradually got quicker and could run further without stopping. Within 6 weeks of starting running, I went on a half a marathon distance run (21.2 km in one go). 12 weeks after starting running, I have run over 300 km.

25-2-100 Weight Loss Method

My idea of combining my current routine of cycling and gym ended up in what I call 25-2-100 it is basically 25 km running, 2 days in the gym and 100 km cycling with a treat on Fridays.

  • Monday: 10 km run and 25 km ride
  • Tuesday: 1 hour in the gym (cycling training) 25 km ride
  • Wednesday: 5 km Run
  • Thursday 1 hour gym (cycling training)
  • Friday: 10 km run and sports massage
  • Saturday: 50 km ride
  • Sunday off!

Food Intake

This is an important part as when exercising you do need some carbs but I try and keep it to the bare minimum. My first experience on low carbs and exercising nearly ended up badly! I “bonked” on 100 km out of a 140 km ride. (Bonking is the cycling term for running out of fuel, you have depleted your energy supplies, your engine grinds to a halt). Fortunately I had a support vehicle with me. I got off the bike as I could no longer pedal and collapsed in the car. I couldn’t think straight, I could hardly speak, I couldn’t drink enough water, it was horrible! All this was due to a BIG oversight on my part….I had left home on an empty tank, unless I was going to fill it up with some form of carbs, it was never going to end well.

Having learnt my lesson from my previous experience, I now have an energy bar before heavy exercise and that takes care of that.

My diet is relatively simple, I steer clear of carbs and high calorie foods Saturday to Thursday.

  • Breakfast: hard boiled egg
  • Mid morning snack: 10 olives or small pickled gherkins
  • Lunch: Chicken with veggies, 3 egg ommelette (eggs are zero carbs and low calories) or red meat and veggies.
  • Dessert: Zero fat yogurt with a variety of fruits with a sprinkling of organic chia seeds
  • Dinner: Home made veggie soup
  • Dessert: Zero fat yogurt with a variety of fruits with a sprinkling of organic chia seeds


Sometimes, Friday cannot come soon enough. Friday is treat day. I find it helps me enormously knowing that one day a week I can treat myself to something other than my usual food and have an alcoholic beverage to go with it too. Through trial and error, I have found which drinks are less bad than others! Beer is out but spirits are in! I noticed that if I had a couple of beers on a Friday on weighing day, my weight loss wasn’t as noticeable as if I had something else. G&T or rum for example. I am talking of having maybe 2 or 3 330 ml cans of beer versus a couple of G&T’s or rums.

Yes, Friday is food day, but I have had to retrain myself how to limit my food intake. It is OK to have one plate of food, it doesn’t have to be overflowing with food and it is OK to stop when you’re starting to feel full (that bit is work in progress).

Weighing Day

Monday is weighing time. It gives me a chance to focus on my goals and to be proud of what I have achieved. There was only 1 week when I didn’t lose weight but at least it remained exactly the same. Some weeks I lost up to 2 kg while others I lost 1/2 a kg. I never allowed this small weight loss to make me feel discouraged, on the contrary, it made me even more determined to work harder that coming week.

What Motivates Me?

I am a highly motivated, determined and driven person to start off with, however, food has always been my weakness. Things I find motivation in:

  1. Cathy (my wife) has joined me on the food and exercise regime. She has her own version which works for her and is producing amazing results too.
  2. Numbers. Watching the weight drop and seeing results will give you a massive boost of confidence. Don’t be discouraged if you have lost little or no weight that week; just try different alternatives. Never give up the fight. Remember, it took many years to put on the extra weight, it may take time to lose it!
  3. Catching a glimpse of myself in the mirror and seeing how my body has changed.
  4. Keeping records of my weight loss. I use Garmin Connect which syncs with my Garmin 235 watch. It keeps tabs of my weight, sleeping patterns, exercise goals, records and sports achievements. All my stats are between my watch and Garmin Connect.
  5. Seeing my speed and exercise stamina improve. My cycling speed is up by about 50%. Being lighter and better used to running means I can run much further than before as well as faster. A 21.2 km run (1/2 marathon) doesn’t phase me, neither does a 200 km bike ride (I could do that before losing weight, in fairness, only than I can now do it faster).

Whatever your motivation or your goals, anyone can achieve this, I am not going to say it is easy, but it isn’t all that hard either. Of course, if you have some physical issue preventing you from exercising or a medical reason for weight gain then that is a different scenario. But under normal conditions, it is perfectly achievable.

Finding Time to do all this

Time is an issue, I agree. We also have additional issues such as very hot and humid weather to deal with. My days start at 3:30 am. On gym days, I am in the gym by 4:30 am, on running days I am out running at 5am, then ready for a cycle ride by 7:30 am (I could go earlier but I like seeing my wife and daughter in the morning). I am then ready for my working day by 9am. My weekend rides start at 5am and I am back home usually by 7am.

Yes, I live in a country where we don’t have winters and it is daylight at 5am all year round. I am very lucky in that respect. However, on weeks when I have been unable to run outdoors, I did the same distances on a treadmill in the gym and did my 100 km cycling in one go. Where there’s a will, there’s a way, if there’s no will, there’s an excuse. Today I weigh 69 kg which is a big difference to the 94 kg I weighed in May. I have gone from a BMI of 30.7 which is overweight and at risk of numerous unpleasant illnesses to 22.8 which is ideal for someone my height. Check your BMI.

If for personal reasons you are unable to do this much exercise, try changing your diet and replace high calories and stodgy foods with lean meat (chicken, fish etc) as well and try and walk as much as possible. Again, being a numbers sort of person, I find hitting my daily steps target great fun to do. Nothing nicer than a brisk walk once a day. Whatever exercise you do, no mater how slow you may be, remember you are lapping anyone sitting on a sofa doing nothing!


There’s one big danger associated with losing this much weight. Your clothes will no longer fit you and you will have to buy a whole load of new clothes!!