How I lost over 40 pounds - no diet, no exercise, and no gimmicks

Picture of How I lost over 40 pounds - no diet, no exercise, and no gimmicks

In summary, I am not selling products or books, just sharing some common sense about eating habits that after 43 years of bad eating habits and an increasingly slower metabolism actually had me lose over 40 pounds in less than 3 months. It's amazing and you get to eat the same things you would have eaten before - with modifications. It's very similar to Weight Watchers, but it's just trial and error that my wife and I came up with and it works.
This is not a weight loss program or a diet - it's a way of thinking and doing.

We both talked to our doctor and got an estimate of what were should intake in calories per day. We both were told 1800 calories should cause a slow but steady weight loss when combined with exercise. My wife has hip and back trouble so we decreased the doctor's estimate (do so at your own risk) to about 1200 per day. Neither of us eat breakfast anyway so this was not seen initially as a problem. More on that later.
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Step 1: Rules for adjusting your food habits

Picture of Rules for adjusting your food habits

Rule #1 - NO SUGAR. This is a little flexible but the number one thing was to eliminate all sugar in the house. This means, as it did for us, adjusting our kids' habits as well (they needed it too).  No sugar means no granulated sugar, powdered sugar, or brown sugar in your coffee, tea, Kool-Aid, or recipes. It is poison and I never believed that until this past summer. Get it out.

We replaced it with Splenda. Before I get 1000 comments about artificial sweeteners, ask yourself if the rumored negatives outweigh (pun intended) the positives. We attribute our weight loss primarily to this step. We tried Truvia as well, but honestly, the taste difference is minimal and Splenda dissolves much faster in cold tea than Truvia.
Roland344 months ago
Hello. I would like to thank Droler for this helpful article which is really informative to gain benefit. A healthy diet provides the body with essential nutrition; fluid, adequate essential amino acids from protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and adequate calories. But what about the correct and full guideline? I can recommend a good source which includes precious tips from the diet gurus and nutrition experts. Happy and healthy days..!
Kestapotamus8 months ago
This is GREAT information. Thank you so much for posting this.
Congrats on your 40 pound weight loss.
I would argue you lost the weight by simply taking control of your life, which is awesome!
It is physically impossible to lose weight without exercise or small diet modifications. This is why the media always says things such as, "eat small portions" "watch what you eat" "do so in moderation,etc.....

Doctors always give a free prescription at every physical: EAT WELL AND EXERCISE. This is a good Rx for every person, regardless of age and weight!

I am glad you lost your weight but want people to be realistic on their weight-loss expectations!
My instructable on exercise shows 3 easy PHOTO based workouts at

Weight loss requires both DIET and EXERCISE :) *and self-control*
MsJan1 year ago
DO NOT use Splenda. It is now known to do harm to our body. If you need a sweetener than go with a natural product and not a man made one. You may want to try Stevia. That is a plant you can even grow in your garden. Please only put natural products into your body. We are only given one so we need to keep care of it. Stop using chemicals.
rmieir MsJan1 year ago
I work with a few fitness trainers who are also very favorable about Stevia. It's a positive addition and suggestion. Certainly, if people want to use Splenda, or other products, then they can. Stevia was a great suggestion for those reading this who may not know about it. It is always good to look up and research anything you plan on using and ingesting.
MsJan rmieir1 year ago
Yes, Anyone can use Splenda or do cigarettes or use other toxic products. People just have not became aware yet to how toxic these products can be.
If you do not care about the body you were given or do not care if you will get cancer or other damage to your body than of course keep tossing in the chemicals. The manufactures like taking our money anyway they can.
rmieir MsJan1 year ago
ummm, yeah, well, that was kind of my point, in response to what had been posted (see below). If you look again maybe you will see I was agreeing with you and your contribution. I was doing so subtly. Again, look below, you will see a post that could be construed as sarcastically negative to your contribution. So mine, again, was agreement - maybe that escaped you?
"Before I get 1000 comments about artificial sweeteners, ask yourself if the rumored negatives outweigh (pun intended) the positives."

- guess you missed that part eh?
For the record, adjusting eating habits IS a diet.
annula2 years ago
I am doing the same thing you are and its working. One big thing I did was to switch butter for olive oil. After about two weeks I like the olive oil better now. I also buy a really nice brand extra virgin because I am worth it. Also on my salad now its just olive oil and vinegar no other dressings to make variety I switch up the vegetables. I walk thirty minutes everyday too. Good luck with the new lifestyle.
There's sugar in that bread you know.
ygree0012 years ago
Please check with your doctor before cutting your caloric intake to 1200 calories. That is very low and you may not be getting all of your required nutrients.
droler (author) 3 years ago
UPDATE: Since I posted this article I have lost another 2 inches in waist size. That's going from a 38 inch waist to a 34 inch, minus a half inch or more (I can almost wear a 32). I went from 218 pounds to 170. Some days, due to water retention and other minor issues I may weigh in at 173-175, but some days I tip the scales at 168. Remember that your weight can fluctuate up to 8-10 pounds if water is a factor.
srohwer3 years ago
Good common sense. I have a few things to add.

Fluids - 64 oz a day. This can include, milk, juices, juicy fruits, and of course, water. I fill up an old juice jug each day.

Sleep - Get your 8 hours. Studies show it helps to lose weight.

Scales - invest in a scale that measures fat. You want to lose fat, not muscle.

Calorie counting - most people eat a limited number of dishes. Once you figure out the numbers, it's pretty easy. Also, you'll stop eating junk because your calories add up too fast and you've hit your calorie limit by noon.

If all of this is too much, start with 1 change each week, or each month. When it becomes part of your lifestyle, add another change.

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