How I Lost 100 lbs Without Surgery or Exercise

How I Lost 100 lbs Without Surgery or Exercise

-100 lbs, -84 inches, -14% body fat

This story is dedicated to my thick peoples…for those in the struggle and for those who are already comfortable with who they are and need no further validation.

This is the story of how I lost 100 lbs in less than a year and how I did it without surgery or working out. I lost the equivalent of a super model. The photo you see is me wearing the clothes that used to be my size: 4XL/5XL and a 54R. I lost so much weight I could fit another person in my suit jacket with me after the weight loss. Trust me, we fit; we just had to leave a little space for the Holy Ghost between us. I did it without starving myself or denying myself the indulgences in life. In fact, you’ll see shortly that I feast quite well. Now peep me at an XL and 46R:

After Losing 100 lbs

After Losing 100 lbs, Me Wearing XL, 46R

I wasn’t sure whether I would share this story as it involves an incredibly personal journey. To do it justice requires me to be completely honest and lay bare all the insecurities and secret confessions that I reserve for myself in quiet moments of personal reflection. None, even those I hold dearest to me, have been privy to all that this journey has required of me.

My decision to share comes from a place of love and hope. Love for all those who supported me and shared in my triumphs. Love for all those who kept the faith that I could still overcome when I had almost given up and resigned myself to a seemingly inevitable course. Hope. Hope for those who seek to find a healthier life. Hope that my story may inspire one in despair and show them that it is possible.

So be kind. Be considerate in thought and speech. This is a place of love and hope.

Let me begin by saying that this was the approach that worked for me. There are many who have followed different paths and found similar success. Perhaps the program I detail in these articles will fit into your lifestyle. Perhaps it won’t. What I hope you take away from my story is inspiration. That you witness for yourself that there are no lost causes. The body is truly a miracle and has an incredible ability to heal itself and find equilibrium if we just stop fighting against it.

I cannot stress enough the importance of coordinating your program with your doctor. Please, please, please, do not overlook this important point. I have been surrounded by an amazing team of health professionals and every step I have taken has been closely reviewed and approved by them. This is not about some crazy health fad involving drastic measures that deliver short-term results at the risk of long-term damage. I wanted to pursue a program that would be sustainable and help me form lifelong habits. Please consult with your doctor as some of the techniques I mention may not be appropriate for you.

I will talk about three main levers: nutrition, exercise, and supplements. Depending on your personal situation you may leverage them to varying degrees. Because I recently underwent back surgery, exercise was out of the equation so I needed to rely more heavily on nutrition and to a much lesser extent supplements. I’ve broken down my story into several articles:

Next: Mental and Emotional Prep: Face the Root Cause

41 Comments on "How I Lost 100 lbs Without Surgery or Exercise"

  • Robin says

    WOW. Just .. WOW. You hear it so often: It’s not about great ideas, it’s about making those ideas happen. You’ve took a great idea that so many of us came up with, and you made it happen! Respect, Serge. You’ve taken your passion, commitment and discipline that you would normally put in your work and invested it in yourself. “Petje af”, as we’d say in the Netherlands!

    • serge says

      Thanks, Robin. It helps a lot that I’m surrounded by so many supportive and loving friends and family. Strange, to think about how hard we push ourselves in our work lives and neglect our health. I started to examine how much time and money I invest in every other part of my life and how much I did with my health and taking care of myself. Now, when that ratio gets too skewed, I remind myself to adjust my personal investments.

  • Monkiboi says

    Serge, thanks for putting it all out there. Must be quite the catharsis. Good on ya.

  • Ronald Thomas Donato Imbat says

    Awesome results Kuya Sergio! Keep it up and you will be a supermodel in no time. I wish you the best in you future endeavors. I’ll see you on the “FLIP” side.

    • serge says

      Thanks, Ron. Too short to be a supermodel but I appreciate the sentiment.

      • Dave says

        Hi congratulations with your success, I’m interested in trying it myself. I like the idea of a spike cheat day. My question is, if we are trying to lose the 3-4 lbs you gain every week from the spike day, then start losing by Wednesday to Saturday, aren’t we just breaking even every week? How do you get any momentum in fat loss if we are just breaking even every week? Maybe you can make me understand this because it would be cool if I can be successful at it….like if you can clarify: if u gained 3-4 lbs after spike day(Saturday) .. How much would you lose from Wednesday to Saturday (the next spike day)? Net weight loss per week?

        Thanks
        Dave

        • admin says

          The weight that you gain from your spike is largely from water. I can tell you this because I also measure my %BF using an ultrasound unit. You will lose that weight in the first few days post spike. With the remaining days you will continue your momentum and lose weight. Each person will be different and it will even vary for yourself as you go along. Sometimes you’ll lose the spike weight as early as Monday and Tuesday, sometimes you’ll lose it as late as Wednesday or Thursday. I’ve even lost weight after a spike instead of gaining (though I’ve only done that two or three times ever). After you go back to your base, you will lose more weight prior to your next spike. You might not think that two days would be enough for appreciative weight loss but it is. You are training your body to be on a cycle, a rhythm. After doing this for several weeks (for some people it might even take a couple months), your body learns that a spike is coming so it will deliberately shed that weight in anticipation. I’ve lost as much as 3 lbs on a Friday leading into my Saturday spike. That number, too, will vary from person to person and will, once again, vary for yourself as you continue.

          I’ve lost as much as 4 lbs in a week. That was also when I was much, much heavier. So the body wants to lose weight more easily than say, someone who only has 20 or 30 lbs to lose. Point is, you cannot expect a formula from this. And you cannot compare your expected results with mine (or anyone else’s). My journey–whether it be on Slow Carb or any other program–has always been about making good, consistent choices. CONSISTENT. I know it is hard not to get hung up on your expected results and you will be frustrated when they don’t match up. But you have to have realistic expectations and focus on that consistency. You didn’t put on that weight overnight. Most health professionals agree that 1-2 lbs weight loss per week is reasonable and safe. Again, you have to get to that point with consistency and patience. Weight loss is not linear. Here too, even the goal of weight loss itself can be misleading. For example, what if I measure that I only lose 0.4 lbs in a given week and yet my measured %BF drops by 1%? I might not have measured much weight loss because it was offset by a gain of lean muscle. Or perhaps I even gain weight in a given week but lose 2 inches from my waist. Yes, that has happened often. Best of luck to you. Find a program that you can remain consistent with and your results will come. Be sure to come back to the site and share your journey’s progress =)

          • Dave says

            Hi thanks for the info it was very informative and helpful. I have a couple more questions if you don’t mind: with regards to your spike day, can it change every week? Like Saturday one week then Sunday the next, Tuesday the next and so forth?

            Also your Saturday spike can it be 24 hrs like Friday 6:00pm to Sat 6:00pm? Or just when you wake up till you sleep that day.

            Many thanks,
            Dave

          • admin says

            No. Do not change your spike day as it works counter to the whole point of training your body to be on a rhythm. Remember, momentum. If you are changing your spike week-to-week you are not giving your body time to shed the weight from the prior spike and get back to losing. Each year, I might deviate from my spike 2-3 times and never in a row. Those are for holidays like Thanksgiving or my birthday. Do not change your spike day. Honestly, though, once you get into your flow you’ll find you won’t need or want to.

            As to the 24 hours, again, it’s all about your expectations. Can you do it for 24 hours? Sure. Will you lose as much as someone who does it from wake to sleep? Probably not? I find–for myself, at least–that last evening of sleep is when I burn the most and primes my body for when I wake to take on my spike day. Same is true for the evening’s sleep following. My body will know the spike is over and get prepped for the week’s burn. At the end of the day, the lesson of Slow Carb and Tim’s 4HB is about testing and tracking. None of what we’ve discussed here will matter if you aren’t disciplined about recording your progress. DO NOT just use weight. It will deceive you. At the very least, also measure inches lost around your waist. Even better if you measure inches from other areas and %BF lost. If you find that you are happy with your progress doing random 24 hours, then run with it.

          • David says

            Hi Serge,

            Thanks for answering all my questions, really appreciate it because it clarified many things for me about this diet…anyways I been doing it for a week now and going forward all the way till I reach my goal weight. I hope my journey will be as successful as yours. I will let you know how I fare ­čÖé many thanks.

            Regards,

            Dave

          • admin says

            Congrats on your start! Keep on it. It will be a bumpy ride at first. Stick with it, there is light on the other end. Be sure to come back and share your progress.

  • Patrick says

    FANTASTIC Serge!!!!

    Good for you! Will power is ALWAYS the ultimate denominator!!

    Congratulations!

    Patrick

  • matt says

    good for you! i went from 300 to 215, and while i’m not done, i’m thrilled with my progress. i commend you for taking the initiative to make a positive change in your life and stick with it. feels great, ya? i love recognizing myself in the mirror again. =)

    • serge says

      Right back at ya! Congrats on the 85 lbs. That’s a big deal! Don’t know if it’s because my body is just hitting a natural plateau or because I might be having a bit of a lapse in focus lately (also been traveling a lot…still eating on program but totally throwing my timing off), but I hadn’t really lost much the past two months. I’ve done some tweaking and took it back to basics so I think I’ve got it licked and started losing again. Are you finding any similar plateaus having lost close to 100 lbs yourself? I’m trying to hit Tim’s sections on exercises but it’s a bit slow going as I still have to be mindful of my back. Not a quick as I’d like but I’m definitely seeing an increase in my strength.

  • Ryan says

    Hey good work! Congrats on losing all that weight! I came here through Tim Ferriss’ facebook status update.

    • serge says

      Thanks. 4HB has definitely changed my life. Started to plateau a bit so did some tweaks and I think I’ve got it figured out and started losing weight again. I haven’t seen that FB update…do you have a link? Which of Tim’s FB profiles is it on?

      • Ryan says
      • Chris says

        Here you go:

        https://www.facebook.com/TimFerriss

        Great work, Serge!

      • Jessica says

        I also came here through Tim Ferriss. https://www.facebook.com/TimFerriss
        I cannot thank you enough for the meticulous breakdown and your humor! Strangely enough, I’ve always prided myself on my mental strength as well, unless it had to do with my body. In the last few months I came to the realization that this body was a suit of armor that I used to keep people away. I’ve realized that but I’m still trying to figure out how to deal with that. You’ve inspired me. Thank you so much.

        • serge says

          Jessica, that admission alone tells me you’ve got what it takes to break through. I’ll admit something else to you…now that my armor is starting to come down there is a part of me that worries…what if after I’ve gotten healthier, feel better about my appearance and let down that guard…what if I still can’t connect? What if what I told myself was a defense mechanism was really just that people wouldn’t want to connect with me? I know it’s silly. I’m surrounded by many friends, family, loved ones and exes who would argue otherwise. But logic fails and it’s something I’ve got to work through. It’s still taking some getting used to. Given my girth I was still always pretty confident approaching women but the new thing now is that they have been hitting on me! I still half expect Ashton to jump out and punk me but he never does. My friends and fam tell me the light (and propensity for hilarious shenanigans) that was always in me is still there, it’s just magnified and undimmed now. It’ll take time. Surround yourself with positive people who want you to succeed. The 4HB community is amazing. If you ever need a pep talk, I’m here!

  • Stella says

    PS. And your story is impressive by the way! Good luck with all the next steps.

  • NK says

    Thank you sharing your story. It is powerful, poignant and wonderful.
    Thank you.

    Nk

  • Belinda says

    Also from Tim’s recommendation on facebook, Tim Ferriss profile
    How to Lose 100 Pounds and 84 Inches: http://bit.ly/NX6KMx Meticulous notes and recommendations. Congratulations, Sergio!

    I just thought I’d let you know I really like your writing style. Genuine and loving, engaging, you are doing something right! I don’t normally give notes but you sir deserve a pat. You had me at “dedicated to my thick peoples…” go get em tiger.

  • Belinda says

    Also from Tim’s recommendation on facebook, Tim Ferriss profile
    How to Lose 100 Pounds and 84 Inches: http://bit.ly/NX6KMx Meticulous notes and recommendations. Congratulations, Sergio!

    I just thought I’d let you know I really like your writing style. Genuine and loving, engaging, you are doing something right! I don’t normally give notes but you sir deserve a pat. You had me at “dedicated to my thick peoples…” I wish the very best for you.

  • Dave says

    IMPRESSIVE! Congratulations Serge. I’m here from the 4HB facebook page too. I’m really inspired to keep at it. I’ll be 47 later this month, am 6’1″, and a year ago weighed in at 360. I’ve dropped 85#, but August was a nightmare. Travel, vacation with friends, eating and drinking all the wrong things…ya, it wasn’t hard to pack 20+# back on. But I got back on it last week and am feeling great. Dropped about 7 so far and should be down a few more by the end of the week. Another week or so and I’ll be back to where I was before things went nuts.

    I plateaued a few months back but kicked things up by getting on the treadmill. My goal is to get to about 240, which I think would suit my frame. I’ll reevaluate at that time.

    I related to so much of what you wrote. I don’t often get drawn into lengthy posts, but I was hanging on every word. You’ve got a great writing style. Wishing you all the best!

    • serge says

      Yeah, after that initial success it’s tough. So easy to rationalize the slips. Travel makes discipline all the more important. You’ve gotta’ allow yourself those lapses though. 20 lbs might seem like a lot to folks–and it is–but when you think back how far you’ve come, you’re already such a success story. The other really important thing I learned from Tim was being very aware of the things I was doing. So I don’t panic often–I still have moments of doubt–because I know that just getting back to my basics I can get to where I want to be. I want to be able to say that in my mid-40s I’m healthier than I was in my 20s and I’m well on my way to making that true. I hear ya’ about the reassessing. Funny thing is, I’ve moved my target downward at least 3 times so we’ll see where I wind up. Success breeds success so I keep pushing myself for more. I’m surrounded by lots of great folks and health professionals so they’ll keep me grounded if I start talking crazy talk and going too far with the weight loss. Good luck and keep on it!

  • Pamela says

    You are AMAZING! Thank you for your courage to share – you are an inspiration. = )

  • Hey Serge,

    What an inspiring story! Keep going man! I can’t wait to finish reading all of it!

    By the way, I would love to share this with my email subscriber list, would it be ok if I take bits and pieces and email out with a link back to here so they can read the full thing?

    Thanks a lot!

    Mike

    • serge says

      Absolutely! Share as much as you’d like. I wrote the story with the aspiration that if it could help just one person find the courage and inspiration to make a change for themselves then I will have repaid all the support, love and encouragement my friends and fam have given me in this journey.

  • John says

    Just wanted to thank you for taking the time to share your story and the helpful information. I am right where you were when you started out. I have read through (sections, not the entire thing) Timothy Ferriss’ book, and after reading what you wrote, I have decided to start this new nutrition path and see what kind of results I can achieve. Thanks again for work and motivation.

  • Thank you so much for these posts. Super inspiring. I fell off the slow carb wagon about a month ago after having some actual success (which was awesome) and tonight I am reading your site and getting pumped again.
    I’m tying up all my white carbs in a bag now and going to read those chapters from 4HB again before bed.

    Thanks Sergio, you have done a great thing by writing this. You rock!

  • Thanks Sergio, you give inspiration to many.

  • Updated my blog Mr. Sergio, and I put your comments within it. I also started today my slow-carb diet, aaarrghh. It’s soo….. hard. Gotta try it!

  • oj says

    Those pics are at Franco’s in Santana Row, right?

    • serge says

      Yep. Hope you’re a happy customer of Franco’s like me =)

  • josh says

    Hi Serge,

    I been doing this diet for about 2 weeks, my Spike day is Saturday just like yours…unfortunately I was bad last weekend and had 2 weddings back to back and I ended up having 2 spike days back to back.. SATURDAY and SUNDAY. YES I WAS weak :(. My question to you Serge is what is the best way to recover from this slip up? Did I mess up the diet?..should I do the cleanse longer and skip this coming Saturday spike day to make up for the extra day? Or continue with my Spike day on Saturday as usual? How do you think this weekend of straying has affected my potential of maximum weight loss? Have you ever done this? Thanks appreciate your opinion.

    Regards
    Josh

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