How I lost 20kg in 6 months

Content by: Guy Lawrence

body transformation

By Guy Lawrence

Guy: I love hearing stories that inspire me, so I wanted to share Nicole Newman’s story for anyone who is struggling with their weight.

Having never met her I first received an email from Nicole about six months ago, and below are some snippets from that email so you can get the idea.

Hi Guy, I have been thinking about writing this email for a little while. But, like most attempts at healthy eating and / or weight loss, I have found some excuse not to start. Or to start, and then stop!

Basically, I need to lose weight. Lots of weight. My BMI is 31 and I am 30 years old, weighing 83kg at 166cm. I am miserable and not at all happy in my own skin. This has been the case for a LONG time. Over the last 12 years I have managed to lose 25kg. And gain it again. And lose it again. And gain it again. You get the picture. I have tried a dozen different diets. No carb diets. No fruit diets. No sugar diets. Super low fat diets. Meal replacement diets. Protein shake diets. Super low calorie diets. Juice detoxes!I have been a member of 8 different gyms. Hired 3 different personal trainers. Tried the no gym approach. Tried the over the top exercise 3 times a day approach. They all worked just fine – I lost lots of weight. I just couldn’t stick to ANY of them.So, here I am, at 83kg kilos, not able to fit into my clothes (even the ‘big’ ones) and avoiding social situations.

I would like to use 180 Superfood to help me lose weight – and would love any advice you can give to do this…

I rang Nicole that day and had a good chat to her. We spoke about making long lasting changes as apposed to quick fixes etc, and also recommended some helpful resources including Sara Wilson’s I quit sugar campaign and David Gillespies books along with our blog, as I felt sugar is often underestimated when it comes to health and weight loss and we seem to be eating much more than the official dietary guidelines.

Thinking nothing much of it, I get an email half a year later from Nicole:

Hi Guy, About 6 months ago you responded to one of my emails with a phone call. You gave me some amazing tips and I’m sitting here 20kg lighter, healthy, happy, fit & strong. I have lost 4 clothing sizes and eat more than most men 🙂

My question is do you have any tips on how to lose the last few kg? Other than more of the same?


I rang Nicole congratulating her and said I’d happily help her if she wouldn’t mind putting her weight loss experience it into a blog post so it could inspire others. She agreed and this is that blog post. Over to Nicole…

When we first spoke, you mentioned you had tried many different diets and failed at multiple attempts of losing weight over the years, yet here you are 6 months later and 20kg lighter.

What was the difference between those past attempts and and the success you have now?

Although I have always had an interest in nutrition and weight loss (probably from trying so many diets over the years), but I had never really found a way of eating that helped me lose weight and was sustainable. I did get close at one stage, just before I got married, when I lost around 10kg by following a low fat / low carb diet and exercising with a personal trainer. But I found it difficult, the food was not enjoyable, and I was tired all the time. I was having to create different meals for myself and my husband and daughter – and pretty much as soon as I got married, I gave it up. Not too long after this I fell pregnant, and although I did not gain much weight with my pregnancy, by the time my second baby was 12 months old I weight 85kg. I was roughly a size 16 on a 5’4 frame and was just SO uncomfortable in my own skin.

It was starting to take a serious toll on my mental health. I began to really hate myself. I know that sounds harsh and reading it back – it is. But it was how I felt. I did not want to be overweight anymore. I was not sleeping. I was tired all the time and living on coffee. I was fighting with my husband about various things, I was cranky and impatient with my kids, and I was barely trying at work. I was MISERABLE. I was spending hundreds of dollars every month (that we really didn’t have) buying new clothes in an attempt to make myself feel good. But it didn’t work. And only made my husband and I argue even more! I stopped wanting to attend social events, and on the one occasion I did (my best friends wedding), I stayed sitting at the table all night, hiding from the camera. When finally a photo surfaced on Facebook of my brother and I at the wedding, something snapped. I was so disgusted at what I saw I made a promise to myself that I would change. And so I did.

I had heard about quitting sugar in various forms of social media, and somehow ended up at Sarah Wilson’s blog. From there, I read about 180 nutrition and David Gillespie’s book Sweet Poison. I downloaded both the IQS (I Quit Sugar) program and Sweet Poison into my iPad and began making changes to my diet. I am an all or nothing kind of person – so I cut sugar out completely. Just like that. And yes – it was hard – but not as hard as I thought it would be. I was prepared for how crap I would feel at first.

And I took Sarah Wilson’s advice – every time I felt like something sweet or carby, I ate some fat. And it worked! It still does. I was amazed I had found a ‘diet’ that was satisfying and included tasty food that was readily available. Around this time I ordered myself a bag of 180 Superfood, and read your post on meal replacement with 180 shakes. And so I began to replace 1-2 meals with 180 smoothies (scoop 180, coconut water natural yoghurt, coconut oil or nut butter and occasionally some berries) – and the weight started falling off. It was enough to convince me to keep going and with some advice from you (thank you thank you thank you)  6 months later here I am, 22kg lighter, exercising 4-5 times per week and still eating cheese. I am happy, I have energy, and my relationship with my family is better than ever. Win!

Where there any foods in particular that were your downfall?

Yes there were. Although I do not have a major sweet tooth, I was a huge lover of carbs. Pasta, pizza, bread and rice – I ate one or more of these foods at every meal! Pizza is still my favourite meal but I do a Paleo version which is honestly just as good.

What was your typical breakfast and has it changed much?

It has change dramatically. I was not really a breakfast eater – subscribing to the school of thought that it would give me more allowance for calories later on. Oh how wrong I was! On the odd occasion I did eat breakfast, it would be toast with some sort of topping – butter and vegemite, cheese and tomato or some poached eggs. If I did not eat breakfast, I would have something a few hours later like a toasted sandwich or muffin.

Now I eat breakfast every single day – and it is either a 180 smoothie, or home made almond toast with poached eggs, spinach & mushrooms. I am also not opposed to eating leftovers  for breakfast! It’s not uncommon to see me eating the previous nights leftover dinner. So long as it contains protein, veg and fat I am happy.

What did you used to drink, and did that change much?

Coffee with soy milk which was up to 3 a day (Guy: you can read my thoughts on soy milk here) and water. I was never (and still aren’t) a soft drink person. I still drink the coffee and loads of water – but I now have my coffee black with stevia, and occasionally coconut oil and cinnamon. I have learnt the key to drinking black coffee is to make sure it is good coffee! I go out of my way to stop at a fantastic café on the way to work to get one.

Could you give a rundown on what a typical days eating looked like back then? and what it looks like now?

Given that I was often on some sort of ‘diet’ my typical days eating varied quite a lot. But, when I wasn’t trying to stick to a diet, it would look something like this:

8am – A large soy flat white and maybe some toast with butter and vegemite. Yes, I ate soy and linseed bread or multi-grain thinking it was the healthy option.

10am – A toasted sandwich (if I hadn’t had breakfast), or some nuts or rice crackers with dip.

1pm – Where I work they have a fully subsidised bistro. So in addition to a sandwich bar, there is always 6 or so hot meals on offer. So lunch could be a pasta dish with garlic bread, a stir-fry with rice, curry with rice, salt and pepper squid  etc, or a sandwich or wrap. Usually followed by some sort of desert – yoghurt with fruit for example.

Mid afternoon was more nuts or crackers, occasionally some chocolate, and definitely another coffee with soy milk.

And what does your diet look like now?

7.30am – 180 smoothie OR eggs & veges OR leftovers

8.30am – Black coffee with stevia, coconut oil and cinnamon

9.30am – Some nuts or a boiled egg or chunk of cheese or some IQS coconutty granola

12.30pm – Meat / chicken / tuna with lots of veg and usually some more cheese or avocado!

A fave would be tuna salad with avocado, olives, feta cheese, cucumber, tomato, pine nuts, lettuce / rocket and home made pesto. I am also a huge fan of soups and usually have a big batch of one in the fridge! My fave is chorizo, chicken, kale & lentil. I’d be happy to post a recipe if anyone is interested. I also try and have a batch of 180 brocooli and cheese muffins in the fridge for a quick meal on the go.

2.30pm – Coffee, black tea or Miso soup. Miso is great if you are feeling peckish and SO good for you. I’ll also have some nuts, cheese, or celery sticks with nut butter, or a 180 chocolate amazeball if I am still hungry after lunch.

4.30pm –  Another small snack

7.30pm – Training

8.30-9pm – Dinner. If I’m feeling a little worse for wear after training (usually the case after a PT session!) I’ll have a big 180 smoothie with coconut water and flesh (Guy: I wrote about my late night smoothie/meal replacement here for after training) or 180 protein & natural yoghurt. Sometimes a chocolate amazeball for desert. Otherwise it will be a stir-fry cooked in coconut oil with chicken / pork and  with lots of green veg, a thai curry with meat and lots of veg, spaghetti Bolognese without the spaghetti or just a simple grilled piece of meat or fish with salad.

Were you exercising when you were over weight, and are you exercising any differently now?

At times yes, but not regularly. As I mentioned earlier there was a period before I got married where I knuckled down with my diet and exercise, but it lasted about 3 months. Once I had lost enough weight to be comfortable in my wedding dress, I stopped trying. I never understood people who exercised just because its good for you. I always thought you needed to have a reason to exercise!

We always hear people of being time poor, being a parent I’m sure you are short on time, how did you overcome that?

Yes as a parent I am short on time. But I think most people could argue that life gets busy! Even those without kids. In all honesty, I just needed to pull my finger out. I train at 7.30pm most nights when hubby is home and the kids are in bed, and early on the weekend mornings. If my husband cannot look after the kids for me, I ask my Mum to. If you don’t have those options available as I know not everyone does, then find a gym with a crèche. OR as another friend of mine does – hire a babysitter on a Saturday morning for an hour or 2. If all else fails, buy or download some exercises DVD’s and a cheap yoga mat and start at home. The key Is just to GET MOVING. Even twice a week is good! And get your kids involved – do a few laps of the park while they play on the swings or go on a long walk with the pram. There are lots of opportunities if you are open to them 😀

Did you have any lightbulb moments along the way, if so what were they?

That sugar or fructose is the absolute enemy when it comes to weight loss, and that nothing feels as good as seeing that number on the scales go down.  Also don’t hesitate to ask for help! Guy at 180 was always there to answer any questions I had, and both Lee Holmes (Supercharged Food) and Sarah Wilson also gave me advice if I asked a question on their blog / FB pages.

You mentioned you hit a plateau at the last kgs of weight loss, how did you overcome that?

I had read that most people ‘plateau’ when they have lost most of their weight. For me, I think it was a combination of becoming a little lax with my diet, eating too much protein, as well as the fact that I don’t have much weight to lose now. I am very much in a healthy weight range with around 25% body fat. I would like to lose another 3-5kg and realise it is going to take longer than the first 22kg! I am currently on day 2 of a vege juice cleanse to re-set my system, and have a diet plan ready to go on Monday when I go back to regular eating. It involves 2 x 180 shakes, lots of fat and green veg and less protein than I have been having. No fruit or grains, even for cheat meals, and no alcohol. I think doing this for a month will get my to my goal.

For anyone reading this who is looking to lose weight for the long term, do you have one piece of advise you can share with us?

Start as you intend to go on. If you are starting a diet that you do not intend to continue with once you have lost your weight, then it’s not the right diet. You need to find a way of eating that is enjoyable and sustainable.

Also having a network of like minded people as been massive. I owe so much thanks to my trainer Dave and the team of guys at Active Personal Training. They have been there for me every step of the way, and have helped me achieve goals I never thought possible. I would not have gotten this far without them and they have become great friends of mine too. I can’t stress enough how much it helps having a team of people to support you. Both the trainers and the other clients at the gym have been beyond awesome!

Has this new found knowledge around nutrition changed the way you feed your children?

Absolutely. I have always been conscious of what I feed them, much more so that I was with myself. Although I do not enforce a no sugar diet with them, their sugar intake has greatly reduced. When I bake I use Stevia and Rice Malt syrup instead of sugar, I make my own snacks for them whenever possible – homemade muesli bars, chocolate amazeballs with 180 protein, home made muffins & fruit / breads. Yes they still have the occasional cupcake or lolly at parties and daycare – and this is fine. I am realistic and don’t want them to feel like the odd kids out.

Also in an attempt to avoid making 4 meals for dinner – I try to ensure that whatever meal I make can be adapted for all of us. For me, it’s usually just a case of leaving out the ‘carbs’ – e.g. spaghetti Bolognese with green veg instead of pasta or their green curry with extra veg instead of rice.

Apart from weight loss, has there been any other benefits to your new found health since you changed the way you eat and live?

I can honestly say that I am happy. I could not say that 6 months ago. Because of this I’m a better Mum, wife and employee. I think I am a better consumer too – doing my bit for small business, farmers and the  environment. I love to buy beautiful fresh produce from local farmers and growers when I can, and I buy my meat from the amazing Feather and Bone. I like knowing where my food comes from and what it went through to get on my plate – I am trying to teach my children the importance of this and that not everything comes out of a plastic container at Woolworths!

About the author – Guy Lawrence

This article is brought to you by Guy Lawrence. Guy is a qualified fitness trainer with over 10 years of experience in the health industry. Guy worked at the UTS Fitness Centre where he specialised in exercise nutrition and obtained his Certificate in Exercise Nutrition and Certified Nutrition Consultant qualifications from the Fitness Institute of Australia.

View the superfood product Nicole used here

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Guy Lawrence

This article is brought to you by Guy Lawrence. Guy is a qualified fitness trainer with over 10 years of experience in the health industry. Guy worked at the UTS Fitness Centre in Sydney Australia where he specialised in exercise nutrition and obtained his Certificate in Exercise Nutrition and Certified... Read More

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31 Replies to “How I lost 20kg in 6 months”
Courtney says:

Awesome work Nicole! I read your story and some of your experiences and issues it sounds like I have written it myself! Do you have a blog? Or are you happy to have me email you? I’d love to discuss and brainstorm what you went through and your thoughts and feelings, in the hope to tweak my issues!

Active Personal Training says:

We are so proud of you nic, you look amazing. keep up the hard work and remember that we are always here for you. You deserve all this attention!!!

From the boys at Active PT
Paul, Luke , Dave , Mitch and Matt.

Deb says:

Great read – thank you. Would love a copy of the soup recipe mentioned.

Sarah says:

Well done Nicole! I would also love the soup recipe, sounds delicious : )

Chris Lock says:

What a great read and I wish you all the best in you future weight loss. What I like most about what you have written is it was totally honest and you can see the change in your attude.

Guy and the team make great products and my Vegan clients love their products.

Great work everybody, I love hearing life changing stories like this.

180nps says:

Thanks Chris!

Carol says:

Well done on the wonderful effort, and yes please for the soup recipe.

Hellen says:

Well done, how inspiring!
Is there a recipe for the chocolate amazeballs?

Rossana says:

Awesome and so inspiring Nicole. Thank you for inspiring me and the tips. I love reading the 180Nuturition website, it keeps me inspired and motivated.

180nps says:

Thanks for dropping by Rossana & glad your enjoying the site! 🙂 Guy

allie says:

Wow, that’s amazing, what a success story! I am new to all of this and its so interesting although I am very nervous about consuming all this fat! It just goes against everything I have been told for years!

Kim says:

Have just read your story and its amazing. Some of it very similar to what I am doing at the moment. When you say eat lots of fats is there a list of them so that people like myself without the knowledge know what is good fat to be eating. Once again an inspiring story, keep u the great work. Kim

Guy Lawrence says:

Thanks Kim, good fats would include avocados, nuts, coconut oil, olive oil, oily fish – Cheers

Daniela says:

Well done Nicole very inspiring story! I too love reading success stories but that’s all I seem to do is read them. I have been carrying around extra 15-25kgs at various times since my son was born 12yrs ago 🙁 I’ve had 180 formula in my fridge since April I did plan on using it when I bought but……. I’m going to start with trying to replace 1-2 meals a day with a smoothie from tomorrow 🙂 thank you for sharing your story.

Kylie Huf says:

What an inspiration you are Nicole!! I too am struggling with weight and am sick of feeling sick and tired all the time. I have invested in Sarah Wilson’s, I Quit Sugar but will also get Sweet Poison. I am a Coeliac too so I also want to purchase 180 protein powder. Congratulations on your amazing results!! Good luck with the last few kgs.

Guy Lawrence says:

Hey Kylie… Good luck with quitting the sugar… Give it a month and you’ll feel amazing 🙂 Guy

Megan says:

Hi guy, I’m so keen to loose 10 kilos and keep it off.
I read Nicole’s story and have been greatly encouraged.
I’ve been doing the paleo diet for a month.
But I have also purchased the 180 coconut formula.
Can I use this on my paleo eating plan.
Plus would you suggest two replacement meals of this to loose my weight.
I have lost 7 kilos just from going off all grains, dairy and sugar.
Would really like your suggestions.
I’m trying to walk a few times a week, can’t say I’m an exercise junky, but I try.
Thanks Megan

Guy Lawrence says:

Hi Megan, fantastic work! If you have eliminated dairy, then use the 180 Vegan formula for your paleo diet… There are so many variables to weight loss, it’s impossible for me to diagnose anything from afar… We have put this weight loss page together & our free eBook that’s worth looking at to see what you have & haven’t incorporated… Hope that helps, Guy

Leticha Farrow says:

Nicole i am sitting at work crying reading this as it sounds like i wrote it myself, although i have been doing most of these things too and am still piling on the weight. I do not exercise which i realise is a biggie but don’t believe it is the be all and end all. I love 180 protien powder and i have it in a smoothie every morning usually with avo and banana, i make myself and my dad a salmon salad most days for lunch or something similar and have meat and vege for dinner as like you i try not to have to make alot of separate meals so will have a sausage if that is on the menu which is quite often as we have a freezer full of homekill. i am misserable, tearful, depressed, angry, confused, fight with my husband get angry at my kids and have no clothes that fit me. I am so happy for you though and can’t wait for the day i can say the same x

Admin Angela says:

Hi Leticha,

I’m so sorry to hear that you feel that way. Sounds like your kitchen sink (digestive system) might need some work. I think you would benefit from working with a practitioner to support and guide you through the process. We work with an awesome naturopath Lynda, here are her contact details I know she does Skype consults too. I thought this post might be of interest I hope you find what works for you soon, stay strong.

Big 180 love, Angela 🙂 x

leticha says:

Thanks Angela.
Yes I definitely think I have internal issues and ive spent thousands on supplements etc to try to correct them to no avail at this stage but I will not give up – I love180 and all the articles and will definitely look into your suggestions. Thanks x

Penny says:

Well done Nicole on your weight loss and health gains. Thanks for sharing your story. I think it highlights how important support and encouragement is to achieve long lasting changes to our health. We are so lucky to have the likes of the 180 Nutrition team at our finger tips to support us on our journeys to lasting improved health. Nicoles example also emphasises that everyone is an individual and you have to find what works for you. When you are feeling disheartened that you arent getting the results you expect, hearing a story like Nicoles helps to stay focussed on our goals. Thanks for the post.

Catherine says:

THANK you for sharing your journey. i am looking up the app right now, and sending this to my mother. Already have my 180, love it 🙂 Need to get back on track. Its amazing how far off course once you let yourself go, its an avalanche and the next thing you know youve gone from taking the time to carefully make your foods, to grabbing the easiest thing white bread cookies and crap you all the sudden start craving more and more of.
looking forward to craving the good stuff again! think the treats on your blog might help cure the i need something sweet stages.
thanks guys, you’re so dedicated over here!

Fiona says:

This article resonated with me like no other. Almost everything is me to a tee. Having never struggled with weight issues (I was a smoker) I now find myself 20kgs over weight and despite going to the gym 5-7 days a week have just been diagnosed with metabolic syndrome. I lost both my father and grandfather at 50 years old and at 48 can feel the panic beginning to seep into my heart. I am looking for sustainable weight loss and not spending my life thinking about my next meal. I find when I eat full healthy fats my hunger is kept well under control. I think like smoking as much as I enjoyed it bad sugar has to be eradicated forever. I am lost though we are bombarded with so much information and pulled in so many directions I am truly overwhelmed and feel so sad about my many failures. This story though shined a light endgame me hope … any pointers for beginning this life change would be greatly appreciated.

Admin Angela says:

Good luck with your journey. Sounds like you are on the right path. – Ange 🙂

Aaron says:

First I appreciate your efforts and commitment to yourself about loosing weight in fix time duration. This post would be an inspirable post in itself. Nice article!! Keep sharing such posts on weight loss and fitness as well.

Anna says:

I am 16. I weigh a freaking 60 kgs in 155 cms. What do I do Nicole? Suggest me a way so that I can lose atleast 15 kgs in 6 months successfully and safely. Also I don’t wanna put on weight again after few months of losing weight.

Guy Lawrence says:

Hi Anna. Nicole wrote this post a long time ago so I’m not sure she will see this comment. Can I make a suggestion? Do you listen to podcasts? I find them invaluable 🙂 This is a good one to start with . Hope that helps, Guy

maryam saqib says:


Donna says:

Please i really need to loose 30 kilo

Guy Lawrence says:

Hey Donna,

Our weight loss guide is a great place to start to truly understand where our roadblocks may be when struggling to lose weight:

We also have a weight loss specific product bundle for when you are ready to commit:

Please don’t hesitate to shout-out if you have any questions.

Cheers 🙂

Comments are closed.