A Keto Diet Helped This Guy Lose 42kg in 5 Months - Men's Health Magazine Australia

A Keto Diet Helped This Guy Lose 42kg in 5 Months

This single father-of-three's story is pretty awesome.

Canberra local, Yem Yuon, is a single father of three who at the beginning of the year weighed in at 115kg. Using his kids as inspiration, Yem embarked on his weight loss journey in March in order to be a better role model for his kids and spend more quality time with them. In just 5 short months, Yem has lost an incredible 42kg thanks to a ketogenic diet and also building a fitness regime to exercise and build strength. It’s not just a healthier lifestyle that the 36-year-old has noticed, with his transformation inspiring himself to undertake a career change and become a nutritional coach to help others achieve their goals and understand their bodies.

Here’s how he did it.

What was your lifestyle like before the transformation?

Before I embarked on my transformation, my life was very mediocre. I never had any drive to excel any further in my work and I became comfortable, I became complacent and unmotivated – I didn’t prioritise my health and as a result, it cost me dearly my physical health, mental health and my marriage. 

What did you eat/did you exercise?

I have always had a passion for the gym and physical exercise, but I always found my diet and sleep was holding me back from my true potential. I never had the physical body to show my hard work due to poor diet choices. My first step was to research and understand calorie counting and macro nutrients. This allowed me to create a planned meal program to suit my current weight and bodyfat percentage where I could lose weight (excess body fat) by remaining in a caloric deficit – but be satiated enough that I wouldn’t be tempted to stray and cheat my diet plan. I researched food prep meals and found My Muscle Chef Meals to perfectly suit my dietary needs. Having my meals planned out in advanced and prepared allowed me to focus on my weight training, work and family life balance and my sleep. 

Yem before.

What had you tried in the past?

I have tried many diets before – low carbcarnivore – 1000 calorie a day – OMAD, you name it. I could never stick with a diet enough as I was either not satisfied with the food or did not have the time to prepare the meals in advance. I also found I was weight training as though I was still in my early twenties – with Mr Olympia dreams – and my body could not keep up with the demands of such heavy training, minimal sleep and extremely low-calorie diets.

What was the turning point?

Honestly, after my marriage had broken down, I needed to find a way to pull myself out of such a dark place – my children needed me to be my best for them during a hard time for us all. I spent a lot of time self-evaluating and reflecting and concluded that although we cannot change the things that have happened to us, we can re assess our position in life and look at what where we can Improve ourselves physically and mentally. I decided that me being overweight had always held me back in life, affected my mental health and really, If I could achieve my desired weight and body goals with a plan – then I could absolutely achieve anything in my life.

How did you do it?

I began my weight loss journey at the end of February 2022. I weighed in at 115kg at a height of 163cm – putting me in the largely obese category. I began a caloric deficit diet of around 1800 calories per day in conjunction with weight training 5 days week.

A typical day of my food intake would be a coffee in the morning (as I was practising 16/8 fasting) and lunch would be at around 2pm which was a meal from My Muscle Chef – my favourite lunch would be their Chicken and Cauliflower Bake, so good! I then would have a prelockout drink before weight training after work at around 6pm, followed by a post workout protein shake. And for dinner I would have another My Muscle Chef meal – my absolute favourite has to be their Moroccan Hoki and Kale Potato Salad – it has just about everything I need to finish the day with my macronutrient needs. If it allowed – I could also sneak in a quick protein bar again part of the My Muscle Chef meal plans I purchase fortnightly.

My training split was tailored for my age as I am now 36 and not 21. A typical week would be Mon – Chest – body weight dips to Flat bench, Incline Bench press and Decline Bench press – to finish the day I would perform a bodyweight exercise to failure like pushups.

Tues – Triceps – warmups would be bodyweight dips, followed by close crip bench press, skull crushers and other triceps extension variations – completed by diamond pushups.

Wed – Legs – Warmup would be bodyweight goblin squats – followed by Barbell Squats, Front barbell squats, Romanian deadlifts and Bulgarian split squats.

Thurs – Biceps – warmups are bicep pullups – followed by barbell curls, ez bar reverse curls, hammer curls, alternating dumbbell curls, and to finish concentration curls.

Fri – Back – warmups are wide grip pull ups – followed by deadlifts, barbell or yates rows, single arm dumbbell rows, t bar rows and to finish pullups with a static hold for as long as I can.

Sat – Shoulders – warmups are dips, with barbell military presses, dumbbell shoulder presses, bent over lateral side raises, standing lateral side raises, upright rows and to finish would be heavy shoulder shrugs.

Sun– Rest Day

Yem after.

What were the results?

As with any weightless plan, I found I had “newbie gains” and lost an average 1-1.5kgs a week for the first 6 weeks. As I continued, I found my weight loss taper down and begun to see an average of 300gm-600gm a week. I also found I needed to readjust my diet to remain in a caloric deficit as my weight was now a lower number and my body fat % was less and my lean body mass was Increasing. As of September 2022, I weigh 68.5kgs with an estimated body fat percentage of 12-15% and my lean body mass at an estimated 63-64 kgs. 

How do you feel now?

I feel fantastic! My mental health has improved as well as my physical health. I am more confident, outgoing and positive about life! I find myself motivated everyday and taking upon new challenges that I would only dream of. I am so proud of myself, and my children are so proud of their father for setting a good example for them and others. This transformation literally saved my life.

What’s your best advice for others looking to embark on a transformation? 

There is no better time to start than now. Research and try different things until you find a plan that suits your lifestyle. We aren’t all cut from the same cloth and there is no one plan that suits all. Preparation, dedication and consistency will bring the results you aim for. Rome wasn’t built in a day – you just need to remember to be better than you were yesterday.

By Nikolina Ilic

Nikolina is the former Digital Editor at Men's Health Australia, responsible for all things social media and .com. A lover of boxing, she has written for Women's Health, esquire, GQ and Vogue magazine.

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