How I Lost 30 Pounds While Still Eating Candy Every Night Before Bed

Meet the Philly weight loss doctor who slimmed down.

Photographs courtesy Dr. Charlie Seltzer.

Changing your body takes hard work, persistence, and dedication. Here’s one Philadelphian’s story. Want to share your Transformation Story? Email

Who: Dr. Charlie Seltzer, 41, a physician who specializes in weight loss, from Queen Village

Starting weight: 190

Ending weight: 160 (I am a touch heavier now, as I get a little looser in the dead of winter.)

How long it took“This transformation has been going on in one way or another since I first developed a disordered relationship with food and became overweight, which was in my sophomore year of high school. Since obesity and eating disorders are chronic illnesses and thus cannot be ‘cured,’ I must manage both daily and will need to do so for the rest of my life.”

Why I wanted to make a change: “I was a comfortable 170 through the summer of 2016, when I got hit with an exacerbation of my anxiety and depression. This caused me to stop working out and start eating tons of food in an effort to self-medicate. This behavior persisted through February 2017, at which point I hit ‘rock bottom’ — none of my clothes fit, and I felt horrible.”

How my profession comes into play“I am a weight loss doctor, but that doesn’t mean I am not subject to the same struggles as a random person off the street. In fact, my weight and food struggles are probably what got me into this field in the first place. The struggle is real and no one is immune.”

“I am a weight loss doctor, but that doesn’t mean I am not subject to the same struggles as a random person off the street.”

How I changed my diet: “I began tracking my food and modulating portions. The choices never changed, just the portions. The laws of thermodynamics dictate that if you eat fewer calories than you burn (regardless of the source), you will lose weight. I will eat candy before bed no matter what, because I love it. I could try to white knuckle it, but that essentially never works, and even if it did, I’d be miserable. (Which is also a failure.) So I just made sure I never went over my calories. If I wanted a big bag of jelly beans at night, I’d simply eat a little less with each meal during the day.”

How I changed my exercise plan: “I began exercising again, very slowly. At first, my gym sessions were ten minutes, during which I would just do a few sets of squats, bench presses and deadlifts. As I got further into it, I increased the frequency and intensity of the workouts, to a maximum of four to five times per week for 45 to 60 minutes each. Of the total time spent exercising, 90 percent was weights and 10 percent was cardio.”

What I’m most proud of: “The fact I can be an example for my patients and followers — and that I did it while still eating candy every night before bed.”

The hardest part: “Starting, and the embarrassment of letting myself go as much as I did.”

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