Weight loss: 'Once over 90 kg, I now weigh less than 80'
Readers share the stories and strategies behind their weight loss.
Last week, we invited you to share your diet and exercise strategies with us.
Here is the next set of responses, starting with Rajeev Kulshrestha, who is losing weight the healthy way:
I used to be a fitness freak in my school days -- I had an athletic figure, I ran 100/200 metre races, did weight training in Class Eight...Always, exercise was part of my daily routine.
The problem started when I joined the marketing department of a company and had to travel extensively. My daily routine was disturbed, I missed my workouts, started consuming liquor and eating heavily -- and so I started gaining weight.
Around the years 1992-93, I had crossed 90 kg, which eventually came down to 85 -- and this figure was a constant for the last 20 years.
Then I left my job and started up my own business in 2005, launched another project in 2007 and made big losses. As a result, I lost my health -- I was suffering from high BP, blood sugar and cholesterol.
My doctor was wise and advised me to amend my food habits and bring my weight in check. I decided not to take the shortcut of medication and started exercising everyday. At first it was for an hour daily, then I increased it to one and a half hours -- brisk walking, jogging, ab crunches, the stepper, cycling. At present, I weigh under 80 kg.
One advantage I have is that I don't smoke; also, I quit drinking, sweets, chocolates and pastries and I never liked cold drinks, so I don't consume them.
I reduced my food quantity -- for breakfast, no parathas, only three or four chapattis (no ghee) and a single egg omelette. For lunch, two pieces of vada or half a plate of Chow Mein (four small pieces of chicken). Sugar-free tea in the evenings with dry grams. And for dinner, one cup of rice, dal and lots of vegetables. On Sundays, I eat a piece of either fish or chicken.
I have removed the maximum fat from my arms, legs, chest, buttocks, thighs, neck and face -- only some amount of fat is accumulated on my stomach. I plan to have a flat stomach by March 2013. I do my exercise everyday, no gaps, except if I am not in my city. I feel very fit; I always promote exercise and request friends to quit smoking. I also did pranayams for some time, which help correct the breathing. I wish to start up a gym once I have earned good money, so that I can promote good health.
We want you to share your weight loss story with us. Write in to firstname.lastname@example.org (subject line: 'How I lost weight'), with a before and after photograph, if possible and we'll feature the best entries right here!
Image: Rajeev Kulshrestha before he lost weight and (right) after
Photographs: Courtesy Rajeev Kulshrestha
'I lost 10 kg with the General Motors Diet'
Next we have Rajesh Singh's story of weight loss using the General Motors Diet:
I decided in an open forum held by my company that I would achieve a weight loss target -- eight kg -- over six months, which was much appreciated and applauded by my colleagues. I weighed 91 kilos at the time and my weight had been fluctuating between 88 and 92 kg over the last three-four years.
First off, I started going to the gym with a personal trainer, who tried to put me through strenuous exercises and aerobics for weight loss. But as I am a foodie, I continued to eat with more vigour corresponding to my exercise. I didn't lose even two kilos while doing all this; however, there was a considerable increase in my stamina.
I came upon the concept of the GM Diet from one of our company doctors when I was visiting a site. He assured me a loss of three kg in seven days. I didn't believe him and was skeptical. As I was to stay at that company site for a few more days, he challenged me to follow the diet and reap the results, a challenge which I accepted.
I started on the diet (without any exercise at all) and was surprised to find myself three kilos leaner at the end of the seventh day. I repeated it thrice and reduced 10 kg over three months. It is important to mention that I avoided heavy sweet consumption (which I indulged in earlier) and deep-fried foods even during the non-dieting period.
The GM Diet is available on the Internet and below is its Indian avatar -- the original diet has meat servings, which I couldn't consume due to my religious faith. Also, the most important thing about this diet was that I was not asked to limit my intake, but limited to only suggested eatables for diet.
Here's the seven day challenge that I took on:
Day 1: All fruit day (except bananas). Take as much fruit as you can and of any type (I had lots of mangoes). The most beneficial are melons, especially watermelon, in large quantities.
Day 2: All vegetables day (no more that one boiled potato at breakfast). Other vegetables (boiled and not fried, ie no oil at all), as much as you can as many times a day as you can.
Day 3: Fruit and vegetables both (no bananas or potatoes), as much as you can, as many times you can.
Day 4: Six bananas and three glasses of milk spread over the whole day ( I did exceed this during my diet; maybe I had around six bananas and four or five glasses of milk).
Day 5: Tomato and rice day : Minimum six raw tomatoes (or maybe more than that). You can cook the tomatoes and only one cup of rice without oil. A minimum of 13 glasses of water is necessary today.
Day 6: All vegetables day (same as Day 2) + one cup of boiled rice
Day 7: All vegetables day (same as Day 2) + one cup of boiled rice
Important notes :
- You have to have a minimum of 10 glasses of water each day, except Day 5 when you have 13 glasses.
- A soup consisting of only water, carrots, cabbage, peas, celery, tomatoes and garlic and ginger (I used the last two for taste, although they are not part of the diet) can be consumed as many times and as much you want on any day. Use some salt -- I used it in limited quantities every day, which is not prohibited.
- The GM is not essentially a weight loss diet, but mostly referred to as a detox diet -- weight loss is an added benefit.
- Don't repeat it too quickly -- give yourself at least three days between two cycles to establish a rhythm with your body.
I was lighter by three kg at the end of each cycle and believe me, there were no side effects or weakness at all. I am now 79 kg and would like to keep it that way or lower it throughout my life.
I hope this will benefit readers.
Image: Reader Rajesh Singh is a fan of the General Motors Diet, which advocates plenty of fruit and vegetables in seven day cycles (image for representational purposes only)
Photographs: Jina Lee/Wikimedia Commons
'As a last resort, I made a small change to my diet'
Here is K S Reji's account of his battle with the bulge:
I am from Cochin and an engineer by profession. My weight reduction programme started way back in 1997, when I was 28 years old. I have tried a handful of methods to reduce my weight for the last 15 years. I am 158 cms tall and weighed 70 kg after my marriage. When I touched 70 kg, it felt alarming -- if I didn't do something serious, it was going to get out of control.
First I started practicing yoga. It helped me to reduce my by two-three kilos over a four-month period. Then it plateaued. In due course, even though I was continuing with yoga, the lost weight was slowly regained. In a desperate attempt I tried all sorts of methods like the GM Diet, applying ayurvedic oils, using vibrating belts etc. The result was the same.
Later I started walking for an hour daily. In six months I realised that not even a single gram was reduced, but my cholesterol levels did come down. Meanwhile I started playing badminton for one and a half hours on a regular basis, which helped me to maintain my fitness.
A few years ago I took a trip to Singapore and Malaysia. There, to my surprise, all the gents and ladies were with flat bellies and six-packs. I inquired about the secret behind their fitness and came to know that they take dinner before 7 pm and after 9 pm they walk for at least 45 minutes. I started practicing the same thing and took it further -- instead of walking, I cycled for 10 kilometres after 9 pm, post an early dinner before 7 pm. In the first 45 days, the change was tremendous. I lost four kg. But after that my weight plateaued again and slowly came back also.
Then I was introduced to the yoga form of Five Tibetan Rites by a friend of mine. Again, the first few months were encouraging. But history repeated itself. Within one year things came back to square one.
Let me tell you, all these years I was continuing with my badminton also. In fact, it helped me to control my weight from crossing 70 kg. Soon I lost all my drive and dreams of a flat belly.
As a last resort, I have made a small change to my diet -- completely cutting carbohydrates from my dinner. Everything else remained the same. The result was amazing. In four months, I lost 10 kg and I am maintaining 60 kg for the last six months with the Tibetan yoga for 20 minutes and badminton for one hour, with a reduced intake of carbohydrates for dinner.
My routine is as follows:
6:30 am: One cup of tea with sugar
7 to 7:30 am: Five Tibetan Rites and light floor exercises
8:30 am: Break fast with two dosas/idlis/appams with chutney/sambar/pea curry
One cup of toned milk with sugar
10 am: One cup of tea with sugar at the office
12:30 pm: Lunch with two chapattis, one small cup of rice, sambar and cooked vegetables like beans/cabbage/peas(ours is a vegetarian canteen) and butter milk
2:30 pm: One cup of tea with sugar
4:30 pm: One glass of carrot / pineapple juice
5 pm to 6:30 pm: Badminton (doubles)
7:30 pm: Dinner with one cup of rice, two pieces of fish/ chicken (curry or fry), three slices of cucumber, cooked vegetables like beans/cabbage/peas and two plantains (before weight reduction programme I used to take two cups of rice).
Please note that during weight reduction, the only change was no rice/ wheat for dinner. Everything else remained the same.
Image: Nothing helped reader K S Reji as much as a carb-free dinner (image for representational purposes only)
Photographs: Telloxi/Wikimedia Commons
'Walk four km a day and eliminate sugar'
And Anil K Gupta outlines a simple, no-fuss method that enabled him to shed an astounding 22 kilos:
1. Walk four km a day.
2. Eliminate sugar and sweet items, butter and bread from the diet.
3. Eliminate fried and junk foods.
4. Reduce salt intake.
5. Drink eight litres of water every day.
6. Reduce intake of chapattis. One chapatti with lunch, half with dinner (no ghee/butter on them).
7. Dal without ghee/butter
8. Increasing fruits and vegetables threefold -- 1.5 kg per day.
Image: Reader Anil K Gupta eliminated all sweets from his diet (image for representational purposes only)