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Fat to Fit: How I lost 21 kg in just five months

By Anurag Chatterjee
Last updated on: September 17, 2019 10:40 IST
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Here, Rediff reader Anurag Chatterjee, 37, a corporate training and instructional designing consultant from Kolkata tells us how he got in shape with the right diet and exercise.

Anurag Chatterjee before and after losing weight

IMAGE: Anurag went from 93 kg in November 2018 to 72 kg in April 2019. Photographs: Kind courtesy Anurag Chatterjee

'Oh, god! Look how fat you’ve got.'

'What has your wife been feeding you?'

'Training to become a sumo wrestler, are you?'

Initially, I'd ignore some of these taunting words from friends and relatives with a smile.

Slowly, the humiliation singed my soul and battered my self-esteem.

In 2018, my weight had touched 93 kg.

Something had to be done, I thought.

The turning point

In November 2018, I consulted an ENT specialist to discuss solutions for my persistent snoring.

My wife, a working professional, had trouble sleeping in the night because of my snoring habits.

I would wake up groggy and irritable. It even took a toll on our marriage.

The doctor’s diagnosis laid the blame for snoring squarely on my weight gain.

If ever there was a desperate time in my life, this was it!

After surfing the Internet and various health resources, I came up with a diet and work out plan.

Between November, 2018 and April, 2019, I lost 21 kilos. This is how I did it.


I worked out at the housing society’s gym -- a small, poorly-maintained establishment with a few very basic machines and weights. There was no trainer.

I did, however, use the treadmill and stationary cycle extensively.

I did full-body weight training two days/week and 20 minutes of HIIT cardio four times/week.

Till date, I have tried to maintain a log on an Excel sheet.

I set monthly targets in terms of weights and reps to track my progress -- this includes cardio intensity and duration.

Pre-workout drink

Black coffee with 1/2 tsp of ghee

Post-workout meal

Low-sugar protein shake

I only allowed myself one cheat day every two weeks. I avoided all sweets and most fried foods (I'd consume them in tiny amounts at social gatherings).

I also controlled the portion sizes. As I love continental food, I mostly ate foods like steak on cheat days.


Boiled vegetables (tomato, carrot, spinach, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, sprouts, beans etc.), boiled eggs and 2 tbsp of ghee.


Boiled vegetables (tomato, carrot, spinach, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, sprouts, beans etc.), a portion of boiled chicken and 1 tbsp of ghee.


Boiled vegetables (tomato, carrot, spinach, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, sprouts, beans etc.) along with a portion of boiled fish/paneer and 1 tbsp of ghee

Don’t be afraid of consuming ghee and butter in reasonable amounts. Contrary to what we believe, they can actually help you lose weight.

The challenge

I have a sweet tooth; so now I ensure to eat sweets only on rare occasions. Also, as long as my body permits, I’ve decided to keep exercising.

Lessons learned

After the age of 35, your diet has a much bigger effect on fat loss than exercise.

If your diet isn’t right, you could exercise for hours and yet not get satisfactory results.

It is important to eat lots of vegetables, keep other carbohydrates low, have a moderate amount of protein and eat small quantities of sugar only on special occasions.

My advice is simple: Keep portion sizes adequate -- not too big, not too small either.

I have pasted photographs from before and after my weight loss on my refrigerator. I look at them once every morning and before bedtime. It motivates me to stay fit.

My dream is to have the physique of a fitness model, replete with muscles and an eight-pack.

I have learned that everything is possible. It may be extremely hard, but the feeling of achievement in the end makes it all worthwhile.

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Anurag Chatterjee