12 Lessons I Learnt From My Weight Loss Journey
About two years ago, I weighed 83 kilos. I was uncomfortable at that body weight, and would always look for ways to eat less, obsess about my clothes being too tight, and feel frumpy all the time! I knew that I needed professional help if I wanted to shed the extra kilos. So, I went ahead and started a weight loss program. I was on it for about eight months and lost 8 - 9 kilos during that period.
My nutritionist was thorough and devised a detailed and varied food plan for me. Along with that, she included certain principles and practices to be followed every day. These, she said, would hold me in good stead in the long run.
The fact that I have successfully kept my weight off tells me that the principles worked.
In no particular order, here is what I learned, implemented and followed to lose the excess weight, and continue to do so, even today:
- Weigh yourself everyday at the same time, preferably in the morning. I used to be so bloody scared of weighing myself. Not any more. The weighing machine is my friend now that guides me on a daily basis.
- Limit yourself to one or two portions of fruit a day.
- Make salad your friend! Salads make great meals. From salad leaves, to onions, carrots, cucumbers, radish, celery, mushrooms, tomatoes, avocados, nuts, chopped fruits, dried fruits, roasted peppers, shredded meats, cooked shrimp, fresh uncooked or cooked paneer, the large variety of ingredients available for use is mind boggling. Pro Tip - Make your dressing at home. Here's a tried and tested recipe to get you started: Make a blend of half portion Balsamic Vinegar and half portion Olive Oil. Add salt, red chilli powder, black pepper, pinch of raw sugar, ground or chopped garlic as per taste, and give it a shake. And Voila!
- Vary your grain intake. Try amaranth, millets, bajra, oats, besan, quinoa, along with the regulars of rice, bread and atta.
- Limit your alcohol to a few glasses a week.
- Eat a few nuts or a piece of fruit within 15 minutes of waking up.
- Breakfast should be eaten within two hours of waking up
- All cravings should be addressed. If you love mutton curry (as I do), please do eat it once a week, for lunch if possible. The same applies to dessert cravings.
- Nuts and dry fruits such as almonds, pistachios, pine nuts, peanuts, walnuts, raisins, apricots, dates etc should always be kept handy, and eaten any time you feel hungry.
- Eat something - fruit or raw vegetable, or a handful of nuts and dry fruits - at regular intervals of two hours.
- Every meal should include a small portion (about 20%) of protein. A meal should never be only Carbohydrates. Vegetables should constitute at least 60% of every meal.
- Diet charts and weight loss programs may come and go, but for sustained optimum weight and healthy eating habits, you have to make small changes and stick to them! Trying to follow diet plans that are too far removed from your daily, long-standing habits may not work. Key is to make sustainable changes that benefit you in the long run!
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