So I am at 27 kgs lost over 24 weeks right now. If you want to read about how did I put on those kilos you could read my story here.
Coming to my weight loss story.
Did I take any medicines? NO!
Did I take some shakes? NO!
Did I go on a crash bland Diet? NO!
Did I sweat it out in the Gym? NO!
My weight loss story is a simple few changes to my lifestyle. A gradual few changes, one week at a time. I ended up doing a lot of changes over time but the whole story revolved around quantified nutrition. You cannot lose weight by just running or walking or cycling for hours. Why? Well, have you heard about BMR (Basic Metabolic rate)? BMR is basically the amount of calories your body burns for your daily routine like pumping blood etc. This for an average human could be anywhere between 1000 calories to 2500 calories. Compare that to an average 15 kms leisure cycle ride, you might just burn 300 calories.
The basic of weight loss is being calorie deficient. Basically, you fuel your body lesser than it can burn each day so that you force it to burn the stored fuel the fat.
Read here more about metabolism and what fuel your body uses and how.
When you are looking at losing weight, look at lean muscle gains to aid your metabolism.
You cannot hope to go on a diet instantly. Nor could I. There is no switch on and switch off button. Go on an instant diet and you might give off after the first couple of days. Go slow and let your body and mind adapt.
Diet: My poison was tea. So I started cutting down on my tea. Started restricting myself just to two cups of tea a day. (Read Tea in Maharashtra being extra sugary with milk)
Changed my breakfast to a single boiled egg.
Started by reducing my portions by dividing my meals into 5-6 smaller meals throughout the day.
Workout: Started cycling for my commute. 18-20 kms to be precise. Cycle to work was the mantra. I also started refusing to take the lift and started using the stairs.
PS: I was riding a single speed MTB. Basic cycle. Is a very good start if you are looking for lean muscle gains because you are effectively doing a lot of lower body leg workout. This was also very important for me to rebuild the muscles of my left leg which had not recovered even after 10 years post my surgery.
Week two was about reducing the carbohydrates in my diet and starting my journey with lean muscle gains.
Diet: I reduced tea to a single cup a day. Mostly started sticking to milk tea sans sugar. Sugar craving is one of the most difficult to overcome.
Took out processed food, junk food, biscuits, fizzy colas etc and chips from my menu.
Limited myself to having sabji and a single chapati for lunch and dinner.
Added Muesli and a fruit bowl to my snacks.
Also added black dates and dry fruits to my small huger panks and snacks. I could also dip into some crunchy muesli for my small snacks.
Workout: I started with simple body weight exercises. Alternate days between upper body and lower body. Main focus was core strengthening with planks being my staple. Why core? Read more here.
Read more about simple bodyweight exercises for upper body here and lower body here.
Once I knew my body was adapting and was ready for the next phase, I went all out.
Diet: Cut out tea completely and shifted to green tea.
Cut out bread and sugars from my menu.
Started having crabs only for dinner.
Included Paneer or Chicken for the source of protein. Well, the aim was high protein and low carbs.
Workout: Added some more cardio to my training. Started indoor static cycling for 15-30 minutes. Commutes were also increasing with a few days standing at 30 kms.
I started doing some HIIT workouts too.
Weight Plateau. Everyone trying to lose weight might have been through this frustrating phase called weight plateau. Where you are doing everything correct but not losing weight. Well 6 weeks into my weight loss journey when I had lost 7 kgs, I had to travel out of my city to attend a wedding. I had to drive close to 2000 kms over 4 days, Which ensured that I had innumerable cups of tea, pretty high carbohydrates on all these days. I virtually had everything I was not supposed to. But when I came back and weighed myself I had lost roughly 1.5 kgs. Basically a change in diet and excessive carbs had helped improve my metabolism triggering the weight loss.
The next few weeks were about better lean gains. I got myself a dumbbell. Added to my HIIT.
Diet: I increased my protein intake with a few more eggs and chicken meals. Added bananas to my breakfast and Oats paneer poha to my snacks. Idea was to get complex carbs.
What was constant throughout my journey
- I started my day with a glass of warm water with apple cider vinegar for the detox benefit
- I drank 5-6 liters of water a day
- Had a glass of water with a spoon of isabgol husk to complete my fiber intake to keep things balanced.
- Whenever I hit a weight plateau I would stop my diet and go on everything normal.
Update Oct 1 2019:
I have recently signed up for a PhD program and because of some serious time crunch managed to eat only sandwiches and tea for two weeks. My weighing scale tells me that I am 4 kilos up. Join me on my Instagram page to follow my journey to lose 4 kilos once again. Target is for the next two months.
Is it ok to consume tea without sugar while on diet?
Tea per say is not harmful. Actually, it is very good for the body. The sugar is the problem. If it is within your calories you may have the cup of tea with milk as well as sugar. For me, the sugar and milk both were a problem so I slowly cut it out. Started with having tea without sugar and then without milk. Eventually, I shifted to black coffee without sugar.
[…] you lose weight your Basal Metabolic Rate decreases, which means you need to eat even less as your weight […]
what should be done when we are facing the weight plateau
You might want to read my personal experience on breaking the weight loss plateau here