Monday, May 31, 2010

Things Never Fail - Dairy of a fat girl

30th May 2010

Dear diary, today the day started as usual. Nothing much seems to change and one thing that never change with me is the hunger. I always get up hungry not matter how much I ate last night. My stomach sometimes feel like a pit that never fills and I never fail to get up late.

Anyways, as I never fail to feel lazy I got up and made myself hot cup of tea (a big mug), popped two breads in toaster. I stood there admiring the toasted breads dreaming only if I could pat them with little butter. Tiny miny will not hurt, how lovely will they taste but somehow said no. Enjoyed my breakfast. No matter what is there in the breakfast I never fail to enjoy it.

House work never fails to suck. No matter how much I try to clean the house it never fails to look dirty, the dishes never fail to pile up in the sink. Anyways with sinking heart I did the cleaning up.

Oops time for P to come home. Oh no, I got up so late and now its almost lunch time and I need to make something super quick.

Well, just boiled some brown rice and on the other side of the stove, threw some spinach and garlic in a pan, added some paneer pieces, and sauted them. Just added rice and black pepper salt and oregano. Thank god for making Chinese and their food.

P arrived as usual, looking tired and hungry as hell (thank god again for making Chinese). This rice never fails to make P happy.

I have still to do lots of house work and I am trying to escape it somehow but have to do it anyways. Its early evening now and I am hungry and tired with all the cleaning up. I never fail to feel hungry. Grabbed a lovely big mango and had it. Man I was feeling so terribly hungry.

Time to quickly make dinner and then be free for the day. Dear diary I have started eating lentil pancakes with lots of veggies thrown in. They tastes awesome and they kind of fill my stomach well and P loves them too.

Had a huge tug a war with the mixie but ended up grinding a fine paste of yellow dhal. Added grated carrots, cucumber, bottle gourd. Made a batter and then the pancakes. Wow that was simple until P suggested it would be lovely to have them with green chutney.

P never fails to demand. So made the chutney as well.
P made coffee and we both had a pancake and a cup of coffee.

Have no idea where the day passed and its late evening. I am already feeling tired. I never fail to feel tired when I have to go to gym. Should I cancel??? I am too tired to move. Got dressed and sat in front of the computer while P watched his serial. Have decided to go and walk on the treadmill anyways.

Gym was full packed. Not a machine free. Should I call P and tell him to take me back.

Only the terrible stepper is free. No one wants to do the stepper. But now as I am the only one standing doing nothing I will take the stepper. Hmm, its not that bad but damn boring. I told myself to keep moving for 5 minutes.

I kept my eyes open for my favorite machines to go free. Yippe someone left the cross trainer and I hung to it as if I was hanging for my life. Mp3 music blasted in my ears and I kept the speed of the cross trainer. Oh hell, time never fails to crawl while working out. Its just 10 minutes and I am still stuck on this cross trainer. Just tuned into the beedi lagaliye number and danced away on the cross trainer. Anyways had to do it for 20 minutes no matter what.

Good to see that treadmills are free now. I am sweating like hell. Its so damn hot here even with the AC.
I love treadmill, time always pass by easily on this. Today I decided to sweat more. I ran for 3 minutes and then walked and then ran again and then walked. I am totally covered with sweat and dripping now. As if someone has poured water on me.

Aaah, exercise never fails to make me feel good. Time for lat pull downs, aductor and less press. I wish that the fat of my back will go away soon with pull downs.

P came to pick me up after an hour in the gym. I never fail to feel hungry after coming from the gym. Chutney suggestion was great, pancakes did taste wonderful with it. Had lots of water melon too.

What a day. Feeling tired and sleepy now.

Diary, things never fail. They behave as they are supposed to behave. Its up to me how I look at those things and deal with them. At least I know what they are capable of and accordingly I should plan my game.

At the end of the day dairy, I have to answer the question “Did I fail today” and dear dairy just before closing my eyes I realized that I did not.

Good night diary will write to you soon.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Yummy Mummy

When I started my weight loss blog, I met so many wonderful women who stood up to beat the odds and start their weight loss journey. One among such women was Pman16. She approached me in my weight loss thread. I can literally trace her progress in that thread.

She has been extremely loyal towards her weight loss project. Her loyalty and determination was an inspiration to me as well. Below are the few questions that Pma16 had answered.

So for all the mothers out there who think weight loss is not possible with so many things to do, here is Pman16 for you. The mom of two who started and finished her weight loss with amazing results.

An Interview with Pman16

1. What was your start weight and your final weight.

Start weight : 140 lbs

During 2nd pregnancy : 155lbs

Now: 137 lbs.

Though people say I look slim enough now, I trust only the ideal BMI. Hook or crook, I m going to get there in the next 6months.

2. How you got motivated.

Health is my first priority. More than all the benefits of weight loss, health was/is my main concern. I was a skinny person until my 1st delivery hence i knew that if I seriously diet and exercise, I would get results.

3. How your perception to weight loss changed.

Needless to say, my perception to weight loss changed after I read Shiva's blog. She mentioned in her blog many times that weight loss never fails. If she could, then why not me.....was my I followed her thread closely and applied what suited me to get results.

Many celebrity moms have managed to look slim even after having kids. So this is not humanly impossible. We ourselves tend to eat under the pretext of upbringing. Weight loss for moms might be a slow task because of our hectic schedules. Take your own time. I could have achieved excellent results maybe in less than an year but since I am the sole caretaker of my sweet home, I did at a snail's pace.

4. What you did to achieve the results.

Being a typical south Indian eating rice for lunch and dinner, it was difficult for me to switch from rice to wheat. I made my wheat based dishes very tempting to eat so that I didnt regret eating rice like cracked wheat pulav/biryani, cracked wheat bhath, cracked wheat curd rice etc.

I tried various kinds of mixed veggie parathas to fill up.Being used to eat curd rice at the end of my meal, I made raitas like spinach raita,cucumber raita,lauki raita etc so that I would get the cool feeling at the end.

Basically, I used to make this all-veggies soup. Since I dont find time due to kids to make the soup from the scratch, I used the soup powders available in the store as the base.
Fruits and salads are a vital part of dieting. It not only helps in weight loss but also improves the complexion.

5. Your diet and your exercise schedule.


I used to go for aerobics twice a day for about 6 months.Here I realized my body was getting used to a routine type of exercise. I needed more challenging workout so decided to join the gym which offers hourly classes such as body sculpting,cardio,cycling, etc

Earlier I used to get tired walking 30mins on road and think I was doing a great job.

I wanted to target my belly and the side bulges. So I started doing crunches every single day. First I started with 30 then increased to 50 and now I can do 300 crunches in one session easily but in sets.

I used to go to gym every single day during my kids summer vacation and tried different types of exercise. One hour cardio, cycling, dance workouts etc. After a month I planned a routine for myself.

On some days, when kids get cranky I used to skip the gym and play badminton with them. It was a good exercise for me too being with them.

6. How long it took you to loose.

It took one long year for me to come back to my pre-preg weight. As I am a mom of 2 kids, I didn't want to rush and get temporary results and again start from ground zero. I wanted some permanent results so I took baby steps and didnt ever exclude any food habits which I cannot avoid for eg; my chai with milk and sugar.

7. Any other interesting things or facts

For all those moms looking to lose weight:
DONT BE DEPENDENT ON YOUR HUSBAND to help you in your weight loss journey.

If he is helpful to you, then its good. If not, stop cribbing and stop expecting that he would babysit your kid while you workout.

Here, lets not talk about his responsibilities of being an equal responsible parent. Since this article is all about weight loss, lets see the bigger picture. A woman who is confident of herself can be a better wife and a good mom.

Agree or not, overweight tends to creep in your marital life too in some form or the other. While everyone used to get excited about a potluck or weekend gathering, I used to worry about the pictures which would feature my bulges and would start making some excuses of avoiding the gathering. Photos from India where over sized ladies side pose in sarees would scare me and I would imagine that I too was one among them.

I managed to put my toddler in stroller (even if she's sleeping) and go for walking with the best music on. If I skip chanting slokas at home, I have a printout of all of them and I carry it to the gym and chant them while I am on treadmill. I hope even God wouldn't mind if I am not in my best dressed sari and sitting in a corner to chant slokas.

The best time to start weight loss journey for moms is summer vacation. As the days are long and weather is good, we can plan many activities for kids as well as ourselves.

Look for a gym which offers free child watch or nominal babysitting charges.If you cannot afford to go every single day, then plan for atleast 3 days a week. Slowly kids will have their space and we can get back in shape.

There are numerous ways to keep our goal reminders.First and the foremost thing we need is a positive frame of mind. You need the determination of 'why not' then you will get the answer for your 'how'. Weight loss doesn't happen overnight nor there is any magical pill which will shrink your body.

Remember,during pregnancy for 9 long months our tummies had to stretch to accommodate the baby. So give yourself at least the same or more time to get back to pre-pregnancy weight and shape.

8. Compliments You recieve now.

Shiva, now that the summer is approaching, I wore few old tops and got many good compliments from people around. I remembered your word 'yummy mummy' when I got those compliments.

My son is 10yr old now and a friend said, you don't look like a pre-teenager's mom at all,its hard to believe that you are mom of 2 kids etc etc.I feel soooo good now.

I cannot stop looking at myself in the mirror throughout the day. Since my facial fat also has reduced abundantly,I feel so light and (they say) I am looking young now. Thanks to the fruits and soups, my face is glowing so much.

9. Pointer to moms

1. Many ladies think that without car driving they cannot achieve big results. If you think that I had an excellent support system to achieve my success then you are wrong.

I do not have any domestic help, I drive on my own, transport kids to school on my own.

Though my husband is a good supportive person, he cannot be there for me always to babysit the kids. Moreover,always talking about weight loss and related stuff would not interest men. I learnt car driving so that I could be more mobile and explore new world.

2. For moms we need to chalk out our food very carefully while dieting. Shiva has mentioned wonderful tips in her blog about freezing food and making microwave dishes. Check them out. In advanced countries, we have easy access to right kind of foods as well as wrong ones. If you find McDonalds then you can find a Whole foods store too. Now it is up to us to decide which is good for us in the long run.

If you don't get inspired to start a weight loss journey, take a reverse approach. Read articles about overweight and other health risks associated with it. The health problems that stem from being overweight go way beyond the ones we usually hear about, like diabetes and heart disease. Being overweight can also affect a person's joints, breathing, sleep, mood, and energy levels. So being overweight can impact a person's entire quality of life.

This reverse approach helps a lot for us to motivate ourselves. Remember when in 40s and 50s kids will be independent and if you are overweight/obese, it will be difficult to enjoy life with them. Doctor office visits, medicines etc will come in your way of enjoyment in every phase.Look at a bigger picture of health and happiness.

Another approach I followed is the 'before and after approach'. I made an album with my pictures of before marriage/pregnancies in the BEFORE section and my overweight photos in the AFTER section and left blank space in the NOW section. This reminded me about my weight loss journey all the time. I can now add photos in the NOW section happily.

3. Overweight moms also get negative comments when the kid(s) and hubby are slim. Many times I used to get a comment that I am eating the share of their food too.

No doubt I had to work on it. So,if you are one among those moms, better start working on it and turn the tables around. Lets join hands together and get rid of those bulges. They are not our assets but long term liabilities.

4. After weight loss and especially toning up, I feel like a young girl with grown up kids. I love the new ME! Remember this is possible. If I could do it, then you could too.Do the mommies out there not want to hear such good compliments too. Then gear up and get started. Start the journey from plus size to zero size.


Why was Pman16 able to achieve her weight loss because she decided to stand up.

Remember the choice is always ours, either to sit on the steps of the arena and watch the game play or to come forward in the ground and play the game of our life.

We are what we choose to be, the player or the spectator.

This article is from a forum where I write and Pman16 is one of the members.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Eating and Tweaking

Now I will be completely honest here. When I was loosing weight, outside food was completely banned and it also meant sitting with people and staring and eating nothing.

One of my friends told me she lost 5 kgs only by banning outside food. I thought I will also give it a try, this was the first step in my weight loss. Guess what, the weight dropped and once the weight shifted I was motivated enough to say NO to outside food. Once I lost weight and started looking OK, I became lenient and I do allow myself to eat out once in a while. But because I have controlled myself for a very long period I have actually lost taste of the outside food.

Home made dhal rice is much more appealing than outside naan and butter paneer masala.
But then thats me and it will be really wrong to say that everyone will have a similar taste or experience like me.

Sometimes its either family, friends, kids or probably our own mood that makes eating out an avoidable condition. I am listing out most of the general outside dishes and how we can tweak them to reduce calories.

Lets be honest, outside food is really high in calories and is unhealthy. So, if you are eating out the following tips would just help to reduce few calories thats all.

The Big Burger

A burger meal is a loaded burger accompanied with a cold drink and french fries. Here is my analysis of the burger, this is how I calculate the approximate calories in the meal.

1. Bun - Bun is similar to our normal breakfast bread bun. At the most it has 200 -250 cal.

2.Patty - This is the main culprit. Fried big patty. I will give this any where around 300-350 cal.

3. Mayonnaise - Its always there and that to a nice serving of a table spoon. 100-150 cal here. It can be more too.

4. Cheese - Melted cheese again 200 and more calories but lets stick with 200.

5. Veggies - Seriously with so much junk around little veggies make no difference.

I always take the higher approx value while evaluating. Believe me for a burger meal even that is the lower side. So a loaded burger alone stands at 250+350+150+200 = 950 cals.

6. French Fries - Even a small packet is anywhere around 400 calories or more.

7. Cold Drink - A small glass is also 300 - 400 calories.

Total one time meal 950 +400 +400 = 1750 ouch.

That used to be my eating out dinner/ long drive eat out. For people with sedentary life style 1200 is the minimum requirement. Even if you are extremely active 1750 for a meal is way too much.

Tweak - Its been a year since I had this burger but still my cheat here will be. I will keep the bun, take the patty out cut in 4 parts. 3 parts I would either throw or donate to my friends and family. The fourth part I will further divide into small pieces and spread on my bun equally. Usually if you are taking the patty out, the liquid mayo and the cheese will come out too.

Order a kid meal and share it. Kid meals have a normal size burger, small packet french fries and a small cold drink which you will share. If you don't want to share then make amendments to the burger. If you want to have a cold drink along with the burger go for diet coke.

Combination of high sugar and white flour and fat raise your sugar levels and also is responsible for increasing the inches.

P P Pizza

In my old fat days me and my husband would order a medium sometimes large pizza plus garlic bread accompanied with 2 large glasses of cold drinks. How romantic and how fattening. Its been a year since I had a pizza meal. Usually I take a bite and thats it. It has somehow stopped tempting me. Anyways its not me I am talking about here I am talking about tweaking.

1. Ask - Even if they don't listen there is no harm in asking for less cheese and less butter. Sometimes they do listen.

2. Portion Control - Eat your meals before eating out and you will only manage a piece of a pizza and slowly not even that. Go for smaller size pizza. A pan pizza for two is much more romantic and healthy.

3. Fork and Knife - If you don't know how to use it then learn. I learnt it at home. Fork and knife force you to eat slowly, one bite at a time. You will take longer time to finish 1 slice of pizza and will be more satisfied.

Once I went shopping with my friends. We all were very tired and they ordered a pizza while I as usual was just observing. They started with eating with the fork but they were very hungry and tired so just folded the slices and started eating. The pizza was gone in no time. It just made me realize the importance of fork and knife while eating a pizza.

4. Garlic bread - Order along with the pizza not before. Put one garlic bread and one slice pizza on the plate and eat slowly with fork and knife.

5. Cold Drink - Combination of white flour,butter, cheese and high amount of sugar is extremely dangerous. If possible avoid else go for diet coke.

North Indian Food

Chole Bhature - Holy cow, I love them. Usually a plate has 2 big bhaturas and chole, yummm. The bhaturas are nothing but fat and are as dangerous as a loaded burger or french fries or pizza. Past has seen me eating the whole plate.

Tweak - If you just have to have then go for one bhatura. Either ask the waiter to get you only one bhatura else donate it to the person sitting next to you.

Best is to only order a plate and order something a bit healthy like a plate of idly. If you have ordered food and paid for it you will eat it. So you can take few bites of bhatura and eat idly to satisfy the hunger. Few days back my husband ordered bhatura. I knew I will break on the sight of it, so I ordered middle eastern salad. I had paid for the salad which my husband won't eat, made me eat it so I just had 2 bites of bhatura and was able to enjoy my meal.

Until and unless you suffer from eating disorder you cannot actually eat anything on a full stomach.

Paneer - Go for dry panner tikka. Its way better than the gravy one. Have it with Roti or Naan. If I was stuck with a bunch of friends and had to order something for me, then it would be just paneer tikka plate as I would avoid naan.

The Thali Tweak-

Now thali has the power of free food. You pay once and eat unlimited. If you observe carefully you will actually end up eating more. The best way to tackle a thali is to ask the server to give you everything including rice in one go. So it will be desert, snacks, roti, rice all in one and only one serving. It should not be that they will keep serving you rotis till you are full and then will get the rice. NO WAY. This will make you eat more.

Almost all the thalis have kadi that too a thin one. I love it. They have dhal too. I keep sipping these liquids till the time others are eating. For me its just one and only one time serving of rotis and rice. Kadi and dhals are always welcome.

The Chinese Tweak -

I love Chinese but frankly if you eat Chinese outside it is very high in calories. Usually the meal would be starters like soup and spring rolls then the rice, noodles and chopsey/manchurian.

Best way is to start with a soup which will fill you up and then go for combo meals. Most restaurants have it. In a plate they will give you 1 spring roll, little rice little noodles and little chopsey. Its way way better than to make a big order and have large servings of the stuff.

These are the most common type of food that I eat and so I came up with the tweaks.

You can try tweaking your own favorite outside meal, no one is stopping you.

Asking never hurts - In a busy restaurant or a small one I used to think they won't bother about my request for less oil. Now a days I ask anyways. Sometimes I am surprised that my request was heard. I always call the waiter to thank him personally so that he remembers me and such restaurants then become by favorite places to eat out. You can speak, you have a tongue and no one is stopping you, go ahead and ask for less or no oil. If you say no oil be assured there will be little oil for sure.

Tweaking is cool, tweaking is fun. So tweak your way to weight loss. Start Tweaking.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Diet that Bites and The Diet that Strikes

As you all know that I have been a fat child wanting to be thin all my life. So, when I was going through my teenage diary almost every second page had a line "Ate so much from tomorrow will go on liquid diet". And because I kept on increasing my weight I never stuck to the liquid diet.

Past has seen me following, Atkins, GM and of course the local dietitian diet.

All the diets had one thing in common. They all failed for me. I gave up GM in one day and Atkins in half. Dietitian diet did stick for sometime but I eventually gave up on them too.

It was amazing to see other people having great results from these diets but when it came to me I simply had no willpower. I used to be so upset about being such a weak person where food was concerned. I used to think of myself as a crawling creature on ground. I always felt like a failure but in reality I was a fool.

If you look at life, in the end it all boils down to satisfaction. We work to satisfy our financial needs, we live to satisfy some purpose in life, we eat to satisfy our hunger and we want to lose weight to satisfy our want to look good or be healthy. If you are not satisfied then you are bound to call it quits sooner or later, be it your weight loss or any other field of life.

So when everything failed for me all that was left was to understand my own self. I figured out that I am someone who just cannot follow a diet even if is tasty or simple. The moment someone tell me to have a certain thing at 11:00 am I am bound to feel a prisoner.

I also understood that only a stuffed full feeling of the stomach can make me feel satisfied in term of food. Once I figured out my satisfaction points it was easy to make changes from there.

I knew a calorie deficit is required to reduce weight the only thing is, in what way can I do it so that I follow it for life and still feel satisfied.

When I was 85 kg I used to consume more than 2300 calories a day. I had a standard of feeling satisfied which I wanted to maintain but also wanted to reduce calories.

When I looked at my meals there were few things I didn't wanted to let go and few that I could live without. For me eating outside food was a let go because I figured out that I am happy eating homemade food. It was a personal choice. To me breakfast was important and I didn't wanted to make any changes to it, I stuck to it. I still have the same breakfast that I used to have back then. I was comfortable making changes to my lunch and dinner.

To this is what I outlined for myself

1. Have the breakfast of your choice with tea.

2. Grab a fruits in between meals.

3. Have veggies, dhal and little rice if you want else leave it. Have curd raita, soup. Make sure to stuff your self

4. When hungry grab a fruit. If working out then have something after the workout.

5. Follow the lunch practice.

6. Avoid outside food.

7. Exercise for an hour religiously.

8. Give a 2 hour break between meals (that is whenever you have something). This was to break the habit of munching.

Don't make the mistake of following the above. Its just an outline, the way my week days should look. Heavy breakfast, light lunch and dinner with lots of fruits thrown in between. There are no hard rules here, there is no written guideline that at 11:00 am I should have a glass of butter milk and by 6:00 I should be done with dinner. No that doesn't work for me. I have my dinner between 8:30 and 9:00.

I get up I grab my breakfast and then I much on fruits and then when I am hungry at lunch I have bowl of veggies, dhal, soup,raita.

So, if like me if you have failed in different diets then search for your satisfaction point and try making changes to bring about calorie deficit. Soups, buttermilk, salads when accompanied in your diet make sure to give your a stuffed feeling with less calories.

Unlike me, your satisfaction point may lie in eating outside food. So what, fix yourself an appointment one day in a week to have an outside meal. It is far far better than having outside meal 2-3 times a week. Even this small a change will drop your weight, once you see the results then you will feel motivated enough to take the self training to higher level, like saying No to outside meals.
Remember, its a training, you are not giving anything up for life.

Will I gain the weight back??? For past 3 months since I shifted to this new country, I have eaten out on weekends, had attended parties, my weight result. I lost 1 kg. Now I stand at 66 kgs. Why?? Because my weekdays are similar and as a rule I stick to South Indian food while eating out (and I try to avoid it as much as possible). But initially when I was in my major form of losing weight I had stopped eating outside food totally. But then also I knew that I am doing it only to bring about a change in myself, I never wanted to give up outside food for life. I was clear about it from the start. This mindset helped me to get through that agony of seeing other people devouring my favorite stuff.

I can only gain weight if I go back to eating 2300 calories, I no longer can do that as my habits have changed. You seriously cannot manage to have 2 rotis and rice with dhal, soup, salad, veggies and raita (which are a part of my meal now).

I will go no where if I keep feeling hungry because I will keep thinking about food. I felt that way with my other diets.

One more trick to diet well is to make tasty yummy food. If you don't know cooking then start learning it. The taste comes from the spices, garlic, ginger and chillies not from the oil. Try making food in less oil, you will be surprised how tasty it can be made. I make poha, upma, rajma, dhal makhni, panner sabji, palak paneer etc in 2 tsp of oil. If you have never tried it then trying it once will not hurt.

The diet that will work for you is the diet that you feel connected to. If in any ways you are unable to follow it then it will not work for you for life. So, figure out what works for you and what not. One good way is to try different methods and see what is working for you the best. For years you have accumulated fat, at least give your body few days to pick and choose what diet it will love to follow to start loosing weight.

Tasty food is life (at least for me) and dieting does not mean I should not enjoy it. Its my birth right and I refuse to give it up.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


I am visiting your blog for the first time and spent close to 2 hours reading each and every post meticulosly. I am inspired by you to the extent that I started my food diary even as I was reading your blogs. I am struggling to lose weight post pregnancy. I am 14kg overweight and despite joining a gym I have barely lost 3 kgs in 14 months. My problem areas are weak will power when it comes to food and giving exercise the last priority. SO often I end up missing gym for more days than attending it. I hope your blog wil give me inspiration to 'climb the stairs and not the lift to weight loss'. May 3, 2010 3:15 AM

hey Shiva,

wait eagerly for your posts now. I have been trying to limit my die but whenever there is a party, I lose control (which happens at least once a week). I sincerly try to eat only salads for dinner but crave for salty food, somethinng like dal or veggies. At a lil less than 5 feet, i weigh 69kgs and it seems my weight has hit a plateau. I feel guilty mosty times yet moment I see calorie-dense foods
(chocos, cakes, chips) I just CANNOT resist the urge. what to do??? how will i lose weight??? May 5, 2010 1:31 AM

Dear Sccribbles,

Worry not, now that you have decided to lose weight, come what may you will. If we have weaknesses so do we have strength. In your weight loss there will be few thing you will have to let go and few things you can always keep for life.

The best trick that I have learnt from my experience is to train the stomach to eat small. This really works.

Will you give me a week or two to work with you. Give it a try. If this works you will lose weight if does not work your weight will remain the same. Trying never hurts.

SO this is where you should start

1. Take your weightt. The weight should be taken first thing in the morning after the loo and without any clothes on. This is your real weight note it down.

2. Make a food diary (which you already have). Keep the diary in a place where it is easily accessible. Be loyal to it. Loyalty to your weight loss is the major factor in loosing weight. My diary goes where I go. Even 1 small toffee is registered in my diary.

3. Break Fast - Have a normal one, try a veg sandwich, poha, upma. If you are having poha or upma then eat in a quarter plate and eat with a small spoon. Check the recipe of less oil poha and the quantity here - Poha . Never think that if you eat this less you will be hungry soon. Infact when ever the food comes in front of you just wonder can you really eat this much (this is a psychological trick, will elaborate on it later)

4. Mid way - Between break fast and lunch make sure to munch on fruits. If you are working then you can carry fruits along with you.

5. Lunch - The first week only make a small change. Like if you eat 2 roti go for one. Make sure to replace the 1 roti with extra serving of veggie and soup. Nothing beats it if you can get in a bowl of soup in your meals. Cut few tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce leave and have it with your meal. When you are eating the roti/rice, taken in a bite of this salad.

6. Mid way again - with your evening tea, you can have sukha bhel, roasted channa or any other healthy snack.

7. Dinner - Just salad dinners are so sad, very very sad. Why do you want to do them. If you are having 1 roti in lunch, get in a roti wrap here. Take a roti, add in paneer bhurji and salads, roll and have fun. Accompany it with sauted veggies and a bowl of soup. A soup bowl during dinner really helps. If you like dhal, then you can make lovely tradition dhal soup. Make sure to have a bowl of it. I used to have moong dhal -lauki soup, lots of papaya, good helping of veggies during dinner. I used to eat till I was full.

8. How to cook your meals - I don't know the size of your family but aim for 1 tsp oil for each person. For example, I cook for 2 people I make my meals in 2 tsp of oil believe me my dishes come out as tasty as the oily version. For measuring the amount of flour or rice use your fist (I do that). If you cook less sccribbles you won't have left overs and you will have to satisfy yourself with what is there on the table. Learn the art of cooking starch less rice for yourself (as it is only fiber and no nutrients its best not to give it to kids). You need to boil rice 3 - 4 times and drain.

9. Your fridge should be stocked with fruits. Enjoy them, they are fresh as well as tasty. Look in your pantry, instant noodles and other junk should go out.

10. If you are addicted to something, lets say a cookie. Tell yourself I will have it on a Friday. Stay true to yourself and have the cookie on Friday. This is called training yourself to curb the urges.

11. Never take the kiss of death i.e never say I am giving this up completely. No you are not. You are just giving it up for the time being. I love sabudana khichadi. My sister makes such a yum version with lots and lots of ghee and potato. In my days of weight loss it was a pain to say no to that stuff. I was 74 kgs at that time and I told my sister the day I will be 69 kgs I will have lots of that khichadi but when you see the weight fall the attraction of food is lost. I finally had the khichadi when I weighed 68kgs. Now at 65 kgs I discovered a 1 teaspoon ghee version of it and I do enjoy it occasionally. The point is if you try to avoid something then you will break easily, the day you will have that stuff you will think let me eat I will give it up tomorrow. If you approach that stuff with the mind set that 'I can have after some days when weight has gone down and I already know the taste of this food', things will be different.

12. Outside food - You need to ban this. If you need to eat outside, opt for idly or dosa. I had completely given up on Naan, oily gravies. I took it as a training period and believe me now my tolerance for such rich food is really low. There is no way out here. My friends, family used to enjoy burgers with cold drink while I sat in front of them drinking coffee. I used to constantly tell myself "I don't need this junk, I have already tasted it, I know the flavor, just few more minutes for this meal to get over and I can declare myself as a winner". First time it is difficult, second time a bit hard, third time easy and fourth time it is a habit.

13. Parties - If you know the date before hand for example a dinner party. Have a light lunch. In the party fill your plate with moderate proportion of everything, sit and enjoy your meal and don't take a second serving. Try avoid large servings in the first place. Make up for the heavy dinner the next day. This is called calorie balancing. Wear tight clothes to such parties, you can't eat much when your stomach is trying to break free. I wear a tight jeans always to such occasions.

Once you learn the art of shrinking your stomach, you won't be able to eat large amounts of food even if it is damn tasty.

14. Exercise - This is non negotiable. If you cannot go to gym then go for walks. A walk is a must. So, this first week. Can you walk for 45 minutes either in gym or at home. 45 minutes is your time do not let anyone take it away from you. Every single day you need to walk. Try walking 6 days a week if possible go for a simple stroll of the seventh day.

So you see sccribbles, there are few things that are easy like eating the same homemade food but in less oil and less quantity. Some things are tough like giving up outside food and exercising daily. The easy thing will get you started and the hard ones will finally make you what you desire to be.

If you decide to follow this plan then come back next week do update us with your weight. Aim only for one week and then start afresh in the next one. Whenever you feel less motivated or have doubt come here and bang my head. I will pull you through.

All the very best sccribles for your weight loss. If you have a burning desire to lose weight then only you and no one else can stop you from
doing it.

Loyalty and consistency is what matters in weight loss. DO NOT GIVE UP atleast give this a try.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Drastic or Gradual???

When we think of weight loss the picture that comes in our mind is of very less food. If you are fat then in all probability, no matter how much you deny this fact, you love eating and are a heavy eater. When I tell people that start by reducing little they are always confused. So I thought I will put the mathematics behind the logic in an article so that it will clear things up.

1. Fat days diet - In past my breakfasts were always heavy (and still are), my lunch and dinner typically were 2 rotis and a good amount of rice with dhal and sabj. In between meals there will endless munching on namkeens, chips etc. Then I Googled the sites which told me my calorie consumption to be at 85 Kgs. I was taking above 2500 calories to be on that weight. So as long as I was eating that amount of food, following that lifestyle my weight was stuck at 85 Kgs. To gain I had to eat more to lose I had to eat less.

2. The weight shift - Its very simple. Bringing in the exercise no matter how small will burn calories and making a little diet shift also make sure the calorie intake is less so the weight shifts.

3. Why shouldn't I drastically reduce my appetite - Recently I met a person whose reaction after knowing that I reduced 19 kgs of weight was "I lost 15 kgs in 4 months, but the difficult part is maintaining". She gained all her weight back. This is what happens when you make drastic changes. To me maintaining is a natural process as my eating habits have changed for good. To go back to 85kgs I have to eat above 2500 calories with no exercise at all.

So when you drastically change your diet - you are suppressing hunger and of course restricting yourself. The probability of feeling frustrated and losing control is extremely high. People who lose weight quickly also gain it back quickly. The fault lies behind controlling yourself too much so that one day you break.

4. Slowly reducing the diet - This will trick your mind in thinking that nothing much has changed so satisfaction level is always maintained. Usually body takes time to adapt to the new change in diet. So reduce a little till your weight stops dropping further and then again make a change

So here are the steps

1. If you eat 6 rotis, make a change to 4 (not 2) and include exercise. Stick to this regime till your weight stops dropping. when the weight doesn't move go to step 2.

2. Shift to 2 rotis and increase exercise. Stick to this regime till your weight stop dropping. When the weight doesn't move go to step 3.

3. By the time you have reached step 3 you have lost considerable amount of weight, in the process you have also trained your body to eat less. Finally make an adjustment to the diet to drop off the last kilos.

Just in case if you still do not believe, I suggest trying never hurts. Follow the above steps, avoid high calorie food and see the difference.

Why eat extremely less and end up feeling hungry and frustrated when the results can be achieved by eating the same food and gradually decreasing the amount.

If you want to lose weight, eat yummy food for life and still look thin then you will have to teach yourself the art of eating less. The weight maintenance should be a natural process, you should not fight to maintain your weight. You will have to train your body to eat the amount of food that you can burn off easily. This can only be achieved slowly and gradually.

Always remember that in the end the Tortoise always win.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Fruit and Nut

This post is a reply to a reader on a forum on which I write about weight loss.

Dear Shiva,

I am glad to see your ur new post. Hey plz keep have literary skills as well besides being the motivationalist i liked the term. I would like to know more from you about the fruits you have had during your wt loss. did u eat mangoes? Also, how about potatoes? did you avoid boiled potatoes as well?

In my struggle to lose weight, I have tried each and every damn 'Don't do this thing'. Don't eat banana it will make you fat, don't eat mangoes it will make you fat, don't eat egg yolk it will make you fat, don't eat potatoes it will make you fat, don't eat rice it will make you fat. I tried giving them up but guess what I remained fat.

Holy cow, I love above foods and a life without them will be a pain in the 'place that is not supposed to be named on the forum'.

I am a foodie and I really cannot give up on food and I do not want to live a life drooling on other people's plate or cursing them silently if they have my favorite stuff without thinking about the calories.

So as for fruits here is my take and this is what I follow.

1. I do not exists without bananas. Apples, oranges, papaya or water melon, bananas are a must in my fridge. All through the weight loss journey I did eat bananas. They are my mini meal. When I am hungry I either have a banana alone or couple it with other fruits. Google the calories, the damn thing has 100 to 140 cal approx and is full of nutrients. I am a big fruit eater and they form a large part of my diet.

2. Like all sane human being I love mangoes. I have such lovely memories of stealing them in my childhood and they always manage to taste so sweet and yummy. Mangoes take me back to my childhood, they symbolize the utter pleasure of enjoying and not being bothered about the mess. This is one pleasure of life, so enjoy it. There is only one season of mangoes so have fun when they are around. Mangoes are high in calories. So be smart while eating them.

Like in initial period when I was loosing weight, My dinner used to be a bowl of soup and papaya mostly. Which is less in calories. So I would also enjoy a big juicy mango along with it.

I can never satisfy myself with only one slice of mango, no way I need to have the whole fruit. I enjoyed it till the last drop it because as it is my dinner used to be very light.

The logic is simple, a medium size mango is approx 200 plus calories (Google the right amount). So if you have it on a full dinner plate which consists of 2 rotis, sabji, rice etc. You are adding 200 calories, eat like this everyday and you will end up gaining weight.

So either eat it as a mini meal or with a light lunch or dinner. It fits the soup, veggie and mango scenario perfectly.

Smart people have their mango and enjoy it too.

3. Somehow, I have this notion that natural things cannot be that bad or lets say fat. So anything natural is always welcome. The only form of potato I avoid is fried potato. I do involve potato in my veggies etc. I have never avoided potatoes. They sit right there in my poha and upma and other normal potato including dishes. I have never eaten it in huge amounts. I have always eaten it in normal way, the way we eat in Indian dishes.

4. I have never been very fond of nuts but lately if hunger pang hits I grab a handful of roasted peanuts. I avoided them in past but not now. They do a good job in keeping the hunger at bay for sometime.

Life is short so pack all lovely things in. All I do is avoid outside food and that is what I preach. My whole struggle for weight loss was not to give up anything and I did not. If we stop ourselves from eating the basic food groups in life, the normal food (and I am not talking about the outside stuff) that we have grown up on, the stuff we associate ourselves with, sooner or later we will break.

In my case it was rice, take rice away from me and I will not only be sad but the whole purpose of my life will vanish. I ate it all through my weight loss.

Choice lies in our hands. Do we want to avoid the food we love to eat or do we want to keep enjoying the food we love but in small quantities. I vouch for the latter.