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.


  1. Hey Shiva,

    I am feeling guilty after reading your post as i have been eating heavy outside lunch since 2 days.

    But i make sure i stick to light food once at dinner or just have milk with flakes.
    To give up outside food is in intself an achievement buddy because now days food are available so easily.

  2. Dear Anamika,

    So sweet of you. You comment on each post of mine. thanks so much my dear friend. Sometimes even I eat heavy food but then once I go back to my regime it gets sorted out.

    Yeh giving up outside food is an achievement. When i started with weight loss I was very strict with myself. Now at 65 kgs I am not that strict. Now I tend to eat everything in moderate or less portions and still aim at loosing weight.

    Have a great day ahead.



  3. Hey Shiva,

    Long time no c..??

  4. hey shiva,
    where have you disappeared? hope all is well.

  5. Dear Sccribbles,

    I am here hon. How are you babes and how is your weight loss going???

    Yeh I have not updated this blog for sometime. I will post soon.

    Do keep me updated with your progress.

    Have a great day head. It is so nice of you to remember me.

    Lots of love


  6. Hai shiva,
    Iam following Herba life since 2 months,i reduced from 82 kgs to 74 kgs.Every thing is good my energy levels are also good,but my weakness is food,i used to eat upto 2400 cals perday without exercise. i want to eat other munchings,and am mad of food feel like to reduce my intake of food.suggest me low caloried munchings which i can eat in between.

  7. Dear Kavitha,

    Sorry for the late reply. Tell me with herbal life have you completely stopped your meals. I just want to understand your level of craving. Once you get back to me I will be able to tell you in detail.

    Waiting for your reply.

    Have a great day ahead.



  8. Hai shiva,
    Thanx for your reply.
    Daily i have green tea 2 times,and herba life shakes with water 2 counts 90+90=180 cals for breakfast and dinner.And i am supposed to have 1000 caloried worth lunch,thats all in the noon,in addition to 2 shakes and green teas..Icant eat at one time so i take 300 gms starchless rice (to which i caliculate 390 cals).subji, chutney and sambar and rice each 100 to 120 cals.In the mean while i have melon,tomatoes or carrot.
    Icrave for eating munchings like what i prepare like dosas etc.But am not supposed to.feel like starving by having raw foods etc.Its difficult to control.

  9. Dear Kavithakk,

    Yeh diet shakes always do restrict diet. Why can't you replace rice with dosa. You are supposed to have 1000 calories right, so during lunch you can prepare less/no oil dosa.

    How long will this program go and how will you maintain your weight once this is over???




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