Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Weeks to Weight loss

Most part of my life I attempted to lose weight and with every attempt I failed, with every failure I got confused and I became sure of the fact that I will never lose weight.

After trying endlessly for many years there came a point where I gave up and accepted that I am fat and will be fat always. When you accept then you become what you accepted.

There were times when I wanted to attempt weight loss but had no idea how to start it and how to continue it with success. There were endless diets and suggestions flowing from everywhere, any random person thought it was a great idea to give me advise on losing weight. But the problem was I was not the person others wanted me to be neither was I the person who could give up food and stick to a strict diet. I was me, simply lazy, like it or hate it but that was who I was and I was not willing to change.

I did try following few diets and I gave them up in 1 - 2 days max, I could not bring myself to live a life where I had to give up a complete food group.

After long years of struggle, the most sensible thing that I did was to work my way to weight loss according to my likes and dislikes and my choices of food to eat and to stay away from. My life, my control and absolutely my call.

Lot of diets ask to say NO to dairy but I cannot imagine my day starting without tea, its not that I cannot give it up but more importantly I don't want to give it up. I was very firm of the fact that I am not going to give up food groups that I like, I have one life to live and I would like to enjoy it with food.

I did make adjustments and negotiations and opted for healthier versions of my favorite dishes. I finally found a way of life where I neither felt hungry nor deprived.

So if you are confused how to start your weight loss OR have given up on weight loss try these week by week pointers, they worked for me, may be they will work for you. Trying is free of cost and it won't hurt.

Week 1 - Detoxifying - I always cringed at the word detox diet because it meant giving up on most of the food that you eat and worse it might even suggest that you go on only fruits for a week. I never was good with any detox diet BUT I have my own version of detox diet and mind you its damn difficult as well.

In the detoxifying week you have to say NO to any kind of junk food. You will have to say No to biscuits, fried namkeen, fried food, chaats, outside restaurant food and of course sweets. What you get to eat is your home cooked meals, have your roties, daal, sabji, rice, bread sandwich. We all know the obvious culprits called as junk food, just say NO to them.

Sounds simple, its not. There will be always that one biscuit that you will end up eating OR a handful of namkeen that you will be tempted to eat OR a piece of cake from someone from office OR a big weekend party.

Staying away from high calorie food is a very difficult task because even if we want to stay away we are surrounded by a society which will hunt us down and make use eat what want to avoid.

How do you prepare for the week - Most of the time we are aware of the life schedules. For example I always know there will be some party on its way every alternate weekend. So its best to prepare yourself in advance. Don't store junk food in your house, give that piece of cake to someone else and if there is a party eat dinner at home and keep drinking lots of water at the party, so that your stomach is full and you are not tempted to eat the food. During the party nibble on small amounts.

Think about it, most diets ask you to give up food that is part of your daily basic diet, here you get to eat your home cooked food, all you have to do is stay away from the food that even you know is bad for you and your weight loss.

If you slip - Its ok just don't repeat your mistake and continue with your plan.

Weigh yourself at the end of this week. Depending on how much junk food you used to eat you will see the changes in your weight. Even if there is no change, your body will get over the addiction of eating that
"something fried and yummy ". This week will teach you how much you are addicted to junk.

Mantra of the Week - Eat Healthy.

Week 2 - Starting the diet - I met someone recently who told me that her diet and appetite is not much BUT she is unable to lose any weight. I know this person and I know she eats normal portion size but still weight gain was there. She went to the kitchen to prepare some yummy upma for me and herself. When I went inside the kitchen I could see the onions and potatoes being nicely fried, I took the cooking utensil and drained the remaining oil in a separate katori, to my horror there was half katori of oil in that upma for just 2 of us. And thats where the culprit hid, her sabji, her breakfast are all drenched with oil.

1 tsp oil is 120 calories, imagine how much calories she was adding to her meals.

So be aware of your oil. I make my dishes in less oil, there is no pouring of oil instead I measure and use 2 tsp. Food does taste good with less oil, all you have to do is give less oil cooking a chance.

Also in this week you will have to give chance to Salads, Soups and healthy Raitas. When I say soup I mean a big bowl of any lentil. Get creative with your plate and try to eat as healthy as possible.

This week get introduce to the concept of bulking. Salads and soups bulk up your meals and you feel full with less amount and less calorie food.

Start with smart switches, for example its a known fact that rice does lead to weight gain So if you are fond of eating rice, start with alternate day plan of having rice one day and roties the next day and don't forget to bulk up your plate with salad and soup bowl.

Mantra of the Week - Beware of Oil and bulk up your food.

Week 3 - Opting for smart carbs - Vegetarians do tend to eat more of carbs and I don't see it going away from my diet. The best way to cut down on carbs is to make smart choices like, opting for multi grain roties and opting for daliya instead of rice.

There are few typical dishes like daal, rajma, chole which I love to eat with rice. I decided to follow once a week rice schedule in my house. So I ate all those dishes with daliya (broken/cracked wheat), I liked the taste. Once my sister saw my strange combination of daliya with one of my favorite dishes and she asked "How does it taste?? How can you eat this". I told her to taste and see herself and she ended up liking the taste.

 Most of the time we don't try because in our head we convince ourselves that certain food combinations will only work. So get adventurous, think about it, if you start liking daliya, rice threat will be over for life.

Week 4 - The cut down -
Portion size does play a role in weight loss and this week you should train yourself to eat smaller meals. I eat smaller lunch and people comment "How can you eat so less?", the thing is I eat again in next 2-3 hours.

Try a lunch plate of 1 multigrain roti, sabji, daal and salad and you will certainly feel full. After 2-3 hours have a bowl of salad or fruits. By following smaller meals every 2-3 hours you will feel full and satisfied, there will be no breaking down at the sight of the food.

If you are making these changes in your lifestyle then you will for sure see difference in your weight. You can follow this plan to start your weight loss, once you see the scale moving down you can then think of other ways to get yourself going.

Its important to weigh yourself at the end of each week to understand your progress. Remember, you will not lose all the weight in just 4 weeks, this will just get you started.

Few hard facts of Weight loss

1. Exercise - Yes I know most people hate it but exercise is a must, not only for weight loss but for your health as well. Think of exercises that appeal to you, it can be dancing, swimming, yoga etc. If you cannot do anything then just go for a walk. Walking works wonders. If you cannot go outside for walking make use of your balcony or terrace. Take up something that you will stick to throughout your life.

Exercise is a best ME time, shut your worries, house, kids, husband out of your mind and just move out and dedicate 30 -60 minutes to your body and soul.

2. Cooking - The only downside of weight loss is cooking. I make quick meals but still I have to cook. If you have a cook then train her to make meals according to you else Google up quick low calorie meals. Depending upon how much you like cooking, you can devise a plan to invest the amount of time in kitchen.

3. Craving - Yes cravings will be there. When I started with weight loss I used to avoid any fried food at all cost. I used to tell myself, let me lose so and so amount of weight and then I will enjoy this without guilt. If I really craved for a samosa I would target 1kg weight loss and then would enjoy my craving in moderate amount guilt free.

Never take the kiss of death, that is, never say you are giving something for life. If you are fond of eating some junk food then instead of eating it every alternate day or week come up with a negotiation plan.

Negotiation plans always work, for example, losing 2 kilos and then enjoying dinner at your favorite restaurant. You might have read about negotiation plans in magazines and health books and the truth is THEY WORK.

4. Will I gain back the weight - Stop worrying about gaining the weight back and start losing the weight. I see so many people worrying about weight bouncing back even before they start weight loss. You cannot predict what you have not yet achieved, so stop worrying and start losing.

Leaving you with a short story - Once upon a time there was a little girl who had no friends and who always failed in her class. Once her grandmother came to her house and gave the little girl a magical necklace. She told the girl that whenever you want something, just hold the necklace and wish upon it. With the wish you need to have faith in yourself and you have to put in extra effort to make that wish come true. Without the faith and extra effort the magical necklace will not work.

The little girl was sad because no one came to her birthday party, with her birthday around the corner, she wished for lots of friends to come to her party. She started tirelessly making beautiful cards for her classmates and then went with her mother to invite her classmates. This was something she never did before.

Lots of girls turned up on her birthday party and the little girl was very happy. She understood that the magical necklace works for real all she has to do is have faith and put in an extra effort.

She then wished to come first in her class and started putting in extra hours in her studies, slowly she became the topper of her class.

When the little girl grew up she became a well known doctor and when someone asked her how she achieved success in such a young age she replied "I have a magical necklace which gives me everything I wish for, all I have to do is have faith and put in an extra effort in achieving what I desire."

All the little girls out there, you too have the magical necklace and it works with faith in yourself and an extra effort towards your goal.


You might also like to read - Starting Project Weight Loss

Monday, July 2, 2012

Oats Spring Rolls

We all know the nutritional benefits of oats and I am always looking for ways to add these beautiful white pearls to my diet. Unfortunately, I could never bring myself to eat gooey oats cooked with milk, I just don't like them cooked in the traditional way.

I came across this recipe in a magazine, it made use of mayonnaise and cheese. What got me interested in this recipe was the idea of wrapping saute vegetables in a thin oats crepe which did not look gooey at all.

The first time I made it I had all my doubts about the taste until I took the first bite. The oats crepe is like a simple dosa which can be enjoyed with any kind of chutney and if you are more adventurous then go ahead and experiment with stuffing it with fabulous veggies and paneer. I found it simply delicious and it passed the "Husband likes it" test too.


1. Finely chopped veggies.
2. 1 cup/katori oats powder, just grind oats in a grinder.

3. Tomato ketchup.
4. Soya Sauce (Optional).
5. 2 teaspoon oil.


1. Add water to oats powder, add salt and make a smooth thin batter. If you keep the batter for sometime it tends to become thick, so if you want thin crepes then you might need to add little water now and then to adjust the consistency.

2. Make think crepes using less oil. Cook them well on both side. When I pour the batter I add few drops of oil on top side and cover the pan for sometime. These crepes can be sticky so make sure to use a good non stick pan and flip them only when bottom side of the crepe is completely cooked.

 At this point you can simply enjoy these with a chutney.

3. In a pan saute the veggies in Chinese style i.e throw in ginger and fresh chopped veggies in 1 teaspoon oil and cook them on high flame. The veggies should be crisp and cooked, in the end add the salt and the sauces of your choice.

4. The drill to make a roll is simple. Apply tomato sauce  on the crepe and assemble the veggies and the firmly roll.

 5. Cut into diagonal pieces and serve.
The only downside of these spring rolls is that they are not firm so you have to be careful when you pick a piece, apart from that they are fabulous in taste and nutrition.

Its good to be a little messy sometimes.