Monday, April 8, 2013

Weight loss tips and motivation

The intent of this post is to pen down some points that helped me loose weight over the past 6 months. Most of it is information that I had been feeding into my daily journal, to act as self motivation / reminders. 

I'm not a nutritionist or a health professional, and by no way an authority on this subject - just sharing some rambling of thoughts on what worked for me.Hope you find some of this information useful. 

I'm hoping i continue to remain motivated and mentally strong, and that I don't run into anything that'll cause me to loose any limbs, so my fitness journey ends only when I do, and so I can motivate others along the way. 

In these past months, I've gone from a size 40 to size 28 pair of jeans. I've reduced my weight from 84 kg to 63, and my body fat% has gone from 25% to 9.75%. At the bottom of this post, are my "Before" and "After" pics. My target for the next 3 months is to gain 5 KG of overall lean muscle (with the unavoidable ~2 KG of BF). Wish me luck!


Weight loss tips and some motivation:

-- If you are not fit, feel disappointed that you are not treating your body as the most precious item you’ll ever own.

-- Ask yourself what is more important – your body, or your cravings? Your hunger? Your comfort?

-- The human body is designed so that it requires physical activity constantly – failing which it starts to deteriorate.

-- Get a photo of yourself as  “fatty” – no posing, no flexing, not choosing best angles. Let this be your “Before” picture. Commit to changing yourself – commit to getting rid of the flab hanging off your sides. Commit to getting a body that you’re proud of.

-- Take pictures to see  your progress every 4 weeks.

-- Choose someone as your idol – someone who is determined and one who inspires and motivates you.

-- Set short term and long term goals. My present short term goal is to get a 6-pack. Long term goal is to make by body so fit that I can compete (or at least participate to finish) in physical activities such as martial arts, marathon running, swimming, trekking and cycling – and maybe one day – a triathlon.

-- There are so many people out there who want your money and will try to convince you to buy stuff like “special oils”, “Ab roller machines”, “slimming tea”, “Fat burning supplements”, “Tummy trimmer massagers”, “Sauna belts”, etc. Remember that the ONLY WAY to loose fat is to be on a “Calorie deficit”. i.e. If you require “2000 calories” to do your daily activity (blink your eyes, move your lips, walk, etc) – the only way you’ll get thin is for you to either eat less calories, or to “burn” the excess so at the end of the day, you’re below 2000. Do this consistently and you WILL SEE RESULTS guaranteed!

-- Know your calories! MyFitnessPal app on Android / iPhone / Web is awesome. Track your daily calorie intake. I’ve tracked every bite I’ve eaten for the past months since I started using it.

-- When it comes to your body, don’t expect too much too soon. Constantly eating junk will make you fat and ugly. Constantly controlling diet and doing exercise will make you fit and sexy.

-- Avoid starchy and processed foods (Choco chip cookies, Lays, Cheetos, Nachos, Canned fruit, Haldiram ki Mathi, Banana chips, etc) and try to have “Whole foods”, e.g. whole grains, dark-green and fleshy vegetables and fruits, legumes, nuts, seeds, etc.

--If someone were to eat just vegetables – they’ll never get fat. But there’s a difference between a “Garden salad with bell peppers, broccoli, lettuce, sprouts and Vinegrette dressing” and, say “paalak paneer” or “Baingan Bhartha” made with  6 tablespoons of Safolla (one tbsp of safolla  = ~130 calories).

-- Avoid anything that is fried or sugary.

-- Remove White bread / white atta from your diet – switch to “Whole wheat” bread or whole wheat atta. “Multigrain” can be a marketing gimmick – so make sure you read which grains are in there.

-- Remove white rice from your diet. If you can avoid rice completely – that’s great. But if you love rice (like me), switch to Brown Rice. It’s costlier and doesn’t taste that good – but it’s healthier.

-- Avoid fruit juice – it’s just fructose without the fiber and it will make you fat. E.g. a glass of orange juice contains the pulp of about 7 oranges – will you be able to eat 7 oranges in one sitting?

-- Drink tea – any type you like (black, green, jasmine) – they’re all good. It helps you keep your metabolism up, thereby burning fat.

-- If non-vegetarian, switch to “Lean Meat” – It’s the meat that has more proteins and less FAT. E.g. the breast piece of a chicken is much more healthy that a leg piece. Throw away the yolk (yellow) of the egg and eat only the Albumen (White) portion.

-- Replace Sugar with Sugarfree / Equal / Splenda. IGNORE people who tell you that Aspartame is bad and causes cancer, liver tumor, etc. Just remember that “TOO MUCH” of anything will kill you. Too much of drinking water will kill you too.

-- Never drink coke, pepsi, or any other sugary soda. If you must have soft drinks – switch to the “Diet / zero calorie” version of the drink.

-- Avoid KFC, McDonalds, or Dominos. If  you are out with friends, and they want to go and insist you come along as well – Go and eat. If you order a burger at McD’s, throw away one side of the bun, or better still – both sides – and have the patty only. Ask the server not to smear mayo on the patty.

-- There are three “Macro nutrients” – Carbs, Proteins and Fats. You require to take in all three of them daily. Carbs and Fats are the “Petrol” of your body and they give you energy. “Proteins” are the “Mechanics” and they repair and build muscle tissue.

-- Subway is healthier fast food. If eating a sub, ask for “Whole wheat bread”. Cheese is okay – it’s relatively healthier fat and you can have it if you think this won’t cause you to exceed your calorie quote for the day. Consider taking only half of the “Cheese slice”. Also, consider asking for the “Salad variant” of the sub – e.g. Tuna Salad and Chicken Ham Salad.

-- Cheat meals? 80 to 90 percent of the stuff you put into your mouth should be healthy (e.g. green vegetables, legumes, lean meat). The rest can be where you can afford to indulge. Restrict yourself to one cheat meal a week. But this shouldn’t become a “Cheat Day”.

-- Weigh yourself daily – do it after you wake up – after going to the washroom and before having anything to eat or drink. Use the same scale daily.

-- Avoid skipping breakfast. Make sure the breakfast is balanced (has all three macro nutrients).

-- Don’t have 3 large meals – have 5-6 small meals a day. Divide your daily calorie intake across all these meals.

-- Master the art of portion control. Your plate should have three parts. 1. Proteins, 2. Carbs and 3. Vegetables. The “Proteins” part should be the size of your closed fist. The “Carbs” part should be the size of your open palm (not including the fingers).

-- Yes – eating less carbs is a “shortcut” to getting thin – but remember that a calorie deficient diet will make you woozy, irate, cranky and tired – so stick to a balanced diet.

--Going to a party? Have a meal before you go so you avoid excessive eating.

-- It’s hard to resist overeating when at a buffet. Consider serving yourself on a smaller-size plate.

-- If you drink, count the calories in each peg. Also, when drunk, one tends to overeat – so don’t drink too much. Avoid the canepes’ / hor derves  / snacks which starchy / fatty / fried / sugary – avoid the peanuts / the fried idli / the malai tikka / the chilli paneer. Stick to garden salad, Grilled chicken breast, Chickpeas, puffed rice with tabasco or chilli sauce (Meri recipe J).

-- Avoid the craving of taking the dessert. If tempted – try and wait 5 minutes to see if the craving goes away. If it doesn’t, take no more than one tablespoon full.

-- Milk is a good source of protein – but stick to the low fat / double toned option. As with everything, “TOO MUCH” dairy should also be avoided.

-- Do 1 hour of physical activity daily. Learning to swim takes only 5 days. Swim and take notes – set goals on how many laps  you did and try to beat your own record next time. Run – buy a good quality pair of running shoes and run for 5 KM, Do power yoga (It’s amazing – not only will it burn fat, it’ll increase your strength, tone your body, and improve your balance, flexibility and range of motion), Get a cycle and go cycling with friends – Never buy a stationary cycle, an elliptical or a treadmill). Prepare for a marathon – there’s the Airtel marathon happening in Delhi in Autumn. Other stuff includes pilates, aerobics, plyometrics, etc.

-- While any type of exercise  is good – High Intensity Cardio is better for fat loss. A low intensity routine (Like a 40 minute walk) will surely burn fat  from your body for those 40 minutes – but a High intensity routine (like skipping rope 8 times for 1 minute each, with a minutes’ rest in between) will result in the carbs in your body to get used up – and the body will be burning fat to provide you energy till many hours after you’re done exercising.

-- Incorporating weight training in your exercise is important. You loose 10% of your lean body mass every decade of your life, and the older you get, the lower your body’s ability to build lean muscle. The more muscle you have in your body, the more “toned” your body looks. Also, “Muscle” is an “Active tissue” – if you build muscle, it’ll be causing your body to generate energy to feed it (by tapping the fat stores). So, you’ll be burning fat even when watching a movie.

-- Do as much reading as you can on nutrition, health and physical well being. The and teambeachbody forums (links below) have some great articles. Don’t trust everyone – just do a lot of reading and get the general idea. STOP reading the non sense, ill researched, half plagiarized, poorly written and sometimes grossly incorrect health articles  published in “Delhi times” or other Page-3 articles.

-- Let fitness not  be a 30 day or a  90 day fad diet, but a lifestyle. In the busy lives that we live, taking out one hour every day to exercise is hard – but the effort put into that hour makes the remaining 23 hours beautiful and makes that 1 hour “worth it”. Good luck! Carpe Diem :-)


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Abhijit - 2012

Abhijit - 2013


  1. Nice blog..

    Abhi, I thought It will be nice to share with you and your blog how I am losing my weight. At end of February this year I was weighing 106.2kg which was quite beyond my expectation. So I planned to start my weight loss program. As you are aware, I go to customer sites daily, I am not sure what I am going to get for eating, I planned to eat everything but in less quantity. Also I started walking 2.5kms everyday night. After a week increased to 5kms,then after 3rd week till now 10kms a day. I ate everything including Biriyanis, egg, chicken, chocolates, subs etc. I didn't avoid a single thing. I ate everything I got. But then also my per day calorie intake was around 1400kcals per day. Now I am burning ~1000kcals per day by walking. Today morning my weight is 94.3kg. In a month I lost more than 10kgs. I don't know whether I am losing weight in a right way or wrong, but I am losing it. :)
    Btw MyFitnessPal and Endomondo are two incredibly awesome apps which I also used.

  2. Hi Jagad, Thanks for sharing... 106 to 94 in 5 weeks is significant progress. Congrats!

    I feel portion control is very important and you've managed to create the calorie deficit each day... and that's clearly working out for you! Be careful though... at this rate, u might also be loosing lean body mass while burning fat.. that means you'll be loosing (precious) muscle tissue in the process. This happened to me also... lost around 5 KG of muscle along the way :( ...and i realize it's taking a lot of time to build it back.

    BTW, BF% calculation is the best way to track "how much fat vs lean mass you have". I measure my BF% using Body Fat calipers... I got them from 300 rs. then, entered the values in to track my body composition.