How I Lost 7 Kilos in 5 months
Updated: Nov 2, 2020
While I have always been the chubby sorts, sometime over the last 3 years the weighing scales finally tipped over to the ‘fat’ range for me.
And there were reasons galore.
For 3 years back, I started my current job which is primarily a desk-based one requiring me to sit for endless hours in front of the computer.
Plus the stress levels are inordinately high in this job.
Which meant I often skipped meals altogether, put in 13-14 hours work every day and by the time I came home tired I hardly could do much more than change clothes, eat dinner and head straight off to bed. My tendency to order in outside food increased drastically.
I visited multiple dieticians, tried some diets, joined the gym(multiple times) but absolutely nothing seemed to work for long.
Every time I tried some new diet or started working out, I would lose a couple of kilos in the beginning. But before long I would find myself craving junk food, getting tired of my bland diet and before I knew it, I would call it quits.
The last straw, I felt, was dealt with by COVID.
It had been just a few weeks of joining my office gym(for the 3rd time in 3 years!).
I had just started to feel motivated when the virus decided to rear its ugly head and put the world to a standstill.
All of us started working from home. Which meant no gym, no stepping out and spending even more time in front of the laptop.
I weighed myself in office just about a few days before lockdown and the scale was hovering upwards of 78Kilos. Which was quite a lot of weight for a 5ft3 inch woman!
So What Changed?
The first couple of months of lockdown would see me sitting in my bedroom poring over the office laptop from morning 6 to sometimes evening 7 or even beyond. Only times I would get up would be to go to the bathroom or have my breakfast or lunch.
The two good things that happened though in this initial phase of lockdown was that I had my mother staying with me and the fear of virus meant I had completely stopped binging on outside food.
While an average week earlier in the pre-COVID world would see me Swiggy or Zomato a meal at least twice a week, now that reduced to an absolute zero!
Home-cooked rice, chapatti, curry and fish prepared by mom was all that I was having for food.
Moreover, my mom staying with me meant I had access to meals at regular intervals without my work getting hampered.
Next, I purchased a weighing machine and was surprised to find my weight had not increased in the 2 months of lockdown. In fact, it had gone down by a kilo or so!
This was despite my meal consisting frequently of large portions of boiled rice mixed with ghee and boiled aloo (my favourite comfort food!)
This led me to think if simply by obliterating outside food from my diet I could actually lose weight, imagine what would happen if I were to control my portions and try working out.
I put my thoughts into action!
I started brisk walking every evening for 15-20 minutes on my rooftop terrace and used a mobile app to track the calories burnt. I would make sure to burn a minimum of 100 calories every day this way.
I also started reducing the portions of my meals. While I did not cross out any particular food item from my plate, I would focus more on a protein and fibre rich diet with the optimum quantity of carbohydrates along with essential fats
And the next thing I know, my face started losing its puffiness, my upper arms started tightening up and best of all, my belly started reducing!
Old plate vs New Plate
Being a Bengali, rice has always been my staple food.
I love rice, ghee, butter and all the typically fattening foods.
Earlier, I would consume a plate full of rice with side portions of daal, sabji and occasionally fish & eggs.
Now, however, I decided to go in for 1/4th the previous portion of rice that I was having per meal while at the same time increasing the portions of fish and eggs.
These days I also prefer to take a bowl of daal along with generous portions of sabzis to go with it.
If I have chapatti, I would restrict myself to 2 round chapattis for a meal as opposed to 3 or 4 earlier.
My dietary change had more to do with quantity control rather than the removal of entire food items from the menu.
That said, there are a few items though I tend to be a bit strict about.
For example, I don’t have any sugar or milk in my tea or coffee, I don’t have bread more than once or twice a week ( max two slices at a time) and I have Maggi probably once or twice a month. (Maggi has been like the bad boyfriend your mom warned you about. Very addictive but quite damaging 😉)
Long story short, 5 months into the lockdown my weight dropped to 71 Kilos from a staggering 78 before the lockdown and my tummy went down drastically!
The old clothes that I stopped wearing to office started fitting again. I lost fat primarily from my upper arms, belly and my thighs.
You Can Do It Too
15-20 minutes of regular cardio activity like walking, running, jogging or swimming can work wonders for your body if done consistently. It helps to burn existing fat, speeds up the body’s metabolism and keeps your body working like a clock.
A protein-rich diet with a good measure of vegetables and some carbohydrates is of paramount importance for fat loss and weight reduction. If you watch what you eat and combine with it some moderate workout sessions a few times a week, you wouldn’t need to sign up to expensive gyms or try fancy diets to lose weight.
Regular small meals throughout the day help in keeping your hunger in check and prevents overeating. My mother staying with me means I get to have breakfast, mid-day snack, lunch and dinner, all prepared at home, served up on time without fail.
Avoiding restaurant cooked spicy food goes a long way in weight reduction and fat loss.
Last but probably most important is consistency. This is key to success in any endeavour. Don’t look at the scales every day, don’t chase results. Just keep doing what you need to, and witness the miracle happen!