How I lost 27 kg and here is how you can lose weight too
With the New Year right around the corner, how to lose weight is perhaps the one question at the back of your mind. Losing weight can seem like an uphill task and it seemed like that to me too. I was still 19 and weighed 97 kg. The tipping point came when I was at a store and fell in love with a shirt; I was three sizes too big for it. I bought it anyway; that was my goal. I wanted to fit into it one day. And that was the beginning of my weight loss journey. My name is Jitesh Magnani and this is how I lost 27 kg by doing three things: playing sports, hitting the gym and having balanced meals.
How to lose weight just by playing sports
For a good part of my teens, I led a sedentary lifestyle. I would binge on fried foods — samosas were my favorite — at least 2-3 times a day, have burgers, packaged foods aerated drinks and cookies and sweets like there was no tomorrow. There was no balance of vitamins, proteins, carbs, and fat in my meals. As a result, my waist ballooned to 44 inches and soon I began to find myself in the XXL aisle of some of my favorite fashion stores. Initially, I thought it would be impossible for me to get in shape and that I would have to live with my weight my entire life… until that day when I found that shirt which I loved but couldn’t fit into. That was the day I decided to start losing weight. I did not research how to lose weight or seek any advice from people who’ve lost weight nor did I consult any fitness trainer. As I was to realize later, this was a mistake.
I simply began running and playing cricket; And I started doing what I thought was the best way to lose weight: give up carbs altogether and reduce protein in my diet. It didn’t take me long to realize the blunder I had made. Sure I lost a lot of weight but I also lost a lot of muscle and energy. To be precise I lost 12 kg in about 18 months and brought my weight down from 97 kg to 85 kg just by playing sports and doing cardio. But along with fat, I had also lost a lot of muscle. That’s when I realized it is essential to do weight training to maintain muscle mass. I have made a lot of mistakes on my way but that’s how I have learned and now I know my body absolutely well.
How to lose weight by making the most of your gym
My research on how to lose weight the healthy way started from there. I realized how critical a role weightlifting plays. And so decided to join the gym, but I was intimidated by people around me with ripped physiques and lean muscles. This shook my confidence at first, but I kept going.
Once I joined the gym, I ensured that I trained for at least 5-6 times a week, for one hour per day. I did not opt for fancy workouts and complex diet plans, I stuck to the basics and introduced new variations at regular intervals so that the body doesn’t get used to only one particular set of exercises. I would target 1 muscle group per day and do five different variations of the same. I would generally keep two days of gap between back and legs exercises, so as not to strain those muscles. Coming down from 85 kg to 70 kg my gym workouts helped me put on muscle while losing those extra inches/fat. I brought down my waist size to 31 inches and, for a change, I was feeling healthy and not malnourished.
My exercise routine for weight loss
- Monday: Chest exercises
- Tuesday: Back exercises
- Wednesday: Shoulder exercises
- Thursday: Biceps exercises
- Friday: Legs exercises
- Saturday: Cardio or core exercises
I went to the gym for only about 6-7 months and it’s been over a month since I stopped working out at the gym. But I find it easy to maintain my weight by just eating balanced meals.
How to lose weight by following a healthy diet
I believe good eating habits are the most important factor for holistic wellness. If you are working hard in the gym I would suggest staying away from packed, preserved food, fried food and the 3 whites (refined flour, sugar, salt).
My diet comprises the following:
Breakfast: 1 fruit in the morning, mostly a pomegranate. Then I would consume a cup of coffee after a gap of half an hour. My main breakfast consisted of either some eggs, healthy sprouts or a peanut butter sandwich.
Lunch: I would consume 120 gm of protein throughout the day. But my routine lunch consisted of vegetables for vitamins, brown rice for carbs, chicken for protein and curd and buttermilk for fat. My day’s meals would also comprise lentils and greens each day such as mushroom, spinach, and broccoli.
Dinner: Ideally some spinach soup and roasted chicken or paneer. I would have 50-60 gm of paneer at night because it releases casein protein which helps digest food slowly or a glass of milk.
Supplements: I would consume only protein and BCCAs.
Water: At least 3-4 liters in a day, as I was on supplements and you need to make sure you flush your system well.
In between meals when if I would feel hungry, I would snack on some home-made popcorn, peanuts or handful of almonds and walnuts. I would also consume two whole fruits before sunset. I would avoid consuming sugar after 7 pm because the body doesn’t need that kind of energy at night.
On my cheat days, I didn’t binge on junk, I made sure I loaded enough carbs by having a burger, whole wheat banana cake, oats protein smoothies etc.
People are scared of consuming good fat and so was I, but I soon realized that it was a myth. Good fat like curd, milk, ghee, unprocessed cheese, nuts won’t make you fat; it’s the bad fat like fried food, frozen desserts and slices of bread that will make you fat. It is extremely important to consume good fat in order to eliminate the bad fat out of your system.
Throughout this journey, I not only experienced a physical transformation, but also an internal transformation. Being physically active is essential and since you’re eating and drinking clean, you’re avoiding the risk of several health problems. I also felt like the quality of my skin and hair became better and it looked healthy overall.
I don’t wish to be a bodybuilder but I want to put on some lean mass by losing some more of my fat percentage, say 2-3 percent. Whereas, right now I’m at 14 percent.
As an advice to beginners, I would just like to say that believe you can and you will. Do not get intimidated by people around you, they didn’t get that physique in a month, they have worked hard for years and so even you have to. Given time for your body to adjust, anybody can be fit. When it comes to diet, don’t starve yourself because when you do, whatever food you consume gets stored as fat for energy. There is a huge difference between dieting and starving. Just eat right. Pick your food judiciously and know what you’re consuming. Ensure your plate has a good balance of these five basic nutrients – carbs, protein, fiber, vitamins, and fats.
As told to Meghana Ganeshan
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Want Your Teen To Have A Healthy Weight? Science Says Shut Up
Experts agree that talking about the need to diet and lose weight is one of the most unhealthy, counterproductive things a parent can do for a teen who is struggling with weight issues.
Now, new guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics formally endorse those findings. In order to prevent obesity and eating disorders, parents should focus less on diets and the scale and emphasize family togetherness and exercise for fitness, not weight loss. The AAP included both obesity and eating disorders in their recommendations because these often share unhealthy behaviors such as dieting, bingeing and having a dissatisfied view of one’s body.
Obesity in adolescents has quadrupled in the past 30 years; in 2012, 21 percent of young people aged 12 to 19 were obese. Teens who are obese are more likely to have bone or joint problems, as well as sleep apnea. They’re also more likely to develop prediabetes, which can lead to Type 2 diabetes. On top of that, teens who are obese are more likely to grow up to become obese adults who will face heightened risks for diseases including cancer and stroke.
Tweens and teens make up the bulk of eating disorder hospitalizations. In 2012, children aged 10 to 17 years old accounted for more than 90 percent of all hospitalizations for children with eating disorders, according to data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP). The AAP report was compiled, in part, over growing concern about the unhealthy way teens are trying to lose weight.
Here are six takeaways from the report, published in the journal Pediatrics. These recommendations are for both doctors and parents, and they apply to all teens — not just those with weight problems.
What not to do:
Never encourage dieting.
Dieting packs a double whammy because it’s a risk factor for both obesity and eating disorders. Girls who weren’t obese but dieted in the ninth grade were three times were likely to be overweight by 12th grade, compared to girls who didn’t diet. And young people who severely reduced their caloric intake and skipped meals were 18 times more likely to develop an eating disorder than those who didn’t diet. Even just moderate dieting increased a teen’s risk of developing an eating disorder fivefold.
”A 3-year-old may not be worried if she’s a bit overweight, whereas an adolescent may try unhealthy weight-loss methods like fasting or diet pills and end up in a vicious circle of more weight gain,” explained lead author Dr. Neville Golden, a pediatrics professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine, in a statement.
Don’t comment on your child’s weight, or even your weight.
What you say matters; teens who talk about weight with their parents are also more likely to diet, binge eats and have unhealthy weight control behaviors, but this risk lessens if the subject matter is about healthy eating behaviors.
No matter how well-intentioned or seemingly benign you think your comments are, studies show that comments parents make about either their own weight or their child’s weight is linked to a child’s risk of being overweight and developing an eating disorder.
It’s important to note here that a teen doesn’t have to look excessively thin for a parent to be concerned that they might have an eating disorder, said Golden.
“This is a dangerous category of patient, because they’re often missed by physicians,” he said. “At some point, these patients may have had a real need to lose weight, but things got out of control.”
Never tease teens about their weight.
This seems obvious, but bears repeating since a significant minority of overweight teens say they’ve experienced weight-related teasing from friends or family members. Cruel taunts about weight increase a child’s risk of both being overweight and developing eating disorders, and the pain can last into adulthood.
Dianne Neumark-Sztainer, a researcher who focuses on teen health and nutrition, previously told HuffPost that parents should make their homes a sanctuary where kids feel safe from weight-related teasing.
“Our children need to know that they can tell us what happened without receiving advice on how to lose weight,” she said.
What to do instead:
While eating meals together as a family has not been shown to reduce obesity rates, it does improve the nutritional content of a child’s diet and it allows parents to model healthy eating behaviors in front of their children, the report said. One study found that families who eat meals together seven or more times per week eat more fruits and vegetables compared to families who never eat together, and for the kids, this increased intake of fruits and veggies persisted into young adulthood. Another study found that eating family dinners most days during the previous years seemed to protect kids from binge eating, dieting and purging behaviors.
Focus on a balanced diet and exercise ― not weight loss.
Encourage healthy body image by encouraging kids to eat healthfully and exercise for fitness ― not for weight loss. Teens who have these positive influences are more likely to report being happy with their bodies and less likely to say they had weight-related concerns. Kids who are dissatisfied with their bodies, on the other hand, are more likely to develop eating disorders, diet and have lower levels of physical activity.
Create a healthy home environment.
While it may seem from the AAP recommendations that a parent is more hemmed in about what they should or shouldn’t say to encourage a healthy lifestyle in children, the truth is that what a parent does says volumes about the best way to approach eating, exercise and body image.
The report says that parents can create a healthy food environment at home by buying and serving fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, and water, while keeping artificial sweeteners, sugar-sweetened drinks and refined carbs away. Parents can also encourage physical activity by keeping TVs out of children’s bedrooms. Indeed, health interventions for both obesity and eating disorders are most effective when the whole family is involved in the treatment — not just the child who needs help.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story reported that eating disorders caused more than 90 percent of hospitalizations in teens. This is mistaken, and we regret the error.