Monday, December 02, 2013

My experience with loosing 7+ kgs in 1.5 months...

I am sure many of us, if not all, want to shed those few extra pounds (or kgs should I say!). I have been no different. I have always lived at the upper edge of my idea weight... once in a while crossing that upper edge. 
Have managed to pull back the weight to the 'ideal' number quite a few times in past. However, this was probably the longest duration I had not done so. I did it last in 2007... at the time of marriage and ever since, my weight chart has had unidirectional upward movement.

After contemplating for a long time which included a failed attempt in second half of 2012, finally I managed to start the fitness regime in October month this year.

I joined gym in second half of 2012 but did not manage to pull back my weight. So this attempt started with some retrospection about that not-so-successful attempt. So this were some of the important points from the retrospection:
- I used to hit the gym for about 3-4 days a week and each visit to gym was about 2 hrs (which includes going and coming back from gym, changing into/from gym clothes, waiting at the tread mills etc.). But the gym was a drag...I had to push myself really hard to go to gym.
- I did not focus on diet at all. I did-not/could-not control my eating habits. (And... I am a foodie.)

Conclusion of retrospection was - "Fitness/Weight-loss is by enlarge a psychological problem and not a physical one"

Based on this, the plan this time was to KISS... to Keep It Simple Stupid. Focus on psychological aspect.... physical gains will follow.
So what was this simple plan?
- Forget Gym.... just hit the track for only 30mins a day
- Track diet through good mobile apps.

As I said, focus was on managing the psychological aspect..... committing 30 mins a day reduces the mental resistance by a great deal with respect to a commitment for 1 or 2 hrs! If I felt 'lazy' to jog; I could tell myself "It's just 30 mins!!!" (Slowly, I increased my running to 5kms which took about 40 mins.)
To add to this, I used mobile app "Endomondo Sports Tracker" to track my running.

Another psychological aspect was to manage diet and you can only do it effectively if you put your tracking 'on paper'. The app I used to track diet was "Calorie Counter - MyFitnessPal".
After checking multiple calorie counters available for android, I zeroed in on MyFitnessPal. One strong reason was that it contained calories for Indian food items.

Some more finer points:
  • Go for 'prepaid' calories approach. If you expect intake of more calories on a day, try to run more that day. For example, my 1.5 months weight loss period included a couple of visits to "Barbeque Nation" for buffet and a couple of more buffets at other hotels. I ensured on each occasion that I ran/walked 10 kms that day. You should 'prepay' the calories you are going to consume. While such compensatory diets/exercises are not encouraged, it just keeps you conscious about your calories intakes.
  • Avoid sugar as much as you can. Do not cross sugar intake beyond the limit in MyFitnessPal. For example, during all the buffets that I mentioned above, I avoided desserts almost completely.
  • Avoid obvious fats like cheese, butter, too much oily/fried food.
  • The 1.5 months included 1 week of Diwali and 1 week of my brother's marriage!
  • Once again, "Focus on psychological aspect.... physical fitness will follow."
  • Create a group of like minded people... for example I consciously made an attempt (successful one) in my friends group in WhatsApp to create momentum on the fitness regime. We were discussing our diets and exercises in the group almost daily. As I said, many of us, if not all, are interested in such discussions. And these are 'win-win' discussions.
  • Once you get the momentum, it's fairly easy to continue. Especially with commitment of just 30 mins a day. (you can even start with running 15 mins a day.)
  • Do run, not just walk. Very important!!!
  • When you run, don't forget stretching exercises. A couple of minutes a stretching is very very important. You don't want "runner's knees" to hamper your rhythm.
  • While running, rather than focusing on 'intensity', focus on 'consistency'. What I mean here is that don't make your running so intense that you have to take a break next day due to pain. At the same time don't keep it too lame!
Remember, once you cross initial resistance of 'take off', rest of teh journey is fairly smooth with right focus on 'psychy'.

Another important note, this is my experience. Do take medical help if you have some medical conditions before following this!

Try it... it's not as difficult as it feels.

- Sarang

Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Weight Loss Tools


Feroz said...

Sahi hai Sarang bhai, from Tech guru to Fitness guru.
Good tips especially for someone who is new or struggling with weight loss.
One thing you didn't mention in your article and which, in my experience, works for any weight-loss or fitness regime is introducing variation in both exercise and diet. It may sound easy but you will be surprised how even within the boundaries of a controlled regime, body finds its comfort zone. For example after some time, you may not any trouble doing 30-40 pushups every day but cut those in half and introduce say crunches or squats or burpeess and your body will make you feel that you are starting all over again. But, over time, with the same effort and same workout time, the benefits will be higher with variations than just doing the same thing over and over.
Same goes for diet. Binge eat once in a while (one in 2 weeks say) to make sure your body doesn't get used to dieting and the benefits wear off.
I, personally, am struggling with variations because one they are hard and secondly I end up going to gym only 3 days a week so not motivated enough to include new stuff since I am taking a break anyway.

sarang anajwala said...

Agree on variation. So I did 'hog' once in a while (like the buffets I mentioned in my blog post). Only thing is I focused on what I eat... For example, when I did 'overeat', I tried consuming more protein and fiber and tried avoiding sweets and obvious fats.