I’m just going to dive into this post without wasting too many words or your time on an introduction… after all, the title pretty much works as the best heads-up. To everyone who is seeking a healthier lifestyle that invariably leads to weight loss and overall well-being, this one’s for you. I gave myself 1 year to yield the results I was looking for. Make sure you read it right till the end… 🙂
Liquid Love – Drink Up!
This is the first thing I do every morning on an empty stomach. A 30ml shot of each – amla and aloe vera juices with some water on the side (you may need it after having the amla juice) is a great way to kick-start the day. Aloe vera juice aids good digestion and encourages a detoxification cleanse every stomach deserves. Consuming amla juice on the other hand doesn’t as such aid weight loss, but works as a natural blood purifier and improves the overall quality of your skin and even promotes hair growth. #win
They say consuming fruits as a whole is better than drinking juices. I get why because all the nutrition is in the fibre… but I make it a point to include the pulp when I consume my favourite juice. For those who follow me closely on twitter and instagram, you know I’ve professed my love for ABC juice on more than one occasion. The apple beet and carrot juice is something I randomly discovered one day while I was in the market. It’s the perfect concoction to sip on after a kick-ass workout or if you’re trying to curb those silly hunger pangs. I have it with all the pulp intact so no worries there.
I also started sipping on different kinds of green tea to replace that unnecessary cup of average coffee I would consume at work around 4pm. Finally I found my favourite and it was Organic India’s Tulsi Green Tea. Give it a try? But taste in the end has always been subjective so if it doesn’t appeal to you, there are other alternatives to choose from. Find your pick and stick to it. Rich in antioxidants, it’s a great way to detoxify your body.
Also, don’t forget to increase your water intake. I used to be the kind of person who hardly ever drank water and ever since I changed this pathetic habit it’s made a huge difference – to my skin, my digestive system and my overall well-being. I usually sip on a warm cup of water before going to bed. It’s my way of making sure my body is well hydrated through the night.
Shift In Eating Habits, Timings And Portion Control
Now this is an evident “disorder” I know most people suffer from. It’s not about being overweight… but mainly the lifestyle choices we make. Trying different kinds of diets has become a norm but I knew I was done seeking that method. This time, I was aiming for close to permanent results… so I had to make a lifestyle shift. Having been in the food blogging space for over 3 years now, my eating habits, portions and timings – all of it went for a toss. Just getting it back on track was the ultimate need of the hour.
As exciting (and tempting at times) as they were, I didn’t accept as many tasting sessions/blogger tables/launch party invites; I stopped eating late meals… especially dinner; I chose to eat soups (clear chicken soup is a healthy and soulful option) and salads (includes lots of leafy vegetables to improve my fibre intake) as often as I could without depriving myself – because a passionate food enthusiast like me deserved cheat days; sometimes more often than once a week and that was actually okay. My mind and stomach didn’t hate me for being so harsh on myself and that helps you to stick to the shift.
I just took small steps in changing the way I ate my food. I still avoid eating rice, breads and pastas for dinner. A bowl of dal becomes my comfort food. I opt for grilled/roasted chicken – even tandoori works in times like these. Everytime someone wanted to grab dinner with me, places like Bombay Salad Co. became regular hangout spots. PS. Their salads are to die for!
Fitness Tracker – My Fitbit Is My New BFF
One of the best motivators of all time, a fitness tracker is exactly what I needed to keep me going. As much as gym trainers and fitness enthusiasts for friends are there to push you, you are your biggest competitor – which also makes you your biggest strength (as well as weakness cuz being lazy comes so easily to people like me).
A band on your wrist that tracks your steps, heart rate, calories burnt, distance covered and even the number of hours you sleep (including the times you wake up or where your sleep was disturbed) – My Fitbit Charge HR has been by my side and gave me that extra boost to meet my daily goals. You can also track your water intake as well as keep a check on your food + calorie intake but I didn’t want to get so deeply into the specifics.
A profile that keeps a detailed record of your overall progress and with a couple of Fitbit friends on my list,’workweek hustles’ and ‘weekend challenges’ are now a part of this new lifestyle. I suggest you do your homework as there are quite a few brands/styles available in the market and maybe invest in one that suits your needs and budget? It might just be the best decision you take…
Find A Workout And Be In love With It
We all make resolutions to join a gym, work on our bodies and improve our lives but how many of us actually stick around long enough to witness desirable results? I know I’ve been down that road more often than I’d like to admit. Consistency is key and unlocking it is the way to go.
I found my kind of consistency in a dance fitness workout class. The aim was to tackle 2 major issues – 1. the fear of dancing (it’s worse than just knowing you have 2 left feet) and to find a workout that didn’t worsen an already existing knee problem.
Sonal Devraj and Nicole Concessao are the super talented Naach girls who came to my rescue. (check out their YouTube channel here to see how awesome they are!) Today, I may not dance like a dream but at least I have the confidence to step onto the dance floor. Trust me, it’s a hugeee deal. 😛 I can’t thank these girls enough for transforming me into this person I am so happy to be today!
The convenience of having a dance studio within the same building as my workplace was indeed a boon. 3 times a week (1 hour class each) is where I began as it was time to learn the art of striking the right balance between my work and workout. The idea was to create a routine that’s as doable as possible… Because goal setting is all about eventually meeting them.
So basically what I am trying to say is… Find a convenient form of workout around you (home or office – go figure) and fall in love with it so even the thought of missing it gives you major FOMO feels! PS. I also joined swimming but haven’t been as regular. This post is a good reminder to get back to it.
Going The Extra Mile…
If you have a treadmill at home, 20 minutes of dedicated cardio is all you need to invest in. Otherwise, there’s always the option of finding a park near your home that can help you achieve 30-45 minutes of brisk walking on a daily basis. Even if you do it 3-4 times a week, it’s a great start.
Since time can be an issue for most of us and I am not even a morning person so waking up early was never going to happen for me, I made it a point to walk for a minimum of 30-45 minutes from my office till a particular point, every evening, after work. I carry the necessary gear with me so I’m well equipped for the same. It wasn’t easy at first, but I knew I had to push myself a little more than I already did (to break the monotonous routine) to bring about a sense of shock within my muscles. It worked. My stamina improved and I felt more energetic than ever. It’s a good feeling, I tell you!
PS. In retrospect, I believe this helped me feel confident and prepped me well enough for the Dream Run I did this year at the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I could be a part of a marathon… but it happened. 0:)
A Good Night’s Sleep
I remember reading about the benefits of getting enough number of hours of sleep but never really put it to practice. But once I got my Fitbit, I decided to set a sleep goal target of 8 hours. Seems a lot, but that’s actually ideal for all of us. Initially, this felt like an impossible task – considering the lifestyle most of us lead, but then with one gentle reminder pop-up on my phone screen that reads – “It’s time to rest and recharge.” courtesy the Fitbit app, I consciously made it a point to not only obey it… but also respect it.
I am pretty sure it has aided my weight loss because a well rested body + mind leads to a healthy body + mind. Now, almost 10 months down this road, I continue to be a nocturnal being (because some old habits don’t ever die hard) and yet manage to get my daily 8 hours’ dose of rested sleep without feeling like it’s a task. Sounds good, right? It sure is.
It’s been a year since I began this journey… Not a weight-loss one, but an overall lifestyle change – A shift that I have managed to bring about for myself. Losing the weight is not as difficult as keeping it off and maintaining the loss… That’s where I know I failed in the past. As of today, I’m 3 sizes down and about 15 kgs lighter; which may not be an impressive number for most (overenthusiastic) weight loss enthusiasts but I learnt to see the bigger picture – the one where MY result is ideally meant to stay and not scarily fluctuate. Where maintenance along with a dash of motivation is what I will always need without compromising on the small joys of life – in my case, good food!
The whole idea of writing this post was to remind myself how far I’ve come… and how the destination is simply a promise to keep at it.
Until next time… Xx