Health Star of the Week: Weight Loss to Battle High Cholesterol
Staying away from home contributed to Avinash being overweight, as he loved to indulge in fried, fatty food almost everyday. It was only when he was diagnosed with high cholesterol at the age of 32 that he decided to to take stock of his life and become healthy and fit.
Weight before (May 2013): 101 kg
Weight now (Oct 2013): 88 kg
When did you realise that you were overweight? Was it a ‘Happy realisation’ or a medical issue?
I was away from my home for 7 years for higher studies. During this period I got hooked on to junk and hotel food which isn’t very healthy. But when you are away from home it’s like the old adage, ‘beggars are not choosers’ state (Chuckles). Everything was fine until May 2013, on my way to office; I got a severe chest pain and I couldn’t breathe properly. The same day I went to a doctor and she told me to do some blood tests. As per my reports I was detected with high cholesterol. The doctor was surprised that I had got this problem at the age of 32.
She advised me to indulge in regular exercise to control my cholesterol and also to lose weight.
How did you begin your weight loss journey? Tell us about the baby steps that you look, like avoiding junk, alcohol or if you started going for a walk after lunch etc?
It’s not that I didn’t try to lose weight before this; the only thing I never followed was a proper diet. I was aware that the key to lose weight is to follow a proper diet (70%) and exercise (30%). So the first thing I did was mustering the courage to tread on this path all by myself. The second was getting professional help. I joined a gym (Talwarkar’s) and started following the diet recommended by dietician.
Earlier I used to have a heavy breakfast then heavy lunch and then a heavy dinner and now I eat in small portions five to six times a day. I reduced my rice, sugar intake. I also realised that if you are seriously doing workouts, you feel guilty whenever you eat unhealthy food.
Tell us about your exercise regime? How difficult was it in the beginning to exercise? What were your biggest concerns?
In the beginning I did more of cardio and light weights, one day cardio and next day light weights and so on. Every month my gym instructor used to change my exercise schedule so that my body doesn’t get used to one type of exercise.
I still remember, the day when I joined I could hardly spent 5 mins on treadmill and today I can run for half an hour without a break.
Many times I used to think that this is not my cup of tea and I should leave this idea to losing weight. But then when I saw a lot of body transformations on the internet I would push myself again . My biggest concern was that I may give up as I did lot of times earlier as it takes a lot of courage, patience and will power to again make up your mind to workout so hard.
Tell us about your diet? What kind of changes did you make? Did your family help you or join you in your efforts?
Even now I cheat sometimes but then I make up for it with an extended exercise or running.
The major difference that I made in my diet is I started eating a lot of salads before every meal and I started having small portions. I banned eating at night completely
Yes, my family helped me a lot by preparing healthy food as advised by my nutritionist. It is because of my family I could reduce my weight. Whenever I felt like giving up they stood by me and motivated me.When relatives got junk at home during parties or festivals my family members used to cautiously keep it away from me, eventually they started eating healthy too.
Tell us about your diet in detail?
As I get up I take Green tea with a lemon , Almonds (4 to 5),
Breakfast: Oats, fruit, flakes, milk, egg white
Pre workout (optional) – An apple or banana
Brunch - Salads, upma, poha
Lunch: 2 chapatti and curry with some curd
Evening snack: Green tea , Sprouts or a fruit or museli or butter milk, boiled chana
Dinner: Salads, 1 chapatti and curry, or oat meal
Tell us about the happiness or sense of achievement you felt, post weight loss
I am really happy right now, but I do aim to reduce a li’l more. Also I know that losing weight is not just enough we have to maintain it so it is important to have some physical activity along with proper diet. I should say it gives you immense confidence and energy. You feel like you have become younger. You get new clothes!