Humans of Sattviko

How I lost more than 23 kgs in 10 months during lockdown with Yoga and without any fad diet.

I shall start this post with the reason why I am writing this post. After I shared my transformation journey on 30th Dec 2020 on Facebook, I got many DMs, largely from people who were going through something similar and trying to understand the secret to weight loss. While I have managed to speak to most of them, I still keep getting requests to share what I did. So, here is my transformation journey and what worked for me.

My progress is as below:
15th Feb 2020 – 96.5 kgs/97 kgs, Waist — 38, shirt size — XXL
30th Dec 2020 – 73 kgs, Waist — 33, Shirt Size — M

Disclaimer — Another thing I am not a doctor or a dietician so I highly recommend consulting your physician for any underlying condition causing weight gain or for diet plans to take care of any food allergies etc that you may have. What I am sharing are things that worked for me broadly these should work for a normal individual too.

I started my journey in Feb’20 and the lockdown happened around the 23rd of March in India so my weight loss has happened almost entirely during lockdown at home.

Let’s begin
My back story

I had always been a heavy person since 6th grade, I measure about 5’8 and my last lowest weight was 82 kgs (still overweight) when I graduated from college in 2014. Post-2014 my stint with entrepreneurship and life after that caused my weight to climb to a staggering 92 kgs at the beginning of 2017. My stint with weight loss is not new I have tried once before in 2017 to reduce and managed to go down to 81 kgs but turns out my method of weight loss was so unhealthy and desperate that I relapsed soon and touched 96.5–97 kgs (very obese) within a year and a half.

If you are fit and have never been obese trust me it’s not fun. I struggled with a lot of things physically WRT. stamina, energy levels, focus, and late 2019 is when I decided that I want to get fit.

I have researched, read, and gone through in detail about most of the diets in trend namely Keto, Intermittent Fasting, and other Low Carb diets. During my transformation, I have eaten Pizza, cake, sweets, bread almost everything and I have not gone the route of restraining myself the whole week and binging on a cheat meal every Sunday.

Here is what I did instead.

1. Buy a weighing machine

I realized almost everyone I have spoken to within the last 2 weeks who was struggling with a weight issue did not have a weighing machine or even if they had it was packed away somewhere. I cannot stress this point enough. Get a weighing machine and weigh yourself every day multiple times if you want. Keep it near your dressing table/washroom where it is fully visible. Do not worry you won’t become a freak, it will just make you conscious of your journey. Remember “What gets measured gets done”.

2. Maintain a food journal

This tip might not seem important for people who are already-fit but I am guessing if you have read so far you are most likely looking to reduce your weight. A food journal helps you see at the end of every day what you ate and how it impacts your progress and diet. I prefer an app but you may go old school and note it down on paper but personally, apps are really good they also measure your macros and micros, There are many good food logging apps out there and you will find one that aligns with your habit.

3. Diet is 90% of the game

Some might say it’s more like 60% diet — 40% exercise but I will go so far as to put it at 90%. So, in my earlier process of losing weight, I went all out in the gym to a degree I almost starved myself and rapidly lost weight. While I found exercising to be very effective in toning my body and building muscle, I cannot stress less about a balanced diet.

4. No FAD diets

Fad. Fad Diets Don’t Work card isolated on white background

In my process of discovering weight loss, I spoke to many people who followed Keto and other low-carb diets and found surprisingly fast results. I was almost about to start a keto program myself, but I realized 2 things. First, maybe these diets work but the nature of these diets is so restricting that I would not be able to maintain them after all sometimes you got to have that cake. Second, the relapses I saw a couple of my friends who were on and off the Keto wagon every alternate month and every time they did this the weight relapsed. I wanted to do this once and for all and did not want to return to 97 kg again in my life.

5. Mindfulness (Moderation is the name of the game)

Part of this comes from the food journal tip. Being mindful of what you eat and how much you eat has to be a part of your habit. After I started paying attention to what I eat I realized I was consuming enormous amounts of calories which were just junk or out of boredom. After all, what you eat ultimately becomes a part of you.

6. Yoga

I did an hour of yoga every day. Yoga helps you balance all 5 aspects of your body ( endurance, strength, balance, flexibility, and Mind). It is a great way to de-stress. I used to do Surya Namaskar every day even if I couldn’t do any other asana every day.

7. Follow this rule and Avoid these things

I did not restrict my diet during my transformation I ate almost everything but in moderation which led to 2 things first, I got to savor every bite, the second I kept my sanity. But having said that I did avoid what I call blank calories anything that just gives you empty calories ( like alcohol, white sugar, Cold drinks ), and continue to avoid. I also followed a rule which I read somewhere and has stayed with me “Don’t drink your calories “ which meant I ate fruits instead of juice, I avoided any sugary drink and so on.

So how do you lose weight?

The term you got to remember for weight loss is very simple “Calorie Deficit “. Which means burn more calories than you consume. This can be achieved in various ways, your resting body consumes some energy to keep you alive (for various vital functions) which is directly proportional to your weight. If you consume fewer calories than this, you will inevitably lose weight. You may increase your energy spend by following an exercise routine and you will lose weight faster. As long as, you are in a calorie deficit you will lose weight.

Now, by no means do I mean to tell you to eat less obvious if you are a regular guy/girl and consuming say upwards of 3000 cal with a sedentary lifestyle you have to consume less but after a point, your macros and micros will start getting affected and it will start doing more harm than good. (More detailed post on this later).

So should I focus on only diet and no exercise?

Nope, that is not what I meant in fact, I got myself a smartwatch to keep track of my daily steps, I did home-based exercises and Yoga. Yoga I have seen does wonders, first, it helps you tone and builds your muscles, second, it gives your body an extra calorie deficit & third it increases your dopamine levels (I mean it’s really addictive 😊 )

I did 4 days of strength exercise also. Weights help you develop extra muscle and increase your resting metabolism ( so you burn fat even when you are not exercising)

Before I end this, I would also say walking is very underrated. It is a great exercise that people do not realize. More than 10k steps a day will do wonders in your weight loss journey. I would call my friends and family during my daily walks and it also gave me time to connect with people over calls with whom I had not spoken in a long time.

Summary:

  1. Eating in calorie deficit will lead to weight loss but eating very less calories will lead to weakness. Find our your Total Daily Energy Expenditure and eat less calories than that.
  2. Diet is 90% of the game. Focus on higher protein for strength and cutting out sugars from your diet. FAD diets are very difficult to manage. Holistic approach should be followed.
  3. Yoga and daily workout helps you build your muscles and cut down fat.


All the best for your fat loss journey 😊

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