Home » Fitness » Change, the only constant – Journey to a fitter me.

Change, the only constant – Journey to a fitter me.

changeAt the end of two months, I had made considerable changes to my diet. Here are some that I can crow about.

I had gotten addicted to having tea at a local tea shop that has its chain of stores at every mall here. Inevitably, every time I spotted the place, I would saunter in for a cup, whether it was tea time or not. What was special about the tea was that they made it with condensed milk (a fact that my coach would not let me forget for a long time later).  Even at home, I switched to using condensed milk for my tea (I had a 10.30am itch for tea every morning) to meet the same standards I so loved.  At the shop, I never stopped with just tea. I almost always ordered it with a thick toast slice with dollops of peanut butter on it. teatoastBy far, that may have been the hardest  habit to knock. Occasionally, I still have an occasional tea at my pet tea hangout, but now ask for the non sweetened version (sans condensed milk). As for the morning tea itch at home, I am over it ( after 20 years!). I have begun enjoying flavored (apple, cinnamon, peppermint, orange, peach, strawberry) black tea.

I quit sweetening my oatmeal with honey and began using cranberries instead. A quip on honey that my coach loved to quote every time – A moment on your lips, forever on your hips! My coach recommended that I use agave nectar as substitute for honey when needed.

I topped my oatmeal with flaxseed meal, to up my fibre content – I learnt that having more than one bowel movement in the day is a good sign and not something to be embarrassed about. Tells you that you are eating whole and not refined foods.

I stopped helping myself to unlimited servings of fruit.  Any food in excess quantities can cause weight gain. That partly explained why despite my healthy lifestyle, I was piling on kilos!

I stopped including sweet corn in my salads and by extension, also stopped cornflakes from my breakfast cereals. Corn has simple sugars and if your insulin metabolism is not optimal, it can spike the sugar levels in your blood.

I upped my water intake. This may have been the toughest habit to make. I am still working on it to become a habit.

I began including black eyed peas in my meals. Lobia – black eyed peas – is the poor man’s protein ( inexpensive, high protein food – you get the drift). Sanjeev Kapoor’s Lobia rasedaar is a treat to make and eat!

We still ate out on the weekends as a family, but I stopped drinking my calories. Often, we don’t realize that the drink we order with our meal is almost as calorie heavy as the meal itself.
saladI began to eat exotic fresh salads at lunch. I used quinoa, bean sprouts, avocado, asparagus, broccoli, red pumpkin, walnuts, almonds and sunflower seeds in my salads. There was never a dull day with the varieties I tried. My coach called me an atypical south Indian who did not miss her rasams and sambars.

For a brief 3 months, I gave up phulkas at dinner.  I learnt that the gluten in wheat can inadvertently cause many health problems – I am sure you can google the rest of the details on your own. Instead, I ate whatever vegetable (subji) I cooked with yoghurt. I am still not big on rotis or anything made of wheat and eat it sparingly. I also began experimenting with jowar, bajra and other millet flours as a substitute.

Though it was tough in the beginning, I slowly gave up bread rolls with soup. I still miss the butter croissants that I so loved to sink my teeth into at breakfast. Refined flour that makes these delectable rolls and bread is processed food and my coach is dead against the foods that belong to that category. To make me feel guilty and remind me of its effects, she points to my belly and says that it is covered in layers of maida (refined wheat flour) from the inside.

Here is something my coach advised me about belly fat –crunches

1) There is more to it than plain old stomach crunches to get rid of your abdominal blubber.

2) The fat around your abs is the last place you lose weight when you eat/workout sensibly.

3) If you start losing inches around your waist, it is almost always, fat loss.

In a few weeks after I tinkered my diet and had begun eating wisely and compounding it with two days of hour long sessions at the gym (what I did there, I will write in another post), I experienced my first reward. I weighed 2 kilos lesser than what I had weighed in a long time.  I was high. I had never managed to lose weight on my own without being on some fad diet ( GM diet anyone?) and that temporary loss always came back when I got back to eating regular food.

The two kilos I lost after I had made changes to my ‘regular’ food, never came back and slowly kept dropping. Under all the layers of adipose, I knew it in my bones, that I was on my way to a fitter version of me.

The seventh post in this journey is here.


16 thoughts on “Change, the only constant – Journey to a fitter me.

  1. Check on GM diet. See what I have to start doing. Tea (even if it is without condensed milk). What about dairy, Arthi? No milk other than the yogurt I saw you mention? Also, any supplements for calcium et al? Always wonder on calcium, know a relative with osteoporosis and it isn’t pretty.

    Still loving the series…you’re helping people!

    • Milk and Cheese are acidic and they actually cause depletion of calcium from the bones (at least that is what my coach firmly believes in) She says people who promote milk are the producers! I do have milk in my coffee or oatmeal.

  2. This is the best entry so far – really useful tips for us all. Thanks for sharing – your coach may lose a potential client in me though, given all I now need to do is to follow your tips 😛

  3. No cornflakes, no honey, less milk and less everthing that your coach felt would add weight, part disbelief part myth, I suppose so, as this is what most would attempt to do in order to loose weight. Shift from sugar to honey, shift from typical Indian breakfasts to cornflakes & last but not the least at least a glass of milk is what would be recomended. A “learning exercise” indeed. But there is one thing which is totally absent from the blogs so far on a fitter you. Not a word about “rice”, either positive or negative. Just would like to know that during your various “conversations” with people who are generally fixated with the idea that you have mentioned is bad, how did they react and what was your convincing argument. Changing food habits not only for the self but also for the family is quite tough indeed unless it is a fad or something that has a deeper incentive. My perspective or am I playing the “Devils Advocate”. You currently are building the blocks of becoming an “Author” and hopefully quite soon. Way to go Arthi. BTW, there was a promise from your end on a 2nd blog on your “travails and discovery” of Yoga. Maybe you can take a break and come back to food and fitness.

    • Arun, my blog is not about what is good or bad for everyone. Every body needs a different approach. For example, my coach says, health food is not for all. Broccoli is a good choice of vegetable but if your thyroid gland has a malfunction, then broccoli can interfere with the functioning of the gland. Similarly whey protein or milk is not for everyone. So I would refrain from commenting on rice. Even though I strongly believe that “rice is nice ” like Rujuta Diwekar promotes in her blog. (http://rujutadiwekar.blogspot.sg/2013/02/rice-is-nice.html)

      Yeah, I remember my unfinished part 2 of my Yoga blog. I will post it soon!

  4. I am saving your posts to read post-vacation – I have given up trying to eat healthy while in India! I have to serious work on watching what I eat and working out once I get back to reality. Thanks for inspiring

  5. Pingback: The Big Picture – Journey to a fitter me. | Utterly Miscellaneous

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