A quick review of my weight loss journey : Lost 40 pounds and then gained a few :
May, 2018 – Started eating healthy.
June, 2018 – Started intermittent fasting.
September, 2018 – Started OMAD, another form of intermittent fasting.
October, 2018 – My dad passed away and I had so much of work to do during the following months, that I went completely off track – I ate a lot of junk food, never logged my meals, never meditated. The only thing I stuck to was intermittent fasting, due to which I gained only a few pounds.
December, 2018 to the Present – I have been experiencing a weight loss plateau. (Till last week I consumed desserts and junk food regularly during my eating window, due to which the scale hadn’t budged even a little, despite the longer hours of fasting and excessive exercise. Lesson : You can’t out-exercise a bad diet.)
Since a week, I have transitioned back to 8 hours of eating, and I have realised one huge mistake I’ve made ever since I started intermittent fasting – I ATE TOO LITTLE AND EXERCISED TOO MUCH.
Let me explain –
1) I used to fast for around 16 to 24 hours a day.
2) I used to consume less than 1200 calories a day, especially during the initial months when I was obsessed with losing weight.
3) I used to stair-climb every day for 20 mins – climbing 140 flights of stairs and running down 140 flights of stairs.
Due to the above stupidity, my metabolism got affected drastically, my knees started hurting terribly (even though I had researched a lot about proper stair-climbing form), I felt sleepy all the time, and I felt really lethargic.
After a week of eating only healthy food for an increased window of 8 hours, I now feel energetic and I don’t doze off at odd hours of the day. Looks like my damaged metabolism has been ‘fixed’.
Don’t make the same mistakes I’ve made –
1) Do not eat less and exercise more – Instead, ‘Eat more and exercise more’, OR ‘Eat less and exercise less’.
2) Stick to logging your meals, no matter how annoying – One important benefit I had left out of my post on the subject was that meal-logging helps you plan your meals. I log my meals prior to eating, so that I know exactly how many calories I will be consuming at that meal and how many calories are left to consume during the rest of the day. By doing this I am able to stick to healthy eating and my calorie goal much more easily.
3) Do not do high-intensity exercise every day – I never joined a gym, but I used to do high-intensity exercises and stair-climbing daily – I admit that I overdid it, and caused myself unnecessary pain. I now only use the exercise cycle and do HIIT exercises on other days, as a result of which my knees have stopped hurting. Do not be too harsh on your body, and do what works for you.
4) Do not get obsessed with the number on the scale – Losing weight and losing fat are completely different. If you gain muscle due to strength training, chances are your weight will remain the same or even increase. This is because muscle weighs more than fat. Instead of stepping on the scale to monitor your progress, see how your clothes are fitting, take body measurements and ‘Before and After’ pictures.
5) Listen to your body – Whether in respect to eating or exercising, always listen to your body. Eat healthy and exercise daily, but do not harm yourself by doing either in excess.
6) Be patient – Fat loss takes time. You did not gain all that weight in one day, you sure won’t lose all of it in one day.
My recent progress photos :
The photos in June, 2018 were taken 10 days after I started eating healthy – I had lost 2 kg of water weight in that time.
I am still not super slim, but I am in much better shape than I was before May, 2018. My stamina has increased and so has my confidence.
Weight loss is not easy, but it isn’t impossible. Although it seems like I lost a lot of weight in a few months, it took a lot of sacrifice and some crazy routines, as mentioned above.
It can sometimes get a little too frustrating. There have been months, like the last few, when I have been neither gaining weight nor losing weight. But giving up is not an option, because all the hard work I’ve put in till date will go in vain.
Last few words of advice :
1) If you want to lose weight, ‘calories out’ should be more than ‘calories in’. In other words, you need to burn more calories than you consume.
2) Our bodies tend to get used to the same diet, eating pattern and exercise plan. So if you hit a plateau, make changes to your diet and exercise plan.
3) If you ever feel exhausted or need a break, go eat a cheat meal or take a few days off from exercising, but always ensure that you get back on track.
4) Most importantly, make sure that the tweaks you are making to your lifestyle are for the long run.
P. S. All the posts I write are based on my personal weight loss journey. I write these posts as I love helping those who are on the same journey as I am.
I am not a dietician nor am I a doctor, but I’ve done a lot of research and got the results I wanted.
Check out my other Health & Weight Loss posts here.
Thank you for reading! Stay blessed!