This is me when I weighed 100kgs.
… and this is me after losing 32kgs.
When I show these pics to someone they tell me that it appears as if both pics are of different persons and I look much much better now. So what have changed? Leaving apart the appearance of body, I can think of these changes in my face due to fat loss
- More prominent jaw lines resulting in sharp features.
- No more prominent eye bags due to fat accumulated there.
- Well defined and good looking neck.
- Quality of my skin & hair improved due to improvement in overall health.
- I’m am more confident about my looks and it shows on my face & smile when I talk to people.
- My eyes aren’t as red & sleepy as it was when I was fat and now people don’t assume that I drink a lot. (p.s. : I don’t drink at all)
- I never expected it but my hair quality also improved. I guess that happened due to proper nutrition.
All these changes are physical & indicates good health and healthy is beautiful. Also, the resultant increase in confidence reflects in my attitude & behaviour and trust me it matters a lot and shows on your face.
How to lose fat?
There is only one way to lose fat. Your calorie consumption should be less than your calorie expenditure. There are three ways to do it :
1) Eat less.
2) Do exercises to burn more calories
3) Do both 1 & 2 .. and this is why I recommend because option 1 may result in nutrition deficiency and option 2 generally doesn’t work because we can’t burn calories as easily as we can consume. So, do both for a balanced, healthy approach to fat loss.
What kind of exercises I do?
I believe a combination of weight training, cardio & stretching routine(or yoga) works best for all round fitness and health. All three are important in their own way.
Cardio as you all know is very effective in burning calories quickly and everyone should do it. However, the fat burning effect of steady state cardio like walking, jogging, cycling etc. stops as soon as you stop doing them. Another side effect of doing just steady state cardio without weight training is that you will start losing muscle & strength along with fat. You don’t want that. If you have a decent level of fitness, you can try HIIT style of cardio. In HIIT or high intensity interval training you do short bursts of very intense cardio followed by short bursts of normal cardio. For example, run as fast as possible for 30 seconds and then walk for 30 seconds. Repeat this 20 times for a total of 20 mins. It is very effective but also demanding so don’t do it if you’re too heavy or have heart problems.
Weight training is important. Don’t expect weight training to give you huge biceps & wide back when you are following a fat loss diet. You may gain a small amount of muscle or strength but not too much. However, it will help in preserving your muscles and burning fat. Unlike cardio, the fat burning effect of intense weight lifting lasts for even 24 to 48 hours after workout. Yes, it burns fat even when you’re sleeping because it raises your metabolism and body uses fat as energy source to recover. Ofcourse, you need to be in calorie deficit otherwise body will use that extra food for energy instead of body fat.
Stretching is necessary because having a flexible body helps in preventing injuries. You can do 15 mins of stretching at end of workout or give a dedicated day for stretching/yoga itself.
What is my diet?
I can tell you my diet but that won’t be of any use because dietery needs of each individual is different and depends on various factors like gender, age, height, weight, lifestyle, fitness goals, health issues & allergies. That’s why I would recommend you to consult a good sports dietician if possible. If not, I will tell you general guidelines to make your own personalised diet but remember that I’m not a certified dietician.
First things first. Your diet should be such that you eat less calories than you spend.. but how do you know how much calories you spend in a day? In short, you need to know your TDEE – total daily energy expenditure. There are online calculators and mobile apps to calculate this for you. For example –. So, let’s say you used this calculator and found out that your TDEE is 2500 kcal. To lose fat you should be eating 300-500 kcal less than that. You should make a diet that should give you 2000 kcal in a day. Remember, as you make progress and lose weight you need to recalculate TDEE and adjust diet.
Once you have calculated your calories requirements, you need to find out the macronutrient requirements. A 40-40-20 macro breakdown is generally considered a balanced diet. That means 40% of your calories needs to come from protein, 40% from carbs and 20% from healthy fats. Note that 1 gm of protein & carbs have 4kcal while 1 gm of fat have 9kcal. So if you’re on a 2000kcal diet, 800kcal each should come from protein & carbs .. i.e. 200gm of protein and 200gm of carbs. 400kcal should come from fat i.e. around 45-50 gm of fat. There is one other source of calorie – alcohol – 7kcal per gram; but I won’t recommend that. :p
Now that you know how much carbs, protein & fat you need, it is time to find out healthy sources of these nutrients because not all nutrient sources are equally healthy. I will come to that later but before that let me tell you how to find macronutrient information for any given food item. It’s easy. Just google “Nutrition FoodName” and google will give you a nutrition information table. e.g., try googling “nutrition spinach” or “nutrition milk” or “nutrition olive oil”. Explore it & see. Many readymade food items like bread, peanut butter have nutrition label on which they mention macronutrition information. Basically you should know what macronutrient you are consuming when eating a particular food. For example, when I eat a slice of Britannia whole wheat bread, I know I’m consuming 2.5 gm protein, 15gm carbs, 0.5gm fat and 2gm fiber. You should also know all this about each food you consume. Atleast, have a rough idea.
Now, we can come to food selection. When it comes to protein eggs, chicken & fish are best natural sources of protein and available everywhere. Vegetarians can try soyabean, tofu, legumes. You may also try whey protein supplement which is actually a milk product. Just to give you some idea of protein content, 1 egg white has 3gm protein, 0gm carbs and 0gm fat. Similarly 100gm of boneless chicken has 20gm of protein.
Once you are done with your protein source selection, select your fruits & vegetables. Actually, I would advice you to stay away from most fruits barring fruits like apple or guava. Fruits are healthy but green vegetables are better in a fat loss diet because it has all the minerals & vitamins like fruits but vegetables don’t have fructose which is a kind of natural sugar. In a fat loss diet it is better to avoid sugars of all kind. That also include milk products that have lactose. Stick to green vegetables like spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage etc. These are low in carbs/sugar and high in mineral, vitamins and fiber.
If vegetables doesn’t fulfill your carb requirements add some complex carbs sources like oats, whole wheat chapati/bread, brown rice, legumes, etc. Avoid simple carbs sources like white bread & rice.
Now that your protein & carbs sources are taken care of, time to focus on fats. Fats are important for running metabolism smoothly and they are required for production of many important harmones like testosterone. So, it’s imp. 😉 You can try healthy fat sources like olive/coconut/mustard oil, peanut butter, egg yolks, almonds etc. To give you an idea 1 tbsp of oil has around 15gm fat. 1 egg yolk has 5 fat and 3gm protein. 1 tbsp of peanut butter has 8gm fat, 4gm protein and 4gm carbs.
That’s all. Do some research on food you like. Check their nutrition. Mix & match them to fit in your calorie/macro requirements.
What supplements do you take?
First of all, supplements are more a convenience than a necessity. You can get all required nutrients from food itself but suppliments help in filling the gaps. I would advise you to stick with three suppliments – whey protein(after workout), multivitamins and fishoil(omega 3 fatty acid) capsules. Also, drink 2 cups of black coffee before workout. It helps.
I take Muscleblaze whey & fishoil … and centrum multivitamin…but almost all whey proteins are good if taken from genuine suppliers. Just see what fits your budget.
Good luck. 🙂
About the Author
I stumbled upon the author’s transformation story on Quora.
Anuj has inspired many people around him with his great transformation. This is evident from the fact that he has over 3.3 lakh views on his Quora Answers. In addition to that one of his answers was also showcased on PopSugar.
You can follow Anuj or ask him Questions on Quora:
I thank Anuj for sharing his incredible weight loss transformation with the readers of this blog and with me. I know this will inspire and motivate others to follow the healthy path he has followed.
Hope you liked the article,