Saturday, November 24, 2012

95 plus.....

Spot the difference :)

I finished my last IIM exams and headed out to for a stress breaker vacation during December 2011 . But before I headed out, I wanted to do some apparel purchases. At the shop I was trying to fit into 36" Jeans and could not. 2 1/2 years of MBA had upgraded me to 38" waist size. Shocker for me!!! I checked my weight and it was 95+. That is when I decided 2012 would be a year to regain my Health again. I was cycling for a while but I decided I need to up it. 
  • Jaan Hai Jahaan hai...((If) there's life, then there's the world!!!!)
Around the IIM convocation time, we started to cycle over the weekends.(I remember Deepak calling me up while I was sitting in the convocation dress rehearsal). At first it was just me and Deepak going out on Sunday. 20-30km in and around Whitefield. We used to get exhausted by the end of the trip and rest for the rest of day. And as you could imagine, our families were not so happy about it. Once we started developing stamina, we went up to 40km per week. 

I also ensured that my weekday cycling routine continued (Home-Office-Home). I started to see some decline in the weigh scale by June & July. That is when HP's annual health checkup happened. I checked my weight it was 92 (good Job!!!). But when the results came I had a LDL count of 155 which is Boderline High. I had some other readings those were on the higher side as well. That did not sound good to me. I sent the reports to couple of (Doctor) friends of mine and their suggestion was to just reduce the weight further. I was overweight according to BMI and the target they suggested was to get it down to Optimal weight which is about 79kg. I honestly did not know what to do. 

That is when my wife gave me tip of the calorie count per day and its relationship to weight. 
Avg male needs 30 times his weight as the average calories per day. Anything that we eat/drink would be saved up as Fat in the body. Am I overeating? I analyzed.. I guess I did and that is probably the reason for this slow decline in weight. 
  • Exercise alone will not reduce your weight
So let's take an average Calorie count :
1 Tea in the morning (with milk) - 100
4 Dosa with bowl of Sambar - (400+200) = 600
Coffee at 11 - 100 
Lunch - Rice + Chapathi (2/3) + Dal + Curry + Curd etc = 800 
Evening Tea (with milk) - 100
Evening Snacks (buiscuits, vada paav etc) - 300
Dinner - 4 Chapathi + Dal - 600
A sweet may be - 200 

A total of 2800 Cal ... 
400 Cal Extra - Yikes!!!!!! which will be stored as Fat - Cholesterol in Blood and so on.. 
(If I don't exercise for 400 Cal). 

  • Weight Change  = Calorie intake - 2400 - Calories expended via exercise

To reduce 1 Kg one needs to have a shortfall of 7000 Cal. 

Cycling for 1/2 hour one would expend around 250 Calories. Now compare that with a scoop of ice cream. 

It is almost the same.. 

  • Working out for 1/2 hour does not give you the luxury of eating ice cream a day!!!
that if you want to reduce your weight.

This was a great insight because I was working out approximately 45 mts every day but I was not taking care of my input. As an old Electornics professor of mine would say "Input is here.. Processing is here... Where is the output? " All the three matter for weight reduction. 

So I started to make some changes in food habits with a Motto.
  • Eat everything with Moderation
First thing that I did was to cut snacking, be it evening snacks or chocolates or whatever that I used to have. Even at office when someone offers sweets, I take a small piece but don't go overboard. I also reduced my food intake by 1/4th. That is if I was eating 4 Chapathi's, I cut it to 3; for rice if it was 1 bowl, I would eat only 3/4th. From Tea with milk to Tea without milk. Consider this 

to about 15 calories for Tea without milk or black coffee during the evening chit chat with colleagues. This had a big impact. I started to go down from 90kg... 

We made Lucky Cycling Group at Whitefield more active. Weekend cycling was a Must and we increased the participants to keep the energy levels high. We went up from 30-40 km to 50-60 km per weekend with lot more off-roading. That helped expend some calories but the major objective was flexibility of the body and increase in stamina/endurance. 

The reduction was very progressive, almost 1 kg per week.Attributed to
Eat 2000 Cal (which means 400 Cal shortfall X 7 ~ 2000 Cal)
Calories expended by daily cycling - 400 Cal (which means 400 X 5 ~ 2000 Cal)
Weekend Cycling - around 2000 Cal

Now the obvious question, does that mean you will have to starve or in other words don't you get the craving for food?
Honestly there will be some for the first week but then your body will realize that you can survive on this. Today when I eat more than that, I feel as though I have overeaten!!!

  • You adjust mentally.. your body will physically adjust  as well.. but Never Starve!!!!

Folks will say, let me starve for couple of days and I should get back to my shape (say while in College). Never do that.. Starving will cause issues like acidity, ulcer etc. A man can meet his nutritional requirements in 1400 to 1500 calories a day; however, there is no need to limit your calories to that level. Just have a bit of uptick say around 1800 or 2000 because the need for the body differs from person to person.

I have still 4 kgs to go before I reach my optimal BMI weight of 78 kg but I could not stop writing this blog to help folks who might be going through such a phase in life. Honestly I have tried and have been trying over the past to reduce it, I did gym, I did yoga, I did jogging, I did badminton all with intention of reducing weight, but it clicked when I realized the relationship with food intake and calorie burn. There is Suana belt, there is Abs pro and so on.. Ads for which will make you feel young and vying. But they are supporting things.. What you eat is as much important as working out.

  • Eating more of Good things won't reduce your weight...

People say eat Badam or drink honey and so on to reduce weight but the crux of it all is the calories per day requirement. Eating more of Badam or honey will only make you fat and not reduce your weight..

It is difficult to check your cholesterol every day, so its better to use a proxy - use Weight reduction as a proxy. I went down from 155 to 117 over this period, which has reduced my risk levels and that o me is the first victory...

Other Tips

  • You need a good indicator or a motivator that tells you that you are on the right path of weight reduction - invest in a weigh scale (cost you 500 at the max for digital). Accuracy is not important but what you need is an indicator that shows you are going down. 
  • Avoid snacking - if you are hungry in between meals eat Salads (they are low calories but will fill your tummy)
  • Have a Physical exercise Hobby  pick the one that you like so that you will have passion for continuing it. 
  • Make Physical exercise a part of your life say like if you want to go to the shop, walk. Climb stairs instead of lift. 
  • Eat early sleep early ; Eat early and sleep early. Try to have your dinner or the last meal around 7pm (if you are going to sleep by 10 pm). 
  • Eat food with high nutritional value ; Its OK to eat with high calorie count but also look for high nutritional value. For example a chat has same calorie count as Biriyani. But Biriyani has more nutritional value. So eat a Biriyani. 
  • Keep your motivational levels high 
What if you go to your best friends marriage and freak out.. Well never mind one day is fine.... just make sure you exercise and/or eat less the following day. Somewhere I had read that the Body takes 3 days to store energy as Fat. So if you eat on the first day, never mind...Just exercise a bit more on the next day and eat less as well.. 

Feel free to email me or call me in case you need help.... Have a Healthy Life..:-).