Thank you friends for the overwhelming interest and encouragement to project 50k. It is way beyond what I imagined. Project 50k is no longer my personal project. It is a community project. I am dead serious about this project. Let’s do this.
Today I am going to help you kick-start your project 50K. Be ready to make some changes in your life.
The weight-loss Ideology
We are going to take the most old-fashioned route to weight-loss which is simply “burn more than you consume”. Exercise + diet. I am sorry but it’s the only method that works. I wouldn’t recommend crash-diets simply because they’re not sustainable. You are more likely to stick to a reasonable diet in the long run. Diet without exercise is like waiting for a leaking bucket to empty itself when you can grab a mug and pour out water. Without exercise, you will take longer to lose weight. What’s more, you’re more likely to stick to your diet when you’re exercising. Really. When you’ve spent 40 mins huffing and puffing, sweating it out, you will think twice when you see a laddoo.
In order to burn more than you consume, you need to track everything you burn and everything you consume. This is easiest to do with an app. Just search for a “Calorie counter” app. There are innumerable apps out there that’ll let you log in everything you eat and every step you take. Download one of these. I am using Mynetdiary. Here is a snapshot of my daily log. You can use this app or any other calorie counter app that you like.
The idea is to record everything as accurately as you can. Once you set up your app, enter your weight, the target you wish to reach and the timeline, the app will give you a calorie budget for each day. You need to keep within this calorie budget every day. I want to lose 1 kilo every 10 days. So my calorie budget happens to be about 1000 calories. Most of these apps are built with the American audience in mind. So you may not find some of the meals that you are eating. Find the closest substitute on the app or google up the calorie profile of your meal. Remember that these may not be precise but you should be close.
I’ve been using this app for a couple of weeks now and I find it incredibly useful. I am conscious of everything I am eating these days – the sweet that someone offered in office, the one leftover idli, the cookies that I reach for unknowingly while watching TV. All of these count. Because I am logging in everything I am eating, I am more aware and I am eating less. If you are the kind of person who likes to write to-do lists and check off tasks, you’ll enjoy using this app. The app gives you a visual snapshot of your day and helps you stay on track.
Get on a weighing machine and note down your weight. We’ll check our weight again in 15 days.
Make sure to weigh yourself on the same weighing machine. Contrary to popular thinking, I think it is important to check your weight periodically. Sometimes it can be disappointing to see that you’ve not lost as much weight as you expected. But I believe this disappointment can be crushing when you check after a couple of months instead of after a couple of weeks. Checking your weight periodically is also useful to make course corrections in your diet or exercise if something has not worked as per plan.
Commit to an exercise regime today – 40 mins to 1 hour every-day. Join a gym or an aerobics class. Walking to the store and taking the stairs don’t count as exercise. Not long ago, I thought too that I am disciplined enough to exercise on my own; I don’t need to join a gym. Turns out I am not. Left to myself, I’ll skip walking to read, cook, straighten up the house, put away things and a hundred other things that I never planned to do. Since I can do it anytime, I won’t do it anytime. I strongly encourage you to sign up for a fitness class or a gym. Pick a time of the day for your workout and go every day.
If joining a gym or class is impossible for you, still pick a time of the day for your workout. You are going to work out too. There are a multitude of fitness videos on youtube that can get you started like these
If walking is your favourite thing to do, then pick a time of the day and go walking.
Whichever option you choose, make sure to do it every day. Exercise with a purpose – no scrolling through your phone while cycling and chatting on the phone while walking. Push yourself. Sweat trickles down the forehead on to the eyelids, legs throb in pain, heart feels like it’s about to burst and you’re breathless. That is when you are really working out.
Your diet is where you can try several different approaches. I plan to experiment to see what suits me. I’ll be sure to share all of those experiments with you. For now, I’d like to give you some general guidelines you can use to create your own diet. Since we want to eat within a calorie budget, we need to keep our calorie count low, which means we need to avoid high-calorie foods – oily, sugary, carbohydrate rich foods. Avoid alcohol, carbonated drinks, juices, sweets, deep-fried food, chocolates, ice-creams, pasta, rice, potatoes, processed/packaged food, ketchup and chips. That seems like pretty much everything we love. But there are a lot of healthy and tasty meals we can eat while we’re dieting.
Boiled sweet corn, all manners of sundal (boiled lentils) – white peas, green peas, kabuli channa, black channa etc, boiled groundnuts, almonds, cucumbers, greens (keerai), vegetable stir-fries (homemade only), bean sprouts, grilled chicken, paneer and lots and lots of water should be on your diet plan. There are hundreds of meals you can create based on these components. This is not to say that rice or potatoes are banned. You can have a small portion of rice or potatoes along with a large side of vegetables one of the days. It is ok.
I’ll share more meal ideas in the coming days. Stay tuned.
That is it. You’re on your path to weight loss.
Please feel free to share your comments, questions, tips on the blog or the facebook page.
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