Name: Aiswarya Pandiyan
Occupation: Team lead
Age: 31 years
Height: 5 feet 4 inch
Highest weight recorded: 71 kgs
Weight lost: 21 kgs
Duration it took me to lose weight: 10 months
The turning point: Even though I had gradually gained quite a lot of weight post my marriage, the day I realised that none of my dresses fit me any longer was a huge shocker! I weighed 71 kilos and the fat percentage parameter had put me in the obese category. Even my clothing size had jumped from ‘M’ to ‘XL’! Once, I realised that I needed to lose weight, I tried several diets to get back in shape which really impacted my immune system. Hence, I decided to stick Intermittent fasting and that is when the magic started happening!
My diet: I started Intermittent fasting with a relatively smaller fasting window like 14:10 (14 hours fasting window and 10 hours eating window) and slowly pushed myself over the last one year and increased the time of fasting like 18:6, 19:5, 20:4 and weekly 24 hours fast. As of now, I have finally shifted to 16:8 (16 hours fasting window and 4 hours eating window) for the last 4 months to maintain my goal weight. I will change the time frame as per the requirements of my body but I make sure to eat my last meal before 6 pm, no matter what. Also, I do not have any tea or coffee during my fasting period and simply stick to water.
My breakfast: I wanted to follow something which I could continue doing in the long run. So, being a South Indian I stuck to eating regular South Indian breakfast like idly, dosa, upma, ragi porridge in portion control.
My lunch: Curry, 1 chapati, a portion of vegetables, boiled legumes, 1-2 eggs, and buttermilk. I switched between chicken and prawns as well.
My dinner: Since, I take two big, balanced meals during the day (breakfast and lunch), I skip dinner.
Pre-workout meal: I worked out during my fasting window of IF (Intermittent Fasting), so I did not eat anything before my workout.
Post-workout meal: Almonds and 2 boiled eggs
I indulge in: I enjoyed regular home-cooked meals. All my meals were balanced with carbs, proteins and fat and I also made it a point to drink a lot of water. Once a week, I would indulge in my favourite Dominos choco lava cake with white sauce pasta.
My workout: Initially, I was not very comfortable with extensive work out sessions, so I chose to stick to walking and climbing stairs. Gradually, as I started to lose weight, I balanced my workout routine with cardio and strength training at home. I absolutely vouch on mountain climbers squat variations. I can proudly say that I never step a foot inside any gym and did all my workout at home! And by doing so, I have reduced my fat percentage and toned my physique.
Low-calorie recipes I swear by: Unfortunately, I have realised that I am not a low-carb person. I tried Keto, got sick and my immune system was wrecked.
Fitness secrets I unveiled: Intermittent fasting worked really well for me! Additionally, I ensured to stay consistent with my efforts, eat healthily and stay hydrated.
How do I stay motivated? Even though I received unconditional support from my friends and family in my weight loss journey, there is no bigger motivation than seeing yourself transform. Once, I could see visible results, there was no looking back. Every day felt like a new learning experience on my journey to lose weight.
How do you ensure you don’t lose focus? One of the simplest ways of keeping yourself motivated is to take a look at your old photographs and see how far you have come in life. For me, it works as my greatest source of motivation and helps me to keep moving forward in life. I decided to create a Facebook page ‘India Intermittent Fasting for Women’ to support women of all age groups who wish to lose weight and get back in shape, in a healthy manner. The page has more than 12 thousand members as of now, who motivate and constantly challenge each other to do better.
What shape do you see yourself 10 years down the line? I see myself as a very healthy and active individual who is helping others to achieve their weight loss goals.
What are the lifestyle changes you made? I made a lot of lifestyle changes to reach my weight loss goal. Some of them included:
1. Eating balanced meals
2.Taking my micros in the form of natural foods (no packaged product)
3.Avoiding junk food and sweets
4. Working out regularly and putting my 100 per cent efforts into the same
What was the lowest point for you? The lowest part of my weight loss journey was when my immune system suffered immensely due to the low-carb diet. I was admitted to a hospital, I had lost my immunity and when I was discharged, I was in a bad shape overall. Additionally, my weight had also increased after the illness and I realised that even though I just wanted to lose weight, I had ended up losing my health in the process.
Lessons learnt from weight loss: It is important to understand that you cannot lose weight overnight. Moreover, you also need to be consistent and patient with your efforts to see the changes in your body.
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