Achieving a healthy lifestyle is easier said than done. 23-year-old Rishabh realized the value of good health when he was studying abroad and decided it was time to see the change in himself too. Following strict dietary and exercise control, he lost over 50 kilos in less than a year’s time. His weight loss story is super inspiring for all those looking to get in shape.
Name: Rishabh Dhedia
Highest weight recorded: 138 kilos
Weight lost: 51 kilos
Duration it took me to lose weight: 11 months
The turning point: I had been an obese child all my life but it was only when I moved to the UK I realized the importance of good health. I went there for my masters, and that’s when I saw people having a different level of health awareness. People there equated high levels of fitness with an elite lifestyle. I realized I wanted a better lifestyle to feel healthy, agile, earn the respect and wear all the clothes I wanted to wear. I wanted to get away from being mediocre, all the excuses, stress and bad lifestyle.
Although things only started moving in a positive direction when I returned back to India after my studies in late 2018, I am grateful for all the life lessons I got during my time in the UK.
My diet: I have been consulting a nutritionist for a while now and it has helped me immensely! To give you an idea, my diet kept on changing every 10 days! While this may not work for everyone, here are some details which may help others!
With this diet, I used to eat every 1.5-2 hours or so. It might look like I ate a lot, but this really helped me with fat loss.
Breakfast: A glass of warm water with cinnamon powder/ garlic paste/ jeera or sonth powder/ haldi, right after I wake up.
30 minutes after this, I have a cup of green tea. Then I have a big bowl of fruits (there’s a whole list of what you can and can’t eat)
An hour after this, I would have dry fruits (4 Soaked Almonds, 0.5 Walnuts, 2 Prunes and a small slice of Jaggery).
Post this snack was when I would have my breakfast. A slice of Brown Bread Toast (any multigrain wheat bread) with Baked Beans sauteed with vegetables and tomato sauce (all homemade foods)/homemade besan chilla with a lot of veggies. (Options used to change every ten days based on how my body was reacting to a certain food element, but these were largely what was given to me in due course.
This was the time I would physically going to the office. Around 11:30 AM, I would have a glass of lemon juice or chaas(with 1 tablespoon ajwain) or coconut water.
My lunch: Sometimes bowl of leafy vegetables with 2 chapatis and chaas or 5 tablespoons of fresh Curd/or saute veggies with 2-3 low-fat khakras.
I was also having a bowl of daliya with veggies on days.
2 hours later, a cup of green tea with a biscuit.
At 6 PM strictly, I would have a glass of lemon juice or a handful of dry fruits.
A while later, I would snack on fruit like apple or pear. If my dinner was delayed due to any reason, I would eat another fruit.
My dinner: Usually flexible in my case, I used to have it between 8 and 9 pm. It would usually be a soup of 2 tomatoes + 0.5 carrot + small bowl of bottleguard + small bunch of coriander + 0,5 capsicum + 0.5 red capsicum + 15 palak leaves & 1 wheat chapati + veggies + 5 tb dahi / Besan Chilla x 2 / Khakra x 3 with saute veggies and soup / Vegetable toast sandwich without cheese, butter, potatoes & soup.
Also, I used to eat eggs and a lot of poha . My body got used to this disciplined form of eating so well, every time I tried to cheat on my diet, or ate junk food, I would develop IBS. Maybe it was my body’s way of telling me what I am eating is wrong! Even if I do cheat now, I go for healthier options such as the buddha bowl, egg dishes or healthy sandwiches.
My workout: As per my nutritionist’s guidance, she instructed me to not even look at the gym initially as I just needed to cut down the extra fat to function injury-free.
Once, I hit the 120kilo mark, she advised me to brisk walk for 30 mins post dinner. The aim was to start full-fledged workouts including weight training and high-intensity workouts once I near the 100kg mark. So once I was there, I started hitting the gym with the objectives of increasing stamina, working out at high heart rates and as a result strengthening my core, back and all muscles. Weight loss coupled with focused fitness workouts are the best thing that ever happened to me. After a successful run of 7 months of heavyweight training and HIITs, I met with an unfortunate injury. I tore my right wrist ligament which also happens to by my frequented hand. I had to get surgery done. Soon after, I developed problems with my left hand too. I realized it was time to go slow.
That is when I took complete rest from work and within days, the lockdown happened which meant staying home completely. Due to the lockdown, both my wrists got adequate rest, and therefore, the healing process started and my injuries got completely recovered in two months. From September, I have again started with my fitness training with a lot of cardio, as I have to build the stamina levels which I’ve lost due to the long break from working out.
Low-calorie recipes I swear by: I don’t count my calories. It’s the worst thing to do. Neither do I eat less. I eat right. This should be the mantra. Don’t count your calories, don’t eat less, JUST EAT RIGHT.
Fitness secrets I unveiled: Being punctual and sticking to a set of formed discipline is the most impactful. It might sound cliché, but it really helped. There’s a reason why I have written “STRICTLY” against all timings of my daily routine, I have followed it with utmost punctuality. It works like magic. Second fitness secret is a secret in the form of a natural ingredient which is WATER. A thing that never changes in the 10-day diet alterations is the water intake. I drink at least 5L of water each day. This helps in great aqua levels of my body, keeps my well hydrated and fresh. Ensures toxins are flushed out regularly and allows effective metabolism to take place.
How do I stay motivated? The positive results keep me motivated to do better and better and when the goals and targets are clear, then there’s nothing that can stop me personally. After a while, when people start noticing, they start heaping praises for you. They are my biggest motivation. I enjoyed being fat-shamed because it only made me mentally strong and I knew I was being criticised for not doing the right thing. My mind is programmed to be that of a leader and a leader needs to accept criticism from people and turn the tide in his favour by doing the right things. The mentality helps you win.
How do you ensure you don’t lose focus? By visiting my nutritionist every 10 days for regular consultation. It’s all psychological science which is absolutely sensational if you ask me.
What’s the most difficult part of being overweight: Not being able to fit into clothes that you’d want to wear, demanding an extension to fasten the seat belt in an aircraft is not easy. I used to run out of breath so often. Being always injury prone and stereotyped. It was all so emotionally draining.
What shape do you see yourself 10 years down the line?:I never wanted to get “slim”, but always wanted to be fit. I am around 5’11’’ and I want to be in a good shape, well-built with strong muscles.
What are the lifestyle changes you made: When I was overweight, I used to visit my tailor so often. Jokes aside, I have started talking to people more about health and fitness and how it can be a “lifestyle” worth being adopted. Now, I don’t starve at all and carry my food along if I know it’s going to be outdoors and irregular for me.
What was the lowest point for you? While the diet was super successful for me, it came at a cost. I had consciously taken a decision to cut myself off from my partying friends. But I was lucky to have a few really close friends to support me at that point.
Lessons learnt from weight loss: Never ever fall into the high weight trap. Control it from the right age. It affects a person in a 360* way. Be a winner. Have control on your mind, influence yourself to do what’s right. Be an inspiration and a role model for others who are still sailing in the previous boat that you’ve jumped from.
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