[Photo of me standing with a bowling ball was taken during the 9th week of workout plan. ]
I am neither a fitness professional nor a salesman of fitness products. The following are what I do for myself. I share it only as my experience and do not advise anyone to follow it as such. I am not liable for any consequences/damages in following what I have mentioned below. I share it here because many of my friends including film personalities like Director Arun Vaidyanathan to others asked me to tell them about what did I do to lose weight.
You should also consult a fitness trainer and your doctor before starting any workout/diet program. This article itself is not complete in all aspects. I tried to summarize what I have done. I was not obese or over weight too. I weighed 145 pounds before starting this program. My objective was to lose my waistline (tummy fat). I read somewhere losing around 10 pounds will reduce your tummy by 1 inch. But amazingly, I lost 90% of my extra waistline now. I only have residues of my tummy fat now which will go away in another month or so if I continue to workouot. I did not do any ab exercises or ab crunches either.
1. From 2500 calories in-take a day, gradually I reduced my in-takes to 1600 to 1800 calories a day. Gradually is the keywork here. I tried reducing 150 to 200 calories per week until I reached my target.
2. I eat 5 to 6 meals a day not exceeding 200 to 250 calories a time. My typical one day meal looks like, a glass of hot water and Indian Tea (50% Tea + 50% 2 percent fat milk with no Sugar) as soon as I get up, Whey protein 28 Isolate (130 Calories) shake around 8 AM, Two Egg White Omlett (50 Calories) at Office Cafeteria at 10 AM, Green Tea with No sugar at 11 AM, 2 Chapathis with some Kuruma or Chutni + One Vegetable Poriyal for Lunch at 12:30 PM, One fresh fruit at 2:30 PM, Green Tea with No Milk & Sugar at 3:30 PM, 100 to 150 Calories Soup at 5:30 PM, 2 Dosas or 2 Chapathis or 100 g Brown Rice with Kuruma or Samar with one Vegetable Poriyal 2 Kirbys 1 Fruit For Dinner after workout around 9 PM, 10 to 15 Raisins around 10 PM. In between, I drink lots of water.
3. I drink minimum of 2 liters to max of 3 liters of Water every day. Water intake is very important to lose weight.
4. I have completely avoided refined sugar that we use for coffee, tea and in sweets. (I still eat fresh fruits and vegetables. Natural sugar in them is fine with me.)
5. I have avoided rice as much as possible. If at all I have to have it, I have either Brown Rice or few 2 Dosa/ 3 Idli or rice not more than 100 grams rarely.
6. I have given an off day once a week, to eat out without restrictions on calories. This means I can have maximum of 2500 calories on that day. I try to work out on the calorie restriction free day to make sure I clean up what I eat. I could not always do it religiously. But on 50% of the time, I could do it.
7. I work out at least 5 times a week on Treadmill. I do for a min of 45 minutes to maximum of 65 minutes each time. I combine HIIT (google HIIT for more details) and incline walking combined at this time. I could not run even for one minute at 5 miles an hour speed on the day I started workout. So, I started off walking on treadmill. Then increased the incline on treadmill since I read inclined walking helps in weight loss. Slowly I started running for a minute or two at 5 miles an hour. Now I can run for 2 miles continually at 5 miles an hour. For HIIT, I do run one minute at 7 miles an hour speed and one minute at 3.5 miles hour speed alternatively. There are many HIIT interval schedules for various exercise equipments with various time intervals. One has to choose the high sprint speed as per one's capability. Please look on the web for various HIIT interval programs for beginners, intermediate and advanced levels.
8. My objective in workout is to burn 500 calories every time I get on treadmill irrespective of whether its HIIT or Incline Walking or both. Please note that if you are over 40 years old and/or with heart problems, HIIT may not be best solution for you. Treadmill running/inclined walking may not be best, if you have knee problems. FYI, I am 40 years old and HIIT works for me.
9. In the morning, I take Whey Protein Isolate 28 (http://www.gnc.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2986026) that has 28 grams of Protein per serving and only 130 calories and 2 Egg Whites. (Protein in the morning is very good to your body, it also makes you to eat less throughout the day.)
10. I do light dumbbell exercises for arms 3 times a week (10 to 15 mins total each time). They say, cardio alone without strength training may burn your muscle mass. However, I read somewhere, 3 to 4 miles a day with 20 to 25 miles a week of treadmill cardio, with good protein in-take should be ok. However, if you have time and motivation to do strength training (weight lifting), please add it to your routine. I could not allot much time to strength training, so my dumbbell exercise is kind of my strength training. It may not be the best, but I did not lose any muscle mass. However, if you can combine strength training with cardio, its ideal.
11. I try to eat at least a total of 3 servings of vegetables and/or fruits a day.
12. At work, if its less than 5 floors, I dont use elevators. I take the stairs.
13. I maintain a workout and food log and record my workouts and what I eat religiously. The MS-Excel sheet columns of my workout/food log typically read as Date, Minutes Worked Out, Incline of treadmill, Speed of Treadmill, Miles achieved, Calories Burned in workout, Breakfast Food, Lunch Food, Evening Food,Dinner Food
14. For those, who want to weigh the food they eat, Food Scales are available from 10 dollars onwards. Please check Walmart, Bed Bath & Beyond like stores. 1 gram of carbohydrates = 4 calories, 1 gram of protein = 4 calories, 1 gram of fat = 9 calories. But I did not weigh food. I have a good idea to approximate how many grams I eat.
15. Eating High Protein and Low Carbohydrate food while continuing to workout is a good way to lose weight quickly. How much Protein and how much carbohydrate to eat depends on a person’s Total Calorie Intake and other parameters. I read in WebMD site that a 1800 calorie per day intaking person can have approximately around 57 grams of protein per day. I take only around 35 to 40 grams of protein per day. For people with kidney problems, high protein is not recommended. So, please check with your doctor before starting any diet plans like this. The following article could help you. http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/nutrition-labels-9/protein Also there is a recommended food pyramid that suggests how much percentage of carbohydrates, protein and fat you could have in a day. Many websites have this information. Please check this out if you want to ideally distribute your intake of these three.
16. Bottom-line is, if you create a calorie imbalance (shortage) of 3500 calories, you will lose one pound. For that, what you spend in a day in calories minus what you eat should be 500 calories per day, to lose 1 pound a week. Example, if your metabolism burns 2500 calories a day and you eat 2000 calories a day, you are burning 500 calories more a day. If you do like this for a week, you will lose 1 pound. You just cannot fast to give up 500 calories without working out. By Fasting alone, your body adjusts to burn less calories as per your intake. It does not help. Workout is important. There are websites which have a calculator to find out your basic metabolic rate (total calories your body burns a day based on your activity level). Find you metabolic rate and then calculate yourself how to create 500 calories imbalance daily.
17. I continually read on internet including but not limited to, webmd.com, cnn health, cnn fit nation, HIIT related sites, and other fitness related sites to keep myself up-to-date and motivated in my workout goals.
18. It is holidays season here, so I could not be really strict on food and drinks. I had to attend regular parties and eat/drink there. For example, in the last 10 weeks, I would have surely attended 10 parties/eat outs and had at least 10 beers to drink. Else, I would have surely lost few more pounds. My objective was to lose 10 pounds in 10 weeks and I lost 8.5 pounds in 10 weeks.
19. I am one of the laziest persons. If I could do lose weight anyone could do it. All you need is, continuing to follow the regimen for at least 10 weeks without giving up, keeping yourself motivated, setting small targets and not overdoing it. Buddy system really works in workouts. If you can find a workout buddy and keep track of each other's progress, please do so. I did not have any buddies but my colleagues at work with whom I go for lunch do workout regularly. They share their experiences often. They are kind of my indirect workout buddies. That helps me.
20. If you do your workout in the same setting again and again, your body gets used to it and trains itself to burn less calories. By this, you get into weight loss plateau. So, you need to challenge your body by increasing the intensity and mixing up the workouts. I slowly increased my workout intensity (treadmill incline and/or speed) and mix it up (HIIT and Inclined Walking).
21. There is no magic pill to lose weight and/or tummy fat. You have to work harder for it with supporting eating plans. Workout without reducing calories intake or Dieting without working out will not work.
Good luck and all the very best!