When you are trying to lose weight, it can be incredibly daunting to figure out the hows and what-ifs of your fitness journey. When 34-year-old Shreya Somaiya Ganatra (a self-confessed foodie) realised that she needed to lose weight, instead of taking the traditional route of sweating it out at the gym, she decided to tweak her diet to make it healthier, while retaining the taste.
Name: Shreya Somaiya Ganatra
Age: 34 years
Height: 4 Feet 11 inches
Highest weight recorded: 65 Kgs
Weight lost: 15 Kgs
Duration it took me to lose weight: Around 4 months
The turning point: There was a point in my life where I knew that I needed to do something for my health, but I was not serious enough. However, I slowly piled on kilos and realised that my weight had touched 65 kilos. At that point, my BMI was also 29. I was not able to wear my favourite clothes because of the growing weight and I felt lethargic and bloated. I decided to do something about my weight, even though I wasn’t a huge fan of exercising (or even walking) and was a big foodie. The day I decided to lose weight and get healthy, there was no looking back. It was been five months since then and I have lost approximately 15 kilos.
My breakfast: Since I love cooking healthier variants of the regular dishes, for my first meal of the day, I choose between masala oats, quinoa and daliya (cooked in one tablespoon of desi ghee with moong dal and lots of vegetables), cereals (a mixture of whole-grain flakes such as oats, wheat, rye, barley, rice, and sunflower seeds without any form of sugar) and milk with almonds.
My lunch: For lunch, I used to choose anything from boiled chickpeas salad, rajma with lettuce, zucchini and cucumber, multigrain roti with vegetable curry made in ghee and lastly, watermelon, carrot and beetroot smoothie.
My dinner: I choose from tomato moong dal soup, veg biryani, khichdi (with more dal), jawar and ragi roti with vegetables, green leafy vegetables, and paneer curry made in ghee.
Pre-workout meal: Since the only workout I do is going for a walk, I drink a glass of warm water after waking up and before going for a walk.
Post-workout meal: I have my breakfast after walking for 30 minutes.
I indulge in: I never eliminated outside food completely, but I was very careful while choosing what to eat. I usually indulged in dosa with chatni and sambhar without oil or ghee. I also used to take a bite of vada pav from my husband’s portion and half-plate Pani puri to satisfy my taste buds.
My workout: I make it a point to walk for at least 30 minutes every day, no matter what happens.
Low-calorie recipes I swear by: Laddu made from ragi flour, ghee and dates, chaat made from roasted makhana (lotus seeds) and yoghurt with spices and date chutney and pancakes made from oats and moong dal.
Fitness secrets I unveiled: I realised that the first thing you need to do is understand your body type and then only you will be able to stay fit and healthy. Here are some of the fitness secrets that I revealed:
1 I have made it a point to stop eating after I feel full, no matter how tasty the dish is.
2 – It is important to determine a balanced diet for yourself which fulfils all your requirements of protein, fibre, vitamins, essential fats and carbohydrates.
3 – Portion control is a must.
4 – Dinner should be light so that it’s easy to digest because your metabolism is slowest during the night.
5 – Consistency is the key. Whatever plan you come up with, it’s important to follow it through till you reach your goal.
6 – In addition to a diet plan, you also need to include physical activity in your routine to increase your calorie output. In my case, I make sure to walk for atleast 30 minutes every day.
How do I stay motivated? Some of the gradual changes like witnessing the numbers on the weighing scale going down, experiencing the change in the shape of my body and not feeling bloated and lethargic anymore were enough to keep me motivated.
How do you ensure you don’t lose focus? After truly understanding the importance of being healthy, my focus remained unwavering. I did a lot of research and came up with healthier and equally tasty versions of the common dishes we eat every day so I never felt that I was compromising on taste, which helped me to stay focussed.
What’s the most difficult part of being overweight? I used to feel really bloated and lethargic when I was overweight. Also, I wasn’t able to wear some of my favourite outfits because of my weight and it was not exactly the best feeling in the world.
What shape do you see yourself 10 years down the line? I want to stay as fit and healthy as I am today. I also want to change people’s perception of diet food. We need to understand that diet food can be tasty and healthy at the same time. I also see myself creating healthy versions of different delicious cuisines and motivating others in their weight loss journey.
What are the lifestyle changes you made? It’s been 5 months now but my weight is now constant as I haven’t gained back any kilos. Whenever I have my meals, I observe the feeling of fullness and listen to my body. I made the following changes in my kitchen when I started my fitness journey.
- I eliminated white sugar, refined oil and refined salt completely from my kitchen cabinet.
- I introduced oats, daliya (broken wheat), Isabgol, quinoa, raw sugar, jawar aata, ragi aata, and different types of seeds such as flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, watermelon seeds and pumpkin to my daily meals. I also switched to matcha green tea, extra virgin olive oil, Himalayan pink salt and unrefined filtered groundnut oil.
Additionally, I started doing Surya Namaskar and other yoga aasans to stay fit and healthy. I have also developed a habit of walking for at least 30 minutes per day.
What was the lowest point for you? Honestly, I did not experience any low points during my weight loss journey as I was always able to come with the healthy versions of my favourite dishes. Hence, I never felt that I was depriving myself of anything. Once I was committed to getting back in shape, there was no looking back.
Lessons learnt from weight loss: Health is indeed wealth. After losing weight and making healthy lifestyle changes, I have become more committed to taking care of my family’s health as well. Most of us tend to overeat when it comes to satisfying our taste buds, hence cutting down on the portion of your food is really important. I have understood the importance of portion control.
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