Let us look at it slightly differently. If I continue my lifestyle, I hope to attain a stable body weight of 60 kilos. That means that I was carrying 12 kilos of extra fat with me. This amount of fat would sustain me for two months without food. Essentially I was carrying two months of ration with me all the time! How absurd is this? Now there is a reason why our body stores extra food. When we humans lived in the wild as hunter gatherers, every meal was a chancy affair. It could be days even weeks between meals. So to survive, our body adapted to store extra food. But we do not live in the wild anymore. We can “Swiggy” our next meal in 15 minutes. Then why store two month’s provision in our body? I have heard that some of it is stored inside our blood vessels. Think about it. These arteries that carry essential nutrients and oxygen supplies to our vital organs like the heart or the brain, we are blocking them to store provision! I remember when the Total Mall opened on Outer Ring Road 10 years ago, we went there. It was jam packed. It is my habit that when I go to a crowded place, I first look for the fire exit. When I checked, I discovered that they have blocked the fire exit to store merchandise. I was horrified, I went to the store manager and started yelling, I called the fire department. In the end nothing happened and people just laughed at me, so I left. I was thinking these people have no idea what a fire accident looks like. But we are doing the same thing. We are blocking our arteries to store fat. We have no idea what a heart attack looks like. Now I don’t want to scare you. Our body is an amazingly resilient machine. It can take a tremendous amount of abuse and still keep going. If you are young, there is nothing to worry. But as we approach 50 and these organs pass their expiry date, we should not take risk, rather give our body a helping hand. If we block our arteries and increase cholesterol in our blood, one small clot and we lose one vital organ. Why take that chance? Who knew even Saurav Ganguly could get a heart attack.
Fortunately, it is not difficult to lose weight. You do not have to make any sacrifice. In fact your life will only improve. But you have to do it right. First you need to set the expectation right. So remember the two things.
- You cannot starve your way out of fat. It does not work. At least for most people. You cannot function normally when you are hungry and hence you cannot go hungry for a prolonged period of time. So as soon as you start eating again, you will go back to your original weight.
- Exercise does not have a significant impact on weight loss. Exercises are great. They make you happy, fit and motivated. But they don’t have much impact on body weight. To lose weight, you must change your diet.
- Processed food - Avoid anything that comes out of a colorful plastic bag, Maggies, chips, oreos. They are not food. They are worse than cigarettes or pan masala. Make sure your shopping cart does not have any of these items.
- Sugar and sugar based drinks like Coca-Cola or Pepsi. These are raw calories without any nutrients. Instead use jaggery. Jaggery is colorful, that means it has some minerals.
- Maida - Avoid that bun in a burger, or the dough in the pizza. Again this is just raw calorie.
If you add exercise to your lifestyle, particularly the kind you enjoy doing like cycling or swimming or playing football, you will stay motivated and fit. This will change your life.
So stay healthy and have fun.