Name: Manu Gangwal
Age: 32 years
Height: 5 feet 8 inches
Highest weight recorded: 100.8 kgs
Weight Loss: 22 kgs
Duration it took me to lose weight: 5 months
The turning point: While I had always struggled with lethargy and sluggishness, I did not take any proactive measures to take care of myself. Ultimately, my health began to take the beating due to my growing weight and I was diagnosed with fatty liver disease. I realised that I needed to take things in my own hands if I wanted to lead a healthy and long life. After that day, there was no looking back. I worked on my body for five months straight (without any break) and the result is here for all to see. I have worked really hard to come this far and I am proud of myself. Lose weight and getting back in shape has certainly changed my life.
My breakfast: Unsweetened peanut butter + protein (eggs or whey) + sprouts
My lunch: Mostly protein portion (chicken/eggs) + fats (almonds or peanuts) + carbs (rice )+ boiled pulses
My dinner: Fats and protein (whey protein/ a portion of chicken or a bowl of dal)
I also made it a point to drink 3-6 litres of water every day. Staying hydrated, especially when you are working out is important.
Pre-workout meal: Anything loaded with cards. I prefer peanut butter or paneer
Post-workout meal: Protein shake with chicken
I indulge in: I don’t have any cheat days, in fact, I don’t support the whole cheat day or cheat meal mentality. I eat whatever I feel like and move on. No cheat mentality results in zero guilt.
My workout: My workout was a mix of strength training and frequent changes in the regime so that my body doesn’t get used to it.
Low-calorie recipes I swear by: When you are on a dietary cut, you are allowed to have only a limited number of calories. The best way to go with it is to fill 50 per cent of your plate with proteins and then add some vegetables and fats. You may add carbs before or after your workout sessions or around the time you are most active. Also, you should avoid snacking in between your meals. My favourite low-calorie recipe is chicken breast greek salad. Make sure to keep a check on the dressing and sauces on the salad.
Fitness secrets I unveiled: I have realised that you cannot simply lose weight and gain abs on the spot. Also, you cannot maintain abs all year round as it is not exactly healthy to have that low body fat for a longer duration of time. Moreover, there is no secret to being healthy, it all boils down to hard work and persistence. Remember that being physically and mentally healthy is much more important than maintaining abs.
How do I stay motivated? I believe that the concept of motivation is overrated. Ultimately, you got to do what you got to do, even if you have zero motivation for the same. Set your eyes on the target and don’t back out till you have achieved it.
How do you ensure you don’t lose focus? I used to get up every morning, visualise my goal and used to take baby steps towards the same. I also did not dwell over a negative situation for too long as I firmly believe that people lose their way as they get too hard on themselves.
What’s the most difficult part of being overweight? For me, body shaming wasn’t ever a difficult part about being overweight as you cannot really control what others say about you. However, being overweight brings a host of health issues which really troubled me. Some of them were breathlessness after running, bodyache, bad posture, knee pain and cardiovascular problems.
What shape do you see yourself 10 years down the line? I am not obsessed with any shape but 10 years down the line I would like to see myself in a good shape, with sound mental health.
What are the lifestyle changes you made? I made a lot of changes when I began my weight loss journey and I still follow those religiously. I have made it a point to get up on time and follow a proper workout regime. I have quit smoking and drinking and completely shunned oily food and sugar-laden products. Moreover, I cook my own food at home and do all of my chores.
What was the lowest point for you? During the initial days of my weight loss journey, I had made peace with the fact that there will be highs and lows in equal amounts. So, I made it a point to enjoy this journey as my two close friends kept my spirits high.
Lessons learnt from weight loss: I have learnt so many life lessons after I began my weight loss journey and I would love to share it with everyone who is reading my story. Some of the lessons are:
1. You need to have fixed short and long-term goals. They will give you directions when you are lost
2. Do not give up your journey due to small failures and learn to bounce back every time
3. Motivation is temporary, so switch to discipline
4. Don’t ever compare your first chapter with someone’s chapter number 10
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