Name: Arjun Chatterjee
Age: 30 years
Occupation: PR Professional
Highest recorded weight: 96.8 Kilos
Current Weight: 83.4 Kilos
Weight lost: I lost around 13 kilos in a little over four months, purely by exercising at the gym and following a specific diet plan.
I have a very stressful job which requires me to sit at the desk for over 9 hours every day and I cannot even move around much. Sitting for long hours, with binge eating and drinking and then de-stressing by watching something on TV became a routine for me. As a result, there was no physical activity or active routine in my life. This made me pile on the weight and lead an unhealthy lifestyle, something which I had mistakenly ignored for long and it cost me dearly. There were days I could easily finish off an entire 12-inch pizza by myself!
The turning point: My friends started pulling my leg and made fat jokes on me. I did nothing about this. When you are body shamed, you also lose your self-confidence and become anxious, nervous. Whenever I attended a meeting or a party, my body language changed. This was quite noticeable. That is when I decided to change and get back to my old self.
Breakfast: The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is to have at least 2-3 glasses of water with a handful of almonds. A while later, I have my breakfast which is usually 4-5 egg whites with one slice of brown bread. I also like to have a bowl of muesli with milk (but no sugar) or something light and healthy like Poha or veggie upma on days.
An hour later, I have a cup of black coffee or green tea. No milk or sugar for me!
Lunch: I do not have more than 2 chapatis for my lunch. I usually have some stir-fried veggies with paneer (cottage cheese) or some grilled chicken cooked in very little oil. I also like to have chickpeas salads on days which are my favorite!
I workout in the evenings. Before stepping out, I have a cup of black coffee or fruit like apple which keeps me going.
Post workout: Zero carb protein shake. One scoop to be mixed in 300 ml of water and NOT milk
Dinner: Usually, I have a side of grilled fish or chicken. On other days, I have a bowl of daal or vegetable soup. Salads are a must for me which I do not miss out on.
Sundays are my ‘cheat’ days. I eat what I like, such as a dessert or biryani!
My workout routine: I follow a strict routine suggested by my trainer. I would also like to share a few tips to make working out better. This definitely helped me get to the mission.
As soon as I hit the gym, I warm up and do some cardio for 10-15 minutes. Then, I do weight training. It has improved my body strength and endurance. Earlier, I could hardly do 6-7 push-ups, now I can do around 45-50 non-stop. This is what my weekly schedule looks like:
Mondays: Weight training- Arms
Tuesdays: Weight training- Shoulders
Wednesdays: Weight training- Chest + abs training
Thursdays: Weight training- Back
Fridays: Weight training: Legs + abs training
Saturdays: Functional intensive cardio
What keeps you motivated? The human body is a phenomenal mechanism, the more you train, the better you get. My goal is to be in the range of 70-73 kilos but I am quite kicked about this whole transformation my body has gone through. This is very motivating for me. My coach has also been very helpful. In fact, he calls me up every evening to ensure that I do not miss out on any session.
What’s the most difficult part of being overweight? I stay away from home. Once, when I was visiting my family, my mother, of all people pointed out that I had become so fat and said that I should do something about my weight. My father and sister joined in too. I had felt really bad!
Fitness secrets I unveiled: Diet moderation and workout regime have worked wonders for me. I followed a calorie deficit, high protein diet which has helped me get to the goal. Here are some ‘health’ secrets I would like to share with everyone:
1. Avoid eating sugar- Tea, coffee, cakes, pastries, Indian sweets, all of these were my favorites but I had to give up all of this.
2. Do not eat dinner and immediately go off to sleep. There should be at least 2-3 hours gap after you have had dinner and then go to sleep, and you must get at least 6-7 hours of sleep, 8 hours is perfect though.
3. Give up all kinds of junk food- Pizzas, french fries, burgers, samosas, kachoris, etc.
4. Avoid eating the yolk of eggs, as it is high on cholesterol, just stick to egg whites
5. Avoid eating rice if you can.
6. Skip red meat. Only have lean meat like fish and chicken at large
7. When you crave for sugar, eat fruits and dark chocolates
Lessons learned from weight loss: You can cheat on meals but it is important that you do not go overboard. Just remain true to your self. Watching what you eat, exercising daily and not giving up can show wonderful results in little time. What I have learnt is that it is very important to exercise and stay active, no matter how stressful your life is. Once I started, I soon began to realise that I feel much better, energetic and driven to work.