Getting lean and fitter

I am sure getting lean and fit would be on the wish list of many of us. But most of the time it is a Sunday thought that goes away in the drain as the week starts. At least this is what has happened with me from the past couple of years.

Getting lean just makes us happy, I guess. There is a lightness of being apart from other benefits of feeling active, looking good, being able to get into all kinds of clothes, and generally a good mood.

This Sunday I have decided to get lean and thought of a work plan which I will publish here with progress on a daily or biweekly basis. I am doing this because I think if I am writing it and making it public I will stick to it. This is a way of getting help and support from everyone out there.

I live in India and the supply of all the exotic veggies which are suggested across various blogs, online content, magazine, and apps, etc. for a great diet either are not available in India or are very expensive. Another factor is that procuring this kind of stuff becomes another job. We are already swamped with work and have identified so many excuses over time that maintaining such a meal plan becomes very difficult. So, from the very start, I have decided that I will follow a good diet which is part of our normal North Indian diet. I cannot go out on a daily basis in hunt of items that are not commonly found in my home. Hence my meals will be very much home-cooked Indian food. What I will be doing is replacing bad foods with good ones. You can do the same with what is available at your home. This I believe is a sustainable approach.

My current scenario and things I have decided to change:

  1. I am a coffee addict who loves milk. I take around 7-8 cups of hot coffee with milk each day. On many days I end up making myself cold coffee as well. For the next 7 days, I will try to have 2/3 cups of black coffee only. I don’t take sugar in my coffee.
  2. Like I said I love milk. I like the smell of it. One of my observations is that I gain weight due to milk. And hence from the past couple of years, I have restricted my intake of milk only to coffee. And as per #1, I will be totally avoiding coffee (and milk).
  3. I plan to introduce Indian chana in my diet. A chana salad with tomatoes, onions, cucumber for breakfast. To make this just soak the chana overnight and in the morning give it one whistle in the pressure cooker. You can make it for 2-3 days in one go. Add veggies when you are about to eat.
  4. For breakfast, I will have a banana smoothie with curd, honey and protein powder. It is not the yummiest thing but it is okay. I may also take a slice of bread or the chana salad.

    Banana smoothie
    Banana smoothie
  5. My lunch is chappati and veggies.
  6. For dinner, I take khichadi with veggies. I have stopped eating chapatti for dinner.
  7. In between snacks include channa with gur. It is extremely healthy and gives lots of energy. The mixture is 90% chana and 10% or less gur. At times I also take peanuts.
  8. One more addition to my drinks these days is lemon water. I feel very energetic after having it. I usually have it after my workout.
  9. I also take 2/3 green tea and some plain hot water during the day.
  10. I eat all seasonal fruits.

Lifestyle:

  1. My workout is simple 50 squats, 50 lunges, and 2 km of walk/running in the morning and 2 in the evening. I follow it for most days. I may include yoga and other exercises on some days.
  2. I do a few breathing exercises every day.
  3. I do not sit for long in one place. I keep myself active. I take 5-7 minutes of break each hour in between work and do a quick exercise either squats or running on the spot. I feel refreshed. These days most of us are working from home. It has its benefits but the amount of physical activity has reduced. We should try to stay active by taking small breaks and doing a quick exercise or stretching.
  4. I do not do late nights and sleep on time and try to get up early.

Update: Day 1 and Day 2

  1. I did not drink coffee with milk. It was very difficult, but I feel good after not having it.
  2. Eating light dinner feels very energetic.
  3. Morning smoothies still turn out to be bad. But it is okay.
  4. Exercises are going as per the plan.

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