Date :24-Mar-2019

Men and women from different fields talk about how they took the resolution to stick to their diet plans and how it benefited their physical and mental health
In 2008, Tyra Banks took down trolls who had body shamed her after a photograph of her in a swimsuit had gone viral. She ended her stirring speech on The Tyra Banks Show with the ultimate take-down to everyone who had criticised her for her body - “Kiss my fat a**!” A decade later and women are still struggling with body image issues. In 2017, Deepika Padukone got skinny shamed for her photoshoot with a popular magazine, where she was even called a ‘dead body’. Yet it is true that gaining or losing a healthy amount of weight also boosts confidence and help women overcome physical and emotional setbacks. From finding renewed confidence to face interviews to a cure for polycysticovaries, here are some people who stuck to their weight loss/gain resolutions :

When Meenakshi Nagdeve founded her startup Organic Facts, her interactions with naturopaths and research into healthier lifestyles inspired her to give it a shot on a personal level. “My naturopath Mamta Trivedi asked me to stick to fresh fruits and vegetables, rice, oats...basically grains that were gluten-free. I have only fruits till noon as they provide quick energy to my body. I also enjoy my fish and chicken, but do not have dairy products,” she lists, adding that she saw immediate results. “I followed my diet pretty strictly, and lost 6kgs in two months!” The biggest challenge for her was giving up her beloved cups of chai, but she found a range of teas and bullet coffee to substitute the urge. As she started feeling healthier, she also started to take up different exercise regimes like zumba, long walks and walking tours. “On New Year’s, I did my first ever 8km uphill trek with my girlfriends in Coorg. It was one of the biggest highs for me!” The loss of weight has not just helped herfeel better about her physical appearance, but also helped her reinvent herself. “I have gained confidence, self-esteem, happiness and wear the lovely dresses I longed to,” she smiles. “I have calmed down and don’t get frazzled easily. I feel energetic and thankful for the weight loss and all the changes it has bought in me.”

Running towards solutions
Twenty-nine-year-old Rachana Iyer had put on around 20 kilos in the span of the last four years due to bad lifestyle choices. When she did start working out, she met with a back injury, and had to depend on dieting to initially lose weight as exercise was out. Her friend introduced her to the Keto diet and his nutritionist, who would go on to become her coach for the next eight months. The high fat and protein, and low carb diet proved to be a challenge at first. “The first, week I had severe mood swings because my body was in shock, since I was denying it carbs,” she recalls. However, the results were worth the fight. She lost 22kgs in the 30-week challenge. She then signed up for theTATA Marathon and found her new passion,running. “I started running with the Bombay Running Crew led by coach Deepak Oberoi,” she recalls. “What got me hooked to running was a 10x10 Challenge - running 10-km for 10 consecutive days.” Her mental health also improved - mood swings and anxiety smoothed out once she started running. The routine also helps her when she goes through phases of depression. The peer support and feeling of community as well as the sense of purpose acts as a boost at such times. “All this has made me an early sleeper and now I mostly only have time for work and running. The habit has changed my social life. I’m socialising after runs with the crew.” Having inspired many to take up running through her endeavours, which she posts on her Instagram page, Iyer is now gearing up to be pacer at a 10-km marathon . “I have time for work and running , it's changed my social life around to where I’m mostly socialising after runs with the crew.” She is also prepping to run the half marathon atThe Mumbai Marathon 2019.
Media person Prerna Arora started on the Keto diet when her friend, Jay Patel started to go to the gym and follow it himself. Having struggled with PCOD for over four years, she decided to give this a shot as her gynecologist had repeatedly told her that losing weight would help. Over 90kgs in October 2017, Arora began the keto regime with a few pointers from her doctor and a lot of research online. “The first ten days were pretty difficult to adjust,” she recalls. “I had to get a lot of alternatives like almond atta and it was also difficult to give up on rice and sugar. In fact, cutting down sugar meant that I went through a lot of mood swings those first few days. I eventually got the hang of it.” And the results are evident. “I’ve even gone off the diet a couple of times, but it did not make me drastically gain weight unlike what popular beliefs about keto dictate. In all, I have lost around 25kgs. This morning when I took my weight, it was 75kgs.”
For Donyale Pereira, a mom of three, it was an easy slide into unhealthy habits after she had her third child. After the birth of her third child last year, she felt too lethargic to pick up her healthier habits. “It was easy to keep making excuses for myself so that I wouldn’t get back on track,” she shrugs. It was when she stopped fitting into most of her dresses that she realised how far she had let the duties of new motherhood waylay her from her usually fit habits. “It was a shock to see that I was no longer fitting into those size 10 dresses and it acted as the wake-up call I needed,” recalls the 41-yearold. While she had lived in the UAE, she had followed the Atkins diet under her fitness trainer who doubled as her dietician. And the changes were almost immediate. “I’ve lost 6 kgs since October when I started dieting and exercising.”
How to lose Breakfast: Soaked almonds and figs, and fruits or juices Lunch: Rice/jowar roti, dal/veggies/chicken/fish, sprouts, and salad Before dinner snack: Fruits, nuts Dinner: Soup, khichdi --Meenakshi Nagdeve How to gain Rajma, soya, masoor, chana - all kinds of daals (To be a part of the diet everyday at least twice) Milk (especially before or after workouts), cheese, curd. Green leafy vegetables - at least 4 times a week. Nuts (for hunger pangs, not salted, orflavoured in anyway, plain roasted) and fruits freshly cut - not juices, Rice/roti- but not after 7.30/8 pm. 2 liters of water. Don't eat: Caffeine/ sugar rich foods Junk food (allowed only for one meal in a week) --Sanjana Donkar

Leading nutritionist Anjali Mukerjee says:
We’ve been flooded with fad diets in recent years; however, the two most popular among them are the keto and the vegan diets. They’re both effective in their own capacities; meaning that these are condition-based diets and therefore can help improve a certain condition. A very high fat intake during the keto diet (70-80 per cent fat) may include liver disease, leg cramps, dehydration, constipation, coronary artery disease, indigestion bloat, gas etc. and can also leave you malnourished. Also, most Indians eat a low protein diet both quantitatively and qualitatively. Turning vegan requires a specific emphasis on adequate protein intake which is seldom followed. This may lead to hair fall, low B12, and low energy. Carb levels also need to be neither too low nor too high.
When 21-year-old Lahang Subba started college, his unhealthy lifestyle led to him being afflicted with issues like high cholesterol and blood pressure despite his young age. Having tried out several work-out regimes, he finally stumbled on to the right one in late 2017. “My trainer really motivated me to get into shape. He gave me the broad guidelines of what my diet should be, which was low on cereals and high on protein. I took protein supplements and fish oil tablets to increase muscle mass.” Sticking to the regime through the rest of 2017 and 2018 paid off. Though visible results took a while to show up, Subba started feeling stronger as he started lifting more and more weights. “And about six months into it, I just had to look in the mirror to see the difference,” says the Kolkata-based law student. Thanks to the controlled diet and exercise, Subba’s blood pressure and cholesterol are back within the normal range. (dnaysyndication.com) ■
Unlike peers who faced body-image issues due to fatshaming, Sanjana Donkar’s confidence took blows from the skinny-shaming that she faced. At the beginning of 2018, Donkar took matters into her own hands and went to a nutritionist to gain weight in a healthy way. “You can’t gain weight just by bingeing on fast food which makes you gain fat,” she clarifies. “You need a high protein diet, which was difficult since I am a vegetarian. I mean, there is only so much dal palak a girl can eat!” Still, Donkar now has better core strength from gymming the first few months, and then switching to swimming and walking. From the unfit underweight of 35kgs, A MOTHER SPEAKS she has gained 10kgs “and a lot of confidence.”