Sonia Mehta describes how she lost 22 kg in just 9 months, by building a healthy lifestyle designed to trigger real, long-term changes.

In 2013, I was at my heaviest weight of 75 kg. In addition, I had a minor bout of spondylitis and a borderline thyroid problem. So, there was no option, but to lose weight. I told myself it was time to cut the excuses! And I joined the gym in August 2013, but didn’t become a regular, till December 2013.

At this time, I got serious about fitness. Aside from wanting to bid farewell to my back problem, I was also keen to decrease my risk of getting diabetes, thyroid imbalance and cerebral stroke, which run in my family.

How my plan evolved

My plan revolved around a healthy and reasonable diet and exercise regime, because I was absolutely against starving myself. My commitment to weight loss was more than a short-term goal. Instead, it was about adopting a healthy lifestyle.  So I created a simple diet, since I enjoy eating home cooked meals.

For the most part, I restricted my intake of tea/coffee to a maximum of 2 cups a day, with minimal or no sugar. Then, I committed to giving up foods like deep fried food, excessively sweet food (desserts), packaged, sugar snacks such as biscuits. I replaced rice with wheat or raagi rotis.

As far as my exercise routine was concerned, I did many exercises to strengthen my back muscles along with cardio and weight training. Also, I practiced yoga and pranayama.

My diet chart

Pre-work out (very important for energy, and to stay hydrated)

A handful of peeled almonds, along with a banana, and plenty of water.

Breakfast options (heavy, to fuel my metabolism)

1 brown bread sandwich full of eggs and vegetable OR Poha/Upma/Idli/Dosa with vegetables OR oats with fruit or vegetables.

Pre-lunch snack

1 glass of homemade vegetable juice, with a few nuts.

Lunch

Rotis with dal,vegetables and a piece of chicken/fish, along with a bowl of yoghurt.

Evening snack

A bowl of puffed rice with vegetables, and a bowl of fruit.

Dinner

1 roti with salad & dal/vegetables.

Both diet and exercise work together

6 months after I’d made these changes, I dropped 15 kg. By October 2014, I weighed a healthy 53 kg. Notably, I looked forward to keeping up my new, healthy lifestyle.

My weight loss made me happy, and I concluded that nothing is impossible, if I put my mind and body to it. The point is, that weight loss requires a combination of dietary changes, and working out. One doesn’t help without the other.

Rest really matters

Getting enough rest is equally important. The changes I made along with my diet and exercise have really helped me get where I am: adequate sleep, drinking enough water, snacking on super foods such as flax and chia seeds, and fruit and avoiding extra salt and sugar. My plan is simple, and I believe anyone can follow it!

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