A celebrity fitness trainer shares his top 5 weight loss mantras, and says that determination is the secret to a successful physical transformation. 

#1 It doesn’t take much to make a start
Weight loss like other major goals in life- begins with believing in yourself. “You have to believe you have won the battle right in the beginning. A half-hearted effort begets half-hearted results,” says Mukul Nagpaul.

Getting a plan together with the help of an expert is the first step. “You need to start with some physical activity that helps you burn calories,” he says.

#2 Consistency is the key
Most people fail because they give in to temptations. As Mukul puts it, “There is always going to be someone’s birthday or that lavish wedding to attend. When you fall prey to the ‘nothing-happens-if-you-eat-once’ syndrome, it breaks the momentum.”

Though the routes to weight loss are multiple, it’s important to stick to your plan.  “If you hop onto a new path to achieve weight loss every fortnight, you are bound to fail,” he says.

#3 Record your progress
A fitness journal is like your best friend, says Mukul.  So get yourself one (try an online fitness bullet journal), and maintain it every day, since it is the ideal tool to track your progress and failure.

“It encourages you when you are doing great and makes you feel guilty when you stray. It is like having an accountability partner, which really works wonders,” he says.

#4 Plan an individualised workout and diet 
While a low-carb and low-fat diet works for some, there is no one-fit-for-all plan. Each individual needs a customized weight loss plan that takes various lifestyle determinants into account. “Every individual is different. While somebody needs a 1200 kcal plan, another may do well with a 1800 kcal plan to lose weight.

Making the right choice is akin to enjoying a tailored suit vs a ready-made one,” he says. A combination of strength training and cardio works best. For those who do not like the idea of going to a gym daily, a sport, running, or even brisk walking can bring about effective weight loss.

#5 Don’t expect too much, too soon
Depending on where you start, and the route you take, results will vary. “It commonly takes around 4 to 6 weeks for any effective weight loss programme to manifest in visible results,” says Mukul.

So don’t fret or push yourself too hard if you don’t see apparent weight loss before time. It may even take up to 8 weeks for family and close friends and 12 weeks for the rest of the world to see the change.