Category Archives: The Bglsr Winners

Every week, someone from the #bglsr twitterverse is chosen using our secret algorithm to receive a variety of gifts from our corporate sponsors, who include Britannia Nutrichoice biscuits, Staeta soy milk, The Ideal Home and Garden Magazine, Placid Salon, and Gostana, so far …

The BigLoser of the Week #032: @ShaaqT

When one is a skinny kid, playing older sister to the cutest chubby baby ever, one wants to get chubbier. But as we grow into our teens, the grass quickly seems to be greener on the thinner side of things and that is exactly what happened to me. As a 13-year-old sub-5 foot, awkwardly overweight teenager, I found myself wanting to take the easy way out. And that’s where my fight with my body began. When I was dieting I wasn’t really bothering to work out, when I was working out, I was binging far too often. It was only at the age of 22, when I hit 76 kilo mark, did I take my weight-loss efforts seriously. It meant finding an exercise schedule that didn’t feel tedious, it meant making peace with food and it meant taking serious steps to change the way I live.

To begin with, I went on a heavy duty detox diet under medical supervision. I gifted myself a good pair of shoes, made best friends with my iPod and started walking. Initially, within 15 minutes, I found myself exhausted, but with time I built the stamina up. As a family, we stopped using sugar in tea and coffee, Mom reduced our oil intake to nearly half the regular amount. We stopped eating out for a while, and I had my sister inspiring me every step of the way (she herself lost a good 25 kilos).

After losing the first 3 kilos, I was addicted to the feeling. Imagine people telling you, you look thinner and knowing that they aren’t just saying it to make you feel good! After losing nearly 20 kilos, the fitness stopped being about the weighing scale and was a lifestyle decision. (I have blogged about this here)

Though I joined #bglsr earlier in 2011 wanting lose 5 kilos, I have, in fact, put on a few kilos. This is because of repetitive illnesses. And this year made me realise that beyond exercise, eating right and feeling good, I need to get enough sleep, because an unrested body when pushed beyond limits, breaks down. And a leftward leaning weighing scale or a tiny waistline does not make up for loss of immunity and lack of general good health.

In 2012, I resolve to sleep better, feel better and I resolve to stick to being on track with #bglsr. My sponsors @ashwinmushran and @hiway have been supportive all the way, and though I let them down this year, I hope I can make them real proud next year. #Bglsr forces you to take that first step towards fitness and then keeps you on track. No, you can’t lie lazing in bed when you see that @b50 has hit the gym at 5am and @asfaq has finished a long run. You want to put that piece of cake down when you read that @sashg snacked on bananas and almonds. And when @baxishweta tells you that your Runkeeper updates are the reason why she walks an extra few minutes with @baxiabhishek, you feel good about yourself. #bglsr is more than just weightloss, #bglsr is more than a support group. It is an inspiration to live better.


Congratulations to our #blotw @ShaaqT, she wins a 6 month subscription from @PopSciMag and a gift from @thebombaystore

The BigLoser of the Week #031: @aar4

With regards to ‘weight loss’ and overall ‘fitness’ my journey has been going on over the last 2 years. But it has been intermittent. The main culprit was my inability to achieve a ‘fair’ division of time between work, family and self. I have found this, for the major part, the main reason for the regular breaks I have had on this journey.

However, at the beginning of 2011, I made a conscious decision to allocate time to ‘self’ and within that to fitness. The driving factor was my doctor telling me that I needed to watch my bad cholesterol and that, while I wasn’t overweight, I should lose some weight. When @b50 came up with the concept of using the ‘weight loss’ to donate an X amount of Rs to a chosen charity, the charity got my attention. Weight loss got me hooked. I was game. Hook, line and sinker. I knew that my weight loss target would really raise an amount that would really make a difference. Which is why I decided in turn to sponsor a few folks on twitter – in order to achieve a higher Rs value.

Are you wondering why sitting in the US, I got involved in something that is going in India? I’ve been on Twitter just a few years. But it has provided me a ‘connection’ to India. The people. Their lives. More importantly, via mainly the Mumbai bigwigs, I have had the opportunity to have a direct impact in various projects and have been few of the first ones to jump in and ‘raise my hand’. The Wall Project – where I supported via tweet and spread the word to creating a ‘video’ of all those wonderful murals. Then came @anaggh‘s ‘deep’ project. I was able to and had the pleasure of donating a decent amount to the chosen charity. Such ‘direct impact’ opportunities I cherish and thank twitter for.

Back in Feb 2011, my weight was 178lbs. My goal is to try and get to 170lbs or just under. Not a big ask looking at the numbers. However, to date it has been hard. That said, weight as such is not my main concern. It is the ‘spare tyre’ around the waist that always bothers me! In general, without making a song and dance about it, my goal(s): Weight down to 169/170lbs; Loss of the ‘spare tyre’; and overall muscle growth (no no, not like Salman Khan)

Right now, I’m really back to square one with regards to my weight, sadly.
I was doing wonderfully well going into summer. I was down to 171lbs and feeling extremely proud and good about myself. Then my parents came over and stayed with us. With them came all the home-cooked (mum’s cooking) food, the shrikhand, the gulab jamuns etc. It was just a spiral. The spare time was lost. The controlled diet went quickly out of the window with two full ‘rich’ indian meals daily. Within no time I shot up to 180lbs. I had just given up. That old ‘culprit’ – division of time – came in the way again. The day they left, I was back on the ‘weight loss’ wagon. But it has been hard. Change of habit. Change of lifestyle. Great difficulty. But am truly back on the road again.

My Regimen:
Workout: When I had dropped down to 170lbs, I had divided up my week days – Mon~Fri between weight training and cardio — Weight training for the purpose of developing and growing muscle, while losing calories -& thereby the fat; Cardio to allow muscle recovery and help additionally in burning calories. Mon, Wed and Fri were weight training days; Tue and Thu were cardio – brisk walk/cycling or on a Gym treadmill. Sat/Sun were rest days, but i tried to put in some brisk walking – just to keep the momentum going.
At the same time, I had a very controlled diet. Protein rich foods, greens, and lots of water. This was the biggest change in my lifestyle. Everything I ate had to have some sort of value to my ‘fitness’ goals.

Diet: (In general)
2/3 egg white omelette with grilled chicken (when available) but egg whites – the barest minimum

Mid-Morning Snack:
8oz Protein Shake with 2%milk – killed the snack gap

Green leafy salads with chicken and cheese

Post workout:
Protein Shake – helps recovery and muscle repair and growth

Indian dinner (desi-gujju)- but have kept away from wheat and rice – to avoid the starch/carbs contributing to the fat

As much as I could starting with atl east 8-10 glasses. No sodas. No artificial juices. When eating out the weekends, eat healthy and have Iced teas as treats – instead of water! 🙂

My sponsor is @b50 and in turn i sponsor: @rupalimk @apnavi @gupta-aastha @rhebbar @timepass and @iyamalhotra (which we collectively called #MooSha – Movers & Shakers — hopefully this will help me achieve a good Rs value as my contribution to the charity.

Does BigLoser help? Absolutely. BigLoser has been a wonderful idea and carried through to fruition. I often mind it difficult to stay motivated (which is why I ‘easily’ fall off the ‘fitness’ path. BigLoser essentially crowd-sources the encouragement. I tweeted to another great tweetpal @chet6 – Social networks and the group of like minded folks is like ‘Encouragement sans Frontiers‘ (Take off from Doctors sans Frontiers). Further, BigLoser facilitates creating of benchmarks, targets, and more importantly, a level of accountability. When you’re ‘on your own’ it’s just so easy to ‘readjust’ the targets/goals/efforts to suit the lethargy and fatigue that creeps in quite frequently.
It is for this reason, that I like using Runkeeper app (record my activity, follow and share with a ‘street team’ of a few folks from twitter) and also blabber away on twitter. Both Runkeeper and Twitter are a good source of encouragement and support.

(Talking about @chet6 – I am now following his #30dayChallenge where in he has decided to ‘come what may’ put in a walk every single day. I in turn took up the challenge of ‘fitness activity – making up of weight training and atleast a 3.5mile walk – daily for 30 days consecutive. Due to work timings this week, I have had to miss my workouts, so the walks worked as a replacement. Completed Day 5 today making is a total of 22.81miles walked / each involving a .66mile climb of 493ft – and back down again, of course!)

Besides this, BigLoser and the team regularly provide tips and suggestions. Eating the right foods is just as important as working out and all the fitness regimes. The weekly podcasts have been wonderful and I find myself looking forward to Mondays. I listen to them on my way to work in the car on Monday mornings. Like a booster for the rest of the week.

My personal biggest challenge has been staying motivated and being able to allocate time to ‘my’ fitness schedule. The time I allocate often gets considered as ‘not important’ in relation to time needed by family and/or work. But again, I have realised that I need to really needed to be rigid with time of my self (fitness) and this has happened. And guess what? The world didn’t stop with me! It kept on moving on.

Thank you again, for the recognition. But more importantly, thank your for the encouragement and support via Twitter.

Congratulations to our #blotw @aar4/Rakesh!

The BigLoser of the Week #030: @sabhishekk

I was very fit and an athlete till my 12th standard (2001). I am a takewondo player (blue belt). I have represented my school in state level athlete meets for Long Jump, Discuss Throw, Javelin etc. I was the cricket captain of school team. Sports was my life until I got my left hand fractured and this affected a lot in my lifestyle. I begin to live a sedentary life. Weight gain slowly and steadily took over me and I started looking older than my age by the time I finished my graduation in 2006. In between 2006 to 2010 I tried many types of crash diets, joined gym to cut down weight but all was in vain.

I reached 91 kgs by march 2010. Weight was hampering my daily work and personal relations. So, for the first time in my life I decided to cut down weight seriously. I joined Air Lifestudio Gym pune. Apart from regular weights and cardio facilities, the gym has many classesrunning throughout the week ranging from spinning, zumba, pilates, body pump etc. so you never get bored or run out of options. I started with around 45 mins of cardio daily and circuit training. With a proper diet plan and workout I lost 13 kgs and weighed 78 kg by sept 2010. In between sept 2010 till july 2011 i lost track of gym and diet and regained those 13 kgs. I started to faint while climbing stairs and was not keeping up properly.

So, I decided to start my exercise plan on 10th Aug 2011 with a body composition analysis first , and got a diet plan by dietician. I now workout during evening time. I do spinning 6 days a week and weight and abs training on 3 days. In between, If time permits, I also try to do
pilates, body pump, circuit training.

I started having oats in breakfast, salads in lunch, buttermilk, and Dalia khichdi or boiled eggs or boiled chicken at night. I daily have 2 cups of green tea and 1black coffee. I have stopped eating junk foods. When I feel like eating outside I prefer subway for their salads. I have started tracking my eating and exercise pattern using MyNetDiary for iPad which has helped in a big way.
I have also made changes to my lifestyle, i now use my laptop or ipad on a table instead of using it on bed. I have started taking small walks after lunch and dinner, wash my clothes myself, use stairs in office.

As I am writing this I have lost 6 kgs on 28th sept. I have promised myself that I will not repeat the mistakes I did last year. I plan to achieve 70 kgs by Feb 2012 when the 1st season of bglsr ends. #bglsr tweets keep reminding and motivating me of the benefits of staying healthy.

I came across bigloser when it was launched. I didn’t take it that seriously at that time. But since August I have started following #bglsr religiously. Kudos to @b50 for starting this unique concept. @bglsr is a great platform for people to come together and share their health plans/tips to help/motivate each other in weight loss journey.

I follow all the podcasts and the tips by @sashg and BLOTW articles. I have also started sharing my exercise and diet details using the #bglsr tag and regularly follow the tweets by bglsr members. Big loser has helped me in a big way to keep going…
@satishkini‘s dedicated c

ycling has inspired me a lot. @sashg recommendations are great and I don’t miss a single of them. I recently got @shit_happinesss as my sponsor and I am planning to lose 10 more kg of weight to lead a healthier life and contribute to a great cause.


Congratulations to our #blotw @sabhishekk wins himself:
* An umbrella from @thebombaystore
* A 6-month subscription to @PopSciMag
* A gift-hamper from @Staeta soy milk

The BigLoser of the Week #029: @MonikaManchanda

BLOTW aka Big loser of the week is something we all #BgLsr folks aspire to be sometime. The reason is simple: it reiterates the fact that yes, we are doing something towards what is important to us and in the long run critical to our wellbeing. So when I got a mail from @b50 I was pleasantly surprised.

Weight loss has been something I have somewhat struggled with all my life, growing up I was never a very thin girl but yes never FAT either. Then marriage happened and somehow along with that came a series of health complications. Without going into too many details, there were a couple of surgeries, a complicated and difficult pregnancy combined with hormonal and steroid therapy, which took my weight to a number which I was even scared to think of. A full time IT job, an infant and a toddler to take care of along with health issues, I tried all things that a person desperate to lose weight does, irregular gymming, fad diets – Atkins, GM, name it and I have tried it, only to go nowhere or may be lose weight and put more than that right back after quitting the diet. So finally about 1.5 years back when my health got a little stable and I took a break from my IT career, I decided to do something about it and started consulting with a diet counsellor. I worked with her for about 8 months and steadily lost about 11kgs of weight, post which we both decided to give the body a break and let it adjust to the weight loss. Trying to maintain what I lost was a tough task in itself. I gave myself a 3 month break and started again about 6 months ago. I have been slowly and steadily losing weight since that time (I do get a yo yo effect in between though, a vacation , a wedding does throw things off). The total weight loss I have had in the past 1.5 years is about 14kgs and alas I am still a long way to go from my fitness target.

I joined #BgLsr about 2 months ago, when I heard of it I thought it was an amazing way of buddying — a group motivating each other! And the fact that you know someone will actually benefit from something you need in life is wonderful. @prateekgupta and @booksplease are my sponsors and the fact that there is someone you are kind of answerable to keeps one going

As far as my fitness regimen goes I am person who likes variety and gets bored with things pretty soon, so I keep changing between the kind of work outs I do. I like Changing up the cardio between swimming if the weather permits, cycling in the weekends, @LeslieWalks 3-mile home walk workout. Something which is constant is a 3-day a week yoga which I do in the morning and 12 minute XBX stretches I do in the evening everyday.

Apart from this I try and eat healthy. Over time I have realised that a full balanced meal with occasional indulgences is the only that one can sustain for a long time and I stick to that. Sugar to a minimum, deep frying to a minimum possible, a healthy and a good breakfast to start my day with and a no carb dinner by 7:30 pm in the evening are the basic rules I live by these days, and, ofcourse, there are days when I crave for a cake and samosa and I go indulge in those post my workout a time when the body actually can digest the fat carbs

My final fitness goal is to lose about another 10kgs, But more than these numbers, I think my fitness target also is to increase my stamina and general health per se and a have a fitness schedule that I can maintain all my life to some extent. Plus being able to walk into a store and buy the top I want without having to think whether they will have this in XL or not. Yeah, after the gyan I admit I am all shallow that way 😉

Wish me luck folks and a big thank you to the big loser team for motivating us everyday.


Congratulations to our #blotw @MonicaManchanda who wins:
* a gift hamper from @Staeta soy milk
* an umbrella from @theBombayStore
* a session from @PlacidSalon
* a 6-month subscription to @PopSciMag

The BigLoser of the Week #028: @ItemMom

For once it feels good to be known as “The Big Loser of the Week”.
I told my brother the other day when he called that I am at the Big Loser Tweetup. Aware what a Tweetup is, my brother asked me “But what are you doing with a bunch of losers”. To that I said “These losers are the biggest gainers for me.” Health is wealth.

For me health has always been important. I have been a dancer, sports person and swimmer. I was size XS and lean when I got married. Then I gained 10 kgs. But it was still ok as I was within my weight limits and was a size M. Some time later I gained another 10 kgs, which was not good. I had settled in a rather sedentary lifestyle post marriage. In 2009, I started working out, trekking and dancing again. I lost 10 kgs following this regimen. Happy happy me cause I got into all my old clothes and jeans. And saw the fitter toned version of myself again.

Cut-to March 2010. I had conceived. Doctors told me to quit work-outs (typical of Indian doctors). I still managed to put on a healthy 15 kilos during my full term pregnancy. Happy me again. I gave birth to a cute little angel, a baby boy we named Siddhant in November 2010. I was 8 kgs lighter post delivery. Very very happy me again. I thought, losing another 6 kgs won’t be difficult. I couldn’t start work-outs for another 3 months cause I had a cesarean. I waited.

Sincerely, I signed up for the gym and joined in February. In 15 days I resumed work. Gym had to take a back-seat cause I used to be so tired in the mornings cause of sleepless nights that going to the gym was an impossible idea. I joined the #bglsr team in April for motivation and @MrsSonaL agreed to sponsor me.
Joining the movement didn’t help much initially cause I was still going through the working-new mother fatigue, gym was a distant dream. My biggest challenge was time. Early mornings were still impossible. During this period I had put on another 4 kgs. I was angry with myself. Frustrated. I didn’t want to be a fat auntie. Please. No.

I then started being more interactive with team #bglsr. Reading tweets. Participating. Asking questions. Started walking home from work. Started climbing stairs instead of taking the lift. I could still not start gym. The timing just didn’t suit. It’s really difficult when you are a working mother. You want to spend all time possible with the baby.

I finally decided to take it up as a challenge and work-out in the evening after work. For this I had to get some things in order first. I spoke with mom and requested her to spare me for an hour extra after work, where she would look after Siddhant and I could work-out. She was ready immediately and excited (she is a gym regular too now, I have converted her). I started hitting the gym directly after work since August. 1+ hour of work outs every day: One Day Cardio; one Day weights. 5 times a week.
Fitness for me is not only of the body but also of the mind. I practice Yoga at least once a week and use the postures for stretching after weight training as well. Yoga balances the mind part. I dance for an hour whenever I can. Mostly with Siddhu in my arms now :). From my target of losing 10 kgs I am already 2 kgs down. Happy me. 8 kgs more to go.

Healthy eating was never an issue for me. I love salads. My taste preference is – low salt, low oil, bland. I love chicken. I can eat chicken in breakfast, lunch and sinner. My dietician asked me to stick to my eating routine. I have 6-7 meals. Heavy breakfast. No processed carbs for dinner. That’s my rule. I have one cheat day a week (@SashG would be frowning at this one). My dietician will be giving me new diet plan soon though before I reach a plateau with this one.

My motivation and return to fitness was primarily due to team #bglsr. Constant updates from all the tweeps, sharing and exchanging tips, all helps and motivates. Had I not got the push and the motivation, maybe I would have let the gym membership go waste.
I intend trekking to Everest Base Camp next year. That is my goal. Kilimanjaro. Maybe. If I have the money… Thanks team #bglsr especially @MrsSonaL for being my sponsor, @SashG, @Anaggh and @b50 for answering my constant queries. Thanks @chhavi for the lovely podcasts that you make, it’s amazing listening to them week after week.

On my way to be a Yummy Mummy 😉

Congratulations to our #BLOTW @itemMom who wins:
* a free session at @placidsalon
* a copy of @PopSciMag
* an umbrella from @thebombaystore

The BigLoser of the Week #027: @mahafreed

It isn’t easy being a fat person.
You can’t have a great DP. (You actually can but that requires heavy photoshopping)
You can’t walk as fast your friends. (You actually can but that means spending double energy)
You can’t wear pretty clothes. (Pretty clothes only come is XS, M and L sizes. XL and XXL clothes are just so fugly. Also Westside calls their XXXL range GIA which stands for giant. I really don’t want to be a giant!)
You’re the person everyone offers “more food” to cause they look at you and think, ah she might need it to sustain that paunch.
My fitness goal was to change all of this. And @imayavi was concerned enough to sponsor me.
So I started walking. Walking on Chowpatty beach. But that wasn’t enough. So I started climbing. Climbing up Malabar Hill. But that wasn’t enough either.
I was 25 kgs overweight, according to my calculations. And although walking on Chowpatty and climbing up Malabar Hill was a hell lot of fun because I had @neetakolhatkar and @r113 for company, it wasn’t enough.
So I joined Gold’s Gym. Paid a bomb. And yes, paying a bomb has made all the difference. I cannot *afford* to miss gym.
The trainer expects me to burn 500 calories everyday. That’s the target everyone in the gym reaches. Even the old aunties! So burning less than 500 cals means you’re weaker than old aunties. Not good, not good.
I do cardio on most days. On days I do functional training, my body is sore for two days. Sweet pain. I love it.
Also, I treat the cross-trainer, treadmill and cycle machine like 3 boyfriends I am three-timing. Each needs enough time and ‘contact’ :p. Cardio is fun. We have TVs on our treadmills so when I’m bored I watch the news. Watching Anna fasting, while jogging, was extremely motivating, yes. I also have the option of trying out spinning, pilates and aerobics, which I will soon.

Other #bglsr changes in my lifestyle include: Taking the bus instead of the cab and eating breakfast-lunch-dinner on time.

Now, coming to #bglsr. Why it works? It works because it lets me showoff. It lets me compete. And, I love doing both. If there was a BLOY, I’d do anything to win it. Also, listening to @chhavi @b50 and @sashG‘s podcast briefs has become a ritual. On Twitter, fitness enthusiasts like @fossfan, @prashantdr and @girishmallya are great company. Then tweets from @shaaqt, @pradx and @puneet about their fitness regimen keeps me on my toes.

How my life has changed post working out?
-Skin looks and feels good.
-I can walk faster and for longer!
-Fried food makes me feel sick. I laugh at people who eat it.
-Endorphins keep me happy.
-I eat more raw vegetables: Capsicum, onion, cabbage, cucumber with my food.
-No fizzy drinks :/ Drink chaas instead
-Proteins are a must, especially post-workout. Boiled egg whites have become part of the staple.
-I avoid eating out as much as I can.

To everyone who wants to lose weight. Do it now cause your body is the only thing you have with you all your life. Also, do it for a nice new DP? Yes?

Congratulations to our #BLOTW @mahafreed who wins:
* a free session at @placidsalon
* a copy of @PopSciMag
* an umbrella from @thebombaystore

the BigLoser of the Week #026: @madmanweb

I joined BigLoser a month and a half ago. I had been putting off starting a weight loss programme for a long time, even though I knew very well that I needed it. For some reason, seeing Nikhil aka @nixxin‘s post about joining it, and then seeing my friend Anita (@gyaanzz) offering to sponsor him for Rs. 500 per kg suddenly triggered off something in my head, and I decided to peg my own weight loss on BigLoser. I asked her if she’d sponsor me too, and she readily agreed. And so I was off.

To help give me some motivation, I posted on Twitter asking if anyone else was willing to sponsor me. My friends @ritikadarira and @Thirsty_Crow joined in, and I was surprised when @gulpanag too offered to help. What more motivation does a man need?

I used to be quite a gym rat 5-6 years ago, so I knew weight training was up my alley, but I had been slacking off on it for a while, so I decided to start in a small way. There’s a nice park right in front of my house, and I resolved to go on a morning walk every day. Despite being a night owl, I forced myself to get up at 7:30 AM, and walk at 8. The first week or so, I only did about a kilometre or so and then gradually increased it. By week 2, I had already increased it to 3 km, and in another week, I had done 5 km. By then, I was walking for an hour every day. Thanks to my iPod, it wasn’t boring or tedious. I recommend that anyone starting a weight loss programme get an MP3 player.

I was quite content with this pace of doing 5-6 Km, and didn’t want to strain myself unnecessarily because that’s how injuries happen. So when my friend @MaximusToxicus challenged me to walk two rounds around Ulsoor Lake, I outright dismissed it because the distance was about 12 Km. But it kept gnawing away at me, and a couple of days later, I told him, “I accept your challenge! Walk with me.” So one Tuesday evening, the two of us went walking. 1 hour and 50 minutes later, my pedometer told me we had done what I didn’t think I was capable of doing. It was a huge sense of achievement. Since then, I have tried to walk 12 km once every week, and my next goal is to do 15 km.

I also started going to the gym and lifting weights, but I found that due to my unpredictable work schedule, I wasn’t able to go regularly at the same time. I decided not to have any excuses, so I went on eBay India and ordered myself a weight training bench, along with barbells, dumbbells, and weights. It arrived a few days ago, and now I have weights at home to lift whenever I want.

On the diet front, I have made a conscious effort to eat healthier food. For breakfast, I eat muesli with low-fat milk. I am also cutting out soft drinks and junk food, especially things with refined flour in them. Am I going on a completely fat-free, ultra-healthy diet? No. Because those tend to be the ones you quickly give up on, and I’d rather have a diet that does 80% of the work and is easier to follow, than a 100% one that I give up in a month. The good thing is that a few weeks after you give up these things, your body doesn’t crave them so much any more. Heck, I’ve even started looking for vegetables in food when I go out to eat, and I’m a hardcore non-vegetarian.

I know this is a long journey, because in the long-term I think I need to lose about 20 kg, and in the month and a half I’ve been doing this, I’ve lost 3 Kgs. But it’s a good feeling when you meet someone you haven’t seen in months and they tell you you’ve lost weight. Or when your clothes feel looser.

As a chef, I know a bit more than the average person about nutrition, and there are two things I want readers of this piece to know. One is that silly, unscientific diets like the GM diet or pretty much any miracle diets that promise big weight loss in a week are useless, and sometimes dangerous. Your body really needs a proper mix of carbohydrates, protein, fibre, vitamins, and even fat every day to function properly. These diets may work in the short-term because much of the weight is water loss, which will come right back anyway, and do you really want to be sipping some miracle soup for the rest of your life? And yes, eating celery may burn up more calories than it contains, but for it to have any real effect, you’d need to eat upwards of a kilogram every day. If you’ve taken years to put on the excess weight on your body, don’t expect it to go away in a couple of weeks. We simply aren’t wired that way.

The second is that so many weight loss programmes fail because people try to make too many radical changes in their diet and lifestyle all at once, and after a few weeks of this, it becomes too much to handle. They give up, and just go back to the way they were. There is so much noise made about “lose weight fast” (especially in fitness magazines) but I think that “lose weight at a moderate pace” is more realistic, but doesn’t sound as catchy, of course. It is far easier to deal with incremental changes in one’s lifestyle. So, for instance, start by cutting out the soft drinks from your diet in the first week. In week two, start replacing refined flour products with more fibrous food. In week three, reduce alcohol consumption to once a week. In week four, restrict fried food only once a week. For exercise, start walking for about 15 minutes every day. If you suddenly go from being a couch potato to trying to walk 5 km, your body will respond with aches and pains from the change. And then you’ll give up. Slowly increase the pace of your exercise to give yourself new challenges that are realistic and achievable. Then, when your body is getting used to the exercise, start adding things like weight training into the mix. This will help you come up with a sustainable programme for the next several months, and that’s really the key to long-term weight loss.

@madmanweb wins himself:
* A 6-month subscription to The Ideal Home and Garden Magazine
* An umbrella from The Bombay Store


BigLoser of the Week #025: @R_Zed

I’ve always been an active sportsperson, never played at a professional level but at some decent levels in various sports. And to play sports without damaging/hurting your body is a challenge, which is greatly helped if you keep fit by some regular physical activity. I started on my weight loss regime in early June with two things in mind:

1. I’m Injury prone: Irregular sports, games on and off on alternate weekends turns out isn’t the best way to keep fit. After suffering an injury in a game of football early this year, my doctor told me that the ‘Weekend Sportsperson’ as they are known in the medical fraternity is the worst kind of athlete simply because your body is not prepared enough for strenuous sports, especially high-impact ones like football. He told me I had to stop. Completely!

2. I’m unfit: Over the past 5-7 years (post school) my physical activity dropped massively and with that my fitness levels. I couldn’t run as long as I used to, I couldn’t hold my breath as long as I used, forget about touching my toes without bending my knees!
With this in mind, and my doctors advice to stop on the irregular high impact sports, I turned to swimming, low impact, fun and something I could do regularly and independently.

So I immediately signed up a membership at the nearest pool in June and never looked back. My fitness goal is three fold, lose weight, make my body more flexible and tone up/build muscle.
When I started in June I was close to 83 kilos, last night I was about 77.5 kilos! I’ve still got a long way to go though. One thing I must warn though is that swimming also takes a toll on your body and you need to make sure your muscles are nicely warmed up. That is where my sponsor, Rashi (@rashik85) came in. She too has turned to swimming to lose weight but also pushed me into doing the Surya Namaskar every morning to basically help stretch out all the muscles. A little morning exercise could only help I figured, so I gave it a shot and have been doing it everyday for about a month and a half. To this regimen, I then added an 8 minute ab workout in the mornings which i have been following for the last 1 month (on alternate days). This is it:
I’m going to keep up the swimming to till they keep the pool open (mid-October) by which I should achieve my target weight of 75 kilos post which I’ll join a gym for the winters. And work on the toning.
Big Loser has helped add to the focus and determination that I have maintained. It’s interesting to read about what others do and the blog has some good tips and get to learn a few things my gym instructor never told me! More information always helps in achieving what you set out to do.
My biggest challenge in the Big Loser journey is to keep up the momentum, I joined gyms in the past, but somehow never managed to keep a steady schedule and usually gave in to relaxing and eating unhealthy (big time foodie) and beer! What I have come to realise is that my passion for food (read: Calorie rich food) is not going to reduce, what I can control is how I can burn them faster!
Being given the honour of Big Loser of the Week is a morale booster! I am even more determined now to achieve my fitness goals, and then some more!
– R_Zed

@R_Zed wins himself:
* A 6-month subscription to The Ideal Home and Garden Magazine
* A visit to Placid Salon
* An umbrella from The Bombay Store


The BigLoser of the Week #024: @dhirensalian

To be honest, my journey of #bglsr had started much before @b50 created the hashtag on Twitter. It was in July of 2010, when I had to put away a second set of trousers in a far corner of my wardrobe (in the hope that I could fit into them later), that I decided to get a move on. I needed a medium term goal and so signed up for the Half-Marathon race in the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon 2011. I completed it and followed it up with the Thane Half Marathon in February 2011. When the #bglsr campaign went live, I saw it as the perfect opportunity to continue with the new lifestyle I had adopted. My sponsor, the ever-enthu @iMayavi, keeps checking in on my progress from time to time and I am more than happy getting him to donate to charity.

Having signed up for the 2012 edition of the Mumbai Half Marathon, my current exercise schedule is a combination of run, cycle, swim and weights. I joined Brinston Miranda’s running group and he basically tells me what to do the next day (so that’s one load off my back ☺). My nutrition regimen is nothing spectacular – just try to limit excess calorie intake and limit binges as much as I can.

The most important thing to remember is that there is no magic pill for sustainable weight-loss. It is bloody difficult to wake up at an un-earthly hour in the morning, before anyone else is up and get ready for a run/gym routine; but it all comes down to how badly you want to make the change. It is a slow journey and you’ll have to stick it out to the end. Yes, there will be some sacrifices – going to bed early, cutting back on extra calories, etc – but nothing will compare to the joy when you see the needle on the weighing scale hit the desired number.

One thing that I have found particularly useful in keeping the motivation levels up is to talk about your goal and what you are doing to get there. Tell your friends, your relatives about the changes in your lifestyle. They may raise eyebrows but deep down, they would be admiring you for making the changes stick. Heck, tweet about it on the #bglsr stream. And you’ll find some helpful tips from people on the same journey as you. It sure makes the ride more pleasant.

Keep short term goals. For example, be able to run 4k continuously at the end of the month, or use a particular set of weights for the bicep curl or leg press in two months. Do remember, these goals HAVE to be achievable. Don’t set them too high and you’ll give up halfway. Worse, you might injure yourself.

I’ll close with what John Anderson, a certified personal trainer, has to say about waking up early.
“The fight will be on again tomorrow morning. Same time, same place. Wish me luck—no, wish me determination—and I’ll do the same for you! After all, we are in this fight together.”

All the best!

PS: I now fit into that second set of trousers I had tucked away ☺

@dhirensalian wins himself:

1. A gift hamper of soya milk from Staeta
2. A gift hamper of healthy snacking biscuits from Britannia NutriChoice
3. A six-month subscription to The Ideal Home and Garden magazine
4. A visit to PlacidSalon, Bandra



the BigLoser of the Week #023: @satishkini

@satishkiniHere’s the write-up I promised. Slightly delayed. As you know the root cause of all evil is procrastination, and, in my case, one of the major factor affecting my weight loss plan in the past.
I have been trying to lose weight for some time now. Every time I would start with the gym, get bored in couple of weeks, pay them till the end of contract and continue with the routine of getting heavier…
In April, my wife (@magical_anu) suggested I should try cycling to office (8 km) along the river. Around the same time @MrsSonaL introduced me to @bglsr and runkeeper. And so the journey began. In the beginning even 8 km to office and back was very tiring. All the motivation from the bigloser team and practice made me push myself over a period of time. Started with a target of 100 km/week I can now go around 200 km/week. On the way back from office I cycle around 30-40 km depending on the weather. I am enjoying cycling so much that it’s becoming a habit. My current goal is to cycle 200 Km in a day. I guess the main reason for this is the cycling tracks and weather in Germany. I wonder how much cycling I would be able to do in Mumbai given the traffic and weather. Would like to give it a try it this time I am in India. Anyone who can lend me a cycle for a day or 2 this September?

My aim is to increase my fitness level and lose weight in the process. Reading #bglsr and listening to bigloser podcast has helped me a lot. I made the following changes in my daily routine:
* Carry lunch box to office
* Reduced the amount of coffee.
* Have fruits for evening snacks.
* Take a walk after lunch
* Increase water intake. Sometimes thirst manifests as hunger.
* Reduced junk food & alcohol
* Heavier breakfast with more carbs
* Increased fibrous food in my diet.
* Started having at least 1 banana in a day for its high Magnesium content which helps reduce cramps.

I did not do all that in one go. Too many changes and you tend to revert back soon

The combination of eating habits and cycling has helped me lose 6 Kg in 3 months time. My fitness level has improved. I sleep better and feel less drowsy during the day. But still
the biggest challenge would be to make this changes permanent. Its a long way but will get there one day at a time.

All this wouldn’t been possible without
* @b50 @chhavi @SashG for taking such a wonderful initiative
* @MrsSonaL for introducing me to @bglsr & runkeeper
* @SashG‘s simple but very effective tips.
* @DrVinzzz‘s daily dose of #bglsr tweets
* @AC_31 @BeingCJ @PriTweety the best motivators 😀 .
* showing your global position among runkeeper + twitter users. Highly motivational.

My advise to others:
* Believe in your self
* Don’t set unrealistic goals.
* Concentrate on fitness level
* Take care of eating habits
Weight loss will happen. It’s more important to be fit & healthy.

Congratulations, Satish, from the team at #bglsr. We promise we will all fete you (but won’t wreck your health) when you visit India next month!