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 India podcast #031 (challenge)

Get your fitness on!


Episode 31 of the #bglsr podcast brings you all your fitness information in a quick and easy format. This time, we don’t have our tip from @Sashg BUT we do have a roundup of what went down in the last week from @b50 including an international 30-day challenge 😉 Find out more early in the podcast. We also have our #BLOTW – big loser of the week – @aar4!

All in under 10 minutes – hosted, as always, by chhavi and produced by Sonologue.

Week 30: Eating Right When Eating Out

Today on the 30th tip on Big Loser India, we’re talking about eating right when eating out. Is it possible to eat right and eat healthy with careful calorie control when eating at a restaurant? Also, is it possible to eat healthy at a restaurant without having to order some boiled, tasteless concoction? Yes it is! You can watch your daily calorie requirement and enjoy restaurant food at the same time. Here’s a quick look at what cheats, tricks and strategies you can use to eat right when eating out at a restaurant.

Not heard The BigLoser India Podcast #030? Check it out here.

Rule 1: Get ready for the dining out experience.
Chances are you were quite aware of the fact that you’d be entering temptation zone at some point in your day. And like everything else, knowing is half the battle won. Since you’re expecting a restaurant meal, practise careful calorie allotment by eating low calorie meals till then. So skip that biryani or rice for lunch. Don’t drink that cola. Don’t eat that tea time cookie. Be good. You’ll get plenty rewards come restaurant time.

Rule 2: If visiting your favourite restaurant – anticipate your order.
Surprisingly, when we decide what we want to eat from the restaurant we visit, we tend to ignore temptation for anything else.

Rule 3: Ask questions about dishes you haven’t eaten earlier.
Don’t be shy about scrutinising the menu. If you order dishes just because they sound fancy, you’re likely to be shocked when your order arrives floating in cream cheese and butter. No matter how sophisticated the restaurant, there is no harm in asking the person waiting on you to explain each dish.

Rule 4: A bit harsh, this rule is about dishes you’re allowed to eat only if you exercise regularly.
Avoid all cheese-based dishes and a la mode (with ice cream) dishes if you’re on a strict weight loss diet.  Avoid dishes with words like pan-fried, fried and creamed.

Rule 5: Focus on foods you can eat without feeling guilt.
Thankfully almost all restaurants serve whole wheat, skinless, steamed or roasted options these days. One can practise calorie control without compromising on taste and adventure. Look for dishes that are described with healthy cooking methods, ingredients and types. Steamed, broiled, grilled, roasted, stir-fried…it’s all good. Focus on light appetisers, as this is where most of the damage is done. Soups should be broth-based and starters should be easy on oil and salt, and definitely not fried. Desserts don’t need to be high on calories either. For instance, sorbets and stewed or roasted fresh fruits, topped with light cream and yoghurt can be quite delicious.

Rule 6: There’s no harm in being a brat about food you’re paying for.
If you’ve ever dined with someone who’s successfully managed their weight, you’ll notice these peculiarities – they’ll ask for butter and cheese to be removed from the table. They’ll request that the salad dressing be brought on the side. They’ll always ask the waiter what each dish contains and how it is cooked. They’ll request that the dish be made with less salt, less oil, and no cream or butter. They’ll request for skinless, lean cuts, steamed not fried. They’ll usually order salad dressings that are lemon, vinegar or extra virgin olive oil based. They avoid diet traps like mayo, grated cheese, and whipped cream. Granted these are slightly psychotic people in everyday life, but trust us when we say – they’re ordering their cake and eating it too. Follow them.

Rule 7: Water always saves the day.
Forget what your mother said about waiting till the end of the meal for that glass of water. Drinking water before and during meals is a great way to cheat your stomach into thinking that it’s had enough. What’s more you’re not really cheating it, are you? If you feel full, chances are you actually are full. Satisfied. Done. And Ready to go home.

Eating out at a restaurant can either be a diet trap, or a wonderful break from everyday dieting monotony. If you master these rules of eating healthy at a restaurant, then you’ll find that nothing will get in the way of your BigLoser weight loss resolution.

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 Podcast #030 (eating right when eating out)

Get your fitness on!


Episode 30 of the #bglsr podcast brings you all your fitness information in a quick and easy format. First we give you 50 tips for BigLoser. @Sashg tells us about eating right even when eating out! Then we have a roundup of what went down in the last week from @b50 – discussions about who lost what, who did what and who won what. Finally, we also have our #BLOTW – big loser of the week – @sabhishekk!

All in under 10 minutes – hosted, as always, by chhavi and produced by Sonologue.

#Bglsr Snacks: Baked Spinach Balls

A high protien, low fat delight which has your greens too. Relish as an evening snack, a kickstart to the day as breakfast, or as a guilt-free pleasure with your drink.

#Bglsr Snacks: Baked Spinach Balls
Recipe Type: Appetiser, Snack
Author: Monika Manchanda
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Total time: 30 mins
Serves: 2-4
  • 1 cup of finely chopped Spinach
  • 1/4 cup of soya flakes
  • 1/4 cup of almond flour
  • 1 tbsp grated cheese
  • 1/4 cup of grated paneer (cottage cheese)
  • 1/2 tsp. of black pepper
  • 1/2 red chilli flakes
  • Salt as desired
  • 1 tsp of oil
  1. Dry roast the soya flakes, grind to a coarse powder after it cools and keep separate.
  2. Combine all the ingredients together and roll into small balls.
  3. Grease the baking tray and place them on it. Optionally, you can also use some cooking spray on top.
  4. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200C for about 20 mins or so.
  5. Relish with sauce of choice.