This past year, I went from weighing 110 kilograms to 95 kilograms. Since then, a million people (or so it seems) have asked me for the secret of my weight loss. I know we all want immediate gratification and that we, therefore, love diets which promise to make us lose two pounds a DAY. But one rule of thumb to remember is that the quicker you lose weight the more likely it is to come back faster.

The short answer is that there is no miraculous way to lose weight! Instead, the formula remains exactly the same as it always has: shut your mouth and move your behind. There is no pill, no machine, no miracle diet. Been there, done that and moved on!

The key lies in making lifestyle modifications, changing your mind set about food and exercise. The first step to actually losing weight is figuring out why you want to lose the weight. If it is for your wedding or for your lover or to just fit into a certain outfit for once then the chances are your diet plan won’t work — at least, not in the long term. The next step is to figure out what kind of diet plan works for you. For example, I know I need my fix of carbs just as much as I need my tea with honey every morning. So I cut down my portions and treated myself once a week to what I really missed all week. But I didn’t try and cut out carbs altogether.

The most important step is to work out an exercise regime that fits in with your lifestyle. I work out every day for about 45 minutes before leaving for college every day so I am alert at work. Working people can go to a gym near their workplace during lunch break or right after work. Oh, by the way, a gym partner really helps. You tend to motivate each other.

Now with all these things in play you need to also analyze your relationship with food. I know I tend to eat every time I am stressed or feeling low. Food gives me comfort like nothing else. And I know I’m not the only one. Here is the problem though. You eat and feel satisfied for the few minutes while you are eating but 10 minutes after your meal you feel guilty, uncomfortable and overstuffed. By all means eat what you want, but in moderation. Being active outside the gym is crucial as well. Play cricket with your friends or just help your mother out in kitchen.

Being a couch potato or sitting behind a desk all day slows down our metabolism as well. So do basic household chores and don’t keep sitting in one place for hours. Movement is necessary for us to have a balanced mind and body.

Finally, remember that weight loss isn’t the end of the journey. We tend to think that our problems are over once we have lost weight. But when and if you lose weight, you still have to make sure it stays off. In fact, people with a tendency to gain weight struggle their whole lives precisely because they have trouble maintaining a particular weight. Still, the fact that weight loss is difficult doesn’t mean it can’t be done. It can be. But one has to accept that losing weight is hard work and that keeping it off is harder.

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