Tips, tips, folks have said…

I havent weighed myself in a while and I dont intend to. It is good enough for me that my trousers are hanging off my hips, and the thighs are no long chicken leg on a larger scale. I havent used the measuring tape, for I do know that I havent really whittled down per se, it is good enough for me that I now fit into jeans I had long given up any hopes of getting past my knees. The difference is perceptible. And I say this with absolutely no modesty. I know I have lost weight, and I am not about to preen and pretend to be nonchalant and say, “Really, you think so, No, no, there’s so much fat here still to go.” Yup there is still so much fat still to be whittled off, but I’m liking myself where I am right now. I’m looking slimmer. Fitter. And feeling more energetic and positive. I do need more to go off. But I’m happy with this.

How did this happen? Was it a miracle? Was it a Stomach belt and exerciser? Was it diet? Was it concerted gymming? Was it stapling of the lips? Was it cooking for one’s self? Nope. It all started with a photograph of me clicked during Independence Day. A group photograph. I’m standing with a few friends. And I looked at it. And looked again to find myself in the photograph. I couldnt spot me. Naturally, I couldnt. I was looking for a mental image of a curvaceous moi. And suddenly, whomp, it hit me. I was the fat one in the middle. The curves had gone to pure fat, and no matter which angle I tried to explain it out (unshapely kurta, wearing white, churidar making legs look skinny in comparison to torso), I was just plain overweight. No two ways about it. And all the kidding of self that I had been doing (its PMS, its constipation, its water retention) when it came to struggling into my denims was just that, kidding of the self. It was heartbreaking. I was the invisible fat woman now. No wonder shopkeepers didnt notice me. And salepeople smirked when I picked up stuff that seemed sort of trendy.

How had the fat crept on? Laziness, sheer laziness. And gluttony. I was doing buffet lunches. Eating like it was going out of fashion. Zero housework. Zero exercise. And concealing it all by wearing tops that were progressively becoming like tents. And wearing the loosest trousers in my wardrobe. Of course, I was kidding no one but myself. Everyone around me could see me blimp out, except me. It also didnt help that I have a sweetheart of a husband who values his life, and will never make any incriminatory comments about weight when asked but just dodge sticky questions by non committal grunts or dig nose deep into the Day Trading tips tomes that he devours like some folk devour Playboy.

I had to lose weight. I weighed myself. I was at 62 kgs. For my height, my optimum is 55 to 58 kgs. I had a minor crying attack when I realised my weight at full term when carrying the child was 63. I had been 54 when I conceived. I was not greedy. I didnt want to get to 54 again. That would be expecting a bit too much from a person who loves food, and hates to exercise. But a couple of kilos off would be good. It wasnt just the vanity. It was also the health angle. I do have PCOD. The weight keeps piling on, despite all my attempts to keep it off, and it becomes a vicious cycle. Being overweight also leads to high BP, and cholesterol, and diabetes and heart attacks. All of which is there, ready and waiting to pounce on my, from family history.

I needed a plan. Thankfully, I soon found one. Rujuta Diwekar. Didnt read the book that got Kareena to size zero, and of course, I thought she looked her worst when she hit size zero, but I did chance upon her tips on a website and they all sounded pretty sensible and do-able. Starting with the dont start your day with tea or coffee. So I went through the tips and picked out the ones that suited me. Which were more likely to be tips I stuck with. Not for me the GM and South Beach diets, or Atkins or all the stuff that has worked for so many people, because I couldnt be damned to regulate my food intake according to categories. So here is what I did do:

Start my morning with milk (with two heaped spoons of Bournvita to allow it to get down the gullet)

Completely cut out tea and coffee.  I’ve already cut out alcohol. I dont smoke. I dont drink carbonated beverages.

I rarely eat chocolates or sweets. Maybe occasionally. I just dont get them home. Fried food? That would be another no. 

I’ve also cut down on eating out, and takeaways. Being broke has also helped. I’m less likely to suggest meeting up for lunch to friends. Stuff like pizzas and burgers have given way to frankies and chicken wraps. And are very occasional.

I try to snack every 2 hours on something. Not much. Just a little to keep the hunger pangs from turning me into a feeding machine when I hit proper food. Peanuts. Chana. A fruit.

I eat a very hearty breakfast with two parathas. It keeps me full for a good part of the morning.  I eat a proper lunch and a proper dinner. But lunch is sharp at 1 pm, and dinner by 8pm.

I serve myself only enough to be cupped in the palm of two hands for lunch and one hand for dinner.

I drink a lot of water and liquids like fresh juices, nimbu sharbat, lassi, chaas.  It does make it a bit of a sticky situation when one is stuck in traffic with no restroom in sight, but one rides it out by crossing and uncrossing ones legs till one can hobble into the nearest available rest room.

I dont have junk food. No snacks. No 4 pm grazing on bhujia, mixture and such like. And frankly, I dont have the urge to do so anymore. If I’m really desperate, I will grab a handful of dry fruits.

And no, I havent given up white rice. I am a rice eater and will be one till my dying day. Still eat rice twice a day. Even at night. Post 7 pm. Blasphemy. But I limit my quantity. I’ve cut out white bread completely though.

I try to keep myself busy through the day, and not just veg out with Google or a book. I try to maximise trips into the kitchen and to the bedroom just to add up steps through my day.

And finally, and the most important.  I try to walk for an hour every single day. Not a fast walk that puts me out of breath, but a relaxed gentle pace, gossiping with friends, and enjoying the evening breeze. It destresses me and releases a lot of feel good hormones.

This is all I do. No gymming. No diet foods. No exercise machines. It has worked for me. Now all I have to do is stick to the routine. I dont think it is a diet I’m on. It’s plain simple commonsense. Eat less than you expend. Eat healthy. Cut out junk food. And be active.

Tell me what you do to keep your weight in control.



About Kiran Manral

Kiran Manral published her first book, The Reluctant Detective in 2011. Since then, she has published nine books across genres till date. Her books include romance and chicklit with Once Upon A Crush (2014), All Aboard (2015), Saving Maya (2017); horror with The Face at the Window (2016), psychological thriller with Missing, Presumed Dead (2018) and nonfiction with Karmic Kids (2015), A Boy’s Guide to Growing Up (2016) and True Love Stories (2017). Her short stories have been published on Juggernaut, in magazines like Verve and Cosmopolitan, and have been part of anthologies like Chicken Soup for the Soul, Have a Safe Journey (2017) and Boo (2017). Her articles and columns have appeared in the Times of India, Tehelka, DNA, Yowoto, Shethepeople, New Woman, Femina, Verve, Elle, Cosmopolitan, Conde Nast Traveller, DB Post, The Telegraph, the Asian Age, iDiva, TheDailyO and more. She was shortlisted for the Femina Women Awards 2017 for Literary Contribution. In 2018, she was awarded the International Women's Day award for literary excellence by ICUNR and Ministry of Women and Children, Government of India. She is a TEDx speaker and a mentor with Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walk 2017.
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40 Responses to Tips, tips, folks have said…

  1. R's Mom says:

    Okie Kiran…You have done have made me a convert and in the next 3 errr…5 months…I hope to post a similar post (errr….can I copy paste?) on my blog…Thanks 🙂

    I hope you will too….and you’re welcome to copy paste…


  2. Pallavi says:

    You big fat liar! Oops, the big fat part would be me. My ideal weight is 48-50 kgs and I gained 15 kilos over that in 4 years! No sign of losing it. Maybe I lost a kilo here and there, but the next week I gain two back!
    All the tips that you are using will work for me too only if I stick to them. That’s the worst thing about me I can’t seem to set a routine and follow it 😦

    I’m sure you will, once you set your mind to it. Its all simple enough. And trust me, you dont feel like eating too much….


  3. Anamika says:

    hey commented on ur list post !!!
    please let me know what u think 😉


  4. Anamika says:

    oh dear …
    thats my story ….
    i too read an article abt the lady who brought Kareena to a size zero … but even before that there was a post on MM’s blog and lot of comments with suggestions …
    i picked a few that i thought i can follow …
    1. have bf (used to skip that before ) not much – apples / carrots/ carrot juice/ eggs
    2. lunch – rice, curry , 2 sabzi .. reduced rice
    3. take bananas, apples , dry grapes etc with me to work and snack on them when i am hungry .. have stopped bananas for a while .. am not sure .. but had break outs .. am doubting it might be the bananas
    4. reach home at 5 and have dinner at 5 30 .. yep heard that right ..
    5. drink lot of water
    6. i never had tea coffee etc ..
    7. i am not a sweet lover .. but used to have to company sakes .. no office / frnds bdays – it is no thanks for cake ..
    8. park my car at the farthest possible lot and walk
    9. use stairs instead of elevators…

    i havent lost much .. the weighing scale shows almost the same wt

    but ppl tell me that i have lost wt

    i dont know how or y

    but i guess i lost some wt from obvious places like my face and tummy but it is not that significant to reflect on the weighing scale …

    I guess if people are noticing the loss, it is showing, even if it isnt registering on the weighing scale, and that should be motivating enough….keep at it…


  5. sraikh says:

    I do all of the above that you mentioned.
    I however consume alcohol when out, like once last week.

    The rice I have stopped completely..why I dont know..I just dont feel like eating it anymore.

    Having a large breakfast is what I swear by as well. But I have chai. No chai in afternoon now,since spouse isnt here.
    No chai so no Parle G biscuit or Milano cookies or some other crap

    I havent had the time to go to the gym to workout since the spouse left for the desh. But since I have been running around like crazy, I have lost weight in the past 24 days(yes I have been counting the days) since he left. About 10 lbs..without exercising much. I still make sure do my ab routine before bed though 🙂

    And yes on drinking water. I drink alot water..or flavoured with lemon/lime/mint/

    PS: How do you handle the compliments then. If someone says wow you lost weight and look really good NOW, what does that mean? That you looked awful before? 🙂

    LOL. I really need to stop rice, I do. About the compliments, I just take the statement at face value. I look good now. Thats all that matters. If I get down to analysing:)


  6. neel76 says:

    Wow congrats Kiran…great going !! I too had read that article by Rujuta, but did not follow through with all the do-able tips that she gave. But you know what…after reading your honest write up I feel like trying yet again….wish me luck and I’ll keep you posted on the progress for sure.
    PS: could we have a before & after photo for motivation sake

    Please do. I wish you the best, and I’m sure you will do it. I am sure the weighing scales havent moved too much. But the fact is the fat has shifted off a bit. Unfortunately no before and after photographs….what I do have is the birthday party pic with the brat as proof of current size, had posted that last month.


  7. Meira says:

    Where is the ‘other exercise’ part of it ? It helps too 😛

    Oh, thats a given. The more weight you lose, the more you start “other” exercising. 😉


  8. Timepass says:

    Well done Kiran…Reading this post makes me feel very halka!!Lets hope like R’s Mom I will also intimate you abt being fitter and slimmer in due course..
    I love walking but am unable to do so due to lack of time..But the good thing is I have atleast maintained my weight (which is anyway above the normal weight for my height) and not put on..due to good control(again not always) over my taste buds..

    Thats good, maybe running after the child will do the trick???? In a park or a mall?


  9. Gymnast says:

    Nothing really . i eat everything , junk food and all. And also fried things. And also choclates. And ice creams.

    Whats the joy in life , if not for all these?

    And dont exercise too much also. I’ve been doing well much problem..been wearing pretty much everything i want .

    But of late , i’ve noticed that i’ve started developing a small tummy. Its not huge , nobody can see it. But i can and its very very depressing.

    Can you tell me what to do about it ? I am forced to eat junk (hostel – inedible food ) , and exercise…really , there’s no time..what with thesis and portfolio making and preparing for PG..

    Please tell me how you got back your flat stomach..

    My stomach isnt very flat honestly. But I did have a Csec and found the only thing that worked for me post Csec was tying the stomach tight, and walking everywhere, climbing stairs, and doing crunches. Maybe crunches and leg lifts in sets of ten are your answer…


  10. inbavalli says:

    Read this post munching cherries in sugar syrup. An entire packet. Sigh. Unless I become diabetic and keep off sugar to save my life, I shall never lose weight. Sigh.

    LOL. You can resist anything but temptation, right?


  11. Ronita says:

    You seem to be doing all the right things :). While I have never been model thin, I piled on major weight recently ( as you saw in Bombay). I used to gym regularly earlier but over the last couple of years due to many reasons I had stopped. Rejoining a gym just did not work out, I couldnt wake up early and work inevitably got in the way in the evenings. I started going to a dietician a couple of months back. Shes awesome. Gives this personalised diet plan based on ones blood group. Meets once a week to monitor and change the dietplan so it doesnt get monotonous. I have not had to make any major changes to my food or even my lifestyle. I still go out and eat out twice or thrice a week, only difference is that she guides me as to what I can and can’t eat. I also walk for 30-45 mins everyday.Have lost 10 kgs in 2 months. One tip that maybe you can incorporate too, she insists on a stroll for 15-20 mins after dinner everyday. Nothing major. Just walk around the house instead of sitting or lying down immediately after dinner.

    Good idea. I dont stroll after dinner, but I do have to get the kitchen sparkling clean, the boys bags packed, the clothes ironed for the next day and the menu for his two two tiffin boxes organised and chopped/half ready. That keeps me on my feet for at least an hour…


  12. Maria says:

    Thanks for all those tips and lucky that you did lose weight…hope u keep to it.
    I have never lost only gained 😦 yea but i think in my case the yummy buffet spreads at least once a week and regular doses at barista and CCD are to blame big time!!

    Thank the lord that I’m too broke these days to do that. We friends meet in the park and gossip over the rounds of the jogging track….


  13. myamusingmind says:

    good …very sensible tips K



  14. Rani says:

    Good post Kiran.
    I did a pretty similar routine and lost a good amount of weight. And then when I coupled it with some excercise, the results were extraordinarily brilliant. I had lost a good 10kgs in 3months!!! From 71kgs I was down to 61kgs ( I am 5’6″ :)) This was last year Nov-Jan.
    I stopped the excercize in Feb but comntinued my routine. and I was able to maintain the weight till May around. I was on cloud nine.

    But alas! the glutton in me woke up one fine day, and has insisted on not leaving my body till today. I amd trying hard, but still just trying. And the last time I weighed myself(couple of weeks ago), I was 67 again!

    You’ve got the height to carry off 67. I’m sure with a little bit of effort, you can get back to 61…if you want to that is!I so need to get back to living healthily. And u r right when you say its not the weight that matters, its the feel good factor.

    This post was inspiring. Thank u so much.


  15. kenny says:

    wow! this sounds so sensible! good for you Kiran… You should write a book!!

    LoL. No. Its not book worthy, and anyway its someone else’s tips.


  16. Suki says:

    This is such a timely post for me. ALL the females in my family(except mom, who lived till 34 anyway) are fat, and right now all I do is sit at a keyboard and type. I can already see the “average weight” go up, except if a) I’m too stressed to eat, b) I’m too overworked to overeat, or c) I go out for a day, walk for two hours on little to no food… and fall behind schedule so the stress-overwork kicks in. About as unhealthy as it gets, and I know my body is still putting up with it because I’m 20.

    Oh, and “average weight” is because my weight keeps fluctuating across a 2-kilo margin.

    You’re still young. Your body will cope. Its us dinos who need to keep working at it…

    I’m generally a good eater – I loathe excess oil, adore veggies, and can’t overeat without making myself sick. But the white rice, white bread and wacko mealtimes absolutely ruin the whole thing. You’re an inspiration :).


  17. Suki says:

    This is such a timely post for me. ALL the females in my family(except mom, who lived till 34 anyway) are fat, and right now all I do is sit at a keyboard and type. I can already see the “average weight” go up, except if a) I’m too stressed to eat, b) I’m too overworked to overeat, or c) I go out for a day, walk for two hours on little to no food… and fall behind schedule so the stress-overwork kicks in. About as unhealthy as it gets, and I know my body is still putting up with it because I’m 20.

    Oh, and “average weight” is because my weight keeps fluctuating across a 2-kilo margin.

    I’m generally a good eater – I loathe excess oil, adore veggies, and can’t overeat without making myself sick. But the white rice, white bread and wacko mealtimes absolutely ruin the whole thing. You’re an inspiration – will definitely follow up on your tips!


  18. Chips says:

    Have cut down on sugar, so no tea or coffee, just fruit sugars. Go to the gym 5 days a week for about an hour which includes one or two of weights, cardio, yoga, pilates, conditioing. It’s been quite difficult, but I’ve lost about 7-8 kgs this year. I don’t diet, but am careful about what I eat. Though, if I have the odd pizza/ice cream/cookie/slice of cake, I’m ok with it. I find as I grow older it is such a struggle to lose weight. I should reach my weight and size target for this year ( set a realistic goal ) and will set another in the new year.

    Sounds good, and admirable…and sensible, work out and watch what you eat…that seems to be the key. Congratulations on your weightloss.


  19. Chips says:

    Oh, I forgot to say well done on the weight lose and toning. I know it take a lot of discipline and it can’t have been easy with all that you have going on in your day.

    Thanks. It didnt take discipline. It just took a good hard look in the mirror from a front angle.


  20. BlueMist says:

    Very inspiring post. I have been following most of them. and I hope to make them a life style routine. Which site have these tips by rujuta Diweakr? Can you share please ?
    Thanks for the post Kiran. otherwise I have seen most of the people gorging religiously on choclate/icecream/alcohol and still claiming to lose weight. I wonder how.

    Just google her. Plenty of articles and tips online…


  21. Sonia says:

    Kiran!! I am reading Rujuta Diwekar’s book right now, its a quick read, really reminds you of basic things you know already. I am pregnant so weight loss is not on my mind – yaay, the only time when you can look like an elephant and people will still say that you look cute and glowing hehe

    Enjoy your pregnancy, there’s enough time later to follow Rujuta.


  22. M says:

    Nice sensible easy to follow tips – except for the no coffee/tea thingy – why are coffee and tea evil?


    They kick start your metabolism, leading to energy level spikes and dips…


  23. Namrata says:

    From all your posts … I have known yu are great food lover …
    For you to stick to the mentioned food ciricullum is so achieving (I will be never able to that).. Congratulations!!!!

    In the last year I have increased one size. I am no near to even think I am chubby … most of the people still say I am thin. but why I have to think of exercising is cos I have petite upper body …. and so even If I have extra inch on my tummy it bulges out… (But then I am too lazy to excersize..the only excersize I get to do is the ‘other excersie’)

    Now I just keep wondering if theres a way to get rid of the fat from and the bum and thighs without exercising(biggest issue for a Indian woman working in western IT companies)

    Few things I do to keep fit ( atleast sometimes) are :

    No sugar in morning full fat(whole) milk
    Take stairs at work (When I am not late)
    Have dinner at 8:00 PM or before …
    have a small stroll before going to bed (If weather permits)
    Cut off carbonated drinks.
    I still eat out atleast 3 times a week. (cant cut off on that)

    Before I used to pity people whose appitite used to be so less that they wouldnt half of what I eat and also those people who could say no to their fav food item after they have eaten enough
    NOW I ENVY Them.

    Walking and only walking can help the bum and thigh fat into shrinking…The rest seems to be all good stuff that you’re doing. Portion control is a real bummer, but when one blimps out beyond recognition it seems to be the only option to retaining one’s sanity…


  24. Chanda says:

    THANK YOU!!!!!!!! This is very very helpful.Ironical huh, how the simplest things in life are the toughest to implement ;-)And, if it is not too rude to ask – how much do you weigh now and how tall are you? (helps to have benchmark data ;-))

    No it isnt rude, but I can give you what I know. I’m 5ft 3. I went to 63 kgs. I needed to be 55- 58kgs. I havent weighed myself yet. I just feel the pants loose and know inches have gone off. I’m not daring to weigh myself.


  25. Right now I am 8 months pregnant and look like a hippo, but before that, I ended up losing about 3 kilos in a month just by:

    1. Traveling through Europe for 21 days. Did not take any guided tours. Took the local transport and hoofed it to some other nearby landmarks.

    2. Eating in Europe. Their portion size is sooooo small! After seeing the eating bills, did not have the heart to order 2 servings of everything.

    3. Drank water so much! All those fountains in Rome have drinkable water…who knew??

    So yeah, if you want to lose weight AND have fun…you know what to do!

    The trick then is to make food really expensive, which is also happening right now given the cost of veggies…


    • Suki says:

      Re: expensive food, TELL me about it! I usually load up my plate with veggies, but now I wince every time I see/hear the grocery bills. Eating feels like stuffing money into the mouth :-/.

      So scary na. I’m going to survive on love and fresh air…


  26. *in a desperate attempt to console herself scream*
    – blame it on metabolism!!

    (not in the least bit poohpoohing your efforts lady K
    “hats off!!” seriously

    No Itchy, you really have too much on your plate, metaphorically speaking, to bother with what is on your plate…


  27. rekha says:

    Congrats, I agree to it, simple things do the tricks, but then one has to have the will power to stick to them. Thanks for sharing your experience. take care. Rekha



  28. kd says:

    What has worked for me is replace rice with rotis for dinner and a 1 hour walk for 5 days a week.

    Simple and effective, this…


  29. Miss M says:

    All the other things can be done, but cut out tea and coffee COMPLETELY? Really? Oh no. 😦

    Swat I did. I thought it would be tough, but in truth, it wasnt. Maybe for a day. A day of headaches and uneasiness. Thats it.


  30. A K says:

    great going and you have motivated me as well



  31. Bhavna says:

    Hey Kiran,
    went throu the same last year and joined the gym. I lost abt 4 kgs but I looked so great with the toned body. Now I have a new job, the maid going away and winters setting in and a flabby body again. I wish I could hit 61 kgs, I am 5′ 6″ but my plateau is 64. I have been through everything- South beach, nutritionist, Rujita and crazy gymming, aerobics. I think being fit is so important and it doesnt hurt when even at 36 yrs the young guys will also turn to give you a 2nd glance 🙂

    Alas, I dont get 2nd glances from anyone, young or old, anymore. Doesnt matter, all I want is the reflection to be nice to me. You are right, it is not the weight so much as the feeling that one is unfit and huffing and puffing all over the place…


  32. Aarabi says:

    “Tell me what you do to keep your weight in control.”

    Try a master of science thesis 😉

    Don’t want to burst your lovely whiney bubble, but your blog keeps me sane kiran, i swear it does! 😀

    I’m not going near anything that says science and thesis in the same phrase…no way jose..


  33. Chanda says:

    Hey -is there an email id one can reach you at?



  34. Supriya says:

    So nice of u to post ur routine, Kiran…:))
    Thanks for sharing and congrats on creating ur own routine!


    You’re welcome Supriya, just gave me an opportunity to crow a bit..


  35. mandira says:

    I am late… but im responding nevertheless..
    i dont do much to keep the weight off… except for one time in my life when i needed to shed a few kilos, the weight mostly stays in control.. but here’s what everyone else in the family practices in the name of weight management..
    1- eating an early and light dinner.
    2- cutting down on the carbs a bit.. like eating one roti only and avoiding rice altogether.
    3- gymming/going for long walks.
    4-avoiding eting out.. restuarant food tends to be high on fat.. but thats not to say we never eat out.. we just eat out relatively rarely!
    5- get a weighing machine home.. we dont obsessively check our weight but we do keep a track of it so that we know when we begin to pile on.. its easier to reduce 2-3 kgs than 10 kgs!

    Sound sensible Mandira, I did forget the avoid eating out. Current brokedom limits eating out to my benefit. We dont have a weighing machine at home. I use my jeans as my measurement.

    congrats on your weight reduction success!! that calls for a celebration! may be we could go out for dinner tonight! 😛


  36. mandira says:

    we are also careful about the amount of sugar and maida we eat.. but it reallllly pains the baker in me to do this!!!

    LOL. THankfully, I am no baker, just an eater….


  37. girish says:

    Well Kiran-ji if you must know, my routine is one of a strict diet – lean meat and fish for lunch and dinner with a side salad of lettuce, tomatoes and a small glass of wine my only indulgence. I work out for two hours religiously everyday with my personal trainer – cardio, pumping weights and sweating it out.

    Congratulations on your weight loss . May the inch -loss fairy continue to inspire you!

    LOL. Really?


  38. Menaka D (Theron's mum) says:

    Wow, you gained 9kg (only) during pregnancy?
    I gained almost 20kg.

    The problem is that I love food too much:P I love baking and cooking. And I love love love white rice.

    I did. Only 9 kg. Thank the lord. I cant imagine how tough it would be to get it all off had I gained more.


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