Weightier Matters- Don't Lose Your Mind, Lose Your Weight Book Review
I was never hugely overweight, and neither did I ever want to be stick thin. One thing though I always wanted was a healthy weight and flatter stomach. Who doesn’t you would ask. But I wanted it very badly, because my doctor told me that fat around my stomach was causing my PCOD, it was trying to prevent me from losing weight. And weight would worsen PCOD, which would send my hormones in an overdrive (could also lead to diabetes) and then I would never ever lose weight without hormonal medication. Hormonal medication, by the way lists weight gain as one of its side effects. So imagine my situation. This is not exactly a rare situation amongst urban women.
I wanted to lose weight and toyed with the idea of seeing a dietician. I almost visited one whom my in laws had gone to. But the food they were made to eat scared me a fair bit too. Dry rotis, limited quantities, and though she didn’t make them buy anything, their diet was time consuming and intimidating. I didn’t have the time was my first thought, but a more honest thought was, can I really eat like that for 3 months, and what after that. So I dropped the dietician idea.
That is when, on a lark, I ordered a Rujuta Diwekar book, Don't Lose Your Mind, Lose Your Weight.
It made a lot of sense. I saw the logic she spoke of and somehow I agreed on nearly all her diet suggestions. Being brought up eating proper home cooked Maharshtrian food, I had heard most of what she said in the books in person. But somehow a lot of new books, well meaning doctors and friends had told us otherwise. Portion control, less oil, no carbs, only protein were some of the key concepts everyone had told us about. Rujuta’s book disagreed and I loved it for doing so. The book only costed me INR 213.
On a whim I then read her other books, Women and the Weight Loss Tamasha and Work Out don’t Lose Out. I will discuss each of these separately. I also bought her DVD titled Indian Food Wisdom and it is sooo good. It comes highly recommended from me. And if you are the kind that does not like reading, then you must definitely buy. I am in no way paid or compensated to write this, but I am still promoting it and that should say something.
Any how, back to the first book, it gives lot of examples of her clients, so many of those cases sound familiar. Drinking lot of green tea, eating very little in the day time and so on. So what does the book say, and how much of it do I follow.
- Don’t start your day with tea, eat something. – I started eating first thing after waking up when I was pregnant. This was done to avoid morning sickness, and it worked like a charm. I largely ate nuts like almonds, cashews, walnuts. I even ate a milk toast before my tea, instead of with it. Rujuta goes one step further and asks us to cut down transfat. No biscuits, not even digestive. Of course I gave up my milk toast and I no longer buy digestive biscuits. I was guilty of loving them with a nice light mint tea. Its easier than it sounds, believe me.
- Eat your breakfast in an hour to hour and a half after your wake up. – Again, so important to follow this if you want to get your metabolism going. Eating a healthy breakfast just changes your entire day. This also means Do NOT eat cereal or muesli or whatever else comes in a box. It’s a lot of sugar and transfat. Instead eat parathas, roti, eggs, rice, idli, upma, poha. Whatever fits your schedule.
- Eat early dinner- Doesn’t everyone say this. These three things done, is more than half your battle won. I have started eating by 8 pm. I know this is near impossible in Mumbai. But on days I work longer I just carry my dinner to work. Vegetable and chapatti, or dal –rice and vegetables is perfectly acceptable. No need to make a dinner out of soups and salad. The key is in eating early.
- Eat frequently – As women we are taught since childhood to control our hunger. We are told to eat only during the stipulated lunch –dinner time. My breakfast growing up used to be a glass of milk which I used to fuss over like crazy. I never threw my milk away, but everytime I drank it, I thought my parents didn’t love me. Why eating often helps, other than obviously making sure you eat only as much as you want at lunch/dinner etc, it tells your body that food will be there when it is needed. The result is that body does not store calories into fat for use during starvation. Remember evolution. Snack healthy by the way, do not go back to eating digestive biscuits as snack. Rujuta gives some amazing snack options, such as chana singh, and cheese in addition to fruits, sprouts et al. These are easy to eat in office while working. So a super plus for me.
I was trying to limit my food intake for the past few months, I would eat very poorly, like 1 chapati and vegetable for dinner. By 11 pm I would be hungry and go looking for a chocolate or some mithai. Needless to say I was not at all losing any weight. Or if I lost half a kg in a week, in the next two week I put it back on, and sometime I even put on twice as much.
I started following Rujuta’s tips and I have lost 2 kgs in 2 months. I know this is by no means quick weight loss. But that’s not the idea either. Doing it right and doing it in a sustainable fashion is a big plus. By the way, I must confess that I am also eating the occasional brownie, shrikhand, sandesh and kheers. If you can completely give up sweets, I am sure your weight loss will be much better.