New Year, New You: Vandana Malik’s Weight Loss Battle, Episode 4

Vandana Malik has tried every trick in the book in her weight loss saga, winning some and losing some (weight).

Lose It
5 min read

(In the week, and in fact, many weeks following the Christmas/New Year’s binge, if there’s ONE resolution you fervently take, it is to lose weight. This will be the week. Month... year.... But we shall do it! The Quint would like to help you in your pursuit and to let you know that it's okay if you face stumbling blocks along the way. In that context, here’s republishing Vandana Malik’s weight loss battles from our archives – a woman who attempted every fad diet in the book and made discoveries she never thought she would.)

After the miserable failure of the Email Diet, I was left to ponder other options.

You may remember that I’d mentioned in my last post how this wasn’t the first time I’d had such a horrible run-in with a dietitian. One had actually thrown a file at me!

The file-throwing incident was an outcome of a brief 7-day encounter (sometime between Episodes 2 and 3) with a rather testy dietitian who lost it – quite literally – and her file, when I told her I’d cheated on her precious diet with a bar of chocolate. I’d of course lost no weight at all, and slunk out of her room, seething in anger for having been treated in what I thought was a most unfair manner.

Vandana Malik has tried every trick in the book in her weight loss saga, winning some and losing some (weight).
(Photo: The Quint)

Never one to back down, I later followed up with a note telling her exactly how I felt and admonishing her in no gentle words on how she should treat her clients.

So that was that.

By now I was a little tired of diets and dietitians. And truth be told, I’d begun to believe I had quite the fair idea of what works for me and what doesn’t. Of course you, my faithful reader, is at this point, exasperatedly thinking – does she really?


How I Met my First Male Dietitian

But I was determined. So I wore my Nike shoes and decided to “just do it“.

Only to realise that this was Not At All A Wise decision. In no time at all, I had lost the plot and figured out the hard way (read: by gaining 8 kilos) that I needed to have someone watch over me. But THIS time I said to myself, this time I was NOT getting a woman dietitian. I had had enough of file hurlers, thank you very much. Besides, I was curious to see how a male dietitian would approach my problem – if he’d do things differently.

And thus began my search for a physical trainer-cum-dietician . We were shooting a show with a celebrity anchor and he recommended I speak to his personal trainer who was also good with diets. Since this trainer would visit the sets frequently, I set up a meeting with him and got cracking . The diet given by him was very basic, but he suggested I make a very vital lifestyle change. The old axion “Early to bed and early to rise” must become my new mantra, he insisted.

Vandana Malik has tried every trick in the book in her weight loss saga, winning some and losing some (weight).
(Photo: The Quint)

Now, it’s important the reader know how far off I was from achieving this at the point. I’d usually sleep at 2 in the morning and wake up no sooner than 9. In fact, if anyone dared disturb me during my siesta I would assume the role of a fire-spewing dragon and blast all in the vicinity. Before you begin judging though – that’s all in the past!

Well, we’ve clearly established that mornings were the worst time of the day for me. I am eternally grateful to my dietitian, therefore, for the one lifestyle lesson he taught me: early morning is the most beautiful time of the day and also the most effective for weight loss.

Magic words these.

Here’s Something New: The ‘He’ Diet

So I started to wake up at 7 am. Although initially very tough, it wasn’t impossible. I’m going to go out on a limb here and call it the He Diet. (Reasons are pretty obvious – he was my first male dietitian/ guide/ lifestyle-changer. The basic tenets of the He Diet? Here goes:

Eat a fruit and leave for a 45-minute brisk walk+ 30 min of simple yoga stretches daily.

Have a scoop of whey protein (you’ll find it at your nearest marketplace) soon after this workout and eat a healthy breakfast. This would incidentally cover a medium-size bowl of oats or muesli or oat bran made with 1/2 cup skim milk.

Lunch was simple too: 2 roti + bowl of vegetables + any one protein – yogurt  or dal or fish or chicken.  An evening snack would comprise green tea with either 2 Marie biscuits, or dry bhel or handful of peanuts with roasted black channa.

Vandana Malik has tried every trick in the book in her weight loss saga, winning some and losing some (weight).
(Photo: The Quint)

A 40-minute walk in the evening followed soon after, which was complemented by another scoop of whey protein.

Dinner: only soup/vegetable broth with some brown rice (no wheat or white rice). Also, the inevitable – NO SUGAR in any form.


Stay Off Those Supplements!

My miracle worker also prescribed a fat burner – which is a capsule to be taken twice a day (1 before the morning walk and 1 before lunch). BUT my advice to all of you is, NEVER take these without consulting your doctor. That in fact holds true for all supplements.

Also, there are separate ones for men and women so do be careful about taking them without the guidance of an expert. I couldn’t stress this enough.

And what of the results, you ask me? The end of all this detailed lifestyle reorientation? They were fantastic! I lost 8 kilos in four months and kept at it for a while longer.

Vandana Malik has tried every trick in the book in her weight loss saga, winning some and losing some (weight).
(Photo: The Quint)

Did I manage to sustain this diet and lifestyle change, though? You’ll have to watch this space next week for an answer to that one!

Till then, let me leave you with this week’s mantra, one that I learned on my diet – early to bed and early to rise for a healthy body and mind. Generic much? Yes, perhaps. But nothing’s worked for me better.

(Vandana Malik will be writing in with what she calls a new weight loss “attempt” every week for readers of The Quint. Watch this space for more!)

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

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