Vandana Malik’s weight loss journey is one for the books! (Photo: iStock)
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A New Year, New You: Vandana Malik’s Weight Loss War, Episode 3 

(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.)

Okay, so remember the two kilos that I had gained thanks to my tryst with chhole bhature? It was time to work at shedding them, all over again.

This time I was convinced that it would take no time at all – it was just two kilos, I scoffed – it would be a cakewalk! I’ll start the diet tomorrow, I told myself, and of course – the inevitable happened: tomorrow never came.

Three years down the road the cake had walked its way to my waist and I was back to facing my dreaded enemy, the weighing scale. Mercifully,this time the alarm bell rang at 10 kilos.

Vandana Malik chronicles her weight loss journey with all its highs and lows. (Photo Courtesy: Vandana Malik)
Vandana Malik chronicles her weight loss journey with all its highs and lows. (Photo Courtesy: Vandana Malik)

I can almost hear you saying, “ When willyou learn woman? It’s high time!” But before you get on your judgementalhorses, I should tell you, I thought pretty much the same thing myself. The reader will admitthough that I am getting better at recognising the signs each time – the firsttime that the alarm bells rang, I’d gained a mean 20. The second time around,I’d pulled the reins at 15 – and I had now stopped at 10. No tinyaccomplishment that.

Moral of the story, as I told myself: I would not give up.

An Email Diet: The New Era of Weight Loss?

A friend had told me about a dietician whointeracted with her clients only through email (she was based in another town). Yet she was rumoured to work her magic long-distance. I wasdrawn like a moth to a flame. Yes yes, once again, I know what you’re thinking– what a sucker this one is for long-drawn suffering!

(Photo: iStock)
(Photo: iStock)

But I was fascinated with the idea of an“Email diet”, so to speak – a very unique concept at the time. (Today, ofcourse, they are growing from the woodworks.) I was also convinced that thiswas a good idea for me since my dietician would never be able to see if I wascheating on my diet and hurl the book at me (I have had that experience – butmore on that later).

Not Exactly Spoilt for Choice

The era of the computer was well on its way by this time, and a gigantic one sat on my desk when I began my craze with the “email diet”. I shot off a mail, therefore, to the magic woman and her reply was prompt. She sent me a form asking for some details – a blood test (most dieticians ask for this to check haemoglobin, cholesterol , sugar , thyroid , vitamin D and B12 levels), medication that I was on and any other health issues that I may have.

Once I’d sent back the form, I receivedanother email. This one contained THE DIET.

(Photo: iStock)
(Photo: iStock)

It was unique in the sense that it was largelya vegetarian detox diet. This is what it said:

Start the day with a detox drink made by mixingthe juices of various green vegetables (coriander, spinach, celery, among others)with a glass of warm water. (Incidentally, I had to drink this tastelessconcoction three times a day – not too difficult a feat since at the time I wasused to drinking all kinds of liquids in the hope that they would bring downthe fat!)

Then there were sprouts, salad and vegetables tobe had for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The diet also came armed with a list offruits and vegetables that were “allowed”, while all else was banished fromcalorie-dom. Needless to say, I wasn’t really spoilt for choice.

I followed the diet for a week – andas had been predicted by the dietician, I had lost a kilo by the end of it! I wasgiven a new diet a week, depending on how successful I had been with the previousone, and it seemed like I was on my way to better (read: fitter) things.

You win Some, you Lose Some (Weight)

I must admit that this was one of thehardest diets I’d ever had to follow – I couldn’t sustain itbeyond four weeks. Therefore, it made quite a tale for the times – the high water-mark ofmy own dietary chronicles – that I managed to keep at it and lose 5 kilos in 3months!

If you’re familiar with my journey though, youunfortunately know what follows; I was soon cheating on my diet to rewardmyself (the physical absence of my dietician no doubt contributed).And thus ended with a whimper, and not a bang, the third episode of myweight loss battle.

(Photo: iStock)
(Photo: iStock)

So what did I take away from my “Email diet”? I found that itwas one of the healthiest diets I had done, but also an incredibly tough one tofollow. I’m also not sure that it was entirely worthwhile. So my advice is,don’t attempt such a draconian diet unless you have a medical condition thatactually demands it!

And what of the weight I had regained, you ask?Well, that’s a story for another week’s annals. Until then, stay happy and eathealthy.

(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!)