Age: 19 years
Weight before: 80 kg
Weight now: 63 kg
Lost 17 kg in 8 months
Parag Doodhya’s world came to a crashing halt at age 15, when he was diagnosed with a kidney disorder. His doctor explained that he had Nephrotic Syndrome, a condition that lowers protein levels in the blood and, in turn, causes excessive weight gain. At the time of diagnosis, in 2012, Parag weighed 58 kg. As he battled his ailment with prescription corticosteroids drugs, his weight ballooned. By June 2015, he had beaten the disease and was taken off medication. Now, he faced a new challenge – bringing down his blood sugar and weight, which had soared to 80 kg.
Parag says he has no one to blame but himself for not taking the weight gain seriously during the course of his treatment. “I would make up lame excuses for not exercising, and I put zero effort into trying to get fit. When I stood on the scales and saw 80 kg, I knew it was high time to shed those extra kilos,” he recalls.
Hell-bent on losing weight, Parag started walking and jogging. In retrospect, he admits that the exercise overdrive was a bad move. “My goals were unrealistic and because I pushed so hard, I injured myself,” he says, revealing he was laid up for three weeks with a muscle stress fracture on his left leg.
‘The HealthifyMe app taught me all I needed to know about diet, exercise’
His injury made Parag realise that he had to adapt a more balanced approach to his weight loss journey. But when he sat down to plan his diet, he became aware that he knew very little about monitoring daily calorie intake. A little research led him to the HealthifyMe app, and he was instantly hooked on to the calorie tracker
The app opened up a whole new world for Parag in terms of diet and nutrition and helped him see that his diet was from perfect. “Earlier, I would just eat to fill my stomach—I had no idea about portion sizes. The app also helped me track things like calorie and protein intake,” he explains. By logging his daily diet on the app, Parag began to notice where he was going wrong. “I saw that my carb intake was high and protein intake low, which I needed to sort out. Also, my family had the habit of eating rice at night, which was bad for weight loss, so I switched to chapattis.”
At the time, Parag had completed his Class 12 board exams. Instead of just chilling during the vacation, he planned an extremely disciplined diet. He’d get up at 8 am and eat breakfast—comprising milk and oats or parathas “with very less oil”—at 9.30 am. Lunch at 1.30 pm consisted of 2 chapattis, vegetables, a bowl of dal and curd. He made it a point to drink lots of water through the day and a cup of green tea in the evenings followed by dinner at 9.30 pm. By midnight, he was in bed.
Impressed by how easy it was to plan his diet using the app, Parag began trying out the exercise tips and techniques posted on the app’s Healthy Read section. He especially recalls how helpful he found an article that recommended increasing the intensity of workouts gradually. It was advice Parag took seriously, not wanting to incur another injury while working out.
A strict diet coupled with brisk walking has helped Parag lose 18 kg over seven months. He heads out for a walk/run at 6 pm every day, following which he walks again at a moderate pace for 30-45 minutes. “Slowly and steadily I increased the distance by 1 km every week and began to jog at short intervals.” He can now do 21 km—the distance of a half marathon—and plans to participate in one this year. To achieve this goal, he’s taken his fitness enthusiast father’s advice and included body weight training in his exercise regimen. His routine includes push-ups, pull-ups, planks, crunches and squats.
‘All I needed to lose weight was my fitness app’
Parag, 19, has now joined an engineering college in Indore but sticks to his new lifestyle. “I always carry lunch to college. Sometimes, when I know I’ll be late, I also carry a fruit. I have given up junk food completely,” he says.
What’s amazing about Parag’s story is how he orchestrated his own weight loss just by using the free features available on the HealthifyMe app. It made him realise how much more he can accomplish if he signs up for a premium plan.
He also loves all the attention he’s getting after his dramatic weight loss.
“Some friends and relatives seeing me after a long time cannot recognise me,” he laughs. “But most of all I feel more confident. I am now comfortable in my own skin—that’s the best part!”
Are you inspired by Parag’s story? Find out more about the HealthifyMe app here
Disclaimer: Parag lost weight using HealthifyMe after he was treated for Nephrotic Syndrome. The results may vary for you. Let us help determine the best method for you to achieve your goal.