Weight now: 72 kg
Lost 12 kg in 5 months
A former national level hockey player, Prakhar Avasthi has always been a goal-oriented person. When he realised how much weight he had gained in three years – spent doing a sedentary job, the Delhi-based IT professional knew he needed to make some drastic lifestyle changes.
“Up until college, I was very active and enjoyed playing sports. Once I started working, I got busy and could never find the time,” says Prakhar. Spending long hours at his desk, coupled with poor food choices and erratic meal timings, caused his weight to soar to 84 kg. Soon, family and friends began expressing concern about his weight gain. Prakhar himself couldn’t shake the feeling of heaviness. “I was lethargic all the time,” he recalls, and that was enough of a wake-up call.
While searching online for a fitness plan, Prakhar read about HealthifyMe and downloaded the app in May 2016. A day later, he received a call from HealthifyMe diet coach Sapna Sangtani. “Sapna asked me about my daily meal plan, and asked me to make some small but very useful changes. For starters, she asked me drink about 3-5 litres of water a day. She explained that most of us often confuse thirst with hunger and end up eating much more than we need to. She also asked me to eat salads, and snack on cucumbers, as both are light and filling”, says Prakhar. HealthifyMe fitness trainer Sreemanth analysed his daily activity and recommended some exercises he could follow.
Within a week of following their suggestions, Prakhar felt his energy levels rising. Excited by the possibilities, he upgraded to Transform, HealthifyMe’s Premium Plan, and was given a customised and detailed daily diet and exercise routine.
‘I always thought it would be costly to eat healthy, but I was wrong’
Sapna drew up a diet plan that was simple, focused on food that was already being cooked in Prakhar’s vegetarian home and ingredients that were easily available. “I always thought that it would be costly to eat healthy, especially when you read about how skim milk and avocados, etc. are beneficial for weight loss, but everything Sapna suggested was already in my kitchen. I just hadn’t been eating it,” he says.
Breaking from a heavy breakfast-lunch-dinner routine, Sapna introduced Prakhar to smaller protein and fiber-rich meals at two-hour intervals. To prevent meals from becoming monotonous, Sapna changed the plan at regular intervals. While she hasn’t stopped him from eating out – only recommending he eat fixed portions when out – Prakhar has made it a point to eat only home-cooked food over the last five months. “Joining HealthifyMe hasn’t just changed my food habits, people around me are also eating healthier too,” he says.
‘Working out every morning, I felt my stamina increasing by the day’
The former athlete found getting back to a fitness plan more challenging, especially given his busy work schedule. That’s the main reason he chose a home workout routine. “Prakhar’s fitness levels were okay so after starting him on stretches for a few weeks, I gave him a cardio, resistance and circuit training plan,” says Sreemanth, explaining that a combination is important to increase lean muscle mass and decrease fat percentage.
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He asked Prakhar to invest in dumbbells, kettlebells (for resistance training) and a Swiss ball (also known as an exercise ball, for cardio) for best results. “The kettlebell and Swiss ball workouts are my personal favourites because you can use them to mimic a gym routine at home,” says Sreemanth, who changed the workout plan every 4-6 weeks to prevent Prakhar from hitting a weight loss plateau.
Working out along with the video demonstrations that Sreemanth mailed, Prakhar began to feel his stamina increase by the day. “Earlier, I would wake up early and waste time on my phone. Now, from 5.30 to 7 am, I go for a walk or do my exercises, depending on plan. After exercising, I feel energetic throughout the day,” he says.
‘My trainers deserve the credit for being vigilant and motivating me to stay on track’
Prakhar credits his trainers Sapna and Sreemanth for being vigilant and keeping him motivated. “Sapna calls me regularly to check how my diet is going, and if I’m too busy to take the call, she drops a message on Whatsapp, asking me about my meals,” says Prakhar, adding that Sreemanth plans the exercise routines around his busy schedule. The trainer places the credit back in his client’s corner. “Prakhar’s success is 100% a result of his dedication. You don’t always find people who are as inspired as him,” says Sreemanth.
At 72 kg, three kilos under his goal weight of 75 kg, Prakhar is now working towards maintaining his health. He’s also keen to inspire others towards a healthier, fitter life. “When people see how much weight I’ve lost, they want to know I’m doing it. I’m happy to share my experience because I want to motivate others to do the same. People should know it’s not difficult to lose weight,” he says. “Fitness isn’t something you have to follow, it is how you must live your life. That’s what I learnt after joining HealthifyMe.”
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