When Saurav Kumar Panda couldn’t compete in a marathon, he realised he needed to pay attention to his health and lose weight. To know how he did it, read his transformation story below:
Name: Saurav Kumar Panda
Occupation: Strategy Analyst
Height:5 feet 8 inches
Highest weight recorded: 91 kilos
Weight lost:16 kilos
Duration it took me to lose weight: 5 months
The turning point:I always wanted to be lean and muscular but couldn’t keep track of my fitness levels. Soon enough, the sedentary lifestyle made me put on the kilos at a rapid pace. I tried to run the TCS marathon in 2019 and I was barely able to finish the 5km mini-marathon run (timing lagged too). I actually felt that I waa aging too fast because of my health. That was the time I decided to make the necessary changes.
My breakfast:This is generally my post-workout meal, and hence it comprises whey protein shake (1 scoop whey protein, 1 banana, 200 ml skimmed milk, one-ounce almonds, some dried cranberries, and cinnamon powder).
Sometimes, I eat a bowl of fruits, nuts, and seeds with whey protein (mixed in water). This helps me maintain a healthy mix of protein, carbs, and fats.
My lunch: 1 bowl of daal (or rajma or channa) with 2 chapatis.
Evening Snack: Coffee and boiled eggs or roasted peanuts.
My dinner:I take a minimal-carb meal at night. Omelette/boiled eggs/scrambled eggs (5 egg whites + 1 whole egg) and vegetable salad to match up the fiber intake.
Pre-workout meal:I work out on an empty stomach.
Post-workout meal: Same as my breakfast
I indulge in:I go for 1 very high carb day a week. This helps me maintain the glycogen level and perform better at the gym. Since I do not eat rice and sweets on regular days, my cheat meals are mostly biryanis, burgers, and gulab jamun.
My workout:I work out for six days a week. It comprises of 45 minutes of dedicated weight training and 10 minutes of post-workout cardio/abs training for 5 days and, one day of dedicated 35 minutes cardio and 15 minutes abs training.
Low-calorie recipes I swear by: Homemade tava chicken and tava fish and desserts like fruit shakes and parfaits.
Fitness secrets I unveiled:Weight loss (or fat loss) is mainly done in the kitchen. Training is important for sure but if one does not change his/her lifestyle and eating habits, weight loss can be a lost cause. With small tweaks to your lifestyle and nutritional knowledge, one can make huge changes.
Weight training is also important. It helps in achieving a systematic weight loss. Once things are in place, consistency is the key.
How do I stay motivated: My motivation is the person standing on the other side of the mirror every morning. When I see that person making progress, it is what keeps me going.
How do you ensure you don’t lose focus? I have divided my transformation into stages. That helps me to stay focused and work towards it. One can create a goal-based approach and stick to them. Some examples could be ‘lose x kgs’ or ‘drop y% body fat’. You can also choose to work on a long term goal.
In our sedentary lifestyle, at least an hour of intense physical activity is very much required to stay fit and disease-free.
What’s the most difficult part of being overweight?Weight problems took a toll on my health. I was less agile than before, could not focus well, sweat more and used to run out of breath even while performing small talks or walks. I lived in the constant fear of developing chronic diseases like cholesterol, diabetes and blood pressure shoot up.
What shape do you see yourself 10 years down the line?I would like to see myself with similar energy, focus, and fitness while maintaining a lean look.
What are the lifestyle changes you made? There are quite a few:
– Drink 3.5-4 liters of water daily
– No or minimal carbs at night (this solves half of the problems)
– Keeping a track of my caloric intake (it is important to maintain a caloric deficit in order to lose fat)
– Keeping my protein intake at 1.2g/kg of body weight (this is very important to conserve muscle mass while losing fat; it helps in not getting a very lanky look)
– Doing 5 low carb days and 2 high carb days in a week (carb-cycle)
– Learning about nutrition to develop an ability to modify any meal into a complete meal
– Been consistent with my training and diet
What was the lowest point for you? Excessive perspiration and loss of stamina for doing any work. I was feeling this for most of my daily activities.
Lessons learned from weight loss: Every person has 24 hours and it is all about priorities in life. However, most of the time, we neglect healthy living and blame it on other temporary stuffs. I had also done this for a long time. My learning is health and fitness shouldn’t be a temporary thing (like lose weight for marriage or a photoshoot or any other function for that matter) because then people would fall back to the same ground zero. It should be a part of one’s daily life. It should be as natural as having 3 meals a day. I aspire to hit the gym and do my workouts with same intensity and dedication 3 decades down the line as I do them today.