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My Two-Week Weight Loss Challenge

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Let’s be honest, ladies. Nothing tells you about the importance of staying fit than the wedding season. Even more so when it’s your BFF who’s getting married and YOU’RE the bridesmaid. That’s exactly the dilemma I’m in this year, and it’s all been a real joyride until last week, when I bought one of the most drool-worthy midriff-baring turquoise lehengas that I’ve ever seen. Now, I’ve been good this year and have successfully stuck to my workout routine and diet. Eating right and getting a little exercise into my daily routine is practically clockwork. But, it’s not enough for me to feel confident wearing my outfit.
Wedding functions are about to begin, I’ve got to get my head in the game. Which means, I’ve got just TWO weeks to lose a few inches from my belly. The struggle just got real, and here’s how I’m going to go about this. 
THE BIG PLAN BASICS
My love for food is eternal, and I rarely discriminate between foods. Which is why eating healthy comes easily to me. When I started my fitness journey (It’s been six months), the one principle I wanted to stick to was doing it sensibly. And so, if you’re expecting a major diet blueprint, there isn’t one. I’ve only had to make a few changes to an already healthy meal plan, and up the number of reps I do during my workout. The crux of my whole plan also comes down to dinner, which is where I’ve had to make the most alterations. 
EXPERT SPEAK
I spoke to Dr. Vishakha Shivdasani, who specializes in lifestyle and weight management, and the one thing she started with is that weight loss in a short amount of time should be done with a practical approach. “Don’t look at kilos, but instead look at inch-loss, especially if you’re looking at a time period of two weeks. You want to visually appear slimmer,” she revealed. Her first advice was to go easy on the salt. “Have less salt at dinner or continue your regular salt intake, but steer clear of your favorite Chinese food, as those tend to get really salty. You don’t want to collapse, so definitely don’t go salt-free,” she explained. 
Coming down to what I should largely avoid, Dr. Vishakha said, “Avoid carbs such as cereals at night. All your carb needs at dinner time should ideally be fulfilled through plenty of vegetables and low-glycemic fruits such as Apples, Berries, Pears and Pomegranates, which will maintain your energy levels.” She also mentioned avoiding milk and instead opting for a low-carb alternative such as an Almond Milk Cappuccino. Sounds simple enough? Read on to know more about how my meal prep goes hand in hand with Dr. Vishaka’s advice. 
MEAL MUSINGS
I’m majorly a roti person, and so avoiding rice was cakewalk. I also experience excessive bloating after eating wheat rotis, and hence decided to opt for healthier flours such as bajra, nachni and jowari bhakris (trust me, they’re to die for!). Dr. Vishakha gave her nod of approval by saying, “Gehu (wheat) Atta contains gluten, which causes you to bloat, so switching to flours such as bajra is much better as they are low-glycemic and low in carbs.” For late-night sweet cravings, she suggested indulging in a piece of dark chocolate (I was VERY happy about this switch). Her advice also came with a warning as she said, “Make sure to read labels. If the label on your chocolate says ‘70% cacao’ but the first ingredient is sugar, you NEED to avoid it. Make sure that the first ingredient is always Cacao.”
While I love my steaming cup of morning chai, I decided to ditch the milk and go for black tea with a hint of lemon. That, paired with a boiled egg and a slice of multigrain toast, and I was pretty much set until lunch time. Since I’m at work at lunchtime, it was easy to stick to a desk-friendly diet of two bhakris, a subzi and a cucumber-tomato salad - something that's helped me with the post-lunch fatigue. 
As for snacking, I went for easy options such as unsalted nuts or crackers and a fruit. I love sitting down for a leisurely dinner, but unfortunately, it's the meal that needed the most rectifications. Since I like treating myself to rice every now and then, I decided to switch white rice with brown rice. Here's what it finally looked like:
"1 bowl of subzi (no potatoes)
2 bhakris
1 side of sprout salad (no salt)
1 glass of lemon water
1 tbsp of brown rice"
THE FINAL RESULT
Unless you’ve got a big, blue genie who lives in a magic lamp, we all know that nothing can make you lose weight overnight. It’s a slow process that requires dedication. Since I planned on doing this right, I also didn’t have crazy expectations of losing A LOT of weight. And while I did lose a few inches in time for my BFFs wedding, I didn’t really lose as many as I had hoped to lose. But since my meal plan did get my weight loss process moving, I think I’m going to stick to the current meal plan to see how many inches I can lose.
I’m finally signing off with a final piece of wisdom from Dr. Vishakha, who said, “Don’t worry about where your calories are going. Be mindful of where they’re coming from.”
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