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Weight loss success story: How this man lost 64 kgs and how you can too

41-year-old Deepak Thomas went from 140kgs to 76kgs and won his life back

brunch Updated: Sep 29, 2018 22:49 IST
Hindustan Times
weightloss,Gold’s Gym,Deepak Thomas
Deepak Thomas’s weight-loss journey from 140 kgs to 70kgs has taken him eight years(Vinod Aggarwal)

“Can I have a large pepperoni pizza with extra cheese and three chicken wings, please?” These was an oft-repeated order placed by Deepak Thomas, 41, nine years ago when he weighed 140kgs. Today, almost 70kgs lighter, he happily reveals his new-found love for seeds and nuts as snacks. “I grew very fond of these since my weight loss days,” he says.

“I’d hit a plateau after losing 50kgs. to break it, I changed my training programmes to cross-fit, HIIT. It took almost three years to bring my body weight down to 76kgs from 90kgs”

When Deepak was overweight, he was comfortable in his skin despite the way people looked at him. “However, two things bothered me,” he says. “One was that I did not look my age and second, I could not buy clothes my size.” His parents had to shop for him from the US since his size was not available in India.

Besides, health issues like high cholesterol and BP posed a danger to his life, apart from nagging knee and joint pains that made climbing a flight of stairs feel like mountaineering.

The journey and jostle

Then self-realisation dawned on him, and the year 2010 marked the beginning of a new, healthy chapter in his life. Deepak says: “I suddenly realised how unhealthy I was and that I had fallen prey to stress and emotional eating. Also, a couple of my friends called me out and even though it was not an easy choice, I decided to embark on my weight-loss journey.”

Deepak, who was in Bengaluru at that time, immediately enrolled himself at Gold’s Gym and there, under the strict supervision of his trainer he lost 50kgs in six months. “I’d burn 2,000 calories daily through cardio and weight training sessions in the first few years,” explains Deepak.

But the most challenging part of his weight-loss journey began when he moved to Gurgaon in 2011. “I’d hit a plateau and to break it I changed my training programmes to cross-fit, HIIT. I experienced moments of fatigue and lack of commitment but refused to give up. It was the most difficult stage and it took almost three years to bring my body weight down to 76kgs from 90kgs,” he says with a grin, and cautions that maintaining the new weight is actually the biggest challenge. “Weight loss is a life-long commitment,” he says.

Hitting the healthy high

Now Deepak works out regularly, and carries more gym clothes than formals when travelling for work. On his frequent business trips, instead of opting for room service, he hunts for supermarkets and stocks the fridge with healthy food, fruits and salads. “I love my food and I love cooking, but most of my meals will be healthy ones,” he says.

“I finish dinner before hitting a party, stay away from finger food, and instead have a drink or two!”

When he feels his work schedule is too crammed to fit in a workout session at the gym, he walks whenever he can instead of hopping into a cab or coach, and substitutes the lift with the stairs. “I have a standing desk so I can stand and work and burn calories. That’s how I substitute for workouts on days I cannot hit the gym,” he explains.

The result: his blood pressure and cholesterol levels are under control and his knee and joint aches are history!

On days he feels lazy for a workout, says Deepak, it’s very important to have a conversation with yourself. For instance, to keep himself motivated, Deepak looks up to older people who are fit for inspiration.

“Since I’m predisposed to gain weight genetically, I constantly talk myself into getting back on track when I miss the gym,” says Deepak and adds that he hasn’t moved houses in seven years as his gym is bang opposite his home, which leaves him very little excuse to miss a workout!

Apart from having supportive family and friends, he stresses the importance of a good and committed trainer.

When he’s not travelling Deepak trains two hours a day at least four times a week and makes healthy eating choices. “I’d rather pick a cold brew over a sugary Java chip!” he says. Of course, it was most difficult to give up his gelato, pizza and pasta, but the achievement of being healthy now helps him control the urge. “I’ve had only two slices of pizza in the last 10 years and follow an intermittent eating programme, incorporating a Palaeolithic diet.”

Deepak eats his last meal before 8pm and avoids alcohol as mush as possible. “A calorie intake of 1,200 to 1,000 works for my body type and I stick to fruits like apples, papaya and pomegranate, and avoid chikoos, bananas and mangoes as they have high calorie content,” he says. Additionally, a diet which includes vegetables and lean meats like fish and chicken apart from nuts and seeds helps him stay in shape.

Deepak’s 5 foolproof ways to lose weight
  • 1. Acknowledge and realise that you need to lose weight to be healthy.
  • 2. Find a good trainer and training programme customised for your body type.
  • 3. Understand your body’s dynamics and how it reacts to certain foods.
  • 4. Keep a food log when you start.
  • 5. Keep changing your training routine to prevent weight loss plateaus.

However, Deepak concedes that cheat meals are a given. Every 14 days, when he’s travelling, he indulges in a meal prepared with cream or butter with a high salt content. “I even treat myself to a gin and tonic on those days!” he adds. Deepak went on a high protein and low carb and salt diet and reduced the consumption of sugar and processed foods.

As for socialising, he has a smart trick up his sleeves. “I finish dinner at 7.30pm before hitting a party, stay away from finger food, and instead have a drink or two. To balance it, my food through the day comprises an apple, nuts and egg whites,” he says.

Going forward, his fitness goal is to be healthy and get a little more muscle definition.

P.S.: Deepak no longer receives embarrassing calls from his favourite pizza outlet, reminding him that he hasn’t ordered his favourite snack in a long time!

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From HT Brunch, September 30 , 2018

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First Published: Sep 29, 2018 22:01 IST