Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Group Weight Loss Experiment - Vol III

Imagine you’re on an anniversary date in a beautiful Italian restaurant. You order appetizers and take a sip of the finest Pinot Noir when suddenly you catch a woman at the next stable staring lustfully at your bread basket.

That woman my friends, is ME. I love carbs and am particularly obsessed with bread. And potatoes.

With such a fatal attraction, it’s no wonder I had to spend August focusing on food. Specifically, how not to eat so much of it. With a four days a week gym/walk/Bikram routine, it was time to alter other little things. Because no matter how many miles I ran, I wouldn’t see any weight loss unless I stopped eating samosas and french fries.

Here’s what I did besides eating small and frequent meals and limiting the booze.

Having my morning coffee in the afternoon
I’d read here that caffeine masks hunger. It’s so true. Whenever I drank coffee in the morning, I couldn’t eat anything until 2 pm and ended up overeating in the evening. Skipping my morning coffee allowed me to eat a big breakfast and light dinner. Ideally, I should have cut caffeine from my diet completely. But I haven’t quite reached that level of control yet.

Drinking Rooibos Red Chai at night
I found this magic potion when I did Bon Appetit’s cleanse. It’s decaf, delicious and one cup after dinner knocks me out intensely enough for me to wake up early and happy.

Embracing the brown life
In Oprah’s words, I “eliminated all white things” from my life and ate brown pasta, wholegrain bread, wheat tortillas etc. As a basmati lover, I initially cried. But after a while it stopped tasting so bad.

I also switched from 2% to fat free everything and cooked more during the week. Yes, cooking for one is depressing and painful. But I used the money saved on delivered food to buy shoes!

Luckily these changes along with some exercise totally paid off and I am a few steps (pounds) closer to my fitness goals. As of today, the daily and weekly emails between my friends and me are still on. We still track what we eat and how much we exercise. We still motivate each other when one of us is having a bad day. And we still say “okay stop” when one of us goes overboard!

Feel like joining us?

Note – This is the third blog post documenting my ongoing mission to get fit. The first two can be found here and here.


  1. Sounds a good plan! I always try and stick with something that I can follow for the rest of my life! :)

    ♡ from ©

  2. Having someone to stay accountable really helps! I would love to join you girl!!!

    I hear ya on the basmati rice thing, but quinoa is my love now. Really I don't even miss rice anymore.

    Wait, I have yet to find a tea, that can cast its spell on me and I can go to bed relaxed. Is the rooibos tea that good?

  3. This is really interesting! I try to embrace brown as much as I can, and I do love rooibos tea, although I normally have the vanilla flavour. I didn't know caffeine masks hunger! That's good to know.


  4. Tanvi - It's the only way the weight doesn't creep back in. Before my wedding I went on a crash diet. Lost 8 and gained 16, followed by another 9. I wonder why they don't come off as easily as they pile on!!!

    Priyanka - Sure. It's nothing major. We each set our own goals and 7 days later we send another email stating if we met goals and what to do in the following week. And Rooibos is pretty awesome. Only thing is it's very strong so make sure you leave the tea bag in the cup for only 45 secs or so otherwise it'll become very bitter!

    Leia - I don't mind brown pastas and breads at all. It's the lack of Basmati I find hardest to come to terms with. And about the coffee, even I was surprised when I found out!

  5. I want to join! I want to join!

    I love this post. For the past couple of months, I have been obsessed with making my diet healthier (not just for weight loss, but for my general health). It's slowly been changing my life.

    I definitely need to get out to Trader Joes asap, so I can get that chai! I drink green tea throughout the day, but have been looking for a good decaf tea for bedtime (I hate coffee).



    Sounds painful.

    On the bright one will ever accuse you of being racist.

  7. You've outlined some great plan of actions! Yoga is one of my favorite meditation. It calms my "basmati" & dessert brain ;)

  8. I visit this blog for the first time and read this post. yay!! I am all in for weight loss any day! I am literally obsessed with loosing weight. But dieting alone never works my dear.. I have starved and never lost a gram but when I work out, 3 days show awesome results.
    I am curious about the Rooibos Red Chai. Does it really help?

    Shruti :-)

  9. Jennifer - Sure :) It's just a generic email chain with goals for the following week and recap from the previous week. Good on you for making these changes. Aren't the benefits amazing? And Rooibos is definitely THE tea for bedtime.

    Lemons - It's less painful than it sounds. However I am a brown person shunning white foods. That's enough fodder for anyone who wants to call me racist.

    Kiran - Awesome. Yoga reduces my fried food cravings!

    Shruti - Thanks for visiting :) ... Yes, I have horror stories from my starvation diets too. Horrible! Rooibos chai is not a diet tea. It's just a nice calming decaf tea so you sleep early and consequently wake up early.

  10. Embracing all things brown in food - best idea ever.

  11. interesting! I am attending a one month bikram yoga session in december... How did you find it?

  12. Kavery - Totally!

    Neha - I swear by Bikram and recommend it to everyone I meet. I've written about it here