Health, Social

An exclusive look at Rujuta Diwekar’s 12-week fitness project

  • A dive into the first 6 weeks from her new book, ‘The 12-Week Fitness Project

Week 1 – Start your day with a banana or any fresh fruit or soaked almonds or soaked raisins and not with tea or coffee

  • Drink a glass of plain water before having banana/almonds/raisins.
  • Eat this within 20 minutes of waking up or after taking the thyroid pill, if you are on one.
  • You can work out, do yoga, etc., 15-20 minutes after having the banana/almonds/raisins.
  • If not working out, you can have your breakfast within an hour of this meal.
  • It’s okay to sip on chai or coffee 10–15 minutes after having banana/almonds/raisins.
  • You can also add 1-2 strands of kesar when soaking the raisins

Week 2 – Eat ghee. Add 1 tsp of ghee to breakfast, lunch and dinner

  • Add an extra tsp of ghee to lunch if you have sweet cravings or experience an afternoon slump.
  • Add an extra tsp of ghee to dinner if you wake up feeling constipated, have IBS or digestion issues in general or suffer from poor sleep quality.

Here are some other ways in which you can consume it, especially in winter, to keep your joints supple and skin glowing

  • Have ghee-roasted makhanas as a mid-meal around 4pm
  • Have gond laddoos made in ghee, especially during harsh winters, as a mid-morning meal, 2-3 hours after breakfast
  • Have ghee and jaggery after lunch or dinner if you suffer from PMS, fatigue or low haemoglobin (Hb) levels.

Week 3 – Rethink, reform and regulate the use of gadgets in your life

  • When eating meals, no gadgets. Start with one meal a day and over the next 10 weeks, build it to all three main meals. Decide which meal you will start this from—breakfast, lunch or dinner.
  • Before going to bed, no gadgets for 30 minutes. So don’t delay bedtime, just keep the phone away, switch off your TV and read a book (not on Kindle or iPad).
  • When you do use the phone during the day, check your posture. The correct way is to lift the phone to eye level and not tilt the neck down.
  • If you need to be accessible at all times, take it as an occupational hazard but be aware of the risks it brings you. And then work harder to cut down on mindless scrolling and surfing on the phone. Do you really need to open the good morning GIF, autoplay videos or send that eye roll emoticon to everyone you talk to?

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Week 4 – Eat a wholesome meal between 4 and 6 p.m.

  • The key to losing weight lies in what you eat between 4 and 6pm, a time when most of us are hungry and quite careless with our food choices.
  • You must have heard about having a light dinner to lose weight. But how to make dinner light? Eat something wholesome in the evening
  • A handful of groundnuts and chana. This regulates appetite, prevents bloating and overeating at dinner-time
  • Jaggery, ghee and chapati : If you stay active, work away from home, eat dinner after 9pm and struggle to sleep well, suffer from constipation or have low Hb levels.
  • Poha/upma/dosa/egg-toast/homemade khakra or mathri/homemade gond or besan laddoo. If your workload increases after 6pm ,And if none of the above is possible, even a grilled vegetable and cheese sandwich will do the trick.
  • Chaat/samosa/street food. Yes, and this is a good time to have it, but only once a week. The worst time to have chaat or street food is dinner.

Week 5 – Move more, sit less

Here are some easy ways to move more, sit less:

  • For every 30 minutes of sitting, stand for at least 3 minutes.
  • When you stand, stand with your weight well distributed on your feet.
  • Take the stairs at work or home, every day. At least climb four floors every day.
  • Park your car as far as possible, keep at least 500 steps between your car and your destination
  • Once every week, do at least one task that is currently being done by your house help or a gadget—wash your own clothes, do the dishes for the entire household, sweep and swab your house. Take 100 steps or after dinner


Week 6 – Start with at least one session of strength training every week

  • Schedule a meeting with an expert trainer at a local gym and begin with a once a week routine. You must start, especially if you already have insulin resistance, are very obese, have a heart condition, bone loss or diabetes.
  • If you are training three or more days a week:
  • Drop your reps to 5-8 and focus on the intensity or the actual weight you subject your muscles to. The biggest gains of strength training come from the load bearing that you train your muscles to do.
  • Plan for at least 150 minutes of total workout time in the week.

Continue reading next week for other 6 week program from Rujuta Diwekar

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From LiveMint Updated: 04 Jan 2020, 09:15 AM IST

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