Category Archives: Success Stories/Client Results

Success Story: From overweight to awesome

Note: Read my previous article ‘How to go from overweight to awesome‘ first and understand what it actually takes to make a change this significant.

In March 2011, I got an email from this person…

Divya (October 2010)

… and it read –

Hello Raj!

Greetings from Sydney!  I came across your blog via the Jugalbandi blog, and was very impressed with your own story, the diabetic client’s story and so on.  Needed some advice, and perhaps you can help!

I am an almost 40 year old South Indian living in Sydney. I am currently a stay at home mom with  a  one year old daughter. I have always been overweight (obese per the BMI index calculations), although no noted medical problems.  I have had a typical sedentary lifestyle being in IT.  I am a staunch  vegetarian (no eggs, avoid cheeses that are made with rennet etc.) I do however love my milk, curds, ghee, paneer etc!

About 3 weeks ago, I felt bloated, uncomfortable and without energy. I decided to change my lifestyle, and slowly began cutting down on grains, and started some moderate 30 min work outs – with the Biggest Loser XBOX game.

Last week my med report showed  5.8 on the Total/ HDL Ratio. and the GP’s suggestion was ” get some cardio exercises”  and “watch your diet – dont eat fried stuff”.  I do know that typically the only cholesterol source that I have is the dairy products, so the last one week I have done away with dairy, have negligible oils, but landed up not watching the grains!!

I know from your blog I have to go  ‘grain free’. However with cholesterol do I have to give up dairy as well, or will the grain free diet be enough to correct the imabalances?  I dont mind swallowing fish oil if I have to …but really cant eat eggs, salmon etc! 😦   I want to stay fit as long as I live and have an active life …I dont want to run marathons etc!!  I lost two approx 3 kilos in 3 weeks and currently weigh 82kgs (my height is 5.2′), and want to get to 70 kilos for now.  Please advice!

Thanks  and Regards,

Divya

Realize that I get too many emails like this and 1) I’m not going to play doctor and give them specific health advice and 2) Is it worth my time? How many of these people are truly going to make a change? To want is one thing, but (as many of you know real well), to do is a whole different ball game. So I replied with general information that could possibly help her. Very similar to what you would find on my Nutrition Cheat Sheet.

I love helping people who are committed to make a change and I always give them a choice between…

Here is the general information I can give you. You can start here and continue making iterative improvements. I’ll help you as much as I can without getting into specific details.

and

If you are not comfortable doing this by yourself, then (and only then) we can consider an online consult.

I have certain rules when I work with people. I always urge people to make changes by themselves before ever getting into a consult with me since there is a lot one can do using the information that is on this site. Its never about the money. Its about the commitment. I don’t have enough time to consult with everyone who contacts me but I do have the information that could help pretty much everyone who reads this site. So why not use it right?

Anyways, after that initial email exchange, Divya kept sending me updates with plenty of questions and concerns. Soon, I realized she was not the usual ‘Help me now!!!‘ fat loss enthusiast but the unusual ‘I had a wake-up call and I’m ready to make a serious change!‘ fighter. Our interactions grew and we moved on from general recommendations to more specific recommendations as and when she shared more specific details with me. It had been 2-3 months since we started interacting and Divya was seeing some great results mainly because she was making every effort possible to eat real food irrespective of whether she was traveling or working or whatever. Only at this point (mid-May ’11) we got into a consult and we got into a more regimented approach with respect to nutrition and working out.

Slowly but steadily we worked our way up to 150+ emails. And this is what we have in the end after 10 months, here is what we have.

Part 1 – Some random emails

Exhibit A – An update email dated 8th June ’11

Hello Raj – Weighed and measured my self today.  Before starting the workouts my weight was already down to 71.65kilos!  I was 75kilos when I filled out your questionnaire.  Was thrilled to find that today’s reading was 70.40kilos!

Exhbit B – My reply

Divya,
You know why this is so awesome? Because on March 6th when you first wrote to me, you said…

“…I want to stay fit as long as I live and have an active life …I dont want to run marathons etc!!  I lost two approx 3 kilos in 3 weeks and currently weigh 82kgs (my height is 5.2′), and want to get to 70 kilos for now.  Please advice!

Thanks  and Regards,
Divya”

And in 3 months you have lost ~ 12 kg and reached your goal. All this while you slowly made changes to your diet and while you traveled to India and while you were a vegetarian! And guess what… you have just started consulting with me and your journey toward fitness has just begun!

Very very proud of you!

Keep pushing hard… its all going to be great!

Exhibit C – A not so unusual OMFG email dated 14th November ’11

Hi Raj!  I feel like I betrayed my good body!  I cooked and cooked and cooked for my little girls bday party. Sugar, Fat, Wheat, Deep frying etc etc! The food was a hit, and I did land up eating a lot – in the name of tasting etc. But my weight is down to 60.85 today!! Maybe yesterdays sins will catch up tomorrow!!

Exhibit D – My reply…

Youre good dude. Its your little ones bday and you had some fun. Chill out. Havent you realized that youre not the crash dieting type? You are all about lifestyle changes and thats why you are at 60kg today… far far away from where you started! You are adream client Divya! Dont feel bad about the party and please dont call it a sin. Food is nourishment for the most part and celebration rarely. Embrace it. You’re good dude… you’re good!

Smile… cos its all good!

Exhibit E – The final update dated 30th January ’12

Hi Raj! Didn’t realize its been over a month since my last update!!!  Well I got down to 56kgs and then did some mega cheats over the holidays!  I also landed up not working out for a week as I was down with a severe cold &flu!  Re-started my strict routine last week!

Part 2 – Some random thoughts from Divya

Note: I wanted to keep this real (like I always do in this blog) and hence didn’t want to Divya to write a  testimonial or anything. I asked her to jot down whatever she could come up with when thinking about the last 10 months and this is what she had to say. Again, everything is quoted verbatim.

* I have always been overweight / obese. I have tried a few diets and programs earlier. It’s always been a losing battle that left me demoralized.   I never realized health and fat-loss  is so unbelievably simple until I started reading Raj’s blog, and began trying his approach. am convinced that this lifestyle is one of the best, and I can very easily follow it for the rest of my life.

* Something clicked when I felt his no-nonsense approach. Fat-loss, not weight-loss. Nutrition, not skimpy diets. Minimal effective exercises, not boring cardios. Great Health, nor merely great looks.

* I was obese, had messed up cholesterol figures, sleep-deprived, stressed, irritable and totally unfit. I shot off a mail to Raj, not expecting him to reply to a random blog reader. To my pleasant surprise, with two days, I received not just a  reply, but  clear and concise guidance on what to eat, what to avoid, what supplements to take and how to begin exercising.

* I started feeling better, happier and healthier  almost immediately after I began following his advice on eating clean. What had always seemed a Herculean task, was suddenly so easy.  Weight seemed to fly off effortlessly right from week 1.

* Raj’s blog is a wealth of information for anybody.  His customized nutrition and exercise program even more effective. It  is easy to follow, and filled  with sample diets, exercise videos, inputs on what supplements to take and so on.  He understands where you are in life, and plans what’s just right for you, and directly addresses your goals.

* The nicest part –  he even tells you how to have your ice cream cheese cake sundae, without beating yourself up about it!

* Raj’s facebook group of likeminded people is huge support, in a world that still largely believes whole grains, low fat food, heaps of fruit  and expensive gym memberships are key to good health!

* I used to find simple day-to-day household work tiring. When I wasn’t at the office, I was zoned out on my bed in front of the TV, for entire weekends.  These days, I am nearly always out all day – Beaches, Parks, Swimming,Dancing, Music, having the time of my life with my toddler.  I am raring to go even after the part is over.

* Motivation  is key. It’s not enough just to want and wish to be fit. Healthy lifestyles cannot be just a choice. I believe it’s the only way to live.  I am in my 40s, and I found my motivation with the arrival of my little girl.   I HAVE TO BE physically and mentally young and healthy in order to be a good parent, for many many  more years to come

* Socializing, partying, travel is not so difficult, and becomes easier and easier once you learn how to choose the right foods within the options available.

* About Familial and social pressures – What I have realized, is that people who care about you, are happy with your choices when they see the good it’s doing you. The others who mock your choices or refuse to see reason  –  I couldn’t care less about!!

* Interactions with Raj – Always honest, factual, no-nonsense and very prompt!

Part 3 – The before and after

I work with so many overweight/obese folks and they all complain about how long a journey they have ahead of them. What they don’t realize is that a year or two of fighting hard results in 30 or 40 or even 50 more years of bliss!

Divya realized that and here she is showing us what (a short) one year of investing in health and fitness can do for you…

January 2011                                                         January 2012

Thank you Divya. Thank you for being awesome! You inspire me and I’m sure you will continue to inspire many many more folks who see, hear and learn about you!

Summary

So a 40 year old vegetarian (who doesn’t even eat eggs) was able to lose 60 lbs in 10 months and literally changed her life around. All this she did by just eating real food and working out 2-3 days/week for less than a total of 2.5 hours/week. I’m sure a lot of you eat ‘cleaner’ than she does and workout for much longer than she ever did, but there is something she did that you didn’t do – she stayed the course! Divya was very very consistent and lived true to her goals. And that is exactly why she is where she is today.

So I have nothing different to say other than stop complaining, quit whining, forget shortcuts, throw your excuses into the bin and start making a change already! But what do you have to say? Why are you not making the change? Is it motivation? Do you not have the resources? Can I help you in any other way? Let me know in the comments section.

Peace out.

Success Story: Swarna got her life back!

I don’t post many success stories in here, but this one has to be read and is long due! Swarna sent this to me back in September 2011, but I just have been lazy! Apologies.

Swarna, was truly an amazing client. She trusted me, stayed the course, was open to making any and all changes that I recommended, very respectful of my time and, most importantly, a tiger when it came to implementation! Not once, and I repeat, not once, did she ever complain or whine about not being able to eat wheat or that she didn’t know how to make real food tasty or that the workouts were too intense or blah blah. In short, no excuses, no BS. All action, all results.

I know I say this about all my clients who see great results, but it is the fact! Stay true to your goals, trust your coach, don’t complain, don’t get greedy and look for shortcuts, don’t find ways to justify quitting, do the program AS IS, eat as told and results are inevitable! If you are indeed serious about your goals, be it fat loss or joint health or strength or performance, 6 months of watchful sensible eating and staying active is a breeze. And even better, what you get in return for 6 months of being diligent is just worth so much its hard to describe! Don’t believe? Ask Swarna… or Neha or this 61 yr old or any of my other clients who stayed the course.

OK. I’ll shut up now and let Swarna talk.

In one sentence if you want me to describe the effect of my nutrition/fitness session with Raj it is “Raj gave my life back”.

When I came across Raj’s blog my condition was thus:

  • Excess fatigue attacks, which lead me to sleeping straight 18 hours.
  • Severe joint paint which made me immobile. Knee pains as if I am 60 year old and not in 30s.
  • Doctor diagnosing that my condition is mostly Fibromyalgia and referred to a neurologist and even though I know I was not depressed I was given anti depressant
  • Flu like body pains
  • Sever heartburn, stomach cramps
  • Recurrent vertigo attacks
  • Insomnia, trouble getting sleep and very less sleep of only 3 hours or so
  • Neck and shoulder pain.
  • Every day morning the possibility of facing the day was gloom. No energy, no stamina. Everyday living was a chore.
  • No energy
  • NO zeal for life
  • Concentration level down in the dumps

Then I came across Raj’s blog. That was definitively my lucky day. I enrolled in Raj’s online fitness regime and within a month there were so many changes. Going of grain immediately solved my insomnia. Real food solved my chronic constipation and stomach cramps. Off sugar stopped vertigo attacks. I was about 11 pounds overweight, but within 3 months I lost 14 pounds, more than I bargained for, which is wonderful

Raj was very helpful throughout and answered questions and suggestions to help my health. I, being a lacto vegetarian brought up in India, never thought this, but found I was milk intolerant and thanks to raj for helping me to find this .

I feel much better these days…maybe I got rid of my fibromyalgia…if that is even possible…or at least I almost did it.

By cleaning up my food and adding stuff rarely on cheat meals I found that I am very intolerant to gluten, milk and vegetable oils. If I avoid those I am not just good but great 🙂

The workout routine has made me more energetic. No more severe overall body pain or neck pain or fatigue crashes. Very less pain these days and I am sure over the period of time I will conquer that too.  And as bonus my weight has also come down.

No pain reliever pills, no fatigue crashes, life is wonderful and my concentration level has rocketed high. For the first time, yesterday, I played soccer with my son! It was humongous achievement for me, because 4 months earlier getting out of bed during weekend was a big question.

Thanks Raj!

Swarna continues to follow my real food recommendations eating awesome wholesome meals with plenty of fat, carbs and protein. She is healthy, solid and still very curious and helpful, questioning, learning and contributing in our FB group.

Heres wishing Swarna awesome health and continued success in 2012!

Peace out.

Success story: Lost 10kg, no more joint aches, glowing skin, high energy, more focus…

This post is about one of my online clients Neha B. She started working with me around April 2011 and she was a good client really. As per standard protocol, I emailed her her customized nutrition and workout program on the 28th of March and she started the program in a very timely fashion. She did all the right things – she emailed me details and pictures of all her meals for the first few days, she emailed me constantly asking me questions over and over again (Note: I keep repeating that there is no such thing as a silly question and strongly recommend my clients to keep asking me questions), she emailed me weekly updates regularly, she made changes based on my recommendations, did her workouts diligently etc etc.

I generally have a very high success rate with my clients and most of my clients tend to reach their goals pretty much exactly as planned and also (finally) realize they have gained much more than just fat loss or strength gain or whatever else their goal is. Neha was no exception. Since she did the program as was laid out for her, she started seeing results almost immediately. For example, by the end of week 3 she had lost 4.5 lb (2 kg) and 12 total inches (30cm).

As expected, the honeymoon phase came to an end and her fat loss started slowing down. As of June 11th 2011, we had exchanged about 54 emails (which is close to the average number of email exchanges I have with most clients) and this was the last email I received from Neha.

Hi Raj,

In the last two weeks I have not lost any further weight and my weight is stuck at 69 kilos. I was barely losing half a kilo a week on an average and last two weeks not even that 😦 Some measurements have gone done by a cm, some stayed constant. (see attached excel sheet)

I also tried a bit of intermittent fasting in the 9th week by eating a good breakfast and then no lunch and then a small snack in the evening ( so a gap of about 6-7 hrs). The days I ate a good breakfast IF was no problem but some days with just a good enough breakfast and no lunch felt a real slack in my energy.

I stopped IF in the 10 th week, cos i had a bad acidity attack because some constituent of a meal at a restaurant did not suit my gut (btw, the thing that cured my acidity after 2 days of suffering is coconut milk :)) Although I was not sure if this was the right way to do IF I gave it a shot in the hope of getting my weight to budge.

At the same time I do feel stronger and my workouts these days are a breeze. The first time i did wall squats I had tears in my eyes after 20 seconds and last week I didn’t even realize and i managed to hold the wall squats for 65 seconds! I am also able to do a couple of full push ups along with the knee ones.

Energy wise a bit on the lower side because of disturbed nights(toddler teething).

Any ideas Raj, what can rev up my weight loss!
I know I wont stop trying, exercising and eating clean but this is kind of discouraging…

Regards,
Neha

Again, she was no different from the average client. Most people expect miracles to happen overnight and are ecstatic when they see rapid fat loss. The same ecstasy turns to depression once rate of fat loss slows down and the added stress (from depression/tension due to slow fat loss) results in excessive cortisol release which slows down fat loss even more to almost a screeching halt. And to make things worse, this is when people conclude that the program no longer works and start doing, what I call, stupid shit or in less aggressive words ‘stuff that wasn’t recommended for them… for a reason’. As you can see from the above email, Neha was getting frustrated ‘cos of the slow rate of fat loss and started doing ‘stuff that was not recommended for her… for a reason’ but was also ready to do what it takes to reach her goal.

Then she disappeared. No emails. No updates. And finally, a couple of weeks back, I get an email from her.

Hi Raj,

Personal and professional life had taken over all priorities in the last months and hence did not get the time to update you in a long while but have nevertheless been constant in my efforts to lose weight and follow the program.

Now that I have lost 10 kilos I knew it was time to update the coach 🙂

The last time I emailed you it was about why I was not losing any weight and you had said if it remains the same we will change it.

Then around the same time you directed us to a post about stress and weight loss. And that is when I realized how badly stressed I had been those days and hence my weight had not budged. That day I decided on two things. One: I will not get stressed about anything and two: that I am not a person who loses a kilo a week. The max I lose is half a kilo a week and there is nothing better I can do about it than accepting it as a part of myself.

Slowly and steadily the kilos kept coming off and I hope will continue to till I reach my goal.

Mid of March I weighed 74 Kilos. April first week, I started with the program under your guidance and I weighed 73 kilos by then ´cos I followed your guidelines and tried to eat in the same way and managed to lose a kilo. And now my weight is 64 kilos. I feel great about coming so far and even though I do want to lose 5-6 more kilos at least, I am not desperate to do so and know that by following the same lifestyle that I have followed up-till now I will get there.

I eat real food 95% of the times and my cheats are completely gluten free because the minute I eat gluten my joints start aching and the duration they ache for is directly proportional to the amount of gluten consumed. Had it not been for your guidance I would´ve never discovered that I cannot tolerate gluten and this explains why my Mom has arthritis today and I was walking towards thyroid problems.

I am not scared of gaining back weight anymore because I feel so crappy when I eat most kinds of cheats that I want to reverse the effect asap and at the same time I know that eating and working out this way is the way I want to live.

My psoriasis is the Soles and Palms kind. It has always majorly been on my soles and maybe say once a year I would get a breakout on my palm and it would go away real soon. However, currently the feet are doing WAY better but I had a sudden breakout on my right palm along with a pustule. It made things and daily chores really tough. I got rid of it somehow and the palm is much better now but not completely alright. I realized I was having much more dairy (milk in tea 3 times a day and cheese everyday and paneer every other day) than I had ever had and hence I cut down on it. I drink black tea, and drink no milk, eat no cheese and paneer. Have had plain yogurt only once since 3 weeks but I never stopped butter and ghee. All this has made my condition better but I know elimination is the key to find out how much it helps, but the occasional ice cream and stuff has been a problem, plus an upcoming almost 4 week long India visit. I have also thought of trying the GAPS way to heal my gut and I want to do it when I come back from India. What do you think?

I think my psoriasis is the result of the abuse I did to my gut when I was really young say 6 – 8 years old. I snacked a lot on tamarind, pickles and sweet candies and stuff and thus ruined my gut flora and ended up with psoriasis which is termed incurable and with an unknown cause! Since I didn’t know what  were the culprits in my diet, I never eliminated these things from my diet until recently and hence my condition never went away completely. Maybe doing the GAPS diet will help and reverse my auto immune disease. Though there is still time for me to try GAPS I have already started taking one pro-biotic capsule a day at least to see if it helps. I use coconut oil to moisturize my soles and palms and have started consuming a teaspoon of coconut butter since yesterday.

Pros:

  • Lost 10 kilos in 5 months
  • No more permanently pregnant tummy
  • No more joint pains
  • Skin glows
  • Have enough energy and stamina to complete all my tasks without getting tired. I used to pant earlier carrying my about 10 kilo child up 3 flights of stairs and now carrying a 10 plus kilo toddler, a heavy handbag , a 6-7 kilo grocery bag all up the stairs at once is no big deal(YAY!) 2 months back we went to paris and our toddler refused to sit in the pram and without getting tired we manged carrying her, our heavy knapsacks and the pram everywhere through the trains and through long hours sightseeing on foot in the city.
  • I can concentrate much better on my work without yawning and feeling lazy
  • Almost never need a nap in the afternoon
  • Migraine frequency reduced to once in three weeks from once to twice a week
  • Feel angry rarely and feel more patient and positive as a person

Waist     : 82 cm –> 68 cm [Raj: 14 cm reduction in circumference]

Hips       : 110 cm –> 98 cm [Raj: 12 cm reduction in circumference]

Thigh     : 67.5 cm –> 58 cm [Raj: 9.5 cm reduction in circumference per thigh]

Arm       : 32.5 cm –> 28 cm [Raj: 4.5 cm reduction in circumference per arm]

Tummy : 100.5 cm –> 85.5 cm [Raj: 15 cm reduction in circumference]

Cons:

  • Lots of stuff gotten loose, even rings 😉
  • Hubby worried about the hole im gonna burn in his pocket with all the new stuff I am planning to buy!

Workout update:

Continued with all the said workouts from my plan. However last month could only do the workouts and had no time yoga. Managed my walks during grocery shopping and finishing other things. Walked long distances with heavy bags and many times on a single day on weekends. Tried to stay as active as possible.

Supplements update:

Daily dose of a multivitamin, a tsp of cod liver oil and a pouch of magnesium (I still need my magnesium supplements and cannot go for more than 2 days without them).
Whey only in PWO almost never as a pre workout snack.

Further goals:

  • To stay consistent and lose more weight and continue working out regularly.
  • Need to still get rid of the excess weight on tummy and upper thighs.
  • Eliminate milk products to see how far it helps with skin issues.

Looking forward to hearing what you think.
Thank you for your time!

Regards,
Neha

Honestly, this is not even a testimonial. It was just a mere update. No praises. No ‘oh you changed my life’. So why am I even posting this? Well, ‘cos this is freakin awesome and there are important lessons to learn from Neha and what she did…
  1. Understand your body! Not everyone loses weight/fat at the same rate. There are many things that affect your rate of fat loss. The key is to stay consistent and keep fighting the good fight.
  2. Don’t be greedy and change things up expecting to wake up with washboard abs. Sustainable fat loss is a slow process and a quick fix. Stick to it. Fight the urge to keep jumping programs.
  3. Fat loss is not all about diet and exercise. Stress play a MAJOR role in fat loss just as it plays a major role in cardiovascular disease risk and other such fun stuff.
What do I have to say?

Millions of people want to make a change. Only a few do and Neha, you did it. In my book… you are awesome! Congrats and good luck to you. Stay the course and you will absolutely reach your destination.

And as always – there is no such thing as a silly question and there is no such time that is a bad time to contact me with any questions/concerns.

Peace out!

Success story: How does eating real food help a 61 yr old?

Note: Following this post I will be writing about a number of critical topics such as Vegetarianism and health, Why you should eat junk food, Real food for the little ones, The guide to mass gain, The guide for urgent & rapid fat loss, Sample strength AND conditioning workouts and more. To take the most advantage of all this, please subscribe by clicking the ‘Sign me up!’ button under Email Subscription on the top right and get all new blog posts delivered to your inbox.

– – – – – x – – – – –

If you have been a reader for a while, you’d remember that I posted a success story titled Man Vs. Diabetes. While I get plenty of such success stories, I just haven’t had the time to compile them and post them since I’m always trying to address some controversial topic or the other in an effort to make nutrition and fitness understandable for the lay person. Now that I have been out of action for a while, I thought the best way to sneak back in and start writing about serious stuff was a success story. Moving forward I’ll be sure to post many more such success stories.

While I was in Bali, I got an email from my buddy Mahesh and it read as follows…

Machi [Meaning – buddy],

I wanted to check my blood work since it has been 4 months and also to check how my diet plan has been working out for me and as well as for Amma [Meaning – mom]. Just wanted to share with you.

These are the numbers before and after.

Mine:

April 14 2011

HDL – 72
LDL – 135
Tri glycerides 48
Total Cholesterol 219
Blood sugar : 93
LDL/HDL: 1.875
TriG/HDL:0.6667
TotalChol/HDL: 3.04

Sep 3 2011

HDL : 64
LDL:104
Triglycerides:43
Total Cholesterol: 185
Blood sugar fasting: 78
60mts glucose tolerance : 135
2 hrs glucose tolerance : 63
VLDL:9
LDL/HDL: 1.625
TriG/HDL: 0.671
TotalChol/HDL:2.89

Amma’s:

April 7 2011

HDL: 44
LDL: 129
Triglycerides: 123
Total cholesterol: 197
Blood Sugar:Fasting 120, 60 mts: 234, 120mts: 199
vldl: 25
LDL/HDL: 2.93
TriG/HDL: 2.79
TotalChol/HDL: 4.47

Sep 3 2011

HDL:53
LDL:110
Triglycerides:49
TotalCholesterol: 194
VLDL: 10
Fasting bloodsugar: 95, PP 1hr30mts: 175
LDL/HDL: 2.07
TriG/HDL: 0.924
TotalChol/HDL: 3.66

My mothers overall health has improved significantly after following a real diet plan. Still got to work but her 4 months of stay with me I made sure that she eats good quality food and improve her health. The numbers show the efforts she had put in. Still working on her blood sugar.

Mahesh

Let me point out a few things.

  • Mahesh and his mom are both vegetarians. Mahesh eats eggs, while his mom doesn’t.
  • Mahesh has been working with me for a couple of years now and he started off as a skinny marathoner and is now a solid fit guy who can squat, press and pull more than most and sprint a 100 pretty darn quick. His secret? Extremely consistent strength training & smart conditioning along with plenty of real food (whole milk, eggs, vegetables and fruit especially).
  • Mahesh’s mom is 61 years old. Clearly she had some blood sugar related issues which is being reversed.

Since Mahesh is young and his numbers are pretty darn perfect, let me break down his mom’s numbers for you.

  • Her HDL increased by 20% rising from from 44 to 53. If you didn’t know, a high HDL reading signifies cardiovascular health and immunity and is one of the most important numbers to look at wrt heart health.
  • LDL doesn’t mean anything, so I wont call her drop in LDL as an improvement.
  • Her fasting blood sugar dropped from 120 to 95 and, though not perfect yet, her postprandial blood sugar numbers are definitely improving! Without exaggeration, her fasting blood sugar went from diabetic to almost normal and she is well on her way towards completely controlling her diabetes! Good good stuff!

Obviously I’m not going to post this with no information about what she ate and other lifestyle changes. So I asked mahesh for some specifics.

Was/is she on meds for diabetes?

She wasnt on any meds for diabetes. It was completely diet and a lot of walking (1-2 hrs), around 20 thoppukarnams/day (in order to have an activity similar to squats), lot of sunshine.

What was her typical diet like? Any eggs?

I asked her to minimize grains (lentils). She completely eliminated sugar and sugar based productsand had limited the consumption of rice. Sheate a lots and lots of vegetables every day for the past five months, soaked well fermented payaru, lentils incase she felt like having different variety of grains apart from rice. Rice consumption was limited to max 2/3 days a week. Coconut oil was used for all the cooking. Olive oil for salad dressing. She also had optimum quantities of full fat milk, greek yogurt, cheese, nuts, avocado, fruits everyday. For protein she had tofu, tempeh, paneer. Most importantly she had Omega-3 supplements every day for the last 5 months. Most of the days she skipped her breakfast – 2 meals/day. She did complete fasting moslty 2x month but definitely 1x a month for religious reasons.

Any change in bodyweight?

She lost 2 kgs (4.5 lbs).

Change in energy level? Sleep quality?

Awesome energy levels to walk the entire NY city downtown, Chicago, DC and Boston downtowns without using any cab service. I was totally amazed to see her walk miles together without getting tired. She is 61. She has always been a sound sleeper and now it has only become better. Since there was less stress involved while staying with me in the US, she slept for longer hours (~8).

Change in other aspects of health? What has become better and what became worse?

Her chronic cold has improved. Shes using her inhaler a lot lesser these days but has not eliminated completely. Digestion has improved.

The way I look at this there are two valuable lessons here.

1. Mahesh did all he could to ensure his mom will take the real food route. He brought her to US, he made real food available at all times. he constantly spoke to her about the importance of eating real food, he ensured she walked a lot and got plenty of sunlight etc etc. He did his part well… very well.

2. His mom sealed the deal by doing exactly what she had to do. She took every piece of advice seriously, made changes to her diet and lifestyle and most importantly, stuck to it consistently.

There ya go – a testament to what eating real food and staying active can do for you (or your parents) irrespective of age. So whether you’re the son/daughter or the parent, you have here an example and motivation to make a change towards the good health and I truly hope you you do!

Peace out.

Success Story: Change is the only constant

Listen up. No one said this was easy. I told you this was simple and simple it is. If you want something, you’re going to have to work for it. Don’t expect to chill the crap out and get results. Be it your health or business or relationships. You’ve got to work to make it good. You’ve got to work harder to make it better. And you’ve got to work your butt off to make it awesome.

Every single person who has achieved anything respectable has worked bloody hard for it. Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay didn’t just randomly loiter around and find themselves on top of Mt. Everest. There was passion. There was dreaming. There was planning. There was years of hard work. There were many many sacrifices.

The same applies to you. If you want something… you’ve got to work for it! And work means consistency, sacrifice, learning, planning and… CHANGE!

You know what insanity is? It is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result each time. If you want to work with me, if you want to make a difference in the way you look/feel/perform… be ready to change things.

If you have been eating a grain dominant diet I will ask you to drop grains, if you have been eating a zero carb diet I’ll ask you add in carbs, if you’ve been doing too much cardio I’ll ask you to drop it down, if you’ve been doing no cardio I’ll ask you to move you butt.

You want results? You need to embrace change!

1. Result of  sitting on my ass all day and eating junk (August 2007)

2. Result of  running 40-50 miles/week and eating fat free  junk (Jan 2009)


3. Result of lifting 3 days a week and eating real food (Nov 2010)

You think I went from 1 to 2 to 3 without making changes to my diet/life? You think I wasn’t made fun off for ‘weird diets’? You think I just magically shrunk in size and gained muscle? You think this did not need sacrifices? You think I lose fat quickly? You think I gain muscle easily? You think I think I don’t have to make any more changes? Think again. ‘Cos this ain’t over. Change is continuous… health and fitness are for life!

Be open to continually changing ‘cos change is the only constant! If you want something you’ve never had, you’ve got to do something you’ve never done!

– Peace out.

%d bloggers like this: