“I was overweight almost my entire life. In fact, I weighed 4.2 kilos at birth,” recalls Anupriya Raghav, a resident of Bengaluru.
The 37-year-old says she tried every trick in the book to lose weight. “I tried religious fasts, paid hefty amounts for medical procedures and gym memberships — none of them worked. Then I stumbled upon a social media handle that talked about losing weight through a healthy lifestyle. Since I started following that, there has been no turning back,” she tells The Better India.
Over the course of 18 months, Anupriya lost a whopping 50 kilos — all this without ever giving up on her favourite foods. She talks about how a robust exercise routine, changing her lifestyle habits and discipline helped her achieve this feat.
A turning point
Growing up battling obesity, Anupriya faced several challenges in her life. She was never able to find clothes of her choice that fit her well, and would mostly be low on both energy and confidence.
“Despite having a good job, a loving family, and worldly wealth, at the back of my mind, I always felt bad about the way I looked. I was always conscious about what other people thought of me and would instantly feel bad if anyone made fun of me, even with friendly humour,” says Anupriya.
During her pregnancy and after giving birth to her first child, she gained more weight and reached 115 kilograms. The stress of both raising her child as well as the weight gain led her to quarantine herself in her room. She avoided going out to meet friends or family because she knew everyone would notice the additional kilos she had gained.
“After a few months, I realised that my stamina was not great. I found it hard to move around freely or play with my child. This is when I knew I must make a drastic change for myself. That’s when I came across a social media page that promotes healthy living,” says Anupriya, adding that she was inspired by reading several stories of people’s weight loss journeys.
Taking inspiration from others, in 2016, Anupriya started slowly by exercising regularly and has not stopped till today.
Regular exercise and a balanced diet
She began by setting a target for herself to walk 10,000 steps, seven days a week. She also purchased a pair of dumbbells and began lifting weights at home. Slowly, she increased the intensity of her workouts and started lifting heavier weights under the guidance of an online mentor.
“Apart from exercising regularly, I started strictly following intermittent fasting. Along with that, I ensured I was counting the number of calories I consumed. I figured these numbers out after consulting a nutritionist. Every person’s body requirements are different and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to weight loss,” says Anupriya.
She started cooking in ghee and eliminated refined oil, reduced her consumption of salt, eliminated sugar, and included more leafy vegetables in her daily meals. During her weight loss days, chicken biryani was a staple for one meal, usually lunch. But, Anupriya would measure the quantity and not overeat.
Owing to a liberal diet that did not restrict her from her favourite food, she also noticed that she did not have cravings. This in turn prevented her from binge eating or having cheat days.
By the end of 18 months, in 2017, Anupriya had lost 50 kilos and weighed 65 kilos.
“That was the first time I was ecstatic to step on a weighing scale. Even those around me were also awestruck and some could not even recognise me. Several people approached me for tips to lose weight. I could understand their pain and desires, and wanted to help them,” says Anupriya.
So she took a certificate course at the Institute of Nutrition and Fitness Sciences, which helped her understand several concepts including body genetics, composition, and medical complications, among others.
In 2018, Anupriya launched Weigh2Go and has been working as a fitness & nutrition consultant. She has helped over 500 others begin their fitness journey and achieve their body goals.