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Getting in the zone

Jitendra Chouksey
Jitendra Chouksey
When you lose fat and you get fit, you feel great. You keep going at it, you feel like you're  on top of the world, you feel unbeatable and even get a photoshoot done! You try to become an expert at fat loss and even take a break for a few days. You enjoy the spoils, I mean a drink or two can't hurt right ? It was just a pizza, how could that hurt you ? A well deserved cheat!

You wake up next morning, fluffier. You look in the mirror and you see some water retention. You tell yourself with confidence, “ah I know what to do now, I can lose it again; It's just a matter of going on the diet again”, and you do, but to your surprise, it doesn't work this time. You get surprised but convince yourself, you'll do it harder this time and drop calories further, but nop! You keep dropping the calories but it doesn't work and then the unexpected happens, the weighing scale keeps shooting up and that's it, back to square one!

Is this you?
What happened to all these scientific principles, calories in, calories out, Keto, LCD, Zone, IF? Suddenly everything looks like a fad. The same diet that worked the first time, doesn't seem to work this time, how is that possible?

I'll tell you how but before that let’s understand your mindset the first time you started dieting. Your goal was to lose some weight, and look good. It was never to adopt a healthy lifestyle, because of-course, you were not that smart and had you been, you'd not be unfit in the first place. So assuming that your primary goal was to just lose some weight and for the sake of argument, let’s say you were a girl weighing 80kgs. You just wanted to get down to 60kgs and you did so successfully. Good job, everyone applauded, mom yelled- “nahi beta bas itni achhi lagti hai, aur mat karna, log kya kahenge”. You being an obedient daughter, complied! Mom knows best after all. Yes? No!

You were never in the zone. Let’s understand: Suppose you're an individual with a height of 5"3 , 5"4 and you weigh around 80 kgs with around 30-35% body fat. Your wish is to come down to 60kgs with no regards to body fat % or maybe some regards to it. You start dieting, you cut down on your calories and eat food which is not your staple. Your metabolism adjusts over a period of time. Now metabolism is directly proportional to the amount of muscle mass you have . When you lose fat, you also lose some muscle mass along with it. The rate of increase in muscle mass < the rate of muscle loss and so by the end of your dieting cycle you inherently slow down your metabolism following the top down approach of cutting calories which is completely fine except you missed your target.

You should have dropped your body fat % further down and should have reached at 53- 54 kgs before trying to go on maintenance because that was your sweet spot. You'd be lean enough to put off fat for a while and before you could get ready for the next round.

A zone is like your new home and your weight is like your old home. When you start walking from your old home towards the new home, make sure you reach your new home before you stop. What happens if you stand in the middle of the highway? You remember your way back to your old home. And that is what happens when after losing all the fat, you gain it back again because body will not forget its old home until it has found a new one.

Like I always say, Dieting should be goal oriented, let me go ahead and tell you that your goal should always be to reach in the zone, before deciding to go any further. The last couple of miles are always the difficult but trust me, once your reach your new home, it's equally difficult to get back to your old home. That's how life works, that's how our mind works, and that's how pretty much everything in the world works including our bodies.

Don't stop in the middle of the highway.

Cheers,
JC