It’s small things that spark big changes – in the case of Indian expat Vipin Kuriakose, it was a watch.
Kuriakose’s wife, Anju, bought him an Apple watch as an anniversary present and in doing so, she changed their life.
The 177cm-tall expat admits to unhealthy habits, eating sugary treats and irregular meal timings before the watch. He was also prone to not exercising. The result of these life choices was a borderline blood cholesterol levels and gastric troubles.
The watch brought with it novelty – the ability to count macros and counter old habits; it would tell you about your sleep quality, the amount of exercise you had done and how many calories you had burnt. It would allow you to monitor yourself – the first step to changing yourself.
The 33-year-old began with a diet detour – eating at set timings; breakfast at 6.30-7am, lunch at 12-12.30pm and dinner at 6pm. “I did not change major food items – I just ate my food on time,” says Kuriakose. The one major change he did make in terms of intake was reducing sugary foods and snacks. If the hunger gnawed at him, he’d eat cucumber and apple slices and drink water until he was full. “Initially I was drinking four-five liters of water,” he says.
Lunch: Rice two tablespoons with a vegetarian or non-vegetarian curry and salad.
Dinner: Two chapattis with a vegetarian or non-vegetarian curry
Snacks now: Snacks like nuts and oats biscuits
He also found himself a formula that worked for him; he coined it ‘FEWAR’.
He explains it in an email as:
F = Food (Eat your food on time.
E= Exercise (7km every day, burn 800 – 1,000 calories per day)
W= Water (Drink 4 to 5 liters of water per day)
A= Asleep (Sleep for 8 hours a day, from 8pm to 4am)
Being an engineer, Kuriakose prides himself on logic and math. And so when he felt his exercise goals were falling short, he tried is own version of Albert Einstein’s formula E=MC². According to Kuriakose, Exercise Goal = Move/measure + Control and Conserve.
Even with these ideals playing on his mind, Kuriakose admits the first week was hard. “Initially I had first week starting trouble, but then after that I continued my exercise and food regularly and I did not have any cheat days,” he says.
It was perhaps particularly difficult because while his family supported him, they were not as committed to the lifestyle shift. “Initially,” explains Kuriakose, “they didn’t cooperate so much with me. After seeing my weight loss however, they changed their lifestyle too. Now, my family also follows the same diet plan.”
In a matter of five months, Kuriakose was down 30kg to 76kg; his wife lost 15kg. His son, five-year-old, Adon, is also in a healthier place, having given up gorging on unhealthy snacks such as biscuits and chips and replacing them with fruits.
“Losing weight has really changed my life,” says Kuriakose, whose cholesterol levels are normal. His energy levels are up and he’s much much happier.
Kuriakose suggests using a fitness application such as 'Map My Run', 'Fitness Buddy' or 'Run Keeper' if you don’t have a smartwatch to help you track your macros, calories and progress.
Start small and big things will happen - just look at the Kuriakose family, whose new lifestyle began with the buying of a watch.