Abhishek Lakhwani
Abhishek Lakhwani before (left) and after Image Credit: Supplied

One of the best things about losing weight, says Abhishek Lakhwani, is you look so much younger. “People tell me, ‘Earlier you looked like an uncle, now you look like a young boy’,” he tells Gulf News in an interview.

The year didn’t start off like this. Lakhwani was at a healthy 118kg, which even on his six-foot frame looked bulky. “I would just eat whatever I wanted,” he explains.

It was something that was beginning to cause concern. “My friends, my family, my wife, everybody was like, ‘lose weight’,” he recalls. Finally he decided to do something about it.

It was the meal plan, meat-heavy, that caught his attention. He decided to head over to the keto diet. Having got himself professional help online, he followed and learned what worked for him. It took him 2 months. Then he continued on his own.

The results got better by the day. “Now I don’t eat anything outside, I eat [home cooked food and] only breakfast, lunch and dinner. Dinner by 8. By the time we sleep it’s 11-12 so there’s a decent gap. And I watch what I eat. I see the calories on my google and then I eat, otherwise I don’t eat.”

He also has a secret weapon: His wife, who looked for recipes that turned familiar favourites into keto-approved alternatives. Think butter chicken.

In so doing, the kilos began to melt off him. He lost 31kg.

It’s also almost cured him of pain. “I have varicose veins so I used to have too much of pain, so climbing stairs in my office also, you know, I used to get pain. Now pain is almost gone in my leg and I climb like 10 times a day - I don’t feel tired at all,” he says.

Having more energy has been a boon - for he can now play with his son without the exhaustion. And it has meant he can begin on stage 2 of his fitness plan: exercise. Four months ago, he explains, he felt well enough to hire a trainer. This long-distance relationship over internet calling channel Botim has meant workouts 3 times a week, saving him from lose skin or a lowered stamina.

Today, Lakhwani weighs 87kg and is raring to drop another 9. Then, he says, he will head to phase three of his plan - upkeep, via a low carb diet.

One of the best things about losing weight is how you are received, says Lakhwani. The other is how clothes fit. “Earlier I used to get so frustrated because I used to go to various shops…no one had my size. I always get angry and go out of the outlet. I was 44 waist. Now I am 34. It’s changed everything.”