When Mohamed Mufeed finally went to the doctor in 2018, he recalls, it was because he had trouble sitting properly. At five-feet-four-inches and a generous 105kg, he was suffering the beginnings of a fatty liver. “I used to eat 7-8 times a day,” says the Keralite of his earlier diet. And of these meals, many were of the junk variety. When the doctor called for weight-loss – even a 20kg suggestion at the time didn’t seem so dramatic; at his height, Mufeed should have weighed between 53 and 64kg.
It’s not that Musfeed didn’t know that he needed to shed the kilos nor was it a lack of drive – he was stuck in a yo-yo dieter’s nightmare.
Plus, he’d always been overweight and rather fond of food. It didn’t help that his father owns a restaurant either; it meant he always had access to the dishes he craved.
It look Mufeed three months of diet (eating very little) and exercise for him to lose 6kg. Since he couldn’t really tell the difference in self, except he was exhausted having not consumed enough nutrition, he quit the gym. But just when it seemed like he was about to hit another dieter's loop, he spoke to some trainers and ferociously googled, trying to find a few way to bring change.
A different meal plan
He began a calorie-deficit diet, keeping meticulous count of each item of food he was consuming and what he could realistically burn off. Mufeed also turned his habits around, choosing vegetables and proteins as his mainstay. If he’d feel the need for sugar, he’d have a bit of a substitute: dates, honey, fruits. The fast-food cravings didn’t go away, but he’d found a new way to manage them. “So whenever I craved anything, I thought by Thursday night I’ll eat anything I’m craving. So keeping that in my mind I used to work out maybe 2 times in a week,” he explains.
The workouts he engaged in were a two-hour extravaganza of cardio and High Intensity Interval Training and weights. “Within 3 months I started seeing a change in my body,” he says.
No scales, please
He did not, however, stand on a scale. He says this decision actually kept him on track. “You know, because when we check the weight, we will next minute be like oh [I only lost] this much – we will lose confidence,” he explains. Instead he let the elasticity of his jeans’ waist bands tell him what he suspected – the weight was coming off.
And so motivated, he continued on this journey; in another 7-8 months, he was down to the 60s. Then he decided to skip weight training – “too many supplements needed”, he says – and continue with the cardio. “My body is the kind of body where if I don’t work out gradually the fat starts coming back. I’m still doing the cardio, weights not so much,“ he says.
Since this success – a 9-month project back in 2018, from January to September- where he lost 46kg he’s kept the weight off while working in a restaurant. He says it only works if you find a plan that suits your body – and if he’s anything to go by, that’s true.