Read about my journey on how The Weight Monitor changed my lifestyle and eating habits–without forcing me to give up on my favorite foods!
I don’t remember the last time I ate right because I wanted to.
I did it because my parents insisted (and cooked) two healthy meals a day but if it were my way, I don’t know the kind of childhood I would have had.
After 29 years of being thin, my almost sedentary lifestyle caught up to me. My metabolism became sluggish—I gained kilos and the whole world noticed. Not just that—I started feeling different.
When I started handling the social media initiatives for Dr. Ishi Khosla, I thought it was a great opportunity to at least to love myself a little. Here are my reviews of The Weight Monitor and in turn, a change in my lifestyle.
What is The Weight Monitor?
In Ms. Ishi Khosla’s words, coming to The Weight Monitor is learning to eat right forever. One of India’s popular nutritionists based out of New Delhi, she started her career at Escorts Heart Institute. Now she’s one of the most sought after nutritionists in India who brought Whole Foods to India and was the amongst the first to speak about gluten intolerance in India. She’s also the author of two books Is Wheat Killing You? and The Diet Doctor.
With over 30 years of treating patients with serious medical problems that range from lifestyle diseases to hormonal imbalances, the intention behind the app was to reach out more people, who are not necessarily based out of Delhi.
The app is based on a unique scoring system, an algorithm if you will, that helps you realize your target score and how to reach it.
The Weight Monitor: How does it work?
Well, it’s simple. Available on both ioS and Android, start with a download and filling in details. These included my medical history, family history, and my current lifestyle habits. I was then prompted to fill in my goals which included a healthier diet and losing about 8 kilos.
A free version allows you to enter your food diary and track your activity every day. A paid version allows you access to a personal nutritionist who not only creates and customizes your diet, but, is also available at the touch of a button. I can also weigh in weekly to see my progress (or their lack) and keep updating the app with an option to attach any medical reports or routine tests.
My first interaction with the team was very comfortable and supportive. I confessed to being very thin and using my gene pool to its utmost advantage till the age of 29. We also went through my typical day: working on the blog, and that, I spend a lot of my time socializing a few times a week. She seemed very understanding and supportive of a few things that I was doing right. A day later, Team Weight Monitor had given a four-page document which included some tips as well as a customized diet plan.
My Customised Diet Plan
Here is a snapshot of my diet as well as how I tailored it on the basis of how many changes I could make:
Early Morning: I was initially advised to have a shot of wheatgrass juice (since my mother is a survivor of breast cancer), but since I had a problem with finding fresh wheatgrass, my nutritionist has given me a few option which includes aloe vera, gooseberry/lemon water, or even apple cider vinegar. These are easier ingredients to find and I’ve just started doing this step. According to my nutritionist, your early morning routine is supposed to be functional and should ideally help you detox, aid digestion, metabolism and more.
Early Morning suggestions: 1 shot of wheatgrass/ aloe vera juice/ apple cider vinegar diluted in water + 1 shot Gooseberry/Lemon Water
Breakfast suggestions: Since I’m now allergic to milk (I used to love it till I was 26), I’ve been asked to make the best of soy milk if I like. Talking about my breakfast, it’s principally the same. Instead of 1 egg meaning 1 egg white and 1 egg yolk, I’m advised to eat 2 egg whites and 1 egg yolk. I don’t do this on all days but I try to do it as much as I can. The biggest improvement in my breakfast and snack routine has to be giving up white bread. I stick to multigrain bread every time I eat toast or even help myself to a sandwich. My diet even allows me to have a stuffed roti or a parantha BUT should be made of multigrain atta (something I haven’t switched to as yet). Other options include poha, dosa, uttapam, cereal, and oatmeal.
Breakfast: 2 egg whites, 1 yolk + 1-2 slices of multigrain bread/ 1 stuffed roti + 1 cup soy milk or 1 cup tea without sugar
Mid-morning suggestions: I recently had a chat with my nutritionist and confided that I possibly cannot eat a whole bowl of salad at lunch. She advised eating 2 portions (1 tomato, 1 carrot or cucumber) before lunch time just to make sure I get enough roughage. If not, I can stick to a fruit (watermelons, musk melons, and papayas are my summer favorites), or have a cup of green tea with a handful of dried fruits.
Mid-morning snack: 1 cup green tea+ fruit+ dried fruits
Lunch: My family and I are used to finishing lunches by 1.30 pm (which is good). This was the part where I had to make the least amount of changes. While I needed to increase my intake of salad, other aspects like white rice, phulkas, lentils and veggies remain untouched. The biggest takeaway from this would have to be portion control. If I watch my portions, I still get to eat great food. Recently I went to a restaurant to enjoy chicken sukka and mutton curry and was advised to add veggies/salad to it. That’s it!
Lunch: 1 cup salad (2 is preferred) + 1 serving or ½ cup of rice + 2 phulkas+ 1 cup dal+ 1 serving of veggies
Since I’m home most days of the week, I usually eat a fruit right after lunch. I was advised to give it a gap of anywhere between 30 minutes to 2 hours depending on my appetite. If I have any sweet cravings, I usually eat 2 pieces of dark chocolate or 1-2 dates. I also confessed going hangry (hungry and angry) on some days at about 5 pm and was advised to ditch snacking habits. I traded in my namkeen packets with a slice of multigrain bread or a sandwich.
Mid-evening; 1 cup tea or coffee without sugar/ 1 cup green tea + 1 sandwich/1 stuffed roll
When it came to Dinner, it’s all about timing. Team Weight Monitor was happy to find that I was used to eating for 8 pm (they prefer 7.45 pm actually). Dinner is again, super flexible, I could stick to phulkas with a portion of lentils and veggies. To change things up, I can also switch to soup, veggies and a portion of chicken or fish (up to 150 grams). If I like, I can also eat paneer or tofu but the portion limit is up to 50 gms. I can finish dinner with a swig of dried fruits like dates and prunes. Since I have most of these at home (except tofu), this transition was doable.
Dinner: Salad (1-2 cups)+ 1 serving of vegetables + 1 cup lentils + 2 phulkas/ 1 phulka and ½ cup rice
Soup (1 cup)+ 1 serving of vegetables+ 1 portion of fish/chicken + ½ cup pasta or 1 slice multigrain bread
If I’m up till midnight and craving for a snack, I try to keep it to prunes or other dried fruits in the fridge. Sometimes I even eat muesli with dried fruits, just like a snack.
Midnight Snacks: Dried fruits/ Cereal/ Low-cal snacks
How long have I been doing this for?
I downloaded the app about 22 days ago but I did lose track in between because I was down with the flu for about 2-3 days.
I try to fill in my food diary every day and if I forget to do that, I make most of the option to fill in earlier days just so I can look at my graph and have a fair idea about what I’m doing.
What do I love about The Weight Monitor?
Two things. The first would be that it comes from a clinical nutritionist who gives me access to my nutritionist. The second would be a database of Indian foods. I have downloaded both diet and fitness apps in the past and none of them have had a database which made it very difficult to keep track. The Weight Monitor has a database of most Indian foods which proved beneficial.
Were there any snags with The Weight Monitor?
Honestly, I’m very skeptical about dieting. Not diets. Crash dieting is something I’ve seen a lot during my years yet I never felt the need to do it. For me, it was very important to NOT set unrealistic expectations with myself or my body. There are a lot of nutritionists who advise giving up on foods completely and thankfully, that’s not the case here.
Talking about snags, I use iPhone 6S and apart from the app crashing sometimes, I haven’t faced any issues. The team is super quick to respond via messaging which really helps.
The Biggest Takeaway from The Weight Monitor
Not to sound cheesy, but it honestly feels like self-love. My basics of healthy eating were formed when I worked at Prevention but I didn’t use or apply most of them. After taking my figure for granted for a long time, I no longer want to be thin. I want to be fit.
Make little changes. Choosing fresh produce over processed foods or just switching to multi-grains makes a significant difference.
Practice Portion Control. I’ve also figured that balancing out your meals is where most of your weight loss comes from. If you master that, it’ll be easier to build healthier habits.
Sugar is so addictive—the lesser you have it, the better. I’ve cut down sugar (the one that’s visible) to one tablespoon a day and the effect is instantaneous. The lesser the sugar, the lesser the cravings. If you have a sweet tooth, try this and you may see a difference.
Take multivitamins. Since my immunity is really low (I have a very sensitive throat), I am taking multivitamins and a probiotic for up to a month.
What’s next? Road to Healthy Living
I plan on using the Weight Monitor for the next three months for sure. Since I’ve already seen a change in my waist size, I’m really looking forward to achieving my goals. I exercise very sporadically and that’s something I’m already trying to improve.
Next, could be a juice cleanse and taking an active part in eating healthier.
Free app download
Access to a food diary, activity tracker, and sync in with FitBit
Purchased plans include customized diet plans, access to a nutritionist and more
The cost for 3 months per person is Rs 4,000 upwards whereas a couple is Rs 7,000 upwards.
Do share your journey with me in the comments’ section. I’d also be happy to answer any questions about the app!
Thanks so much!