Anirudh Deepak who was told he was ‘a ticking time bomb’ went from weighing 194 kg to 83 kg. Here’s how the 28-year-old achieved the feat.
When Chennai-based MBBS graduate Dr Anirudh Deepak was hospitalised for pneumonia in 2018, physicians told him he had five years to live. They described him as a “ticking time bomb” after that.
Because he was overweight, there was no certainty that any doctor could treat him. In the two years that followed, the 28-year-old lost nearly 100 kg, dropping from 194 kg to 83 kg.
He now works part-time as a fitness instructor, advising people on how to live a healthy lifestyle. Anirudh had been slowly gaining weight for some time, and everyone around him had been encouraging him to do something about it to be a beam of hope for individuals.
Anirudh had to deal with the stigma of being overweight in a society that criticises people based on their physical features and generally normalises fatphobia.
He says, “Even as a child, I was mocked by my classmates and by those who were supposed to protect me in the first place. Being overweight can cause a variety of medical problems in addition to lethargy and exhaustion. Sedentism and obesity are to blame for all of your lifestyle diseases.”
Diabetes and hypertension are also examples of lifestyle illnesses. While being overweight is usually associated with low self-esteem, Anirudh was not one of them.”
So, after his wake-up call at the hospital, he resolved to make a lifestyle change.
He claims, “I am a firm believer that no matter what other people tell you, until it comes from inside you, you will not change. You intend to do something about it. I realised I needed to assess my life for the sake of future myself.”
He then began working out and researching other fad diets on the internet.
Nothing changed for over six months. He hadn’t stepped on a weighing machine yet, but his clothing still fit the same, and he could tell there was no difference.
He says, “I was at a loss for words and had given up on myself. And I was just one step away from having bariatric (weight loss) surgery.” As he continued to work out and try new things, he came across the Fittr platform and met his coach, Vinodh Vaitheeswaran, through a friend. And I weighed 194.5 kg.”
Over the next two years, he shed a little more than 110 kg in what was undoubtedly a difficult struggle.
Instead of adhering to a rigorous diet or limits, his guiding idea was portion management.
There is no such thing as good or poor food; it’s all about measuring and eating the appropriate stuff. In today’s culture, the word diet has been demonised, yet the entire diet and fitness regimen must be part of your lifestyle.
Anirudh’s breakfast diet comprised poha or upma, fruits and dried fruits for snacks, roti or rice with dal, vegetables, and curd for lunch, and roti or rice with paneer and vegetables for supper. His plan comprised every dietary category, including jams and cheese, and it was all quantifiable.
Instead of eliminating particular meals, the goal is to simply generate a calorie deficit, which will result in weight reduction. Because everyone is different, it was critical to determine what works well for him and benefits his health.
Rather than limiting and occasionally indulging in cheat meals, they concentrated on regulating portion sizes based on the components and calories in each dish.
There is no precise diet plan for losing weight. It all comes down to our input vs output and how much your body need to burn out. Because one suit does not fit everyone. It must be customised for each individual. Similarly, your diet and training routine must be tailored to your specific needs. He began with weight training five to six days a week, gradually increasing to add cardio. All of them burn calories, but weight training helps you keep your muscle mass.”
Weight reduction is frequently a difficult path since it requires considerable behavioural and lifestyle adjustments.
Anirudh says, “Motivation, I suppose, gets you started. However, consistency is essential. It reminds me of a woodpecker at work. It’s about maintaining consistency throughout time. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”
It is only by being consistent and sticking to lifestyle modifications that one may keep the weight off once it has been lost.
“It’s all about doing the right things and making them a habit. You can’t go back to your previous self.”
Anirudh is now completing his postgraduate studies while working as a fitness coach.
He says, “I want to be a beacon of hope for people, which is why I decided to become a fitness instructor.”