“EVERY JOURNEY BEGINS WITH THE SINGLE STEP, BUT YOU WILL NEVER FINISH IF YOU DON’T START”. Yes, magic wands do not exist in fitness and weight loss, If you want results …. you have to work hard otherwise your wish will always stay a wish.
Few years back I have interviewed Moomal Asif ,who is an excellent trainer and dietitian. Today i am introducing another Weight – loss expert Hina Iftikhar, She is an expert in this field. She is helping hundreds of Women, lose weight fast by being personally involved with each person for support in healthy eating, fitness workout videos, and continuous encouragement to help them reach their weight loss goals.
Hina is Masters in English and stuyding diet and nutrition from a renowned university these days. She is a housewife and the mother of a beautiful six year old daughter. Due to PCOS and infertility she has gained a lot of weight. Self study helped her fight obesity. She is one of the admins at the popular ladies Facebook group “Our Weight Loss Regime”. She is running a blog where she is sharing her experiences and tips about health and fitness . Link to her Blog is below:
I am grateful to her for sharing her experience in the field of health and wellness. She sheds light on the nutrition and diet, as well as shares her thoughts on why working as a weight loss expert is a job worth doing.
Self-confidence and weight loss are two interrelated axes. When you have high self-confidence you can lose weight easier because you believe in yourself.
Question: You have helped so many women through your fitness program. Please tell us what convinced
you to lead a healthy lifestyle, and what inspired you to turn it into a fitness program and form a group.
I was skinny as a child, with puberty came pcos, insulin resistance and gradual gain in weight and other symptoms related to pcos such as thinning scalp. Initially,I made the same mistakes, starving to lose weight. I didn’t have proper understanding or knowledge of the science of fat loss. So I did what everyone does initially, go without food all day with minimal eating. Little did I know then that this is a metabolism killer and you not only stop losing weight but in fact gain even more.
Then eat less and workout more was my next step. Once again you start encountering weight loss plateaus, to overcome those, the trainer tells you to further reduce your intake and increase workout time. This soon leads to impractical and insane amount of workout and very less eating.
As I said earlier there are years of mistakes in ignorance and then years of self study that led to knowledge and ultimately adopting a healthy lifestyle. But despite following a healthy regime losing fats with PCOS and insulin resistance is very challenging. There comes a point in life where you realise despite loving and accepting your self the way you are, you need to do more. Although I ate clean and healthy and walked for one hour daily I was not losing fats. I started HIIT workout with very low carbs diet and lost 16 kgs and a whooping number of inches, 4 inches from chest, 6 from waist, 5 from lower abs, 3 from hips and 2 from thighs, in 1 year.
A friend and my former colleague’s daughter Maryam Rauf formed this group and added me as a member among other acquaintances. I had vast knowledge on the subject due to years of self study so I started writing posts. My command over language and my knowledge both are tools that makes my writings on different issues and topics relevant with the science of fat loss appealing to the readers. When Maryam’s commitments made it difficult for her to run the group actively, she requested Sundas and I, to run the group as admins. She knew both of us personally, and trusted enough to hand over the group to us. So being admin of the group was more of a chance or perhaps predestined.
Question: Can you share your most effective diet plan with us.
Basically I do not believe in the so called conventional diets. In fact I am totally against following fad diets or starvation that women usually endure due to lack of knowledge. These can be harmful for vital organs, besides being metabolism killers these can bring onslaught of muscle loss, hair fall, brittle nails, weakness and aging.
I myself following ketogenic diet, because of insulin resistance due to PCOS.
But for generally otherwise healthy or more specifically people with no hormonal imbalance, it is advisable to have a nutritionally balanced, clean and healthy, limited calories, limited starches, 3-5 meals, meal plan with portion control based on approximately 1200 calories daily, to help them lose extra fat.
Click the diet plan for clear and enlarge image:
Question: What are some of the challenges you faced in the beginning, and what can those who want to start their weight loss journey learn from them?
Losing weight for me is very challenging due to insulin resistance, as each person varies, so does how your body responds to your efforts to lose weight varies. Mine is the most stubborn fat, but I have learnt to embrace myself the way I am. Despite the odds, I lost a considerable amount of fats, toned my muscles and adopted a positive attitude towards life. I learnt to remain calm in any level of stressful situations.
- Patience and consistency help you go a long way. Unfortunately when we start making efforts to lose weight, the graph of expectations goes so high, that any initial disappointments lead to quitting the efforts. It takes time, patience, perseverance and a lot of commitment to overcome any obstacles in life including obesity.
- Since we are talking about challenges, I will add something though not asked, but I want to share. When I and Sundas started off as admins, the group was literally dead. Although there were 2500 members at that time but no one posted, there were no comments on our posts and it literally seemed to Sundas and I, we were two last persons alive on a planet of dead. But we shared links, whatever we were reading currently. We shared motivational stories. And slowly we started getting member requests and new members were active and adding their friends and family members. Soon the activity on group became too much for us to handle. So we requested active group members with sound knowledge to help us. The group today has five active admins, and almost 60,000 members.
You can join Hina’s group for more details: OUR WEIGHT LOSS REGIME
Question: Although there are many things one can do to get fit, what are the most effective tips you would recommend for someone who is just starting out on a fitness journey?
Yes, there are many ways to reach the same goal. How do you decide which one to follow.
- There are today doctors and nutritionists who advise medicine. There is the tried and tested eat less workout more. There are fad diets and there are starvation like self created diets.
- I would always suggest your body is a sacred gift from nature and should never be abused. Least of all for a reason such as weight loss which can be achieved following a healthy regime. What can be better if by following clean and healthy eating and regular workout regime, you not only lose weight but also become healthier. Your immunity, strength and stamina increases. Your vital organs, your hormones, blood pressure, blood sugar levels, sleep, skin, hair, nails etc everything improves or comes in optimal levels.
- Decide what is your real goal? Are you aiming for a short term goal or ready for lifelong commitment. For a lot of people trying to lose weight is a seasonal thing, just before their own or some relative’s wedding, they can be aiming at some reduction in inches. For this they usually have a bigger goal in short period of time. Stress over not losing weight makes it even worse as stress hinders fat loss, especially from stubborn fat areas.
- On the other hand what actually should be is that every day you watch what you eat. A little checked or portion controlled indulgence is very much acceptable but generally every one whether obese or lean, whether young or old, should be following clean and healthy eating with regular workout.
Question: Many people give up early when they don’t see results. What motivates you to stick to exercising and eating healthy regularly?
Although the fat had accumulated over years, but when someone starts to make an effort to lose weight, the expectations of success are unrealistic. This leads to disappointment.
- Set realistic goals. Do not over exert. It will take time, energy, effort, patience and perseverance but it will eventually happen. You will reach a realistic goal. Realistic in the sense that no one can beat nature and inheritance, if you are naturally pear shaped you can improve and bring your body into balance but if you hope to become hourglass, it will not happen. But you can improve your appearance within the realistic bounds. Strength training with eating right, can help you improve what nature has given you.
- What really motivates me is the realization that today the science of weight loss has advanced, and there is more focus on fixing the metabolism rather than finding short time quick fixes. Or yoyo fad diets of the eighties era. I know that as long as my diet and workout regime is boosting my metabolism, I cannot go wrong. Weight loss is challenging for me due to pcos, but I am not competing with anyone. I am going at my own pace and happy that every small step is in the right direction.
Question: Basic obligations to our own bodies sometimes get neglected, as we can’t seem to find the time to fit them into our busy schedules. What is a typical day for you?
Life is indeed too short. With all the duties and many activities that we have each day, at times it comes down to actually setting your priorities straight.
- I believe whether you are working or a homemaker or stay at home parent, or student, it is a pity if you cannot find the time to eat right and indulge in physical activity such as workout. It is as you said, an obligation to this sacred body to take good care of it.
- We are actually not living an isolated life, our life is linked with so many other lives. Our health is vital, we can give care and proper nurturing to others only when we are ourselves healthy. So while your other duties take up a lot of your time, if you do not recharge and refresh yourself, your performance in those duties will be affected With obesity comes obesity related diseases. To ward off those I cannot stress enough to give your health and well being primary importance.
- I workout three days a week, for half an hour, advance level HIIT workout, plus once a week pilates or yoga for thirty minutes. Alternate days workout, one day rest in between to give my body rest and time to recover and repair. I learnt this over time that when it comes to workout less is more.
- I eat three keto meals with a little indulgence now and then.
- A lot of my time daily goes to my Facebook group where I answer queries and write posts and share links. The rest of the day is for my lovely family.
Thank you Hina for giving your precious time to me and my readers your single word is useful for us.
I have read somewhere that,
“It’s up to you to decide in which category of people who want to belong; to weight loss winners or weight loss losers. If you think about it, it’s really that simple: you make the decision – set the target and work towards your goals or you just declare defeat and forget about it”.
I will recommend you to join her group and ask about your fitness problems from her. She will not only help you but also can design customized diet plans for you.
WHAT YOU DO IS WHO YOU WANT TO BE……:)