Fitness Friday – Will Power, my top tips and a fitter you

It’s 5.30 am, the alarm has just started to go off and almost in the same instance, it feels like a switch in your body has been pressed to mark the start of a wrestling match between your ‘will power’ and your body! While you have very kindly been reminded to begin your ‘pranayam’ routine along with the ‘surya namaskars’ sequence, your body instantly starts working even harder to keep you glued to your bed. People say, ‘It’s all about your will power‘, don’t they? Well, it is! My ‘will power’ was a much weaker player when I started my morning rituals but today, it does behave a wee bit better! Not quite there, yet, but getting there, nevertheless.

Fitness Mantra #1 – Exercise. The only bad workout is the one you didn’t do…via

The thing is, we all do know what we ought to be doing. Fitness is yours if you Exercise more, eat less and eat the right kind of food! Well, that’s really it! However, the reason there are several ‘diet advice specialists’ mushrooming all over the world is simply because most of us feel that being healthy is not easy, is mostly quite expensive and generally ‘a pain’ to squeeze into our busy lives. If you feel pretty much the same, then don’t fret, you aren’t alone in all this.

I think setting big goals that seem unachievable is simply setting yourself up for failure. I, myself have tried nearly every ‘fad’ diet under the sun and ended up feeling disappointed. I suppose nothing  worked because the goal was unrealistic and the process of achieving it was even more unrealistic! Based on my experience with all, I have put together some points for you, my lovely readers. My advice is simply to take it one day at a time and start your fitness journey! Here are some things that seem to work:

  • Try and wake up 15 minutes earlier than you did, before.
  • Begin with some breathing exercises (have been known to keep you calm and happy).
  • I suggest including ‘surya namaskar’ (maybe, 10) into your routine. It does help to tone!
  • Include some core strengthening exercises (strong core leads to better posture too!)
Keep will get easier one day :-) via
Fitness Mantra#2 – Keep going…it will get easier one day via
  • Eat your breakfast – choose from oats, eggs, poha with sprouts, banana-yogurt-nuts. Whatever, you do, do remember to ‘break-your-fast’ or else be prepared to slow down your metabolism!
Fitness Mantra #3 – Have a healthy, exciting breakfast – Never, ever skip it via
  • Buy a pedometer – fancy walking at least 10,000 steps per day?  Keep the pedometer with you and just for the fun of it, find out how active you are. Looking at statistics is generally helpful.
  • ‘Wheat’ is the new bad word. I love my rotis and puris, but when I am trying to shed off some kilos, I need to go easy on these. So, cut down your quantities of wheat dishes. Don’t go ‘cold turkey’ though! A doctor once remarked, ‘If you need to put on weight, just add another ‘roti’ to your diet’. Well, I am assuming the opposite should work, if I take away a ‘roti’ from my diet!
  • For lunch, choose from a roti wrap, rice-daal, soup, or even a salad.
  • Walk wherever you can and do try to take the stairs instead of the lift.
  • Try to have your three meals and do not snack, is the general rule but if you are like me, than come 4 pm, and your body shouts out for something to chew! I recommend, you make this delicious mixture (roast ‘makhana’, ‘layya’ or puffed rice, roasted chana, seeds, peanuts in a little oil and curry leaves) and carry it with you to work. Have a handful of this with your ‘chai’ or coffee. Alternatively, a handful of spicy roasted nuts or ‘cranberry and nuts’ make for a good option too!
Fitness Mantra #4 – Make sensible snacking a part of your plan if that’s something you can’t do without…via
  • Have your dinner no later than 8 pm.
  • By the time, it comes to dinner time, try to remember if you have had more than 2 -3 portions of grains (a portion will typically be a cup of cooked rice, 1 roti, 1 slice of bread, 1 besan cheela), then try and have only vegetables, salad or just some clear soup for dinner. If this isn’t enough to fill you up then, choose a ‘besan cheela’ to go with your vegetables and salad.
  • If however, you had to eat out in the day or you couldn’t stick to making healthy choices, then don’t fret, tomorrow is another day! If you eat out on any given day, then remember to make up for it the following day. An example would be to have a very light, grain free dinner, the following day.
  • Remember the 80:20 ratio. Eat healthily 80% of the times and allow yourself to indulge 20% of the times.
  • Keep sweeteners, ‘fat free’ options far, far away. They are either artificial,  processed or very high in sugar. Stick to ‘natural’ food items such as butter, sugar but try to use these in moderation and ensure you choose the non-processed items.
  • Don’t give up on your favourite foods. Remember to have the occasional ‘aaloo paratha’, ‘pizza’, ‘pav bhaji’, ‘chole bature’, spicy noodles or whatever takes your fancy! Remember to watch the portions though 🙂
There is no special 'diet' - just better habits via
Fitness Mantra #5 – There is no special ‘diet’ – just better habits via

Eating healthy, exercising in moderation may sound easy but as you guys probably already know from your own personal experience that it really isn’t! Especially true for people like me, who love their food far too much and to make things even harder, don’t like exercising. Figure out what form of exercise works best for you and remember to check with a specialist before you start your new routine. If you think you need support in your journey, think about exercising in a group (think group walks, running as part of a club or perhaps even joining classes in your local gym). Remember to cut down on your sugar and be wary of the ‘wheat monster’ too…All this if put together sensibly, could work, so, give it a go, people! Well, what do you think?  A new start today? Keep going…it might just be fun, who knows!!!

Shilpa xx

Cover image via

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