7 Genius Weight Loss Hacks I Wish I Had Followed Earlier In Life

Dollops of what works from common people — not glossy magazines

Karthik Rajan
Apr 2 · 6 min read
Photo by Watermark Designs

This is real. This is personal. I adore food, I am perpetually looking for ways to reduce weight. By trial and error, this works for me. May or may not work for you. With that caveat, here is my story.

If you walk for solid 60 minutes, you burn equal to 2 Indian rotis ( 2 tortillas). You can consume the same in less than 2 minutes. The math is loaded against us in the world of easy food.

Exercise is good. Looking at weight loss as a math problem is even more significant. Peppering it with psychology of cravings makes it real and honest.

1. COVID stay at home miracle — food experiment of epic proportions.

When my younger daughter joined school, I earnestly asked her young teacher about her teaching style. She said, “I don’t have one.”

That flustered me. She elaborated, “Each child is unique. I spend time learning their way of learning and then customize.”

I remember her wise words. It was an aha moment.

Every morning, I do something similar to the teacher’s philosophy — I stand on the weighing machine.

I don’t look for just my weight. I figure out what food sticks and more importantly what doesn’t.

The Covid stay at home miracle has done wonders for me. I did a grand experiment. I picked one key food ingredient for the day. Mostly, foods ingredients I like.

For example, I learned that chick peas flour works wonders on my body — it doesn’t stick. White rice, comfort food I grew up, is a nemesis.

This single construct has worked miracles. In adversity, there is a blessing buried deep. This has been my big COVID year upside — helping my mind have more data points about my unique body.

Chuck the generic magazine advice. You do you is the punchline.

2. Limit credit card foods

My father was not a big believer of credit cards. I thought he was resistant to change. I reasoned. You could always pay it in full and leverage the “free” credit. Added bonus was an easy way to get one statement of your spending for each month. All great points but I missed the biggest subtlety.

When I was young, I had great respect and love for my old man to listen to his point of view. His biggest gripe was worth pondering- credit cards made you think less while spending.

Here is the connection to food.

During a recent COVID zoom call, a friend of mine wore his mask. I asked him why. In half jest, he said he wanted a barrier between the snacks at desk and his mouth. In this world of food abundance, savvy marketing and work stresses — the hand to mouth connection has become a bane rather than a boon.

World over, we may differ on how we eat our food. When it comes to snacks-we use our hands. Finger foods in shiny bags are there for a reason. They are like credit cards, they make it so easy that we think less.

In the world filled with savvy marketing and glossy magazines, I seek normal people who are comfortable to speak to.

In a social setting, I do ask them what works for them. One lady said something that is hidden in plain sight, “when I grocery shop in the supermarket, I shop near the walls and rarely in the middle aisles.”

In a simple sentence, she had the last laugh.

This simple change on how I consciously roll my shopping cart has made a world of difference to me.

3. Feel good — inside out. Limit gassy food. If you must, remember this story

70+% of our body is water. Gas is nowhere in that range. Yet, it feels like the ant in an elephant’s ear. Feeling light weight is as important as losing weight.

Many people avoid gassy food. I suggest you limit them with aids. Here’s an interesting story.

I visited Dallas, Texas to meet with one of my teams there. We often shared a meal during the visit. I let the team decide the place to eat. Years rolled by. One time, they turned the tables on me. They suggested I lead them to an Indian restaurant. I sportingly agreed.

On the way out after an eclectic meal, one of my colleagues nudged me, “Hey Karthik, what’s that stuff?”

I turned around to look and I smiled. It was a bowl filled with shiny candy coated stuff. I told him that the stuff inside the candy was fennel and it aided digestion. He was skeptical but he was curious enough to try it out that day.

During my next visit to Dallas, he mentioned to me that he liked the smell and feel of fennel so much that he searched the city and bought it. He chews a few after heavy meals and enjoys that it’s a conversation material over guest dinners at his home.

Aids like fennel are there for a reason. When you stumble upon them, latch on to the ones you like. Most of what I know about aids come from my grandmother — a worldly wise women from the deep villages of India.

Ajwain or Carom seeds is another pleasure she introduced me to.

4. Every zoom call at work is different. Switch some to mobile phone and walk around during the call

There is something age defying about walking. Some socialize with golf, most socialize over food. Like that, some exercise at the gym, most walk around the house and neighborhood.

Walking while talking on phone is something many do. Walking while listening is even better. Meetings are inevitable part of our living day life. We can make the best of them. For many like you and I, they are active listeners. Show your face at the beginning of call, switch to mobile phone and walk around while you actively listen. One of the least talked about working remotely miracles. You walk, you feel good.

5. Fuel for faster metabolism : The ice water trick worked for me.

Water can speed up metabolism. Get some cold water as the first item in the morning on an empty stomach if you can stomach it.

Science says — This will raise metabolic rate 5–30% for 40 to 60 minutes.

That is pretty solid return on zero calories. At the minimum, sipping water in the morning works for me.

6. Close kitchen at 4 PM — another COVID induced lifestyle miracle

My grandmother said it well— “there is no blessing more sweeter than closing kitchen shop early.”

To her, dinner was an overrated meal — not necessarily in the consumption but in the preparation.

If you think deeply, dinner is a bigger social obligation. It’s more a common theme to get the family and friends together for an event.

Last meal as early as possible is a simple game changer. Spoke to real people who just want to fit into clothes and continue to fit into them. Not experts on magazine covers. I found early dinner to be their common theme. Eat early. Science seems aligned with my grandma’s wisdom.

You have a social obligation, pick a French restaurant. Their portions are small — even the desserts. They make you eat with your eye first.

Again, COVID work-life style change for remote work has been a blessing in disguise.

The 16:8 intermittent fasting — 16 hours of fasting with 8 hour window of eating what you like — has worked wonders in my life. 16 looks big but with the night hours and early dinner — it’s worth a shot within my lifestyle.

You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. I am glad I took this one.

7. Eat what you deem absolute best food often. Nobody died eating their food.

The unspoken part is not in the headline.

I didn’t use the word dessert, it is different for desserts unfortunately. Ditto for portions.

Yet, It’s baby step in the right direction. It’s mind thing as much as a portion thing. Eat what you like is important.

Most of the time, we eat ordinary food. Eating extraordinary food(each one their own) is a game changer.

90+ year old famous investor, Warren Buffet has his diet coke or cherry coke with his burgers. My grandpa who lived until he was 104 had one dollop of fresh butter everyday.

Correlation is not causality. Math is not psychology either. Inner joy is as important as fitting into comfortable clothes.

You do you.

Wishing you the very best in your journey.

Karthik Rajan is the author of the “connect the dots” short story-letter, available at this link.

Aha Moments

Left Brain Logic Intersects With Right Brain Communication

Karthik Rajan

Written by

Stories to fuel your mind. Theme: life’s hidden treasures in plain sight. Goal: Warm tone, solid content, crisp stories. About me: one google search away.

Aha Moments

Left Brain Logic Intersects With Right Brain Communication

Karthik Rajan

Written by

Stories to fuel your mind. Theme: life’s hidden treasures in plain sight. Goal: Warm tone, solid content, crisp stories. About me: one google search away.

Aha Moments

Left Brain Logic Intersects With Right Brain Communication

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