Towards A Healthy Lifestyle

This is an attempt to outline a healthy lifestyle that results in a healthy body – no diet plans or quick fixes.


Keep drinking a lot of fluids: teas, coffee, even diet (no-sugar-added) drinks - doesn't need to be water. This is to make sure you are not mistaking thirst for hunger (see

Intermittent Fasting

Try to fast for 14+ hours a day, e.g., 10pm - 12n, 7pm - 9am - this forces the body to burn fat:

  • a good guide:  but find your own comfort zone - you can eat multiple meals during your 10 hour non-fast time (never be hungry during this time).
  • This Scientific American article explores the scientific basis for this premise.
  • Over 6+ months, slowly increase until you can fast up to 16 hours. Do not worry if some days you only fast 12 hours. Try to fast for at least 10 hours continuously.
  • A helpful habit to develop: brush your teeth at the start of your fast time, e.g., 8pm, 10pm, etc. This will make you self-aware if you absent-mindedly eat something later.

Keep Moving

Keep moving as much as possible throughout your waking hours - the trick is to develop as many of the below options as a habit.

  • Wear an activity tracker (e.g, Garmin, Fitbit, etc) - when you get the red bars - get up and move as fast as you can for 2 minutes (to get your breathing/heart rate up).
  • Do intense exercise yoga a couple times a day for 5 minutes, e.g.:
    • 5-10 surya namaskars on each side - based on your skill level you may need to do fewer or more.  Try to do at least 5.
    • Try a modified version of the 7-minute scientific workout: do 2 (not 3 sets) of 30-second Cardio/Lower Body/Upper Body/Core exercises with 10 second rest breaks between each exercise
  • Walk for 15 minutes, 15 minutes after lunch/dinner - see  this and  this.

Healthy Eating

  • Eat at least 1 serving of nuts every day - walnuts or almonds preferably:
  • Eat fruit the right way at the right time (see this):
    • Never as juice - always as whole fruit.
    • Always on an empty stomach OR at least 2-3 hours after a meal OR after a workout.
    • Fruit should be eaten alone or with other fruit - do not mix with other food - it may prevent the quick and complete digestion of all nutrients in the fruit.
  • Eat 1 packed cup of greens (other than iceberg lettuce, e.g., baby spinach) with at least 1 meal in the day
    • An easy way to do this: place in a large bowl and just add 3-4 heaped Tbsp of hot dal/chole/rajma/paneer OR 1-2 Tbsp of buttermilk + a little pickle to it.
    • Have this before having rice/naan (this is also a great anytime snack if you feel hungry).
  • Practice "hara hachi bu me".  In other words, stop eating when you are 80% full - it is okay to stay slightly hungry!

Restful Sleep

Make sure you get at least 6-7 hours of good sleep - else you won't lose the weight - (see this):

  • bad impulse control - little like you're drunk
  • too much of bad hunger hormone - ghrelin
  • too little fullness (satiety) hormone - leptin
  • have music like this or this (more) on your phone to help you sleep - just search for "deep sleep music" on YTube

Mindful Meditation

This will help calm down your whole system and prevent nervous eating.

Monitor Yourself

Download and use apps (e.g., MyFitnessPal) both on the phone and laptop:

  • It is a proven method to facilitate and maintain a healthy weight (NIH, WebMd, Cleveland Clinic,)
  • What you measure, you manage - you may "often reconsider eating something because of not wanting to write it down"!