I quit eating rice and roti for a month to lose weight and this is what happened
By NCVC Staff | Published on Sep 22, 2023
In the vast realm of fitness and weight loss, I have become both the scientist and the rat, constantly experimenting with different diets in search of the perfect solution. From keto to GM Motors to low-carb to the Atkins diet, I’ve tried them all, experiencing both pleasant and not-so-pleasant results. But my spirit remains strong, always eager to find that one thing that truly works for me. Today, I want to share with you my recent diet experiment and the valuable lesson I’ve learned along the way.
For someone like me who loves her morning paranthas and a comforting bowl of dal-rice for lunch, giving up wheat and rice was a monumental sacrifice. However, the weight I gained during the quarantine snacking frenzy pushed me to take this drastic step. I thought to myself, “Let me shed the excess weight with a quick-fix diet, and then I’ll return to my regular fitness regimen.”
So, like an ill-informed, self-proclaimed fitness enthusiast, I decided to eliminate the two main sources of carbohydrates from my diet: wheat and rice. My goal was to shock my body by cutting down on carbs and calories, hoping to lose weight in the process.
Did it Work?
I won’t lie to you, I did lose weight during this experiment. But the outcome shattered my confidence as a scientist and discouraged me from continuing down that path. The weight loss came at a great cost. I lost not only the weight but also my energy levels and concentration.
However, I did feel a certain lightness during this period. It could be because I eliminated wheat, which is a heavy source of gluten, a protein that can be challenging for the body to digest.
Seeking Expert Advice
In search of answers, I reached out to Diksha Chhabra, a fitness expert and nutritionist. According to her, carbohydrates play a vital role in providing energy to the body for various functions. When we consume an excess of carb-rich foods, our body uses these carbs for energy instead of tapping into its fat reserves. This means that even after burning these grains, there may still be unused energy, which can get stored as fat, adding to our existing fat reserves.
When we reduce or eliminate wheat and rice from our diet, our body no longer receives an adequate amount of energy from external sources. As a result, it starts breaking down protein sites to derive energy. This suggests that my weight loss was likely due to muscle breakdown, not fat breakdown. Losing muscle can lead to a slower metabolism, decreased weight loss, and fatigue, which explains why I felt depleted after this diet.
Furthermore, numerous studies indicate that our brain requires a healthy dose of carbohydrates to function properly. This could explain the loss of concentration I experienced during this period.
The Lesson Learned
Now, let’s talk about the valuable lesson I’ve learned from this experiment. Fad diets come and go, but the weight loss they offer is often short-lived. The best approach to losing weight is to do it slowly and in a healthy manner. Make sustainable lifestyle changes such as regular exercise, sufficient sleep, avoiding a sedentary lifestyle, and maintaining a balanced diet.
It’s important to note that there are no inherent side effects of eating rice or wheat unless you have an allergy to them. As long as you consume these grains according to your body’s requirements and incorporate a balanced diet with all the necessary micro- and macro-nutrients, while maintaining a calorie deficit, you can lose weight without compromising your overall health. Instead of quitting these grains entirely, it’s prudent to control the portion sizes.
Remember, there’s no magic pill or quick-fix diet that will provide sustainable weight loss. It’s about embracing a holistic approach to health and well-being. So, let’s ditch the fads and focus on making healthy choices for a lifetime of wellness.