#LadiesWhoLift: This Working Mom Lost 50 Kilos By Lifting Weights & Portion Control

Arun posted on 16 February

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Santhi Abin is a 35 year old who struggled with her weight throughout her 20’s. This working mom lost 50 kgs through a structured diet, portion control, High Intensity Interval Training {HIIT} workouts and heavy strength training.

Eating Right Is Everything

Santhi Abin’s journey through fat loss and fitness started almost five years ago. Being fit while growing up, she got in to the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle well after her graduation. Poor eating habits led to her putting on weight which fuelled more poor eating habits, and the vicious cycle continued. At the start of her journey she was, 30 years old, 5’4 and weighed a 120 kilos. Today, she’s 35 years old, still 5’4 but stands at 70 kgs. That’s 50 kgs less!

Santhi feels her make or break moment was when she figured out how to eat structured balanced meals. According to her, proper nutrition contributes to 70-80 per cent of fat loss and working out a mere 20-30 per cent. She’s been through diets such as Keto and Paleo, but now relies on portion control and measured macros {eating the right amount of fats, carbs, protein is collectively called macros. She did go to a bunch of nutritionists who would give her strict diets that excluded foods entirely and had no room for change, and found their plans unsustainable in the long run. She maintained a food diary where she would log her meals, measured portions, and also include a few treats every now and then. This shift saw a huge drop in her numbers. She went from 120 kgs to 100kgs and that’s when she decided to start working out.

Even after she started working out, she was careful about what she ate and kept an eye on her carb intake. Today, Santhi enjoys treating herself once a month to a cheat meal, where Nutella is involved. During the week, she is conscious about what she eats and is careful to plan and prep her meals in advance — from chopping veggies to marinating chicken. She also likes to eat MuscleBlaze {get it here} protein bars during the week to supplement her workouts. One app she vouches for is MyFitnessPal, which helps you count calories. So if you’re unsure about how healthy or unhealthy what you’re eating is, just find that food on the app and it will break down how much fat/protein/carbs/calories it has.

Working Out

Santhi knew that at 120kgs, working out had a good chance of hurting her knees and joints, so she waited to drop down to 100kgs before she started exercising. She vehemently argues that all women must lift weights. The science behind lifting weights for women is sound, as building muscle not only makes you look better in all the right places it also burns off much more fat in the long run. Running on a treadmill is boring and no one should ever have to do it, so instead she picks High Intensity Interval Training {HIIT}. Kind of like sprinting fast and taking measured breaks as opposed to running slowly for long durations.

She currently works out at F45 gym, where her workouts are no longer than 45 minutes, along with 15 minutes for warmup and stretches, three to four times a week! Her workouts consist of compound exercises like squats and deadlifts, exercises that she says are great for fat loss as they work most major muscle groups and are inherently functional, in that they carryover to everyday activities really well. To finish up, she uses HIIT as part of her routine, where she does repeated bouts of short intense activity followed by rest in between.The idea of these short workouts with compound movements is something that functional fitness gyms like F45 have pioneered as exercising this way saves time and has the most bang for your buck.

For more on F45’s functional training gym, check out their website here and their cool Instagram page here.

Results And Her Message To You

Today, Santhi looks great, trains regularly during the week at F45 and is strong af. She can deadlift 100kgs, which is way over her bodyweight! For those of you that don’t speak gym, that means she’s picked up 100kgs off the floor! She looks and feels better and is full of energy.

Her 50kg drop wowed everyone around her and when asked what advice she has for people listening to her story she had three things to say.

Firstly, she swears by finding a good trainer as technique and exercise form is everything. No point hurting yourself by doing exercises poorly, so finding a good trainer is important. Secondly, there are no magic pills and quick solutions on this journey, steady and consistent work is what will bring real change. Crash diets and intense workouts will work in the short term but are impossible to adhere to in the long run. Thirdly, women need to lift heavy weights! The myth that women will bulk up if they lift weights is just that, a myth. According to her stronger joints, fitter and better looking bodies and much better fat burning capability are what’s in store for you, if you lift weights.