Oneza and her husband had developed unhealthy eating habits.
Muscat: Oneza Tabish, a well-known food columnist in Oman, and her husband have lost 35kg together by taking a holistic approach to diet and exercise.
It’s an incredible story about this couple’s will to fight weight gain without going on a fashionable diet. While Oneza lost 25 kg in a few years, her husband lost 11 kg in the last 6 months by cycling 40 km a day and having to fast intermittently.
As a newly married couple in 2004, Oneza and her husband had developed unhealthy eating habits. Remembering those days, she said that her refrigerator would always be filled with carbonated beverages, commercial juices, ice cream, and more.
“We ate cookies and biscuits when we were hungry, and my husband Tabish drank about 8 cups of tea with condensed milk and sugar. We also ate out twice or three times a week, ”said Oneza.
Her body weight shot up to over 90 kg in no time when she was in her late 20s and her husband in his early 30s. “With the birth of my older daughter in January 2007 and the death of my father in the same year, I got into“ emotional eating ”.
Food somehow became a cure for all of my emotional trauma. I also worked long hours and had no hesitation in ordering a burger or pizza during lunch. So in 2010, the year my second child was born, I had touched 92 kg.
Talking about the moment when the realization dawned, Oneza remembered how the salesman had once told her during a shopping spree in India that she had to wear an XXL top.
“Not only was I very embarrassed that day, but I couldn’t keep up with my children, and running after them seemed like a chore. So I decided that I have to work on my health, no matter what. “
Oneza began her weight loss journey by reducing the portion size of the food.
“I went from 2 to 1 chapati and 1 cup of rice was replaced with a handful. I went and went my way of losing weight. I made sure to walk at least 3 miles a day and take about 10,000 steps a day. I skipped dinner too. This worked for me and I lost about 8 kg in just a month. With Ramadan and as a fasting Muslim, I went a step further by not eating fried food during Iftaar, continuing my walks, and eating only one meal a day throughout Ramadan. With success, I was able to lose around 26 kg in a few months. ”
At 42, Oneza weighs 70kg, but she aims to bring it to 65kg in due course.
“I’ve been maintaining my weight after losing weight since 2012, despite being a foodie, social media food content creator, home cook, and food critic. I make sure not to eat anything heavy in the evening. Sometimes I get carbohydrate-free by sticking to a grilled chicken with a salad or some upma (hearty semolina pudding) or poha (whipped rice).
“My lunch always consists of 2 chapatis with a bowl of vegetables and dal. Breakfast is cooked or a fried egg with 1 toast. At home, although I have help, I do a little housework, be it cleaning, washing the dishes. I love it to cook and can do this for hours which in turn helps me burn calories and rejuvenates it.
“Whenever I eat a pizza, I make sure to make it up the next day with a little exercise and less food. Meal times are important to me because I don’t eat anything after 7:30 p.m. and don’t have breakfast until 8:30 a.m. the next day. That leaves me with a 13 hour fast, ”said Oneza.
Oneza highlighted the challenges she has faced and said it gets difficult when kids waste food.
“Try not to eat your child’s leftovers. Wrap it up and get your child to eat it the next day. Being consistent is challenging, but look at weight loss from a health perspective.
“It’s okay to give in to temptations, so am I, but I’ll do it again the next day. I don’t punish myself for enjoying a pastry! In my case, exercise and portion control helped. I haven’t skipped any of my favorite dishes.”
For Tabish, her husband, that was awakening when he got some pain while walking or exercising.
He tried to get carbohydrate-free and low-fat, but only intermittent fasting worked for him. Following intermittent fasting guru Jason Fung, Tabish adhered strictly to his diet for a year.
“Tabish starts his day around 5am with black coffee to get his metabolism going and control his uric acid.
He goes by bike until 6:30 a.m. and covers around 40 km a day. On the weekends he drives another 100 km. He doesn’t have breakfast and really eats lunch at 2 p.m. “
“This consists of 2 multigrain chapatis with a bowl of dal and sabzi or some mutton or minced meat curry.”
“He has dinner at 6.30pm, which consists of a raw salad with roasted seeds and nuts, 2 grilled chicken legs and a small bowl of bone broth. This diet enabled him to lose around 10 kg in just 7 months. “
“At the age of 47 he dropped from 91 kg to 81 kg. He’s been holding that weight for a year now, ”she added.