Raghbir Tung from California, USA, has lost over 100 pounds to reach the physique that he has today. This journey involved a lot of hard work, dedication and commitment. Here’s what Raghbir had to say about the process:
AAJ Magazine: When did you start your weight loss journey?
Raghbir: I got my gym membership in 2010 and that’s when it all began.
AAJ Magazine: How much did you weigh when you started?
Raghbir: When I went to the gym on my first day, they did a fitness evaluation. In the evaluation, they check your height, weight and body fat percentage. On my fitness evaluation, I weighed in at 302 pounds and 27.8% body fat.
AAJ Magazine: How much do you weigh now?
Raghbir: If we take out these holidays (lol) . . . my normal weight fluctuates between 185-190 pounds. But 176 pounds is the lightest I ever was.
AAJ Magazine: What made you decide to make a change?
Raghbir: Nothing made me decide to make a change. It was more along the lines of adulthood happening. I joined the gym because the very few friends I had moved to different cities to go to college. This resulted in me having no one to hang out with, which was a blessing in disguise. This eliminated any chances of me going out and eating at fast food restaurants. Instead, I started eating healthier (at home) and started spending more time at the gym due to not having anyone to hang out with.
AAJ Magazine: What kept you motivated and disciplined?
Raghbir: Since I didn’t have any peers to spend time with, it resulted in me spending more time at the gym, which I previously mentioned. But due to that blessing in disguise I started spending 2-3 hours at the gym. This sped up my weight loss results. Once I saw the first 10 pounds drop on the scale . . . oh boy! It became an obsession/addiction and the mind started to wonder how much more weight the body can lose! And at the point, I was extremely motivated because I really really badly wanted to get in shape because I was witnessing results. I also have a fitness idol I follow, which is Hrithik Roshan. I always read about him or looked at his pictures, which kept me motivated to work out and disciplined to stay on the healthy lifestyle. But ultimately, I just don’t want to go back to where I was before. The fear of going back to that 302 pounds is what keeps me motivated, disciplined and focused.
AAJ Magazine: What is the key to weight loss based on your experience?
Raghbir: The answer to this question is going to seem played out because you hear it from every trainer or dietician or fitness models, but the correct diet is the key to weight loss. But I also want to add another key . . . This might sound odd, but in my personal experience the key has been giving up going out with friends. I believe that giving up that life where you always go out with your friends was a huge key which helped me lose over 120 pounds. Not going out helped me make better diet choices. I was able to stay focused on my own diet.
AAJ Magazine: What are your favourite exercises?
Raghbir: One of my favourite exercises will always be running or any type of cardio. Another exercise I absolutely love is pull ups. I love pull ups because I remember when I first started going to the gym I could barely hang from the pull up bar because I weighed so much. But over this journey, I saw my weight and body fat percentage go down and slowly I saw that I was able to do one pull up, then two, then three, then four. Today I can do close to twenty pull ups. So pull ups has to be one of my favourite exercises along with cardio.
AAJ Magazine: What are your favourite healthy foods?
Raghbir: I’m a pure vegetarian, so a lot of my diet is a plant based diet and plant based protein. One healthy food I absolutely hated but have now fallen in love with is oatmeal! Some of my other favourite healthy foods are veggie burgers, squash spaghetti, peanut butter.
AAJ Magazine: What are some key tips/advice you have for people who want to lose weight?
Raghbir: My advice to beginners would be to no look at the peak of the mountain because then you’ll think to yourself that today is only my first day and I’ll never get there. Rather, the best way to look at it is: “One Day At A Time, One Meal At A Time, One Step At A Time!” We ever tend to get discouraged when we first start college. We never say on the first day of college that, “Oh great! I have 4 years to go until I get my Masters, I’m never going to achieve it!” We don’t say that. We take it one day at a time, one test at a time, one final at a time and one semester at a time. The same should apply to fitness.