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Intermittent fasting has turned out to be a feast in a world of diet fanatics. But as celebrities and people across the world are proving… Well, it’s certainly not for nothing! Lizelle D’Souza, a film producer and wife of choreographer-filmmaker Remo D’Souza is the latest success story.
She weighed 105 kg in 2018. And one fine day around Christmas that year, she decided: “It is enough. I need to change. I need to take care of myself”. Earlier this year, she reached her target of 65 kg, going down on the weighing scale by a whopping 40 kg.
But she reminds us: “You can’t say it was unhealthy because it took me two years and more to achieve it.”
In this interview with HealthShots, Lizelle tells us about going from a size 20 to a size 6-8, her diet, the variations she tried, dieting do’s and don’ts, her workout routine, and battling the naysayers.
Lizelle says she always used to skip breakfast – a meal that should usually be eaten king size. It was her “chattar pattar” eating habits – binging over Chinese food or pani puri and chaat – which spurred her weight woes overtime.
She started her transformation journey with two things: cutting off carbs and sugar. After that, she went on to intermittent fasting, beginning with a 14 hour fasting time. “I pushed it to 16, and then 18. At one point I was also doing it for over 20 hours, but then returned to 14-16 hours,” she says.
This includes 2 meals and a wholesome juice or a nutritious smoothie.
“People get very scared of Keto because they consider it a high fat diet. But if you do it properly, it won’t be! My dietitian never made me go into cheese or butter,” she says.
As long as it is good fat like eggs and avocado perhaps, it’s good to go! She doesn’t even mind a bulletproof coffee, with a spoon of ghee. That, she says, works well to spike your metabolism.
Lizelle was recently asked by someone: “Since you do intermittent fasting, do you eat anything in those 8 hours?” And she had an easy reply: “You can eat anything. But I don’t eat anything because it makes no sense, especially if you are striving for a certain target.”
But that doesn’t mean Lizelle doesn’t have one “keto” cheat day a week.
What about her pani-puri cravings? Well, she soothes it with swigs of the spicy paani alone!
Without offering technical dieting advice, Lizelle shed light on the psychological aspect.
1.Do what you feel, and what works for you: According to Lizelle, just like every person’s life is different, “Even if you and I are eating the same food, it may work for you differently than it works for me. So, see how your body adapts to it and see what makes you feel good, your skin glow, and makes you sleep well”.
2. Don’t listen to anyone: She shares, “In my weight loss journey, a hundred people told me, ‘You’re doing unhealthy things’. But it was working for me. So yeah, ‘Don’t listen to anyone. Listen to yourself and to your body’.”
3. Don’t look at me and follow me (my weight loss journey). Maybe something works for you, and something doesn’t. But just remember to do it the right way.
In the months following Remo’s sudden heart condition towards the end of 2020, Lizelle tried different diets.
“I went on a liquid diet, I went on a calorie deficit diet…and then I got so confused. I felt nothing was really working. That’s when Remo told me, ‘Just do what works for you’. And then I stuck to keto.”
The pandemic and ensuing lockdown alone made Lizelle drop 8-9 kg, she says. The reason was because she was just eating home-cooked food!
Often, she faces remarks about having access to the best gyms and trainers. But she feels it’s because that’s the easy thing to say for people.
“I was eating self-prepared food at my place. That is what works. It wasn’t that I was eating expensive food and that’s why the keto or intermittent fasting worked. No… it was basic walking and basic food.”
Sharing some words of wisdom, Lizelle says, “Weight loss is more about patience. It takes time, planning and discipline. People just want something fast. But remember – If weight loss is like a mission, you will do it as a mission and put it up (on social media). But if you change it as a lifestyle, you have to adapt to it.”
Lizelle feels she has become calmer and more confident. “Once you’re confident, you start feeling that you look good. And then everything around you starts looking and feeling good,” says the mother of two, who has been on a break from her strict dieting and workout regime over the past few months.
That’s because of a cloud of anxiety due to mentally disturbing events around.
A huge part of trying to follow a diet correctly, she says, is knowing when to stop. “When you’re disturbed, you automatically know that your body is not creating the right hormones. And so I took off from my routine.”
She even piled on a few kilos, but she’s going to be back at it super soon to reach her new target of 62 kg.