• As he approached his thirties, Maneet Dharia started to notice his weight increasing due in part to his diet and social life.
• Dharia hired a trainer to work out a healthier diet plan and a simple training routine that would hit multiple muscle groups in a given week.
• Thanks to those simple changes, Dharia has now lost close to 60 pounds and is healthier and more fit than ever.
It wasn’t that Maneet Dharia never tried to be healthy. When he was younger, Dharia, 32, who works as a dentist in Los Angeles, could lose weight easily, all while packing his social calendar full of meals and social drinks without thinking twice. As he approached his thirties, however, that began to change—just as it does for most people. The dinners and drinks started to add up, and when Dharia eventually hit nearly 200 pounds on his 5’10” frame, he realized it was time to get serious about his long-term fitness goals.
“I was a bigger guy who wanted to be in shape like a fitness model—and above all, I wanted to be healthy,” Dharia says. In the past, Dharia says he’d typically work out without a single goal in mind, often spending his entire time at the gym on the elliptical. But his knowledge gap in the gym wasn’t the only problem.
“I didn’t appropriately set limits on myself socially and dietarily,” Dharia says. For instance, he’d hardly ever say no to friends who wanted to go out or socialize. “I would eat what I thought was healthy without measuring the quantities or thinking about macros and micronutrients.” Even at work, Dharia had a tough time—much of his day was spent sitting next to patients and commuting from one office to another.
Dharia knew he wanted to change, but he was also self-aware enough to know he couldn’t do it alone. So he sought the help of a personal trainer, Akash Vaghela, who works with online body transformation company RNT Fitness. Vaghela started Dharia out slowly, first by just having him walk more. The he had Dharia pay closer attention to his diet to include a well-balanced mix of fat, protein, and carbs.
“Having an idea of what you are consuming and in which quantities makes such a big difference compared to making assumptions about what you’re eating,” Dharia says. “It’s shocking how inaccurate our estimations can be.” Then they looked at Dharia’s gym routine—knowing it was time to move beyond the elliptical. “I now have a comprehensive workout plan I follow that hits most muscle groups multiple times a week,” he says. “I focus on large muscle groups and then hit the smaller muscles last.”
That said, Dharia credits most of his success to the simple fact that he started moving more throughout the day by walking and avoiding sitting at work. “This simple lifestyle change reduced the need for more formal cardio training, although I still performed HIIT workouts a couple of times a month,” he says.
Along the way, Dharia also made sure to take photos of his changing body. That way, even if the numbers didn’t budge on the scale, he says, he could easily see the real-time changes he was making. Within a matter of months of paying closer attention to his meals, he knocked his weight all the way down to a super-lean 135 pounds.
However, Dharia says, it’s not just the weight that’s changed: “I’ve set higher expectations and standards for myself,” he says. “Many of the concepts I learned during my transformation have passed on to other aspects of my life—accountability, tracking, discipline, consistency. I feel much more energetic, and I now carry a belief that I have what it takes to accomplish things that may seem impossible.”
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