Welcome back to our “Healthy Habit Heroes” blog series, where we share members’ stories in their own words about their experiences with Yes Health.
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Pravakar’s doctor hadn’t diagnosed him with prediabetes, but he was carefully monitoring his glucose levels, which were hovering just over 100 mg/dL*. Pravakar needed to lose weight too–but going to the gym five days a week and eating his veggies just wasn’t helping. And he was starting to feel frustrated.
When I enrolled in Yes Health last September, I got a lot of valuable coach feedback I could immediately put into action. For example, I had only been doing cardio at the gym. And even though I was going consistently, the scale wasn’t budging. With the coaches’ encouragement, I added strength training to build more muscle. I’m doing Tabata now, a form of high-interval training, and I enjoy it. When I first started, I could barely walk afterwards. You really use your glutes! The coach feedback on how to exercise more effectively made a huge impact and I started losing weight again. I’m excited to keep adding to my workouts.
In mid September, I weighed 153. After just 3 months on the Yes Health program, my weight was down to 142. My glucose was under 100 and my cholesterol (LDL) dropped from 116 to 104. My goal is to get it under 100 over the next few months.
I also learned to change the way I eat. I was in the habit of having an apple as an afternoon snack. Now, I have apple slices and a handful of nuts so I don’t end up spiking my sugar levels or stoking sugar cravings. I’m learning how important protein is to supporting weight loss. Instead of my usual morning oatmeal, I add an egg on the side and some nuts or Greek yogurt to balance my plate. Getting enough protein keeps me feeling energized and fuller longer. I’m checking food labels more too and making sure I have the right mix of protein, carbs and veggies in every meal.
I’m from Nepal and grew up eating lots of rice, lentils and vegetables, and that’s mainly how I was eating as an adult too. I was surprised to see that these meals came back as “yellows”—because, the coaches said, they didn’t have enough protein. At first, it was hard to change. This way of eating was so ingrained in me, but I didn’t want to see any more yellows! I’m now adding in chicken and my family switched from white to brown rice for more complex carbs. The coaches were great about making suggestions that fit my life, and sharing plenty of new chicken recipes. (I don’t eat pork or beef and I try to avoid too much soy.)
The coaches also helped me come up with healthy solutions for eating out in restaurants. Sometimes when we’re having dinner with friends, it’s hard to get the green. I just try to keep my plate as healthy as possible. The most important thing I’ve learned is to balance my meals and pay attention to portions. My wife is following my healthy path and she now asks me to pack her lunches and the kids’ too. This program has changed the way my whole family eats for the better.
One surprising benefit was the way the coaches encouraged me to clean up my sleeping habits so I get 7-8 hours every night. I didn’t realize that not getting enough sleep could get in the way of meeting my weight-loss goals. Now I make sure I go to bed at the same time each night and I’ve created a sleep routine that helps me wind down and relax. I’m trying to get back to my mindful meditation practice too, but with two kids it’s often hard to find enough “me time.” Let’s just say, I’m working on it!
*Note: A fasting blood sugar level less than 100 mg/dL is considered normal.