Together since high school, Siddharth and Nidhi grew up eating rich foods. But by the time Siddharth was 25, he weighed 375 pounds and had dangerously high cholesterol. Together, they decided to try a plant-based diet for weight loss.
My wife, Nidhi, and I met in high school, dated through college, and got married in 2001. We’re both “foodies,” and I have been heavy all my life. Shortly after we got married, I was at my heaviest—375 pounds—and had an incident with acid reflux. My doctor told me that my cholesterol levels were dangerously high and, at 25, I was a “walking time bomb.” I started following a low-carb diet. I dropped 100 pounds, with the support of Nidhi, who followed the same diet. But I ended up gaining it back.
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After many similar periods of unsustained weight loss throughout the years, our physician introduced us to Forks Over Knives and the recipes on the website. In 2017, we watched the documentary. Our eyes opened. We decided not to treat this as a diet but to make it our lifestyle.
Adapting to Plant-Based Living
It was tough giving up some things we loved, such as eggs and chicken. I faced challenges while traveling for work. I had to plan ahead and locate restaurants online that offered vegan options, and I further customized my meals to make them WFPB compliant. But the main challenge was Indian food. There is a myth in Indian culture that food cannot taste good without oil, ghee, and heavy cream. We had to adapt old recipes to our new way of eating. After trial and error, Nidhi mastered the art of cooking Indian food with the principles of a WFPB diet. Now we try to connect with other Indians to inform them of alternatives for better health.
Our friends and family are shocked by our transformation and admire our commitment. We are eating more and still enjoying the cuisines we love. We love the Forks Over Knives app and gather other WFPB recipes we come across. We have joined a gym to help with toning. It takes time for your body to recover from decades of being overweight, and I want to do it the right way and not rush into it.
Since January 2018, I have lost about 70 pounds and Nidhi has lost 25 pounds, and we feel amazing about our journey.
Ready to get started? Check out Forks Meal Planner, FOK’s easy weekly meal-planning tool to keep you on a healthy plant-based path.