Here’s Poonam Maria Prem’s diet, and her workout ~
36 year old, super successful cake artist, and a rebel at heart. For Poonam, her work was her passion, and her passion – work. With 15 – 16 hour work days, and then the responsibilities that being a mother brings, she had spread herself too thin without leaving any room for her ‘self.’ Health and fitness were not on her list of ingredients for success.
“As humans we wait till it gets to the worst, so did I.”
And the worst was here already.
Poonam wasn’t prepared for what hit her one morning, when she woke up after a 20-hour work day. It was the wedding season, crucial and busiest for her business. The build-up of stress, coupled with progressive neglect of personal health made her feel not just lethargic, but actually like a 60-year old! Weakness overpowered her, body, mind, and soul. It was difficult to just get up out of bed and take a single step. A quick hop on the weighing scale showed 72 kilos. That, for her, was the proverbial last straw.
In her desperation, she didn’t know where to turn. This was when her husband introduced her to SQUATS and so kicked off the fittest year in her life.
Her Passion for Iron
Enrolling under Vinodh Vaitheeswaran, Poonam got onto a quantified nutrition plan and into the gym. And in her profession, the very idea of ‘quantified nutrition’ was heretical! She had never been a fitness freak, and when it came to dieting – her profession made ‘finger-licking’ a legitimate business tool! So all in all, it was a brave new world for Poonam. A tough one too…but only for the dream cake-maker.
For the rebel inside, it was just the most natural move into a world where she found her true calling. “Gym iron unleashed the beast in me” says the now-powerful Poonam.
She works out 6 days a week, targeting each muscle group twice a week and focusing both on strength building, and hypertrophy. The real testimony to her commitment and grit is when she travels. Work keeps her super busy, but come hell, high water, or holiday, she gives her health its due and does body weight exercises inside the hotel room. Or hits a nearby park to pack in a good cardio session.
For the major part of her fitness journey, when she was working to transform herself, her mentor kept her in deficit, largely on a low carb program.
“I believe it’s easy to lose weight, but what’s more important is maintenance. So take up an eating lifestyle that keeps you happy enough so that you don’t binge eat, and get your nutrition from healthy sources.”
That is the sound advice that Poonam has to give. LCD or Keto, what matters at the end of the day is sustainability. And making your meal time your happy place. Right now, of course, she is following a moderate carb diet, eating at TDEE, combined with her no-compromise workout routine.
As you can see in the images, today, with a body fat as low as 18%, a lot of lean muscle mass, and weighing a super healthy 46 kilos, she stands confident and positively driven.
Having a cake and not eating it
For many, it seems incredulous that Poonam is a successful baker by profession and still fighting fit! Working with over 10 kilos of chocolate (of all varieties) a day, and more than double that amount of sugar, creating icing and frosting and nifty and intricate details of cake decor, baking soft and melt-in-the mouth confections …. one would think it is only a matter of time before her cravings become something like a Frankenstein monster!
So how does she do it? Ask her and she says,“‘It is the resisting power in my belly…I’m not sure where that came from, but that keeps me going.” And yes, as any good cook would, she does have to taste her wares. A cookie or two a day, a small helping of brownies occasionally. And yet, she has shown us that these things do not matter at all when you have your eyes on your goal. During her deficit phase, she made it a habit to watch what she ate. And that was a habit that stuck to her, so every cookie, every brownie, every macaron is carefully counted and factored in! After all, “When one works so hard to reach where he/she has, it’s pointless to give in and go back to square one!”
Poonam now not only helps her friends and family get fit, but has taken it as a personal calling to help thousands in what she does best – Baking. She is one of the moderators as well as a major contributor to the D3 – Health Food Service group on Facebook that has guided thousands to discover unimagined tastes in health food.
She expresses her gratitude to JC for helping her realize that it wasn’t difficult for her to acquire a better version of herself.
“From a slug to a FITMOM, there is more of me in the coming years,” she exclaims enthusiastically.
This is just the Beginning.
Keep baking those feasts for the eyes, and keep showing the way to fitness, Poonam!
– The Fitmag Team