12 Week Fitness Project 2021 – Guidelines by Rujuta Diwekar

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Rujuta Diwekar is back in 2021 with her 12-week fitness project. Get the latest deets on her guidelines and follow along to feel better and get fitter this year.

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Rujuta Diwekar Fitness Project 2021

Hello, 2021, and goodbye 2020!

2020 is gone and the holiday season has left behind oodles of weight, fatigue, and not wanting to get off the bed in the mornings. Yikes!

That’s the story of my life, in short. If you are in the same boat as I am, then I have great news for you! In the 1st week of January, Rujuta Diwekar, India’s most celebrated nutritionist rolls out the 12-week Fitness Project – a 12-week program where each week Rujuta gives you one fitness guideline to follow

I know 12 weeks seems like a big commitment but you are focusing only on learning one new habit per week. The idea behind this is that by the end of 12 weeks, you would have picked up 12 new habits that will help you in your fitness transformation.

I am not affiliated with this challenge or Rujuta Diwekar except that I am doing this challenge too. I have always planned in the past to do this challenge and even did a few weeks but had to abandon it because life got in the way. 

This past week I realized that as busy parents that life will always get in the way and kids’ mealtimes, bedtimes, after-school activities will always be prioritized over our health. 

That is why we will have to make time for ourselves now..for our well-being and our future so that we are fit enough to travel the world or do whatever we want to do when we have more time for ourselves.

Are you ready to get started? Here’s how you can sign up – 

How to sign up for the 12-week fitness challenge?

To sign up for the challenge, click on this link –  The 12-week fitness project 2021. For up-to-date information, follow Rujuta Diwekar’s Facebook page. 

12-week guidelines for 2021

  1. Week 1 – Use iron vessels for cooking. 
  2. Week 2 – Set your curd with raisins and eat it as a mid-meal.
  3. Week 3 – Have fresh sugarcane juice before noon. The alternative would be Amla Sherbet.
  4. Week 4 Rub ghee on the soles of your feet for a restful sleep. Alternatives to ghee: Coconut oil or kokum butter. 
  5. Week 5 – Eat a millet bhakri every day.
  6. Week 6 – Eat a hand pounded chutney with your meals.
  7. Week 7 – Bring back the salt diversity in your diet. Use at least 4 types of salts every day.
  8. Week 8 – Massage your hair with oil for healthy hair and scalp.
  9. Week 9 – Follow the 3 rules of eating pulses: 1) Soak and sprout before cooking. 2) Mix them in right proportions with grain and millets. 3) Have 5 types of pulses in 5 different ways in a week.
  10. Week 10 – Beat the heat with Gulkand. Have it with milk, with water, as it is or with a paan leaf.
  11. Week 11 – Have kadhi for lunch during summer for clear stomach and skin.
  12. Week 12 – 5 ways to have a banana this summer: To start the day, as a mid-day meal, as a meal with roti, to end a meal, and banana milkshake.

The 12-week guidelines from the past projects

The ones below are the guidelines from the past years.

  1. Week 1: Start your day with fruit. If you don’t dig fruits early in the morning you could also go for soaked almonds or soaked raisins. Just not tea or coffee. Make sure you eat this within 20 minutes of waking up.
    • You could have your tea and coffee approximately 10-15 minutes post the first meal.
    • Have a glass of plain water and then have your first meal.
  2. Week 2: Add a teaspoon of ghee to your breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Add an extra teaspoon of ghee to your lunch if you have sweet cravings post-lunch. Other ways to incorporate ghee in your diet would be to have ghee roasted makhanas around snack time or by having a goond laddoo 2-3 hours post breakfast. If you suffer from PMS or fatigue, include ghee and jaggery, post-lunch, or dinner.
  3. Week 3: Limit your gadget usage – No gadgets during meals and also, stay away from the TV, phones/iPad, or Kindle 30 minutes before bedtime.
  4. Week 4: Eat a wholesome meal between 4-6 pm in the evening. Examples of a wholesome meal would be groundnuts, channa, chapati with jaggery and ghee, poha, upma, dosa, egg toast, homemade khakra or mathri, grilled cheese, and vegetable sandwich. Treats like besan laddoo and goond laddoo are also included in this list – YAY!
  5. Week 5: Move more, sit less – For example,
    • Move around every 30 minutes.
    • Climb at least 4 floors every day.
    • At least once a week, do the dishes, sweep your house or wash your own clothes.
    • Walk 100 steps after dinner.
    • Park your car as far as possible from your destination. No more looking for the closest parking spot.
  6. Week 6Start with at least one session of strength training every week.
  7. Week 7 – Eat dal and rice for dinner.
  8. Week 8Use the mental meal map as a tool to help you eat the right quantity. The mental map took works like this –
    • Step 1 – Visualize your meal i.e. the portion you would like to eat.
    • Step 2 – Serve yourself half of what you visualized
    • Step 3 – Take double the time to eat your meal
    • Step 4 – If you are still hungry, start again from step 1.
  9. Week 9 – Practice Suryanamaskar daily. Don’t drop below 5 rounds or go beyond 12.
  10. Week 10 – Have sherbets and other traditional summer drinks throughout the day.  These summer drinks help reduce acidity and prevents bloating.  Prevents UTI and fevers and gives you a smooth, flawless complexion. The options are-
    • Coconut water (Nariyal Pani) – mid-morning and preferably before noon. Add a small teaspoon of sabja seeds if you have enlarged pores during summer.
    • Chaas (buttermilk) – Just after lunch. It is a good source of B12 and prevents bloating.
    • Nimbu sherbet (lemonade)– with an early evening snack. Add black salt, sugar, jeera, and black pepper to your lemonade.
    • Kulith (horse gram) – at dinner. It helps if you have gas issues. Either make a dal out of it and eat it with rice or turn it into a pithla (like a soup) with dahi and just have that for dinner instead. Also, a very good option for those with diabetes or weak digestion.
  11. Week 11 – Top 3 kitchen rules
    • Reduce plastic.
    • Bring back the iron kadhai.
    • Heat, don’t microwave
  12. Week 12 – Bring back the fats
    • Start tempering your food (Tadka in kacchi ghaani oils) Use oils native to your region – mustard for north and northeast India, groundnut or til for central and western, and coconut for Kerela. Avoid oil-free or fat-free at all costs and go for cold-pressed oil i.e oil is extracted at a lower temperature and therefore fatty acids, vitamins, and other nutrients are intact.
    • Use coconut as garnishing, chutney, etc –  Garnish your food with it, turn it into laddoos and barfis, make chutneys out of it, have the coconut malai and even the dry coconut with jaggery or just peanuts.
    • Cashews as mid-meal or with milk before sleeping
      Other than the good fat, it is rich in minerals, amino acids, and vitamins. Helps you relax and sleep better. It is also a natural anti-depressant.

I would strongly recommend you check out Rujuta Diwekar’s Facebook page where she goes over each guideline in detail. The above summary is to serve as a quick reference guide for time-crunched folks.

Here’s a quick recap

Fitness Guidelines recap image

Get dinner on the table faster!

Learn my meal planning + prepping secrets to make fresh Indian food without spending hours in the kitchen.

An overhead shot of Gujarathi kadhi along with rice, rotis and a side of lemon


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