Saturday, November 26, 2011

Use it or Lose it.. Don't Confuse it!! Remember the Fractured hand??

Is it wrong to just focus on walking/swimming/cycling and not doing anything else for your body?
I know a lot of people who say.. " I'll just walk" , "I'll just cycle" , "I'll just swim" and "I'll just do Yoga". Good for them, they're better off than people who don't do any of those things. So don't stop doing what you are doing, because some/any form of exercise is better than No Exercise for the body.

Then why must you hit the gym? Aren't you wasting your time there? Are these people who go to the gym really "Obsessed" and crazy to lift "Weights"? Are they victims of a conspiracy?
I know you know that the answers to all the above questions is a big emphatic NO!!

There are Two reasons why a person goes to the gym:
  1. To have a physique / figure that drives the respective opposite sex crazzy!!
  2. For becoming Physically Fit
1 is quite self explanatory. The core of the 2nd reason is what i am going to discuss.So, How does a person become physically fit by going to the gym?
At the core of fitness are our Muscles, attached to the bones. Even the HUMAN HEART is a Muscle!!
And all the muscles in our body have a "Use it or Lose it principle".

Simply put, the use it or lose it principle means: If you do not use your muscles, your brain will send a signal to your body to throw away that muscle. Why does the body throw away the muscle?? Tell me, If you don't need something , would you carry it around in your hand all day??NO right?? Exactly !! Why should the human body be different internally then?

Remember, as a child you fractured your hand/leg. Then the doc plastered up the hand/leg that was fractured. After a month, when the plaster came off , did you notice that your fractured hand/leg was significantly smaller in size/girth than the other fit hand/leg? Why does this happen?This happens because of Muscle Atrophy.
Muscle Atrophy is nothing bu loss of muscles , due to its lack of use or any other reason.

This is why Nadal has a huge left arm but a smaller right arm. Simply because the body carries only the muscle it thinks is necessary and required. If Nadal were to hit equal number of shots with equal force , with the right hand as well, his body would have kept the same amount of muscles in his right arm.

Now imagine , if you don't do some form of resistance training, you are simply telling your body to throw away all the precious muscle , because you are not using it. You may not realize the importance of regular plain muscles before you reach 40. ( Yes you'll realize by 40.. not 50 or 60).

This is why , only Walking, Swimming , Cycling wont do justice to your body if you are keen on being fit and healthy throughout your life. In fact, you may have seen people who regularly go for walks for 20-30 years but still are not strong enough to support their bodies and need a stick to walk. This is because, Walking may give your heart exercise and strengthen it... but what about the muscles that hold your bones , body and posture together?? You didn't use them enough to encourage your body to hold on to them.. so it throws the muscles away..

You can prevent that from happening by doing some form of strength/resistance training like, lifting weights, doing Calisthenics (Body weight exercise like Push ups, pull ups, squats etc.). In the previous post , I have discussed the importance of retaining muscles.So Work out and use your muscles, else the body will simply get rid of them!!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Burn Calories WITHOUT moving your Butt !! - Part 2 (The Strategies)

As promised , here's Part 2 of how you can Burn Calories without moving your Butt !!
In my last post I gave you an insight into, Why it is essential to retain your existing Muscles, with supporting rationale for the same..(Remember? Numbers Don't Lie?).

This post is about: What you can do to make sure you retain your existing Muscles. There are 2 strategies that play a key role in retaining your muscles and  burning Calories without moving your Butt. There's a Third Strategy to Maximize your Muscle Retention.....which will be a part of my next post.

Strategy 1:
 Eat every 3 - 4 Hours.

I've written at length about why it is important to eat something every 3 - 4 hours, in my earlier post( I'll give you the key takeaway here; It is important that you give your body some source of energy (food) for your normal bodily movements as well as internal functioning like Respiration , Heart functioning, Digestion etc. If you fail to do so, your body will break down your own precious muscles and use it as a source of energy for its functioning.
So, Remember: If you have a choice between eating a small bag of Chips or a  Vada Paav and Staying hungry/empty stomach... ALWAYS CHOOSE THE CHIPS/VADA PAAV. Else, your body will use your own muscles for energy.

Strategy 2: Add Protein to your diet

According to Harvard School of Public Health inadequate intake of Protein causes our bodies to break down tissue. Also, a daily diet low on protein is often the cause of :

  • Loss of Muscle Mass
  • Diminished immunity
  • Stunted Growth
  • Loss of LBM (Lean Body Mass; It includes Muscle mass, Hair, nails, skin, bones etc.)

Does this mean you stop eating Carbs and start eating only proteins?? No Sir/ Ma'am!! ( I believe in gender equality).. This Means, You must:

If you are a vegetarian:
Try and Have something that contains Proteins with every meal.Suggestions for sources of protein?

    • Curd, Buttermilk, Milk
    • Moong
    • Soya Nuggets ( Soya Subzi can be made) 
    • Paneer
    • All Types of Dals
    • Whey Protein ( Because it is extremely convenient).. More on Whey in upcoming Posts.
There you go.. These are the only 2 strategies, that if used diligently can prevent muscle breakdown for providing your body with energy for various functions and help you Burn Calories without moving your Butt!! You can start following these strategies grom this very moment!! All the Best!!
Coming back to the Third and most important strategy for Muscle Retention... This will be discussed in my next post.. Stick Around!!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Burn Calories WITHOUT moving your Butt !!

Sounds too good to be True?? But it is!! Let me show you how it's done!

Retain your existing Muscles:

Yes. Please do everything within your reach to retain your muscles that your body has built (by default or by going to the gym..And by "Muscles" i don't mean only the HUGE man made Gym Muscles... but also the natural Evolution gifted muscles that every average body has).

Why retain your existing Muscle??
Here's why..... Numbers won't lie:
A lot of Theoretical and empirical research has been done on "How many calories, a pound of muscle burns" (Without moving your Butt). These numbers range anywhere from 6 to 50 . Let's take a simple average of 28 Calories.
So, Assume, that for one year , you follow certain guidelines ( I know you're waiting for these guidelines) and ensure that your body doesn't get rid of or use your own muscle for energy to fuel your day to day functioning.

1 pound of Muscle burns 28 Calories/day.
1 kg of Muscle burns 28*2 = 56 Calories/day (Approx)
So if you retain 2 kgs of muscle in the next 1 year , you will have burnt 20,440 Calories (Without moving your Butt)
Also, remember 3500 Cals = 1 Pound of Fat?
So you will have prevented Approx 3 kgs of fat (Without moving your Butt) from accumulating in your body by retaining Approx 2 kgs of Muscle.

Do this for 10 years and u have prevented 30 kgs of fat from being added by retaining 20 kgs of muscle.( Benefits would be much more than this.. I am not a Mathemagician)

Instead if you were to lose the 2 kgs of muscle by Crash Dieting:
  • 1 year down the line you would have 3 extra kgs of fat in your body minus the ability to burn extra calories because you have lost those 2 kgs of muscle.
  • Also, your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) would have dropped because of losing muscle. 
  • You cant keep going beyond losing some amount of fat because at some point your BMR will slow and down and you will stop losing fat 
  • Your skin will look loose and saggy from the muscle that was lost ( wont happen in just 2 kgs.. needs more muscle loss)
Now you understand, why a lot of people, who as they age ,try and eat less to maintain their "Weight" succeed in remaining at the same WEIGHT but seem to look skinny-fat (Can see fat under the skin but aren't blown up like truly Fat People)  and become frail with saggy skin. That's because over the years  a lot of muscle is lost and a lot of fat is gained. But net result on the weighing scale (that they always considered most important) doesn't change significantly.

Also, think about it...  if you lose your muscles, what will hold your bones together??

You'll need a stick to walk, even if you aren't too fat. Imagine the pain of a person who ate less all his life to not become fat and be at the same "Weight" , but ended up losing a lot of his muscle and adding fat in the bargain and walking with a stick even before he touches 60.
I hope nobody needs a stick to walk.. ever...!!

So make sure you retain your Muscles.
By now I'm sure you're screaming : "How do I retain my Muscles , Bhushan??????
This will be answered in Part 2 of Burn Calories WITHOUT moving your Butt !! ... stick around..

Monday, November 14, 2011

Why eat at least 5 times a day?? 8 times?? Have people lost it??

Hey everybody... first of all I'd like to thank you all for the overwhelming response to the blog... a whopping 238 views and growing in the past 2 days!! Thanks again.
Coming back to Fitness, have you ever wondered why people keep saying, "Eat 5 times a day" "Eat 6 times a day", in fact I know people who even eat 8 times a day. Why do they do this? Do they have nothing better to do? or have they lost it?? I'm sure you wonder.
I tell you now, they have neither lost it nor do they have nothing better to do.

They are trying to fool their bodies into utilizing the excess fat stored for emergency situations, as discussed in the earlier post.

How do they fool their bodies?? 
Let me take you back in time.
Thousands of years ago, we didn't have Ruffles Lays ( Ya, I still like to use Ruffles) ,Samosas , Subways , Mc Donalds , the Chana Chor guys , Bhelwalas ,Bourbon etc. to provide us with mouth watering food whenever we felt hungry. We were NOMADS, covering long distances on foot in search of food. So, If Nomad Bhushan felt hungry , he couldn't grab a Vada Paav from Jumbo King and fill himself up, he had to HUNT hard for food. There were times when Nomad Bhushan wouldn't find anything to eat for 12 -18 hours or even more than a day. Let's assume that Nomad Bhushan is trying to hunt for food... It's been 12 hours since he last ate ( Chicken tandoori without the masaalas..Ugh!) .. The super intelligent brain now starts thinking that a famine like situation is on the way ...It goes in to The Starvation Mode.Now, Nomad Bhushan finds food to eat and eats it after a GAP OF 13 hours. The brain tells the body " Boss ye khaana 13 hrs ke baad aaya, agla khaana aane ko 24 ghanta bhi lag sakta hai.. Pls store it in the form that can be later utilized during such crises". The body follows what the brain says and saves a major portion of the food that Nomad Bhushan ate as FAT , because FAT is a form of energy that can be stored and used in the future when needed.

This is exactly what happens when you eat after a gap of more than 3 - 4 hours. So how do we prevent the body from storing the major portion of the food ingested, as Fat??? By giving it food in moderate amounts at regular intervals. That sends a signal to the super intelligent brain that this body is going to get food at regular intervals, so I needn't instruct it to store a lot of fat for emergency situations of starvation.

What I have observed is that most people give Breakfast a cold shoulder.I've even heard Breakfast screaming "What's with the attitude people??!!"  Think about it... Last you ate was the previous night at around 10 pm, then you directly have Lunch at 1 pm ( 15 Hrs Gap) , then some people snack ( everybody should) , else you directly have dinner at 10 pm ( 9 Hrs Gap) . You are not leaving the body any option but to save the ingested food as fat to fuel your normal bodily functions and movement for those 15 hours and 9 hours.
So take the First and One of the Most Important steps, towards losing that extra Fat,  and eat every 3 - 4 hours or even better every 2.5 - 3 hours...This way the body will increase your Basal Metabolic Rate(BMR, more on this in the upcoming posts) and start using the excess stored Fat as a source of energy!!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

LOSE 15 Kgs in 30 Days!!!.. Yes!!! it's Possible !!

Yes!!! It is possible to lose 15 kgs in 30 days... in fact we can easily take this to 20-25 kgs...
a few days back... my friend who works with an airline came to me and said " Bhushan... I have my weight check in 3 days... and I am 2 kgs overweight.. I need to loose these 2 kgs else I might get a warning letter from the company...or I may even get grounded... :( " ..

For immediate damage control...I told him... not to worry( Tension nai leneka ) and do exactly what I tell him, for the next 3 days till the weight check... My advice to him was...  ( This was to be done only till his weight check and not a minute more..)

  1. Stop eating Carbohydrates
  2. Limit your water intake.. 
  3. Do an hour of Low Intensity Cardio 1- 2 hours before the weight check... sweat as much as you can.. 

Then came the day of the weight check.... and as I had expected...
The Doc was stunned on how he had managed to lose 2 kgs in 3 days!!!

He was super excited and said... boss if i do this for 15 days i'll lose 15 more kgs!! Let me do it...
I said If you want to look cadaverous ... Fall sick... and lose your muscle .. and gain double the fat back when u stop this buffoon like behaviour...  go may lose 15 kgs in 20-30 days..!!... I had to explain in detail why this wasn't good for him...

Now.. Why did he lose the 2 kgs in 3 days!!??

Answer: The storage form of glucose in muscles and the liver is GLYCOGEN , which also holds WATER... If you limit your carbohydrate intake .. the body uses up a lot of the glycogen... and thus releases the water that holds it in the muscles... ( effectively you are losing your glucose and water... not Fat)...... Imagine it as: Sugars cannot be stored in your body as crystals like in your kitchen to the tea leaves...they are stored as a solution... so if the sugars go.. the water goes rapidly....and so the Weight Drops dramatically....

If you continue doing this... your body will eventually run out of glycogen... and will get a distress signal... that YOU ARE STARVING.... so the body will slow down its metabloism.... The Brain will then tell the body to store most of what you put in your mouth as Fat .. to be stored for days when u will get nothing to eat ( This is the body's natural Famine protection mechanism.. Hence it is important to eat something every 3 hours..a lot on this in the upcoming posts)... So... At some point of time the body will have no option but to dip into its FAT sources for energy... which is a much more efficient source of energy than Carbs.. Why? Because:
1 gm of Carbs = 4 Calories
1 gm of Fat = 9 Calories
 But Fat is the least preferred source of energy to be used by the body because the body sees it as a Source of energy stored for days when we wont be able to get food for long hours or even days... ( This is because..Our body inside still functions as if we were Nomads..yes) ... So your body will use a combination of your own Muscle and Fat as a source of energy (Significantly more muscle and less fat)....

Effect:  You see that the scale is showing a drastic weight loss... and u think u are losing fat... but you are truly losing weight ... less fat and a lot of Lean Body Mass (LBM = etc.) ..
You will eventually get dark circle...have saggy skin all over your body because of muscle loss... and will fall sick... Also, as explained earlier.. since FAT is the LEAST PREFERRED Source of energy... once you start your Carb intake ... you will gain the water weight back... and reach the same level you were at earlier... but this time you will have even more FAT that the body has added to take care of any such Starvation that happens in the future... yes... the Human Body is insanely intelligent!!

After listening to all of this.. he said... " Haan theek hai.... chalo.. I wont do this Stop Carbohydrate Business " .. Thank God!!...

If you are an Engineer like me and are still not convinced... Let me do the Math for you... :D
1 Pound of Fat = Approx 0.5 kg (Approx baba!!)

So to lose 1 pound of fat , you need to burn 3500 Calories...
Even if u reduce/Burn 500 Calories everyday... you will Lose 1 pound of fat in 7 days (500 x 7 = 3500) .. and approx 1 kg in 15 days... This is the most healthiest way to lose fat...
If you lose more than 1 kg of weight per week... you are most probably losing your muscle and water along with the fat... and that's not good becuase muscles themselves burn calories and hold your body together in the long run....

So.. I hope you won't fall prey to such advertisements and claims from today... remember  ... Anything more than 1 kg per week...  Danger!!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

From Fitness to Finance... and back to Fitness* ... (*Blogging)

If you are reading this... I know , for may have wondered about the Dos and Don'ts of Fat Loss... Lean Body Mass Gain... Exercise... Diet... Dieting...   Egg yolk se pimples hotaay kya??   Aee Pankha band karke exercise kiya to zyaada Calories burn hotaay na??? :D  ..Nutrition... Protein .... Ghar ka Khaana... Daal Roti Subzi.... Suryanamaskar... Pushups... 
Getting Fat once you stop working out? ...Getting thin once you stop working out... Getting Man Breasts once you stop working out( God knows how) ...  :D
Potatoes not being good for health .... Whey Protein Lene se Kidney Stones hoyega kya??   Whey steoids hai na??.... Cardiovascular exercise ... running skipping cycling ... khaali pet bhaagneka ke nai?? Pre workout Nutrition... Post Workout Nutrition... and the list is endless....This is truly  just the tip of the Iceberg ... I can list atleast One Thousand Seven Hundred and Thirteen more queries... :D
The above is a set of some of the questions asked to me by my Friends.. Colleagues...Boss....Relatives... Clients...And I've answered passionately every time :)    
( Sometimes...When I start talking on Fitness... I get so excited... my hands start shaking :D ) !!... unless I feel the person is simply Parroting..... then it's just annoying.....

The excitement comes from the possibility that this person might change his life for the better after listening to what I have to say for what he has asked....

Demystifying Fitness is a one stop shop of Answers to the above questions (and many more) , Myths..,  Reviews of products that are well marketed but useless..  etc..., not according to my whims and fancies but with supporting Rationale for the same....
More importantly , it is also a medium for my passionate outburst of Everything related to Health & Fitness that I feel like sharing with everybody I meet.... :D  ( I have also given unsolicited advice to people walking on the road or people sitting next to me on the bus or the train...For their own good only!!!   :-s    hahahahahahaha.... Most are receptive... Some show the Spirit of Mumbai by asking me " Tereko Kya hai BOSS???!!  :D ... More on that later....  )

Now....Let me take you back to How
Demystifying Fitness started....

It was the 9th night of March (2010)
... Just a few days back , had got my Certification of a Professional Fitness Trainer from International Sports Sciences Association , USA... had worked hard for it... so with the results.. stood in the top 5 percentile of the world...
Thoughts: Hmmm.... So...ISSA is one of the only top 2 Internationally recognized courses... you scored better than 95 percent of the people that have taken that exam... time to live your dream bosss!! ....

Thus started "Bhushan Danani - Demystifying Fitness" ..... with  the Mission: To Demystify "FITNESS! " .. for the people of India and the world over , by providing accurate knowledge required to transform bodies ....for Life!
That night I sent a mailer to everybody I knew.. informing them about my plans to make it big in the Fitness Industry ... Then came the self designed Visiting Cards... hours of Reading Entrepreneurship blogs... starting the Health Tip SMS Service...
which was a big hit too... will be sharing the tips in detail in upcoming posts..
Then.. I started with providing Personal Training for clients in the comfort of their home... the affluent who could afford it.. took my services and were quite happy with it.....
Later...I got an opportunity  to work for a few months as a Centre Manager at Gold's Gym , Lokhandwala, Andheri, Mumbai .... took it.... and then into Financial Services .....  (ya a big jump in the storyline without citing reasons for the same... Please Refer : " About Me " for the same) :D ....

Now , almost half a year into Finance... ( I am very happy with my job, in case you're wondering) ... I feel , I need to : Spread the knowledge of Fitness ... share practical Fitness Tips... Debunk Fitness myths... Unmask well marketed but useless health & Fitness products that make false claims and fail to deliver.... 
In a nutshell..... I have a lot that I'd love to share with the world .. and this is the best medium to do it.... So I Present to you ... The Demystifying Fitness Blog...

Feel free to suggest topics or ask questions related to Fitness... will try to write on it as soon as possible..

Look forward to having you around...