Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Whey Protein Demystified: Little Miss Muffet



As soon as you start going to the gym, words like "Protein", "Supplement" , "Whey" , "Shakes" , "Protein Shakes" etc. will fall on your ears just like * insert your choice of analogy here*.

Before I tell you 'What Whey Protein IS" , let me clarify "What Whey Protein ISN'T"

WHEY IS NOT:
  • A steroid
  • A magic potion that miraculously gives you a great physique
  • A hormone
  • A drug ( as in, for a Dope-head) 
  • A medicine 

WHEY IS:
  • Simply a "Dietary Supplement" 
  • Quoting Wikipedia : Dietary Supplement: A dietary supplement, also known as food supplement or nutritional supplement, is a preparation intended to supplement the diet and provide nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, fiber, fatty acids, or amino acids, that may be missing or may not be consumed in sufficient quantities in a person's diet.
  • Supplements for the following nutrients are common: Vitamins; B C A D E K. Minerals ; Calcium, Magnesium, Iron. Proteins, Fats, Antioxidants etc. 

Now i bet you're thinking:
BUT WHAT IS WHEY MADE OF??
Whey is the liquid created/ by product of Cheese creation. Whey protein is a mixture globular  proteins isolated from this Whey.

IS WHEY GOOD FOR YOU? 
Today your kids in India (If you have kids) are regular consumers of Whey Protein because, they drink "Bournvita" everyday! It contains Whey protein!

Yes, it is good for you. Following studies suggest the same (Mouse over for the Link on Study titles): 
  1. Effect of Dietary Protein on Resistance training induced changes on the body : Results prove that dietary protein has positive impacts on Body composition, Oral Glucose Tolerance & Skeletal Muscle content (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition/AJCN)
  2. Protein metabolism during intensive physical training: This study showed, Although the men who participated in the study did increase body protein stores and muscle mass with high-protein diets, the additional body protein did not enhance physiological work performance. It is suggested that in this sutdy 100 g of protein/day was adequate for men performing fairly heavy work.
  3. Whey of Life Research : Talks about Benefits of Whey Protein , like: 
    • Fighting cancer , healing wounds
    • Alertness, Bone growth
    • Managing Blood Pressure etc. 
Remember the poem : Little Miss Muffet

Little Miss Muffet
Sat on a tuffet,
Eating her curds and whey;
Along came a spider,
Who sat down beside her,
And frightened Miss Muffet away.

Notice, Curds & WHEY in the above poem. So, Whey has been around for ages now and people have always been aware of the benefits it offers.

So is it necessary to consume Whey Protein to achieve your Fitness Goals?
 Certainly NOT!. Protein in the right amount is essential to achieve your goals. Now HOW you get that protein in your body is on you. Here's why I prefer Whey:
It's convenient!
  • A 32 gm scoop of Whey protein will give me 24 grams of proteins essential for my body. Time taken for preparation & Consumption: 3 minutes
  • 6 Egg whites will give me the same 24 grams of protein I require. Time taken for preparation & consumption: 30 minutes. 
So, it's on you. those xyz grams of protein for your body are essential. It's your choice where you take them from.

This brings us to Sources of Protein besides WHEY: 
  • Eggs, Milk, Meat, Curd, Cheese
  • Nuts & Seeds: Almonds, Brazil Nuts, Peanuts
  • Lean Meat : chicken etc. 
  • Veg sources: Chick Peas / Cholay, Kidney Beans / Rajmah , Tofu , Soy, Besan (Chickpea flour), , 
How Much protein should you consume:
A lot of varied research recommends consuming anywhere between : 0.4 gms per kg of bodyweight to 3-4 grams per kg of body weight. This depends on activity level, specialized nutritional requirements etc. 

One can safely consume 1-1.5 grms per kg of Body weight . That's approx 80 grams to 120 grams of protein for a person weighing 80 kgs.

My Conclusion: 
  • Consumption of WHEY PROTEIN is NOT ESSENTIAL
  • Consuption of PROTEIN from any sources IS ESSENTIAL ( This may or may not include Whey)
  • However, Whey Protein is good for you and offers numerous benefits
  • Whey protein is convenient, no doubt.
  • Consumption of Whey protein does not decide whether or not you will successfully achieve your fitness goals. It's your determination & discipline that will.
All the Best.
Cheers!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

A look at Pepsi, KFC, McDonald's & Haldiram


I was watching a program on National Geographic, that spoke about how Obesity is an epidemic all over the world. This is due to crazy food being made available virtually everywhere!. It's true. Never in the past has so much Oily food, with so much Sugar, Salt & Fat been made available in so much abundance. Research has proved , that even before a kid can start talking, he/she can recognize Mc Donald's due to the pervasive and intelligent advertising done by the corporation.

The National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) 2010 report says that the fast food industry is growing at a Compunded AVerage Growth rate of 35-40 per cent annually. This includes: Pizza Hut, Mc Donald's ,Haldiram, Nirulas , Bikanerwala , Dominoes , Subway, Coco Cola, Pepsi Co. etc. 
 
What's shocking is, to hear from researchrs, that the current young kids might be a part of the first generation that may not live longer than their parents!!


Even if they do, they will live with a whole bunch of lifestyle diseases that will lower their quality of life and add nothing but pain and agony to their years.

Case in point: Junk Food
This summarizes everything: Large Fries at Mc Donald's : 638 Calories

Salt:
  • Excess salt is responsible for blood pressure & cardiovascular issues
  • The WHO recommends a salt intake of less than 5 grams per person per day
  • In India, more than 40% of the population taken in above 10 grams a day
  • Just ONE  KFC meal gives you more than 60% of your recommended daily salt intake
  • A small 80 gm packet of Maggi Noodles gives you more than 60%  of your recommended daily salt intake
Fats
  • There is a proven relation between saturated Fats, Trans Fats & Heart Disease & Type 2 Diabetes
  • The WHO recommends a daily trans fat  intake of not more than 2-2.5 grams per person per day
  • a KFC meal gives you 2.9 gms of trans fat
  • a Mc Donald's meal gives you 2 gms of trans fat
  • 100 gms of Lays American gives you 3.7 gms of Trans Fat!!
Sugar:
  • The National Institute of Nutrition suggests not more than 20 grams of added sugar should be consumed every day
  • But, a 300 ml COLA bottle has 42 Grams of SUGAR in it !! Sweet!
  • Also check out: More on Sugar


Some interesting findings of the Centre for Science & Environment CSE Study

  1. Consuming a 60-75 gm packet of CHIPS will wipe out half of your daily recommended fat intake quota
  2. Eating a packet of Kurkure will exhaust 2/3rd of your total fat quota
  3. Highest level of total fat is found in Haldiram's Bhujia ( 37.8 gms per 100 gms)
  4. Consuming a 300 ml cola = 42 grams of added sugar i.e. over twice your recommended quota
  5. A Medium FRIES (about 150 gms) will exceed your daily trans fat quota
  6. A two piece KFC chicken ( about 250 gms) will wipe out your daily recommended Total FAT & Trans FAT quota
  7. Mc Donald's Large Fries:  638 CALORIES ???!!! ( I didn't know & expect this)
  8. Mc Veggie: 465 Calories
  9. Chicken Maharaja Mac: 488 Calories
  10. Mc Cicken: 416 Calories
  11. Calories in McDonald's Food:  http://www.mcdonaldsindia.com/images/Nutrition-Information.pdf

Now, I'm not saying don't eat Junk Food. Even i love junk food, who doesn't? 
But let's not make it our regular diet!  

Hey today's a Sunday, time to get my Chola Bhatura on !
Cheers!
References: 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Jump for Joy : Cardio for Crazy Quick Fat Loss

A lot of research has been done to prove , how High Intensity Interval Training       ( Training at high intensity for short intervals of 20-30 seconds eg. sprinting ) is more beneficial as compared to Low Intensity Steady State ( Training at low or moderate intensity for a longer duration eg. Brisk walk for 60 minutes) Checkout my Post: Marathon Runner vs a Sprinter for more on this.

Benefits of High Intensity Interval Training (H I I T): 
  1.  You burn more calories
  2. You burn calories even after you finish working out . 
  3. Your Metabolism will shoot through the roof
  4. You Heart becomes stronger. HIIT challenges your heart much more than regular cardio and actually makes your heart stronger. 
  5. YOU SAVE TIME!!! Regular cardio takes 45-60 minutes. I know people who walk for 1.5 -2 hours !! But HIIT Takes only 20 Minutes!!  
  6. You don't need any additional equipment
  7. You wont get Bored!

HIIT can be implemented on any type of cardiovascular exercise i.e. walking, elliptical , stepper, cycling etc. 
But one of the craziest high intensity cardiovascular exercise is JUMPING. You can jump ROPE or just Jump without one!

Benefits of Jumping for Cardio :

  • Brisk Walking at a pace of about 4 miles per hour burns avergae approx: 5.6 Calories per minute
  • Jumping rope burns average approx: 12 Calories per minute. That's more than  DOUBLE of what one would burn during a brisk walk
Also, Regular low intensity training only burns calories while you are for eg. walking. Once You stop, the calorie burning stops, where as HIIT also results in burning calories after you workout.
Moreover, jumping improves strength and balance in your legs. Since, it is a highly dynamic movement, it incorporates a lot of small muscles required in balancing and supporting you throughout the exercise.

Jumping shoots up your heart rate and truly challenges your heart, adapts it to higher intensity workouts.
 As your heart adapts, it will result in a lower Resting Heart rate, which means it will work more efficiently i.e. it will PUMP MORE VOLUME OF BLOOD in One Beat !! 

Also, Jumping does not require any type of equipment. If you want, you may buy a jumping rope to make it fun, but it isn't essential. All you need is a spot where you can start Jumping for Joy and not get stuck!

Sample Jumping Workout: 

Jumping isn't an easy exercise. Don't expect to be able to jump for 10 minutes at a stretch or even 5 minutes! It is a highly strenuous activity that requires gradual building of stamina and strength to sustain it for longer periods. 
  • 2 minutes warm-up : Spot jogging
  • 30 seconds: Around 60 jumps  (or whatever you are comfortable to begin with) 
  • 30 seconds :rest or slow spot jogging
  • 30 seconds: Around 60 jumps  (or whatever you are comfortable to begin with)
Repeat the above cycle of 30 seconds Jump and rest , 6 times .
Then rest for 60 seconds and begin again.

Total Wrokout: 
  • 2 Minutes:  Warmup
  • 3 Minutes: Round 1 of 30 second jump , 30 second rest 
  • 1 minute : Rest
  • 3 Minutes: Round 1 of 30 second jump , 30 second rest 
  • 1 minute : Rest
  • 3 Minutes: Round 1 of 30 second jump , 30 second rest
  • 1 minute : Rest
  • 3 Minutes: Round 1 of 30 second jump , 30 second rest 
  • 1 minute : Rest
TOTAL WORKOUT TIME: 18 minutes.

This isn't as easy as it seems to be.In just 18 minutes, you will be huffing and puffing, Guaranteed! 

TIP: Land on your toes. Avoid landing on your heels.

NOTE: Interval training is not appropriate for all. If you have a chronic health condition, heart condition, or other exercise specific injuries or if you haven't been exercising regularly, consult your doctor before trying any type of interval training.


 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Eating Rice and Roti Together : A Crime?

The fitness industry is filled with self proclaimed Fitness Gurus such as myself . Some are professionally educated on this subject (again, such as myself) and some aren't . Also, remember , just because somebody is educated in Fitness and has a degree to show , doesn't mean his word can be followed blindly. Never hesitate to ask the  Fitness Guru  "WHY?",  for whatever advice he/she is doling out, free of cost or especially if you are paying for it. It's your right to know the RATIONALE behind What he/she is telling you to do/follow "Religiously".

It's painful to see how many people "Religiously" follow something that their expert trainer has told them to do/not do. When these people tell me , they are following this for the past 1 month , and I ask them WHY? Sadly I get no answer.

Which brings me to debunking another myth today. I tried searching for some rationale behind this belief held by most people, including myself, till I found no answer for it and hence I do not recommend this to my clients.

I say go ahead and freak out on eating Rice and Roti together. I tried hard but couldn't get an answer from any reliable credible source as to why Rice and Roti must not be eaten together.

Moreover this is one of those things which wont play a major role in your quest for a healthier life , if you aren't taking care of more important things. What's the point in avoiding Rice and Roti together, if you don't avoid Pizzas, Burgers, Frankies and French Fries. Focus on taking care of those issues. They're far more important and will make a bigger difference in your health and appearance than "Not eating Rice and Roti together"


Here's a list of common hazardous combinations and simple reasons for why they should be avoided:

  1. Avoid eating Fruits with other solid foods: Fruits contain sugars. Sugars are not digested in the stomach but are directly sent to the intestine. Now, if fruits are eaten with other foods like rice, dal, roti , vegetables etc. , the sugar from them gets held up in the stomach and starts fermenting. Cool right? Ever tried getting high on fruits after a heavy lunch or a dinner? Worth a shot!
  2. Avoid consuming Milk with anything else:  Milk, on entering the stomach coagulates into curd. If taken with other food, the curd insulates other food from digestive juices and hence delays other food digestion, till the curd gets digested.
  3. Avoid Eating more than one type of Protein together: Different types of Proteins require different treatment with regard to digestive juices for digestion. For example: Cheese may be treated with strong juices in the first few minutes and mild juices later , Meat may be treated with mild juices initially  and with strong juices as the hours go by. So, avoid eating Meat and Eggs together, or Eggs & Cheese together etc.
  4. Avoid Fats & Proteins together: Because Proteins require heavy duty digestion in action and Fats suppress the action of digestive glands .
  5. Avoid Acidic fruits with Carbohydrates and Proteins: Acidic fruits like Pineapples , grapefruits, oranges, sour plums, peaches etc.  , when taken, destroy Pepsin(degrades food proteins into peptides) or inhibit digestive juices secretion , thus making it difficult for Carbohydrates & Proteins to get digested easily.

And a few tips on healthy Food Consumption: 
  • Try to eat fewer varieties of food in one sitting
  • Eat smaller frequent meals
  • Chew your food to an almost liquid state  ( I need to keep this in mind as I am a fasr eater, for God knows what,  and I don't chew my food enough)
Now Nowww! If you know anything backed by research/evidence on the Rice & Roti myth , do let me know!
Cheers!



Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The 5 Variables of Life and Health

As teenagers/young adults, we all think of enjoying our respective poisons to the fullest while we're young , and restless. We think " If not now (get drunk) then when? " 
How can drinking be fun when you are old and can't do stupid things after getting drunk.Partially True.

A common misconception that we all live with throughout our lives is:  As we grow older, we become Fragile, listless, low on energy "OLD" "AGED" people who keep coughing loudly & need to walk around with a stick. And this isn't our fault because, what you see is what you believe.

What I am going to write about is surely applicable to you , me and everybody born in today's age of Modern Medicine. Advances in Science and Medicines are going to keep us alive , but may or may not keep us Kickin'! There you are... The Doctors will keep you Alive, but to be Alive and Kickin' is in your hands.

The emotional bonding of Humans amongst their loved ones, builds in a compulsive need for one healthy person to save the life/ extend the life of the sick person to the maximum extent possible. So, barring a few exceptions where the pain is unbearable ( May God give them strength to fight and recover or may their soul Rest in Peace if they don't recover)  a sick person will always want to LIVE and spend more time with his/her loved ones. However, like any other machine, at times there's only so much repairing that can be done on the human body. If certain parts are beyond repair then not much can be done. 

Our bodies are built beautifully and can live a healthy , fulfilling self sufficient life as long as we are alive, provided we maintain it  and take care of it, just like we take care of any other machine/car/gadget

So  How do we maintain our body? Where do we start? what do we do? There are so many things? Where to begin? It's all too much and can be overwhelming.

I read an excellent study on research from : Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences , Public Health Ontario and others. The study identifies 5 major variables that determine the Number of years you will live. These variables also affect the quality of life that you will live in those years.

All you have to do is take care and manage these 5 CONTROLLABLE VARIABLES for a happy, healthy & self sufficient good quality of life during your years spent together with your loved ones on earth: 

The fantastic 5 Variables are: 
  • 1.) Excessive Smoking: It's on the pack. It's on the news. It's on TV. It's on the radio. Everybody knows , Smoking is injurious to health and is a leading cause of variety of Cancers. So, it's never too late to rid yourself of smoking. As a heavy smoker, smoking can be the leading cause of a lot of misery in your life. Moreover you may even be inadvertently harming others around you due to your smoking.
  • 2.) Excessive consumption of Alcohol: We all know what Alcohol can do to our lives. Remember ? It killed Devdas too!! Alcohol is a leading cause of fatal Liver disease and other complications too.
Excessive Smoking & Drinking can be cause of over 40 diseases and the Fatal Four: 
                              1. Heart Disease
                              2. Cancer
                              3.Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
                              4. Diabetes

  • 3.) Unhealthy Diet: What you eat is what you become. IF you eat fatty and unhealthy food, Fat and unhealthy is what you will become. I can bet my whatever you want on this. In a nutshell : Eat small meals at regular intervals. Eat every 3-4 hours. Focus on Fruits , Vegetables, sources of Proteins. Of course, you can freak out on unhealthy food once a week. That's alright.
  • 4.) Lack of Physical Activity : Remember, as a child, when you fractured your hand/leg? 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? This happens because of Muscle Atrophy. Muscle Atrophy is nothing bu loss of muscles , due to its lack of use or any other reason.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.  End Result? You need to walk around with a stick, because you never made your body Retain the muscle to support your frame. Well done! Start working out now! It's never too late.
  • 5.) Excessive Stress : Today, we measure our success on parameters like Sales Targets , Deadlines,  Social Status, Relationships, Facebook Likes, Retweets,  Marriage , Health , Wealth , B-School Admissions, Pay packages , Degrees, Diplomas, Jobs, CTCs ,  Property, Share Markets , Gold Holding, Gadgets we own, News we are aware of .
    I am feeling stressed just writing and reading all the above parameters , back to back in a single sentence. Imagine, living this life. In such a life, Stress is inevitable. What we need is to effectively manage Stress and keep it from affecting our health. Excessive stress is also a leading cause of aches & Pains, mental trauma, lifestyle diseases etc. It is then, essential to practice meditation or any other activity which reduces stress and calms your mind. It could be any stress busting hobby. There! I've given you another thing you can now stress about.... How to lower the effect of stress in your life!! 

In a nutshell, following are the 5 Controllable Variables that will eventually decide how long and how well you live

  1. Excessive Smoking
  2. Excessive consumption of Alcohol
  3. Unhealthy Diet
  4. Lack of Physical Activity
  5. Excessive Stress
Start by giving yourself marks , out of 10 on each of the above Variables and identify the areas you need to work on.

All the best.


Sunday, July 15, 2012

What happens when you stop going to the gym

I've had many queries on this subject and I've heard some interesting theories about working out and what happens when you stop going to the gym.

Of all the things that are believed to happen after you stop working out, this one is perhaps the most widely accepted :  "When you stop working out, your muscle gets converted into fat."

Yes, people tell me how they lost all the muscle, after they stopped exercising , because all of it got converted into fat. However unlike this popular belief, muscle does not get converted to fat. Let me tell you what happens with 95% of the people ( My believed percentage)  who stop going to the gym.

When a person goes to a gym, he burns off , say 300 calories every day. Say, he is a fit person, who is happy with his current weight and body fat percentage and is going to the gym to keep himself fit or maintain his/her current weight. Let's assume he consumes 2500 calories. Now , of these 2500 calories , consider, he burns 2200 calories every day for his normal body functioning (Basal Metabolic Rate)  i.e. Respiration , Cardiovascular function, digestion, moving around , internal body chemical reactions , to maintain body temperature and for millions of other things that happen inside our bodies.

So,
  • Calories IN, from Food: 2500
  • Calories burnt for normal bodily functions and external activities  : 2200
  • Additional Calories Burnt in the gym: 300
  • Total Calories used/ Calories OUT: 2200 + 300 = 2500.
  • Additional calories stored: ZERO
Net effect; since Calories IN = Calories OUT , he/she neither gains weight nor loses weight. Thus, this becomes his maintenance program, and he lives happily ever after.

Reason for the myth then??
So, all is well in this person's life. He's happy with his weight. Now for whatever reasons, he decides to stop going to the gym for a month.So, he stops exercising everyday. If he is not exercising everyday, he isn't expending 300 calories towards his workouts everyday. So, If he isn't expending those 300 calories towards the workout, ideally he must consume 300 calories less everyday, since he doesn't need the calories anymore to fuel his workouts. So, he must consume 2200 Calories from Food now.

However, he forgets to cut these 300 calories from his food. Now here's what happens:
  •  Extra calories consumed everyday : 300
  • No. of calories in one pound of fat: 3500
  • IF he continues his current diet without working out, he will gain 1 pound of fat in : 3500/300 =  12 days. 
  • Thus he will gain 5 pounds in 60 days i.e. Approx 2.5 kgs in 2 months!
Chances are , now that he's fit , he thinks, he can eat anything and get away with it. So he may consume more food /more unhealthy food during this time when he isn't working out. So he piles on more fat.

Now, in areas where he was lean, he sees fat, that has started piling on.
This makes him think that all the muscle has got converted into fat. However, in the Universe that we live in, Fat can never turn into muscle and muscle can never turn into fat! unless of course, if you some superpowers by which you can do it. But then again, how many people must there be in this universe, who can boast of having such mad superpowers? Let's not digress.

So, his muscle is intact , but now covered with fat that he has gained from consuming MORE CALORIES THAN HE NOW BURNS.

Also, here's why Muscle and Fat are not inter-convertible: 

  • Fat and Muscle are two chemically different compounds / objects with two very different roles and functions in the body
  • Note how 5 Pounds of Muscle looks vs 5 Pounds of Fat






  • While Muscles Burn Calories, Fat Cells store calories

  • Structure of Muscles






  • Structure of Fat Cells



I rest my case.



Monday, July 2, 2012

Post Workout Mistakes

Couple of good quotes on Working out;
  1. No matter how slow you walk or move, you are lapping the guys on the couch
  2.  Your body gets better after each and every workout.
These 2 beliefs motivate me to hit the gym on days when I have almost given up.
Now, while every workout has the potential to make you fitter and healthier than what you were before that workout, follow the below guidelines to make sure you get the most out of your workout , once you get done with it: 

1. Must Stretch after a Workout:

Most guys think , Stretching is for Sissies. Not True! Stretching is essential because: 
  • Contracting the muscle while working out shortens it and makes it tight. Stretching after a workout brings the muscle back to its original size and eases the tension in the fibres
  • Stretching the muscle , frees the muscle of Lactic Acid or other waste caught up in the muscle. This reduces the soreness in the muscles after a workout and ensures speedy growth & recovery of the muscle 
  • Stretching improves flexibility and keeps you nimble even while packing on muscle. Hence, to avoid looking like one of those guys who move like robots ... Stretch!
Tip: 
  1. DO NOT stretch BEFORE a workout, because muscles are just like rubber/elastic and if stretched while cold, can lead to injuries
  2. After a workout, stretch all your muscles only to a point where it's comfortable. Remember, Goal of Post Workout stretching is to aid recovery ,growth and maintain current flexibility, not increase it. To increase the range of motion of your muscles, practise Yoga  
2. Must Refuel yourself after a Workout

After a workout, your muscles are craving for good quality nutrients from good healthy nutritive food.
Hence , it is necessary to refuel yourself after a workout.
By refuel, I do not mean have a sugary drink/canned fruit juice/Glucon D/Glucose. ( unless you are feeling dizzy and severely dehydrated after a very very long and exhausting workout).  Focus on consuming fast absorbing protein(whey) and Simple carbohydrates like Potato, Rice, White Bread. etc. and other healthy food like Dals , Pulses, Chapatis etc.

3. Have a contrast bath

This is an excellent technique to help speed up the growth and recovery of muscles and reduce soreness in muscles.
Alternate Hot and Cold water on your Spine causes Vasodilation(Widening of Blood Vessels ) and Vasoconstriction(Contracting of Blood Vessels). This results in flushing out of waste material from the cells and improves circulation of Nutrients throughout the cells.

4.Must Sleep for at least 8 hours 

Muscles do not grow while you workout. Infact , working out damages the muscles. They grow by recuperating and healing themselves with the right Nutrition and right rest that we give them, only AFTER you work out.
Not giving muscles adequate rest can be a major reason for not seeing any progress towards your fitness goals and no other form of rest matches the good ol' peaceful ZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Here's a way to wake up Fresh every morning. http://www.bhushandanani.com/2012/01/most-effective-tip-to-get-up-fresh.html.

Also, Not giving your body enough rest may result in Overtraining and greatly increase risk of injuries.
One must take a week of rest from Working out or workout at a very very low intensity for a week every 3-4 months , to give your body adequate rest and a chance to fully recover from any nagging aches /injuries. You will be surprized to see that you have become Stronger after the break! This is because in that one week your body recovered , healed itself and made itself stronger and more prepared for the next challenge. That's how the body works.

So remember, After a workout:

  1. Stretch
  2. Eat well
  3. Sleep well

Cheers!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Get rid of the Cellphone NECK Syndrome

 What is the first thing you do on waking up and the last thing you do before sleeping?
Check your cellphone!!I KNEW IT !!! I do it too.

Today, Cellphones , Smartphones , Tablets etc.have become our extended Body Parts.We feel lost if we don't have our cellphone with us even if it's just for 10 minutes. I noticed it, when  I forgot my cellphone at home and left for the gym. And since I'm not much of a Gym Socializing type of guy, I felt lost... in between exercise sets.

Though smartphones and other gadgets have made our life easier, there's one area where they are a Pain in the Neck...Literally.
Overusing your Cellphones, Laptops etc.in a bad posture is a leading cause of  the nagging ache in your Neck/back/shoulders.

We tend to get super engrossed into the phone, laptop or the book , so much so that we lean forward and almost get inside the screen of the gadget. This is a very bad position for the neck and causes a change in the natural alignment/curvature of the neck, thus resulting in "Forward Neck" or a "Text Neck".

Check your posture for a Forward Neck
Usually for most, if your EARS are not in line with your Shoulders, you most probably have a Forward Neck.

The further ahead your ears are from the shoulder line , more severe is your Forward Neck condition.

This not only results in Neck Pain, but also causes, shoulder pain, headaches and back pain.
Sometimes you can get rid of severe pain in the Neck , shoulder or your back by a simple correction in your neck posture.

If you are suffering from nagging pain in the above 3 areas, chances are you have a Forward Neck. Tell somebody to check your neck position while you normally stand straight without any external force or pressure on your neck to keep it back.


If your ears are not in line with your shoulders .... work towards getting them in line with your shoulders to avoid any aches/pains in the future or to get rid of any aches/pains you are currently suffering from.

Why should you correct your Forward Neck?


  • The average Human Head weighs approx 10-15 Pounds.
  • Weight of the head on spine in upright position : Lets consider 12 Pounds
  • Strain on the Spine if the head moves 1 inch ahead: 22 Pounds
  • Strain on the Spine if the head moves 2 inches ahead: 32 Pounds
  • Strain on the Spine if the head moves 3 inches ahead: 42 Pounds
Hence, you must correct your Forward Neck as soon as possible to avoid any permanent damage to your posture and spine.

2 Exercisesto Correct the Forward Neck:

Chin Tucks

Chin Tucks:
 Use your fingers to guide your chin and tuck it into your neck in the best posture possible so as to align your ears and your shoulders.
Hold this position for 10 seconds.Relax  and repeat. Do this 5-10 times.










Door Frame Chest Stretch
 and back Contraction
Door Frame Chest Stretch and Back contraction: 
Stand in a door frame with arms on the side, resting on the door frame and lean ahead slowly in a controlled manner till you feel a nice stretch in your chest muscles. Also try and contract your back muscles while doing this to simultaneously strengthen your back to hold you in this new favourable position.
Hold this position for 20-30 seconds. Repeat 3-5 times.

You must perform these 2 exercises every alternate day to correct your Forward neck.
All the Best!
Cheers!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Money vs Health

If you read my Profile, it says "A Fitness Professional, (Certified Fitness Trainer ranked Among top 5 Percentile of the world from International Sports Sciences Association(ISSA), California,USA) & a Music enthusiast , who now works in Financial Services to make MONEY.."

True, I wanted to become a Fitness Trainer, which I did for some time... only to realize that I wanted to see bigger numbers in my Bank Account. So, I went on to work in Financial Services. I'm happy with the numbers now. I am also lucky to have a Boss who believes and follows " Come on Time and Leave on Time ".

So, I find time to workout for 40 -50minutes thrice a week to keep myself fit. But I see a lot of people whose Bosses "Come Late and leave late" .. or "Come early and leave late" .. or "Come whenever ,leave late" . And in the cut throat corporate environment , if your job pays you well ,your boss won't let you go home without extracting a good amount of work from you. True Story.

Hence , it's time to introspect on ,whether you have traded your health for a "Large Credit Alert" in your Bank Account at the end of every month.

Look around and you will see a lot of people with a lot of money, on the verge of being hospitalized.
Makes you wonder whats the use of making so much money at the cost of your health, when eventually all you can do with it is, check yourself into a "Deluxe Suite" of a Five Star Hospital?

Another thought that crosses my mind often is , we make money to:  
  • Eat good food
  • Wear good clothes
  • Live in a big house
  • Make our kids happy
But instead, as we make more money, What happens is.. 
  • Eat good food:  You can't enjoy delicious fun food that a healthy person would otherwise enjoy in moderation, because you have Diabetes, Heart Problems, High/Low Blood Pressure
  • Wear Good Clothes: Sure,you can buy your Louis V & Armani , but it won't look good on you because you are not in decent shape.Money down the drain. What matters is the Fit of the shirt/dress, not the brand
  • Live in a big house: So you bought yourself a pent house or a 2 storey Bungalow,only to realize you can't go to the first or the second floor, because your body refuses to climb stairs.
  • Make your kids happy: Your kids won't be happy if you cant give them a Piggyback ride around the house or if you are perpetually drained and not able to take them wherever they want to go to have fun
In a nutshell , all the money in the world is not worth earning , if it doesn't help you live a happy , healthy & a fulfilling content life.
I'm not saying one shouldn't aim to make money , because being FIT only isn't going to feed your children.
But, if you are fit, you don't have to be at the mercy of anybody/any situation in life , because your body will support you in executing whatever it is that you decide to do.

Being fit makes you Independent, Strong and Self Sufficient.Happiness comes from, being able to do what you want and your body supporting you in your decision to do that.

You think Sky diving will make you happy. Go ahead and do it. And before you do it thank yourself for keeping your body in a state where it can Sky dive, because there are a lot of people out there , who want to sky dive, but they can't because their bodies wont support them.

So , do whatever it takes to find some time for yourself, for your body, for your health and for your happiness.

To Sum up, I strongly feel, Money alone cannot make you happy. What you do with that money ,is what makes you happy. And without being fit you cannot do Everything you want to do with your money!

Cheers!

  

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Home workout for Fat Loss

Joining a gym is of no use.
Shocked? What is of use, is , Joining the gym and going there regularly... to Workout.

Sure, if you've never joined a gym before you must give it a shot. Science has proved that Resistance training (Challenging the muscles) is highly beneficial to our bodies to keep ourselves fit and healthy throughout our lives. ( However, the gym is not the only place where one can perform Resistance Traning).

So, following is the classification of the kind of people in this world w.r.t their Fitness Habits.
  1.  Those who have been to the gym
    • Those who like hitting the gym regularly
    • Those who don't like going to the gym  
      • Those who are aware of the importance of resistance training but detest going to the gym
      • Those who are not even bothered
  2. Those who have never been to a gym
    • Those who will never go to the gym
    • Those who will go to the gym and be one of the people classified under Point 1.
This post is for those people who understand the importance of Resistance training , but don't go to the gym for any of the following reasons:  
  • Don't have the "Right Shoes" to wear while gymming 
  • Don't have the right "Gym Bag" to go gymming
  • Don't have the "Right clothes" to wear to the gym
  • Don't have the "Perfect Sipper" to sip water from while gymming
  • Don't like the music at the gym
  • Are too lazy to go to the gym
  • Want to workout at home only
  • Want to start with working out at home first and then join a gym 
So here's a great workout routine that you can perform at home and get good results whilst doing it: 

Exercise: Duration: 20-30 Mins
Muscles Targeted: Full Body Major Muscles Workout
Number of Exercises: 4

Exercise1: Squats .
While going down, try to not let your knees go beyond your toes . This places undue stress on your knees.












Exercise 2: Calf Raises

You can start with calf raises without any dumbbells. As you progress you can carry weight.











Exercise 3:
Pushups 

These are classic pushups. If you cant do regular pushups, start with Knee supported pushups and work your way up to Classic regular pushups

Classic Regular Pushups
Knee Supported Pushups
                                     

Exercise 4: Planks
This is one of the most effective exercises for strengthening your core. This exercise beats other exercises for your abs,  like crunches, reverse crunches , side crunches, side bends and 100 other "Lower Abs" and " Upper Abs " exercises. Just hold your body in this plank position. It isn't as easy as it looks.







How much and How many: 

You can start with whatever you are comfortable doing. Just remember to challenge your body and work your way up at least every 2-3 workouts . i.e. add a repetition or a set every 2-3 workouts.

Perform this routine Thrice a week ( Monday Wed Fri/ Tue Thurs Sat).

  1. Squats: 3 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions ( Start with whatever you are comfortable doing. This can even be 3 sets of 2 repetitions)
  2. Calf Raises: 3 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions. ( Start with whatever you are conformable doing) 
  3. Pushups:  3 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions ( Start with whatever you are comfortable doing. This can even be 2 repetitions of Knee supported push ups.)
  4. Planks: 2 sets of as long a duration as you can hold your body in the Plank Position. You can begin with as low as 5-10 seconds and go up to as much as 1,2,3 minutes.
Once you have reached a stage where you can do 3 sets of 12 repetitions of these exercises comfortably, progress further by adding weights to your routine or by increasing the number of sets performed.

There! Now you can't tell me , " I don't know what to do at home".  I'm not saying this is the Best Workout for every one. Infact there cannot be a Best Workout for every one as each body is unique and responds to everything differently.

However, This is a point where you can begin.

All The Best.

Cheers!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Demystifying Mangoes

There's a lot I've heard from many, about how mangoes are good/bad for you, and how by eating a mango one can attract Evil Spirits or communicate with Angels. Hence I hereby Demystify Mango , today!

Yes! The season of mangoes is here when  Mango sellers
roam around empty streets  on hot afternoons,
screaming " HAAAPOOOOOOOOOOOSSSSS!!"

I remember as a kid, at night while I was asleep,  I dreamt of having a Mango Milkshake the next morning along with my breakfast. Not only that , I also dreamt of swimming in a big pool full of Mango Milkshake till I drank all of it! I'm sure you've dreamt this dream to.. if not.. well.. you weren't too imaginative. It's never too late. I still get the dream sometimes, in summers.

And not matter what Katrina Kaif tells you or does whilst being dressed skimpily with a bottle and some yellow colored fluid filled with sugar preservatives and essence , nothing can match the taste of a yummy REAL Mango!

Interestingly the name Mango has its roots in the Tamil word Mangai or Mankay. When the Portuguese traders set shop in India, they decide to use the name Manga .

Hmmmmm.

So let me tell you, why you should eat Mangoes and not feel guilty about it.


  1. Mango is rich in Prebiotic Fiber, which works on the digestive system and is beneficial to our health
  2. Mango pulp contains Phytochemicals which may be beneficial in reducing the risk of Cancer & Stroke.
  3. According to new research, Mangoes are effective in Preventing and even Stopping growth of Cancer Cells 
    • They fight leukemia, lung and prostate cancers to a certain extent, but work best in fighting  common breast and colon cancers.
  4. Mango is an excellent source of Vitamin A.Just 100 gms of the mad fruit gives you 25% of your recommended daily intake of Vitamin A. And we've studied and forgotten the following benefits of Vitamin A: 
    • Good Vision
    • Good Immunity
    • Healthy Bones & Teeth
    • Healthy Reproductive system
    • Antioxidant properties
  5. Mango is a great source of Potassium. And we've studied and forgotten the following benefits of Potassium
    • Regulating Blood Pressure
    • Healthy Brain Function
    • Probable role in prevention of Kidney Stones
  6. Mango Peels have antioxidant properties which can help in fighting a long list of what can go wrong inside our bodies ( More on Antioxidants here)
  7. Mangoes are a great source of Vitamin C , which again acts as an antioxidant and improves immunity

Now , another thing.. We all have been doing this since our childhood. We keep the mangoes immersed in water for an amount of time that each of our Mothers feel appropriate, ranging from an hour to 12 hours.

I haven't found any scientific evidence outlining the benefits of this exercise, but my sense is , keep doing it. Let the heat, if any, that might harm us,  present inside the mango , Out. Why take a chance. So go ahead and enjoy the King of Fruits this summer and many more yet to come.

And, while eating Aaam Ras + Puri, go easy on the Puris. 

Cheers!


References: 



Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Marathon Runner vs Sprinter (Part 2) - Train like a Sprinter for Fat Loss

So, as I concluded in my last Post "Marathon Runner vs Sprinter"  , here's how you can Train Like a Sprinter.
Also, another advantage of training like a Sprinter is  that You will start looking like one too!!

This happens due to the Principle of Adaptation.

Keeping the jargon aside and to put it simply, this Principle says that , The body adapts / reacts to Loads / activity that it is subjected to, by making itself more capable of handling the same activity the next time.

This adaption takes place during sleep/rest/when we provide our bodies proper nutrition and take care of it.

( Hence the fact that Muscles do not actually grow in the gym... they grow when they heal and become stronger when you rest & recover from the work out by giving your body the right nutrition. )

Coming back to the point. Ya, so, to look like a sprinter, you must train like one.
A sprinter, runs hard and gives it his/her all for 30 sec/ 60 sec/ 2 mins/3 mins. So to make the body stronger and capable of doing this, you must train in a similar manner.

Hence, I introduce you to "High Intensity Interval Training" ( H I I T):

Why HIIT?

  1.  You burn more calories. Higher the intensiy of the exercise, more calories will be burnt.
  2. You burn calories even after you finish working out . Regular low intensity training only burns calories while you are for eg. walking. Once you stop, the calorie burning stops, where as HIIT also results in burning calories after you workout
  3. Your Metabolism will shoot through the roof, which will result in better results of Fat loss and calorie Burning off the field
  4. You Heart becomes stronger. HIIT challenges your heart much more than regular cardio and actually makes your heart stronger. As your heart adapts, it will result in a lower Resting Heart rate, which means it will work more efficiently i.e. it will PUMP MORE VOLUME OF BLOOD in One Beat !!
  5. YOU SAVE TIME!!! Regular cardio takes 45-60 minutes. I know people who walk for 1.5 -2 hours !! But HIIT Takes only 20 Minutes!!  
  6. You don't need any additional equipment
  7. You wont get Bored!
There are two ways in which you can do your cardio workout:
  1. Low Intensity Long Duration ( For e.g.: Walkingfor 45 -60 mins)
  2. High Istensity Short Duration ( For e.g.  HIIT using any form of cardio) 
One can perform this type of training with his/her current form of cardio. IT can be Cycling, Swimming , Walking, Elliptical Trainer etc.). 

What is HIIT?
It is very simple. You can perform HIIT by alternating small bursts of high intensity training with some time of  lower intensity training in between those bursts.

Here's a Sample HIIT 18 minute Training schedule: 
Let's take Walking for example: 

  • Minutes 1 to 4 : Walk.. gradually Brisk walk.
  • Next 30 sec: Run/ Sprint as hard as you can.. Run for your life .. Run like hell ( As we've heard from Pink Floyd) .. Run like a deer who runs for his life from a Lion/ Tiger.. Run like a thug running away from the police..Ok.. I think you got the picture
  • 4min 30 sec to 8 min 30 sec: Walk/ Jog/ Brisk walk ( Whatever you your comfortable with.. your choice )   
  • Next 30 sec:  Run/ Sprint as hard as you can.. Run for your life ... you knw what i'm talking about
  • 9 min to 13 min:  Walk/ Jog/ Brisk walk ( Whatever you your comfortable with.. your choice ) 
  • 13 min 30 sec to 14 minutes:  Run/ Sprint as hard as you can.. Run for your life 
  • 14 mins to 18 minutes: Cool down.. Brisk walk/ walk..
And it's over! .. Don't be deceived by the " only 30 seconds " of giving it all... Try it for yourself. It isn't very easy to give your 100%  to running for 30 seconds. Also, make sure that the intense bursts are long and hard enough to make you feel huffed and puffed after the 30 seconds.. else you aren't doing it right...

Here's a sentence test : " I ran so fast that I cant speak this sentence in one breath" If you can speak this sentence in one breath, may be you didn't sprint hard enough.

You can apply HIIT to any form of cardio like cycling /swimming/ walking / rowing etc.
As you progress on this path, you can increase the duration of the high intensity bouts or the number of high intensity bouts etc. over time , you will be able to gauge your body well and know what it can , and cannot handle. 

Do this thrice a week and see the fat melting away from your body whilst shooting up your metabolism and increasing your energy levels throughout the day!!

All the Best.

Also remember , Interval training is not appropriate for all. If you have a chronic health condition, heart condition, or other exercise specific injuries or if you haven't been exercising regularly, consult your doctor before trying any type of interval training.

Cheers! 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Marathon runner vs Sprinter

I know you've heard of  "What you eat is what you become". Infact since it is true, I feel like eating Will Smith for Dinner tonight.

The same applies to your training. How you train, determines how you look.

Let's compare a Marathoner and a Sprinter.

Now, Whom would YOU like to look? The Marathoner or the Sprinter?
My choice is , The Sprinter. I am sure, you'll choose the sprinter's too, unless you want to be a professional Marathon runner.





So Let's analyze here, why exactly these athletes look so different.
This is because, they train differently.
  1. A marathon runner trains himself by running long distances over longer periods of time at a lower intensity and speed.( Uses the Oxidative pathway of energy)
  2. A Sprinter , however, trains himself by running shorter distances for a few seconds by giving it all he's got.( Uses the Anaerobic pathway of energy)
Both seem OK on the face of it.
But there's a question that I don't have an answer for.
( Drumrollll)

Which animal on the face of this earth jogs at low intensity for 6 hours ( or how many ever hours marathon runner train) , and why would it do anything like this?

Leaving athletes who compete in the spirit of the sport aside( Respect to them), but why would people like you and me walk/ slowly jog for 1-2 hours on the treadmill to look like them? I'm sure you dont want to look like a marathon runner! Then why would you train like one??

Our Body is simple. It adapts to an external stimuli and makes itself capable of handling it.

So, why would you look like a marathon runner by doing hours of low intensity cardio on the treadmill?This is because , to sustain and get energy for a longer period, the body's only source is "FAT" .Glycogen in the muscle is used for short bursts of energy requirement and Fats are required by the body to provide energy for low intensity long duration exercises like walking /jogging for 1-2 hours.

SO , What does your body do?
It slowly, throws away the Muscles ( which fulfills energy requirement for short bursts of intense exercise) and stores more fat, because it needs to adapt itself to be able to sustain 1-2 hours of cardio.
Outcome: You lose a little bit of Fat and a lot of muscle. You may Lose "Weight" at the cost of your muscles and you'll end up looking like a Marathon runner eventually.( I'm sure you don't want that)

And, what happens when you train like a sprinter?
Again, your body adapts to be able to sustain your training.
Since energy for short bursts of heavy duty requirement like, Sprinting , short put , Boxing , Fielding in a game of cricket, Baseball Pitching , Soccer , comes from Glycogen stored in the muscles , your body tries to gain Muscles and tries to throw away the excess FAT , since it doesn't need it anymore, because you aren't doing anymore of low intensity cardio for 1-2 hours. Look at the difference between the legs of a Marathon runner and a sprinter. Notice that a marathon runner has more Fat than muscle and the sprinter has more muscle than Fat.

Besides, A Sprinter Workout takes only about 20 mins vs a Marathon runner's workout that people do for anywhere between 1-2 hours. Also, a sprinter's workout increases your BMR and helps in burning calories even after you finish your cardio.

So now, Whom do you wanna look like?

Them?

Or Them?
The choice is yours to make.
Make a choice and Train like one.

Next Post on How to Train like a sprinter, with sample Workouts.. Stick around!

Cheers.



Monday, April 9, 2012

Demystifying Fats


I am sure, Like most, you too are confused with the 24578 types of fats that can be present in the food you consume.Also, each of these Twenty four thousand five hundred and seventy eight types of fats have their own advantages and disadvantages.

The "Fat Types" is a big maze to many. I say this because there are times when people tell me that x type of fat is better than the y type of fat when in fact it is the exact opposite.
So today I've decided to Demystify Fats and hopefully by the end of this post you'll be able to advise people on this subject.

So ya..There are 4 types of Fats:  (24578 ? I may have exaggerated there)

  1. Monounsaturated fat 
  2. Polyunsaturated fat , further divided into the types:
    • Omega-6 Polyunsaturated fats 
    • Omega-3 Polyunsaturated fats 
  3. Saturated fat 
  4. Trans fat. 
1) Monounsaturated Fats:(MUF)
MUFs are usually liquids at room temperature.There is a good amount of research which suggests that MUFs are good for health.MUFs help in reducing the risk of Heart Disease by reducing levels of Low Density Lipoproteins (LDL) in the blood.They may also benefit people with Type 2 Diabetes by controlling insulin levels and blood sugar.Also MUFs are high in Vitamin E which helps maintenance and development of cells in the body.

Sources of MUFs
  • Vegetable oils  
  • Canola oil
  • Olive oil
  • High oleic safflower oil
  • Sunflower oil
  • Avocado

2) Polyusaturated Fats: (PUF)
PUFs are also usually liquids at room temperature. There are some PUFs that cannot be produced by the body, like, Omega-3 Polyunsaturated fats and Omega-6 Polyunsaturated fats.PUFs too help in reducing the risk of Heart Disease by reducing levels of Low Density Lipoproteins (LDL) in the blood. According to Mayoclinic they may also protect against irregular heartbeats and help lower blood pressure levels. PUFs also help in Brain Development.

Sources of Omega 6 PUFs:
  • Soybean oil
  • Corn oil
  • Safflower oil
Sources of Omega 3 PUFs:
  • Soybean oil
  • Canola oil
  • Walnuts
  • Flaxseed
  • Fish:  trout, herring, and salmon

3) Saturated Fats: (SF)
These are mostly solids at room temperature. We all know what these are. Examples of foods containing a high proportion of saturated fat include animal fats such as cream, cheese, butter, and ghee; suet, tallow, lard, and fatty meats. High consumption of SFs is a leading cause of Heart Disease along with various others.

4) Trans Fats: (TF)
Unlike other MUFs , PUFs and SFs, Trans Fats are mainly artificial in nature. They are made by the process of Partial Hydrogenation. Liquid Vegetable Oil ( otherwise healthy MUFs and PUFs) are bombarded with Hydrogen Atoms and converted into solid Fats.
  • The World Health Organization says an adult male can have 2.6g of trans fats a day, female 2.1g and a child 2.3g
  • Pepsi Co's LAYS CHIPS (endorsed by Many cricketers and Saif Ali khan)contain 3.7g trans fats/ 100g. Earlier sold as zero trans fats chips but they removed the claim from the label later. ( Yes, they lied)... 
Benefits to the Food Industry?
  • It gives food a texture and mouthfeel that we all love so much and crave more and more ( remember cookies, French Fries , pastries, creamy frostings etc.)
  • It makes the oil reusable in deep fat frying 
  • It increases the melting point of fats
Trans Fats are the worst of the lot, worse than Saturated Fats too. Hence while buying something to eat, make sure you choose something that is low in Trans Fat ( however the new CSE study also reveals that KFC , Mc Donalds , Pizza hut , Haldiram , Lays, Maggi etc. lie about the content of Trans Fat etc. in their products).

WARNING:
 
Labels can say "0 grams of Trans Fat" even if partially hydrogenated fats are listed in the ingredients, as long as the serving size contains less than 0.5g of trans fats. Point is these less than one grams add up to your total consumption if u take more than one serving, considering the World Health Organization says an adult male can have 2.6g of trans fats a day, female 2.1g and a child 2.3g

Trans fats , like Saturated Fats are harmful , but in addition to it, also bring DOWN the levels of High Density Lipoprotein(HDL) that may be useful to us. Hence TRANS FATS ARE EVEN WORSE THAN SATURATED FATS.

Some Facts about Trans Fats: 
  1. New York City’s Board of Health voted unanimously in December 2006 to ban trans fats in all its 24,000 restaurants, from high-end eateries to fast-food joints, becoming the first city in the United States to impose such a ban.
  2. Starbucks joined the bandwagon and announced in January 2007 that it was eliminating trans fats from its stores in 10 metropolitan areas. 
So, focus on consuming Fats from Monounsaturated Fats and Polyunsaturated Fats. Avoid Saturated Fats and strictly avoid Trans Fats!!

Handy List of Fat sources :


References: 



Sunday, April 1, 2012

Measure your Body Fat Percentage, not Weight


While your weight is way you can track your performance , it isn't the best indicator of your overall Fat loss achievement.

What truly shows you the best picture is your Body Fat percentage.
What 8 out of 10 people will continue to do is, give their weight more importance than their body fat percentage.
This is very important to understand because, at times in your fat loss effort, you might see no change in weight, but only in inches.
This is the best thing that could happen to you. This means, you are losing FAT and gaining Lean Body Mass.

What is Body Fat percentage?
Your weight is determined by various organs, muscles, fat, hair tissue etc. inside your body. So, if your body fat percentage is 20% and you weight 100 kgs, this means, approx 20% of your weight is FAT inside your body and the rest 80% is Lean Body Mass. Good for you!!


What is Lean Body Mass?
Lean Body mass can be a general term used for your Muscle, Bones, Hair, Tissue, Nails etc. Basically everything except your Body Fat.

So what I am trying to say here, is that you can weight whatever you want 60 kgs or 100 kgs or even 150 kgs. What's important is, How much Percentage of that weight at which you are comes from FAT?

  • So you could be a male weighing 120 kgs, and be at 15 % Body Fat. That is phenomenal.
  • Or you could be a male weighing 60 kgs with 25% Body Fat. That is down right obese/unhealthy.
So, it isn't the weight that matters, it's the percentage of that weight coming from FAT , that truly matters.

American Council of Exercise gives you guidelines regarding healthy Body Fat Percentages:
 
Essential Fat : Fat surrounding your vital organs like Liver etc. So, it isn't advisable to remain at such low body fat percentages for a long time. Body Builders get to this Body Fat percentage for a show, where they look like a walking talking anatomy chart and each surface muscle on their body is visible.

Here's a visual I found. it exactly describes what I'm trying to say here: 
 
A few real life pictures will make it clear: 
Muscle Definition at different Body Fat Percentages
It's best if we stop at 30%


Again, it's best if we stop at 30%


So, no matter what you weigh... 60 kgs, 70, 80, 90 or even 100 kgs! Make sure your Body fat percentage is on the lower side.
                      Here's a photo of  mean weighing 100kgs , but at crazy low body fat percentage: 


Now, How do you measure your Body Fat Percentage?
I've been using his link for many years now, to determine my body fat percentage using a Tape Measure. It's simple and quite accurate. Here's the link: 
http://www.linear-software.com/online.html ( Read instructions for measurement carefully) 

All you have to do is, enter your weight height, tape measured waist, neck etc. and you have your body fat percentage!!

Happy Measuring.
Cheers!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Coke: Apparently it "Opens Happiness"

This is truly shocking: "This week the corporate behemoths behind Coca-Cola and Pepsi quietly agreed to comply with a new regulatory requirement in California to either carry a cancer warning label if their products included certain levels of a carcinogenic chemical or reduce those chemical levels significantly. The beverage giants chose to cut down on the chemical."

Soft drink giant Coca-Cola is phasing out a controversial additive that has been linked to hyperactivity and causing damage to DNA.The chemical Sodium Benzoate, also known as E211, is used to stop fizzy drinks going mouldy.But recent research has shown that the chemical can deactivate parts of DNA, the genetic code in the cells of living creatures.Coca-Cola said it was withdrawing the additive from Diet Coke in response to consumer demand for more natural products.

Above are just a few of many.

Consider a 300 ml ( Standard Indian glass bottle dosage) bottle of coke: 

Let's see what happens because by opening a bottle of coke, Apparently you "Open Happiness"

When you consume 300 ml of coke: 
  1. Your body is hit with approx 10 teaspoons of sugar ( I know! Hard to believe, but true)
  2. You don't puke due to the excessive sweetness because Phosphoric Acid(used to clean Rust , google it for its harmful effects) , cuts the flavour with its tangy taste. Phosphoric acid is more acidic than vinegar but sugar masks its acidity.
  3. Due to the your sudden blood sugar spike, 20 minutes after having coke, your insulin spikes.The liver responds by turning these sugars into fat.
  4. Also, notice the presence of Caffeine on the label. 40 Mintues later, caffeine absorption is complete, your pupils dilate , your blood pressure rises.
  5. As a response your livers dumps more sugar into your bloodstream. The adenosine receptors in your brain are now blocked preventing drowsiness.
  6. Your body ups your dopamine production stimulating the pleasure centers of your brain. This effect of coca cola is physically the same way heroin works.
  7. After about 60 minutes, when everything is done, you again experience a sugar crash and thus a sugar craving... so what do you do??
    There's always another coke because: By opening a bottle of coke, Apparently you "Open Happiness".Yes it gives you happiness along with a lot more.

Other effects:
  1. Sugar and acid in coke slowly and steadily dissolves the tooth enamel.
  2. Increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and everything that comes with the consumption of foods containing excessive sugar
  3. Caffeine Addiction
  4. Increased risk of  Osteoporosis and weakened Bones-Culprit: Phosphorus, which in turn causes loss of calcium
  5. Consuming large quantity of coke increases risk of Kidney stones
  6. Excessive consumption of fructose, particularly in the form of soft drinks is likely to case high blood pressure
  7. Consumption of coke is likely to cause heartburn
  8. Soft drink consumption is linked to development of metabolic syndrome i.e. a combination of the symptoms such as high blood pressure, obesity, high cholesterol, and insulin resistance.
  9. Weakened digestive system due to high acidity
  10. Dehydration due to both , caffeine and sugar
All these are good enough reasons to at least significantly reduce , if not stop, your consumption of coke and other such beverages.

Let's now try to look for "HAPPINESS" at other places.. Healthy Ones!


References: