Saturday, September 28, 2013

Weight kam horaay.. lekin Yeh kam nai horaay.. Kya karneka?

I'm sure you all know what "Yeh" is in the phrase "Vajan kam horaay lekin YEH kam nai horaay.. YEH is each persons body area where Fat is located , typically, Waist, Buttocks, Thighs, Chest, Neck etc. ... Most people point towards their Love Handles & Say "YEH" kam nai horaaay...

Essentially there's a difference between Weight Loss & Losing YEH ... YEH is nothing but Fat accumulated in your body... Let me clarify: 
  • Weight : Consists of Bones, Muscles, Fat, Hair, Skin, Water, Organs etc. 
  • YEH: only FAT
  • Weight Loss: Losing a combination of everything that comprises Weight
  • Fat Loss: Losing YEH 
Fundamentally we need to get out of the "Weight Loss" mindset & get into the "Yeh Loss" /"Fat Loss" 

Losing YEH should be the ultimate goal. Weight really doesn't matter. You could be weighing 100 Kgs, but having a Body Fat percentage of only 10% , which is brilliant!! because 90 kgs of your body would be Bones, Muscle, skin hair etc. & 10 kg YEH..which is awesome!

YEH loss is much much much more important than Weight Loss. 

Now let's evaluate some reasons why you might be losing WEIGHT but not YEH.

  1. Crash Dieting:  If you are not giving your body enough Food every 2-3 hours , your body will cannibalize your own muscle for energy, which will result in Muscle Loss. This in turn will reduce your Weight but not your YEH
  2. No Resistance Training Exercise: Not doing Weight training will not challenge your muscles. Since the body only keeps what it needs & throws away what it doesn't need, it will throw away your precious Muscle. This in turn will reduce your Weight but not your YEH
  3. Eating less Carbohydrates:  Carbohydrates bind with Water. So if you stop consuming Carbohydrates, your body will lose water & become weaker. This will definitely result in redution of your Weight but not your Yeh
  4. Not consuming enough water: Unless you are a Boxer who is trying to get qualified in a lower weight category , not consuming enough water is a crime. I've seen people in the gym who do not consume water for an hour while working out & then check their weight to make themselves happy..SERIOUSLY???!!!   More than 70% of your body is water. If you don't consume adequate water it will reduce your weight temporarily but Never ever reduce your YEH.
  5. Not consuming enough Protein:  This will result in deterioration of Muscles in your body , which will in turn reduce your Weight but not your YEH
  6. Not getting enough Sleep:  Sleeping well is essential for your body's rest & recovery. If your body doesn't rest & recover well, it will result in muscle loss & loss of weight , but no loss of YEH
You must've gathered by now , that for losing YEH you need to essentially do some form of resistance training, consume adequate amount of Proteins & Carbohydrates ( DOn't shy away from Rice etc.) & get adequate rest.


If you are losing WEIGHT but not losing YEH, you are either Starving yourself and not getting enough nutrition or you are not doing some form of Resistance Training!!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Demystifying Calorie Density & How Your Own Brain Cheats You

I meet many people that say, "I follow a healthy diet" ,  " I don't cheat on my healthy eating " , " I am Superman " , "I am Batman" , but I still don't seem to lose any fat. My next question to them is " Are you exercising along with following a healthy diet?" . If their answer is No, I tell them to read USE IT OR LOSE IT & 5 Reasons Why you should NOT Workout . If they say "No No!! I workout regularly 45 times in  a day etc. ", then chances are they are misguided by their Brains into thinking they aren't cheating on their Diet.

This happens often , because we are simply used to estimating whether or not "x" amount of food is enough to fill me. What we don't take into account is the Calorie Density of the "x" amount. So, while we are following our planned diet "STRICTLY" , we do not consider it harmful to have a bite or two of some other stuff that isn't a part of our diet for that day. While sometimes that might not harm our plan at all, but usually you will end up overshooting your permissible number of calories for the day. 

Here's an example:  Consider I am following a 2000 Cal diet for the day , but during the day I ate the following: 
  1. 4 Parle G Biscuits
  2. 4 God Day Biscuits
  3. 3 dates (khajoor) 
  4. 5 Cashews + 5 Almonds
  5. 1 small Dairy Milk (40 g)
  6. 3 Hersheys Kisses
  7. Sandwich wala spread butter on top of the sandwich before giving it to you 
  8. 2 Slices of Bread Butter 
  9. 1 Bar of Cadbury Perk
  10. 1 bottle of Coke/Pepsi/Mirinda 
These are just a few of the additions that your Brain will conveniently forget and make you think you are indeed following your diet to the T (sorry for the nauseating cliche).

Now let's see how these bits & Pieces will affect your diet goals: 

  1. 4 Parle G Biscuits = 120 Calories
  2. 4 God Day Biscuits = 213 Calories
  3. 3 dates (khajoor)  = 106 Calories 
  4. 5 Cashews + 5 Almonds = 66 Calories
  5. 1 Small Dairy Milk (40 g)  = 220 Calories
  6. 3 Hersheys Kisses = 100 calories
  7. Sandwich wala spread butter on top of the sandwich before giving it to you  = 72 Calories
  8. 2 Slices of Bread Butter  = 180 Calories
  9. 1 Bar of CadburyPerk = 118 Calories
  10. 1 bottle of Coke/Pepsi/Mirinda  = 130 Calories
On any given day you WILL inadvertently consume something from the above listed or something similar to the above listed items. This will sometimes add 200 - 400 Calories to your daily consumption & result in disappointment during your MEASUREMENT DAY...

The best way to know whether this is happening to you is to Write down , for Three days, everything that you eat , every minute/every hour of the day. Even then, believe me , you will forget to write something because that's how our Brain works. Try it! 

Also, try and eat More of " LESS CALORIE DENSE " Foods. All the above listed foods are high in Calorie density, which means, a Small quantity of the food carries a large number of calories with it. Typically foods high in Sugar & Fat are known for this. Fruits and vegetables are examples of low calorie dense foods.

Consider the images below for a better perspective: 

Imagine the time & effort it takes to properly chew and eat ONE Apple.. No multiply that by 4... and now imagine consuming almost the same amount of calories (from Sugar & Fat) in 2 minutes in the form of a Snickers Bar. You won't even realize what you've consumed.. and it will hardly occupy any space in your stomach...

Here's another image giving you an idea of how much space, Food containing the same amount of Calories occupies in your stomach.

No wonder, you don't even feel full after consuming those 200 calories from chocolate.. 
You only crave for MORE! 

Here are some more pics to give you a clearer picture :

All the above food quantities contain 200 Calories

The Final list, Yes, All the above foods contain 200 Calories, but checkout the difference in Quantity

So, as much as you can, stay away from these Calorie Dense Foods & consume Low calorie dense foods, simply because,it's difficult to consume 600 Calories of Fruits & Veggies at one go as compared to a Meal from Mc Donalds or a Pizza from Pizza Hut that can easily serve you 600-1000 Calories in ONE MEAL! Yup! Don't believe me??  Check this out !! A look at Pepsi, KFC, Mc Donald's & Haldiram

All the Best.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

5 Reasons why YOU SHOULD NOT Workout

Working out is bad for your health. It can lead to a lot of complications. It may result in loss of ability in performing day to day activities... ya Right!

Now that I've got your attention , let me tell you 5 things that WILL DEFINITELY  happen if you don't work out. By "Work out" I mean any sort Physical Exercise. By "Physical exercise" I mean some sort of Resistance training done regularly (these could be simple body weight exercises , not necessarily performed in the gym) . By "regularly" I mean , even if it's just thrice a week ( I think this is reasonable) .

Ya, so if you don't work out ( Resistance training) regularly , here's 5 things that will surely happen:

1. Muscle Loss (or Sarcopenia in Medical terms):
Here's what Sacropenia is: As your body ages , it tends to get rid of extra muscle that isn't being used. The human body is very intelligent. It learns from experience. If it learns that you aren't using a particular muscle for some activity , it will react by getting rid of it. This happens because the body is always working towards increasing efficiency in internal functioning  and getting rid of something it doesn't need is ,well, efficient. Now, that doesn't mean you start drinking heavily to make your Liver "work" .
So here's the cycle: 
Lack of exercise--> Muscle Loss--> Musculoskeletal Weakness--> Loss of Stamina--> Lack of exercise.

Bottomline: Regular Exercise is by far the most effective way to fight Sarcopenia. You must exercise to preserve your muscles so you don't need a stick to walk when you get old!

2.You will be on the Treadmill / Elliptical trainer/ Cycle etc. for hours, thinking it will help you burn off the Fat!
This happens to a lot of people, who wan't to be lean, toned, healthy & fit and ready to work towards it. They hear "Doing 1 hour of Cardio (typically walking) will help them burn the fat. But this isn't what happens.

  • Typically long duration cardio (over 40-50 minutes) cannibalizes YOUR OWN MUSCLE for energy to fuel that workout. This will lead to muscle loss and less muscle = fewer calories burnt at rest.
  • By doing long hours of cardio, you are training your body to become efficient at lower intensity long duration training which DOES NOT NEED MUSCLES , but needs FAT. So your body will again systematically reduce the MUSCLE & increase the FAT in your body. Check out the difference between the bodies of a professional sprinter and a professional marathon runner: 

  • This happens because, your body looks like and becomes WHAT you train it for. If you train it for Sprinting , which requires short burst of energy over 15-20 seconds , which is supplied by MUSCLES , it will add more muscles and
  • If you train your body to walk/jog for 60 minutes , which requires steady supply of energy over a long period, it will add fat and throw the muscle ( Again , here the body is intelligent and thinks that if you are going to be running for 60 minutes and not use the Muscles, it's better to get rid of it.)

Bottomline: If you only focus on long hours of Cardiovascular exercise , your body will also end up looking like a marathon runner by getting rid of the muscles and storing the Fat required to fuel your cardio workout. This is the reason why you see some people who have been walking for 60 minutes everyday for the past 10 years and you see NO CHANGE in their bodies.

3. Reduced Metabolism:
Your Resting Metabolic Rate or Metabolism is nothing but the number of Calories your body burns to ensure smooth functioning of internal processes i.e. breathing, digestion, heart beating , breaking down of nutrients , cell production etc.

If you do not exercise, you will lose your muscles. Muscles burn more calories at rest, than Fat.

  • 1 pound of muscle burns 35 Calories a day
  • 1 pound of Fat burns 2 Calories a day

Bottomline: If you lose your muscles your metabolism will slow down. This will result in more difficulty in losing weight.

4. Mood Issues:
IF you don't exercise, you will have Issues with managing your Moods & the general Feel Good Factor in your life, because Exercising results in:

  • Reduced Stress: Exercising releases Norepinephrine, which helps the brain in managing stress.
  • Boosts Feel Good hormones : Exercising releases Endorphins which give you a natural "High"
  • Improved Self Confidence: No brainer! Exercising makes you feel good about Yourself. 
  • Help control Addiction: Exercising is known to help control addiction to smoking and other vices
  • Improved Sleep: Exercising helps you sleep like a Baby. Sleeping like a baby makes yo feel good , improves your mood and promotes general well being
Bottomline: All of the points listed above

5. Other reasons:

There are several other reasons but "Five" seemed like a nice number to capture your attention. The above four however comprehensively cover the reasons why you SHOULD WORKOUT and what will happen over the years if you DO NOT WORKOUT. 

As a wise woman on being asked by her boss "Can you bet your life on this?" replied "I wouldn't bet my Life on anything , but I'm quite sure about this Mr. XYZ "...The same way , I am sure about all that I have written in this post , Mr Reader !!

Although this analogy wasn't required here, I felt like writing this because it's MY Blog & I can write whatever I want , wherever I want! :)

All the best!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Snoring Demystified

I have written earlier, about How you can work towards getting a Good sleep and waking up Fresh every morning.

In this post I'm going to talk about something often neglected by most as the " Annoying Noise that people make while sleeping " . I know people who snore louder than the noise that Trucks make on highways or the firing of a Harley.

So, here's more on that...

Snoring occurs due to the Vibration of Respiratory structures cased by physical obstruction to Air Movement.

Causes for obstruction could be various: 
  1. Long uvula : The dangling tissue at the back of your mouth can be a cause of air obstruction 
  2. Weak Throat Muscles 
  3. Unfavorable Jaw structure 
  4. Fat gathering in and around the throat.
  5. Nasal passage blockage
  6. Sinus issues
  7. Alcohol, Smoking  and other relaxants that increase Muscle Relaxation
  8. Blockage of passage by Your own tongue
  9. Bulking of Throat Tissue due to being overweight
  10. Sleep Posture: Sleeping on your back can cause your own throat/tongue to block the airways 

Health and other Risks Associated with Snoring: 
  1. A latest Research by the Henry Ford Hospital  finds : Compared to non-snorers, Snorers were found to have a significantly greater intima-media thickness of the CAROTID ARTERIES, suggesting that the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease may actually begin with Snoring.
    Carotid Arteries are Two Large Blood Vessels that supply oxygenated blood to the Brain.
  2. Snoring could also be an Indicator of "SLEEP APNEA" . Most people consider Sleep Apnea to be a fancy name for Snoring , but this isn't true. Sleep Apnea is a serious issue that requires another post for elaboration and my next post will be on this.
  3. Relationship Issues : Snoring can be a leading cause of damage to your Relationship with your partner, in many ways.
  4. Fatigue & Frustration: Due to lack of oxygen supply to your brains and body , typically snorers may find themselves frequently fatigued, irritable & frustrated
  5. Daytime sleepiness , sleeping during Driving or performing other regular tasks
  6. Waking up Drowsy & fatigued even after a good 8-10 hours of sleep 
  7. Points 5 & 6 could also be indicators of Sleep Apnea (which i shall talk about in my next post)
  8. Strain on Heart

Problem Indicators of Snoring:At times, HOW you snore may also be the answer to WHY you snore.
  1. Closed mouth snoring may indicate a problem with the Tongue Muscle
  2. Open Mouth snoring may be an indicator of issues with Throat Muscle/Tissue
  3. Snoring only when sleeping on your back may be due to weak throat muscles
  4. Snoring in ALL positions may indicate a more severe problem that regular snoring and must be attended to urgently

Remedies for Snoring:
  1. Lose fat: Losing even just a few kgs can reduce the Fat Tissue at the back of your throat thus resulting in significant reduction in snoring and can even stop it altogether
  2. Avoid Alcohol, Cigarettes & Sedatives: All these excessively relax your muscles & aggravate snoring 
  3. Establish a Regular sleeping pattern
  4. Clear Nasal passages before sleeping
  5. Change your position of sleeping : Lying on your back can help, as your tongue & throat muscles don't fall back due to gravity. Here's a trick for people who wan't to change their habit of sleeping on their backs; The Tennis Ball Trick. Sew a Tennis ball on the top of your Pyjamas. So, everytime you sleep on your back, it'll be uncomfortable and you will have to sleep on your side.
  6. Sing!! : Singing can help strengthen your throat tissues & muscles and thus reduce snoring due to laxed muscles
  7. Try the following exercises to stop snoring. Start gradually then increase the number of sets you do. You can do these exercises while traveling , taking a shower, working out etc.
    • Repeat each vowel (a-e-i-o-u) out loud for three minutes a few times a day.
    • Place the tip of your tongue behind your top front teeth. Slide your tongue backwards for 3 minutes a day.
    • Close your mouth and purse your lips. Hold for 30 seconds.
    • With mouth open, move jaw to the right and hold for 30 seconds. Repeat on left side.
    • With mouth open, contract the muscle at the back of your throat repeatedly for 30 seconds. Tip: Look in the mirror to see the uvula (“the hanging ball”) move up and down.

Remember , you MUST See a Doctor if either of these happens to you: 
  1. You fall asleep while performing routine tasks like Driving, Reading, having a regular conversation, eating etc. 
  2. You feel drowsy regularly even after a good 8-10 hours of sleep
  3. You wake up in the middle of the night feeling breathless/choked
  4. You regularly snore loudly and heavily