Saturday, June 14, 2014

Fitness' Little Instruction Book - 37 Inspiring insights to take control of your Life


As a kid, I remember meticulously going through "Life's little  Instruction Book" by H. Jackson Brown Jr. 
It guided me in many ways & helped me take practical decisions on numerous occasions.It's a great book with a collection of one liners to live a chilled life :) .. the way i like it :) 

Here's a few pointers on My Own , Fitness' little instruction Book: 

Some of these are my own & some I've read somewhere
  1. Remember, every single workout/healthy meal is taking you one step closer to your Goal
  2. Incredible change happens in Life when you decide to take control
  3. Time & Health, are 2 precious assets we don't realize until we lose them
  4. Your Body is the only place you'll be living in.. treat it well & it will treat you well
  5. There are 7 days in a week & "Someday" isn't one of them
  6. No matter how slow you go.. you're lapping the people on the couch
  7. Believe Me: The less Sweets you eat.. the less you crave them.. Guaranteed!
  8. Exercising is like Mutual Fund SIPs.. there's never a right "Time" to start.. Just Start!
  9. Don't consume any Food/beverage that requires advertising to sell
  10. If your food can go Bad, it is Good for you.. If it can't go Bad, it is Bad for you
  11. Do something today that your Future self will thank you for
  12. You are.. What you eat
  13. The difference between Who you are & Who you want to, What You Do to get where you want to be
  14. The Food you eat can be the Most Powerful form of Medicine or the Slowest Form of Poison
  15. Five minutes of exercise is 1000 times better than no exercise
  16. Workout.. because the next 3 months will pass by either ways
  17. If you wan' something you've never had, then you've got to do something you've never done
  18. Don't reward yourself with Food, you aren't a Dog
  19. Remember, Yesterday, you said Tomorrow
  20. Remember, Gaining Fat was a slow process..losing Fat will take time too
  21. Think of your workouts as important Meetings you've scheduled.. Bosses don't cancel
  22. Remember, even a ONE WHOLE hour of workout is ONLY 4% of your day.. (even 30-40 mins is enough)
  23. What may hurt you today.. will someday be your warm up 
  24. Losing Fat is hard & Staying Fat is hard.. You choose your hard
  25. Discipline is choosing between "What you want NOW" & "What you want MOST"
  26. Good Abs are built in the kitchen
  27. Fat Loss is 30% exercise & 70% healthy eating
  28. If you're tired of Starting over.. Stop Giving up
  29. Shut up & Squat
  30. Remember, the Dress/t-shirt does not make you look fat.. It't the Fat
  31. Exercise.. for the High
  32. Strive for Progress , not Perfection
  33. Remember, every workout/healthy meal is taking you one step closer to your Goal
  34. Eat every 2-3 hours
  35. Never skip breakfast.. Ever
  36. It's better to eat a Vada Pav/packet of chips than to not eat anything at all
  37. Don't consume Coke/Pepsi/soft drinks.. It has insane amounts of Sugar
37 is an Odd number to stop at ..but I choose Quality over Quantity :)


Saturday, April 26, 2014

Demystifying Hairfall & Greying of Hair

"Aee Takluu " .. "Aye Ganjey"  or "Aee Budddhey"   is one of the first innocent insults that a kid in India learns and the same becomes a leading cause of fear and anxiety when one gets into their teens and sees Grey hair or hair strands stuck between their fingers while styling their hair... The insults Takloo.. Buddheey only echo louder and seem tangible this time.. 

Some other insults to describe Balding Pattern include " Aaaju Baaju mein Jhaalar ..beech mein Dollar" or " dekh uske sir pe aaj Chaand niklaay" etc.  

Also, Premature Greying & Hairfall is a bigger concern to our Parents in India , as they get worried about finding an apt Bride/Groom if their Son/Daughter starts showing signs of going Bald or Greying in their early or Late 20s.

Even today people talk to me with protruding eyeballs , in a tone as if they've seen a Ghost on my head pointing out the fact that my Hair has already greyed quite a lot and what could possibly be the cause of this..May be some Saadhu Baba has done Black Magic... or should i say Grey Magic on my Hair ..

I calmly reply ." Yeh hamarey Pitaji ki dane hai .. aur humey bohot pasand hai.. Aap kripaya mere liye tension na len.. nahi to aapke baal bhi safed pad jayengey" . Yes.. My hair really started greying at 18.. but I was never ashamed or bothered about it.. (Chicks Dig the Salt & Pepper look btw ) 

My Barber once told me "Aap bohot zyaada sochte ho to magaj mein Paani zyaada ho gaya hai aapkey.. to baal white ho gaye aapkey" .. Amusing indeed!

So let's go beyond Water in the Magaj, Sadhu Baba's Grey Magic & Let's Demystify Hairfall & Hair Greying. 

For All the Geeks & Science freaks, First Let's look at process of Hair & Natural Hair Colour Formation: 

Initially, hair is white. It gets its natural color from a type of pigment called melanin. The formation of melanin begins before birth. The natural color of our hair depends upon the distribution, type and amount of melanin in the middle layer of the hair shaft or cortex.

Hair has only two types of pigments: dark (eumelanin) and light (phaeomelanin). They blend together to make up the wide range of hair colors.

Melanin is made up of specialized pigment cells called melanocytes. They position themselves at the openings on the skin’s surface through which hair grows (follicles). Each hair grows from a single follicle.

As the hair is being formed, melanocytes inject pigment (melanin) into cells containing keratin. Keratin is the protein that makes up our hair, skin, and nails. Throughout the years, melanocyctes continue to inject pigment into the hair’s keratin, giving it a colorful hue.

With age comes a reduction of melanin. The hair turns gray and eventually white.

Fact: The age at which you'll see your first Grey hair is mainly determined by your Genes.
You will mostly see your first grey hair around the same time that your parents saw it in their lives. Now if that's at 18 , you know whom to Blame for this.
Mom: Nobody will marry a guy/girl with a head full of grey hair
You:  Mom/Dad/Dadaji/Dadimaa .. it's all your fault!!!  Don't blame me.

Intrinsic Factors that affect Greying & Hairloss: 
  • Genetics
  • Hormones
  • Age
Fact" You can't do much to reverse the changes that intrinsic factors have on your hair greying or falling off

Extrinsic Factors that affect Greying & Hairloss: 
  • Climate 
  • Pollutants
  • Toxins
  • Chemical Exposure
Fact & Good News: You have full control over the extrinsic factors that affect hair greying & hairloss. There's lots you can do to significantly slow down the process.

Bottomline & the things you can do to help reduce the rate of Hairfall & Greying: 
  1. Greying has nothing to do with any Disease or any other severe condition in most cases
  2. Greying is mainly hereditary 
  3. Smoking is known to increase the rate of greying & hairloss
  4. Start eating more of Real Food (Fruits, Vegetables, Roti, Subzi, Dal Rice)  & less of Food like substances i.e. McDonals, KFC, Sugary Food, Processed Foods etc. 
  5. Biotin, a water soluble vitamin of the B complex, encourages hair and scalp health.  Dietary sources of biotin include nuts, brown rice and oats.
  6. Walnuts are a rich source of Good Fats & Biotin , both of which help in reducing the rate of hairfall
  7. Spinach:  The iron, beta carotene, folate, and vitamin C in spinach help keep hair follicles healthy and scalp oils circulating.
  8. Iron is also essential for hair growth and can be found in  green leafy vegetables, leeks, cashews, dried fruits, figs, and berries.  To help your body absorb iron, you’ll need enough vitamin C.
  9. Carrots are rich in beta carotene, which the body turns into vitamin A. When it comes to your hair, vitamin A helps produce scalp-sustaining oils, according to WebMD.
  10. Exercise: It increses circulation of nutrients & promotes regeneration of Better & Stronger fresh & new Cells in our Body
And here's a tip for all the Guys: 

If you've started Balding  or are already Bald, you sure as hell start working on your Body& become Vin Diesel!!
Below pic for your reference!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

5 Most Common Nutrition Mistakes

The three pillars for seeing Continuous & Visible change in your Body ( Both internally & Externally) are:
  1. Resistance Training/ Strength Training
  2. Cardiovascular exercise  
  3. Following a Healthy Diet
Don't follow any one of the above & you won't achieve your goal of becoming Fit (Both internally & Externally).

Now you might say some of the most beefed up men in my gym don't do cardio at all still they have a mind blowing physique..

Sure , challenge them to a 5 minute Jog & See what happens to them!

Coming back to what today's post is about... NUTRITION MISTAKES!

Following are the common nutrition/diet planning mistakes one must avoid :

1. Consuming a lot of Fruit Juice:

While it may seem healthy , but Fruits contain a lot of Sugar. This is No reason to avoid them, but Fruit Juice is like consuming Fruits without all the other good things that come along with eating a whole fruit. Read: Fiber. 

Now consider this.How much time & effort does it take to EAT one Sweet Lime (Mosambi) or an Orange (Santra).. Takes time right? and you keep chewing endlessly.. That's good. That stuff you chew & swallow is good for you. Also, fills you up. Most people cant eat more than one Orange or one Sweetlime at one go.

Now imagine having a glass of Orange/Sweetlime juice which you consume in 10-15 seconds. That contains the juice of atleast 3-4 whole fruits.
Essentially you are consuming the sugar present in 3-4 fruits at one go without consuming the fibre that comes along with it .. Not very Good.. Still better than Coke & Pepsi I guess... although it might contain similar proportions of Sugar .. but it doesn't have the other harmful Chemicals.

2. Eating only once/twice a day in pursuit of cutting calorie intake

Leaving a very long gap between Meals pushes the body into Starvation Mode(SM). Once in SM, the body thinks, since I've got this meal after a gap of 6 hours, who knows when I will get the next meal. could be 8 hours, could be 10, could be 18 or even 24. Hence, being the intelligent machine that it is, our Body works on mitigating any effects of Non-availability of food, by storing some amount of Food that is ingested after a long gap, as FAT that can be used as a source of energy if Food doesn't arrive in the next 8, 10, 12 or even 24 hours.

But in today's age , you have food readily available. Hence, you want to tell the body to NOT STORE and in fact burn away the extra fat as you don't need it. You want to tell the body to rev up your metabolism & burn calories and not Slow down your metabolism & conserve Calories!!

Hence, you must eat 5-6 small frequently spread over the day to avoid getting into SM..
Goes without saying : portions need to be in control.

3. Letting one small insignificant  piece of Cake destroy you completely

This has happened to all of us. It's your Boss' Birthday & you cannot refuse the piece of Cake that he/she is offering. Right after having that small piece of cake, which will in no way affect your entire Daily Meal plan since it is a small negligible part of the entire day's Food consumption, we think it's the end of the world & my nutrition planning has gone down the drain for the day.. might as well eat everything I can today & start afresh tomorrow... tomorrow gets postponed to Monday .. to next week.. to next month & then New Years!!

Think about it.. that insignificant small piece of cake that did not do any harm to you has pushed you behind by weeks , months or even Years.

It really doesn't matter , as long as you are eating healthy 90% of the time.. 10% of unhealthy food consumption will not drag you down.. 90% of the healthy food consumption id what will really drive Results..

So don't let one small bite of cake/junk food ruin your entire plan for the day.. just chill .. keep calm & continue. :) 

Think about it. if you have a small setback at work.. Do you Quit your Job completely??.. right..

4. Not carrying Food from Home
What options do you have in India.. All outside food is full of Oil & Color ( Pink/Green/Yellow etc.). Everything seems to be topped up with Amul Butter.. Everything tastes the same.. Amul Butter!

Eating healthy outside is a challenge! Carrying Food in Dabbas is a challenge. Carrying food for times other than Lunch also is a Challenge! My Bag contains atleast 4-5 dabbas  as per meal timings.. But that's the price you pay for keeping Fit & healthy.. Starving is not an option & except for a few places that serve really wholesome food ( hard to find though) , all ther food is full of Oil/Color/Butter /Stale Food.

But i assure you, once you start eating home food & continue to do it for sometime, you'll start missing it when you need to eat out..

Consuming Home ka lunch will not make you lethargic & lazy'll uplift you. Try it & see the difference!!

5. Eating only for Pleasure/Dopamine Release ALL THE TIME

I am not saying that one must not have comfort food that soothes your brain (releases dopamine & gives you instant pleasure, although short lived , leaving you Uncomfortable later ) , but eating every meal for this purpose will not help you..

Every meal need not be a Burger/Pizza/Samosa etc. Most times it is important to eat for the right reason i.e. providing the Body with wholesome complete nutrition. Pleasant Taste is an added pleasure always, but Taste shouldn't be the number one criteria for choosing the food you wish to consume..

There's a simple reason why we Hate Healthy food .. it's because we compare it with Greasy SUgary unhealthy Food that gives us immense immediate Pleasure.

The day you stop Comparing Healthy Food with Junk Food , You Win!!

There's a better way for getting the dopamine high.. Try Exercise!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Dalai Lama on Fitness & Our Society on Life & Where YOU can find Happiness

The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, said:

Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money.
Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health.
And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present;
the result being that he does not live in the present or the future;
he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”

I am only 27 years old & not a very wise guy , but I understand that the biggest joy in life is the joy of being Fit, Being healthy & other things discussed in this post, Being able to physically do whatever you want & having your body to support what you want to do.

This means not having nagging aches & pains that do not allow you to Jump, Bend , Squat, Bungee Jump, Sky Dive, Deep Sea Dive, Ride a roller coaster whenever you want to..This means being able to eat whatever you want when you feel like it without worrying about your Blood Sugar & Blood Pressure etc. This means not being physically dependent on ANYBODY but your own BODY for everything you need to do.

I also know that ageing is an unstoppable process & I too will age one day . But we have plenty of examples of our Grand Fathers, Grand Mothers , Great Grand Fathers & Great Grand Mothers having heroic strength of carrying their own luggage even when they were old, not requiring a stick to walk till their last breath, not having diabetes , blood pressure issues etc. well in their 70s & 80s.

If their bodies were so robust & healthy in their old age, one can only imagine the fury of their bodies in the peak of their health. I am sure they didn't have body aches & body pains & heart diseases and backaches at 30.

Today I see live examples of people in their 30s with heart disease, back issues, spondylitis , Diabetes and a whole lot of other issues.

The problem is not us, it's the society .. The society  (including You & I ) today judges people,  by the following:

  1. Your Job : The bigger & better company you work with , the smarter & "looked up to" you are
  2. Your Salary: Your chances of finding a girl (esp in an arranged marriage) today is directly proportional to your Monthly Large Credit Alert in your salary Account .. in most cases that is
  3. Your Designation the way up: Manager/ AVP/ VP/ Director /CEO/MD bah blah blah 
ALL OF THE ABOVE , IN 99% OF THE COMPANIES PEOPLE WORK IN, are directly proportional to the amount time for which you are physically seen /present in the company. (OPTICS as it is refered to in today's Corporate hogwash jargon

X works more than Y, X will be promoted & paid more , in-spite of Y being 10 times more productive than X.
Another Issue is the way we are fed with Advertising that brainwashes us into spending our money on frivolous things which are not at all required to be bought.

We have actually started believing that COKE really "Opens Happiness" , " I m really Lovin' it (Mc Donalds)"... Dominoes = Khushiyon ki Home Delivery  .. Do you see the  PATTERN here??

Mc Donalds spends a lot of money researching the right combination of SALT SUGAR & FAT to make their food the most addictive & make you crave it even more than you do right now. 

Also, in today's society the respect you get is dependent on the size of the CAR you drive rather than the size of you Heart that keeps you alive & makes others Happy...
This makes you buy the best possible car that you can not even afford and you're stuck with a huge outstanding EMI for the next 5- 7 years. 2 years down the line a good Business Opportunity comes your way .. but it involves a certain risk & a bit of Capital to start.. but You can't do much about it because you have to pay your EMIs on the 5th of every month & hence you don't even have a decent amount of cash accumulated to start that Business... too Bad...

So society & its beliefs , and Our Beliefs (as both You & I are a part of this society) leads us into thinking the following:

  1. The more I earn & the better my designation the Happier I'll be
  2. The bigger Car /Home or the latest Gadget & the latest most expensive Dress/Shirt/ branded clothes that I buy will make me happy
  3. Junk Food & Soft Drinks make me Happy 

All of the above are False. While the above may give you momentary Happiness , IT WILL DIE SOON but the EMIs & the ILL HEALTH  will last forever. 

And here's what you will lose in the bargain to fulfill the above 3 points:
  1. Your Health & Yes, Your Wealth
  2. Time you could have spent with your Parents, Wives ( your respective , I mean, not the plural), Children , Friends or even time you could have spent with yourself
  3. Time you could have spent doing what you love to do
Because the Fact is : Money can buy you COMFORT but not Happiness. 

Even I don't know one definite single place where You may find Happiness but Here's a list of places that you might find a good dose of it in your lives:

  1. Spending time with your loved ones
  2. Finding a Job you really truly like & enjoy 
  3. Music
  4. Traveling 
  5. Standing by certain personal standards & Values you have set for yourself 
  6. Writing a Blog post :) 
  7. Pursuing a Hobby you love 
  8. A Good workout
  9. Pampering yourself
  10. Working towards Personal Health & Wellness 
  11. Eating Healthy 
  12. Sleeping Well 
  13. Playing with small Kids
  14. A nice Drive on a good road

Now the catch is... that to enjoy all of the above You need Money ... So work towards earning a Shit Load of Money but not at the cost of your Health & things that really make you Happy.

And don't get so busy making a Living that your Forget LIVING.

I think earning a few LESS crores/lacs is alright if it gives you more time to focus on the things that really make you happy. May be that's the price you have to pay to be happy. 

For me, Acting is my calling & will get into Arts at 35.. till then I'll make for myself a shit load of money doing whatever comes my way

Trying to keep it real all the way.

I know I am nowhere close to my Death bed  (God Bless) but I am absolutely sure, that for somebody who right now IS, hes/her biggest regret is definitely NOT the fact that he/she didn't make XYZ amount of Money , but really,what he/she did not do with whatever money he/she had , at a time when he/she COULD HAVE.

Once again trying to keep it real.

Happy New Year!

Warm Regards,