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  1. Summers have already begun and I am assuming that in a few weeks from now, you would be planning your summer holidays, just like every other year. But unlike every year, you don't really have to come back from your holidays after gaining pounds of fat on your belly. Wherever you are heading this summer, the tips that I am going to share with you in this article are going to help you in maintaining your weight as well as heath during your vacation: 1. Practice Portion Control Credit - Getty Images I know that it's impossible to stay on a diet while you are on a vacation. And frankly speaking, you shouldn't really be too rigid while you are on a full-fledged vacation with your closed ones. So while you would be losing track of your diet, what you can at least do is to practice some portion control. Now, this won't really stop the damage but at least it will lower the degree of the damage. The problem begins when you binge-eat food items that were not ideally a part of your diet. Thus, while it's good to indulge yourself in some new and tasty food items that come your way during vacations, keep in mind that you should not binge-eat them. 2. Keep Your Protein Intake In Check Credit - Getty Images Majority of the food items that you consume while travelling or during vacations are full of calories. Generally, these calories come from carbs. Thus, it is almost sure that your carb intake is going to be sufficient during vacation. It is your protein intake that you will have to take off. Try to include a portion of protein in all the meals of the day whenever possible. Adding food source that contains protein will increase its satiety factor and thus you won't be feeling hungry too soon. This will help you to save yourself from overeating. 3. Have Foods High In Fibre Credit - Getty Images Just like protein, fibre intake also goes for a toss while you are out on a vacation. Thus, have foods that will add to the fibre intake for the day as well. So while you are having lunch outside and ordering your favourite dish, just add on a portion of vegetables or salad along with that. This will add on to the fibre content of your meal and thus also increase the satiety factor. 4. Limit Alcohol And Other Drinks Credit - Getty Images Though it's difficult to stay away from the temptation of alcohol while you are on a beach holiday, I would still suggest keeping your alcohol intake in check. Alcohol and other sugary drinks like flavoured juices and colas just add on to the calories and do not provide any kind of nutrition. Make sure you are not consuming too much of any of these. 5. Stay Physically Active Credit - Getty Images When you feel things are going a little haywire in terms of maintaining a good diet, try to compensate it with staying a little more active. Performing some form of cardio is one such move that you can make. You can also indulge in some outdoor sports activity like cricket and badminton along with your friends to enjoy the company and burn some calories. I am not saying that this will compensate poor nutrition entirely but at least it may help with the damage control.
  2. In the previous article, I shared some uncomfortable truths one should know before they decide to get on a journey to get shredded to the bone. As there are too many pointers on the same, I decided to break this series down into two parts. Let's continue: 6. You Will Have To Skip Your Favorite Foods © Getty Images That extra bite of food, that piece of cake when a co-worker is celebrating their birthday, that lazy office Friday afternoon when everyone decides to order pizza, you will have to give it a skip. Yes, that will become all the more non-negotiable as you get leaner and leaner. Two main reasons for that are because these foods are high in energy density and rich in calories. Another one is that you will not be able to stop at a small serving size. 7. Hunger Will Be A Constant As you diet further and further, your leptin aka the satiety hormone goes for a toss. Meaning, you won't feel full on eating food very easily. To add to this misery, ghrelin aka the hunger hormone will shoot up keeping the feeling of void and hunger a constant. Your food will not fill you up and your body will signal that you are hunger. Like I told in the previous part, this is because your body wants you to survive for longer and hence storing body fat is a priority. 8. Your Sleep Cycles Will Get Disturbed © Getty Images As you are constantly hungry, irritable, low on energy; your sleep cycles are likely to get affected by this as well. Disturbed sleeping pattern and hours of constant sleep being reduced as the weeks go on are a common occurrence even for athletes doing a contest prep under the best of the coaches in the world. 9. Your Training Will Suffer As your energy levels and sleep cycles go for a toss, the immediate next thing to be affected by these is your training. You will observe that you need to rest longer between sets to recover, you would not be motivated to train, your energy levels in the gym will take a deep dive, and you would drop poundage on the bar as well. All these will happen which will add a tiny bit to the increasing frustration. 10. Stress © Getty Images The nine pointers that I have mentioned in this series all have one thing in common, they all add stress. Your stress levels will shoot up during the diet. And it may have some negative effects on your social, physical, as well as mental health. Your behaviour may take a turn for the worse and you may be moody and highly irritable during this phase. You may end up pissing others around you as for them, your abs are not really that important, to begin with. Now, the point of this series is not to discourage you from getting leaner and getting to single digits of body fat. Flashing abs is abso-fucking-lutely awesome! All I am trying to do is to make you aware of the negatives that come along with it and it'll help you decide that when is the right time in your schedule to diet to get to such leaner levels when you will be as irritable and as moody as a hormonal teenager. Author Bio: Pratik Thakkar is the co-founder and director of GetSetGo Fitness, an online fitness company and the founder of Mars Nutrition, a nutrition supplement company. Both his companies are geared towards providing you with the right information and products without any false or fake claims. You can reach out to him at pratik@getsetgo.fitness and follow him on Instagram.
  3. Every day, people are still searching on the internet the best fat burners on the planet and are ready to shell any amount of money on falsely marketed pills as they promise magic. Fat burners, which were earlier used only by professional athletes, have become common even with beginners in the gym. Not only is this trend stupid and pointless but you are not going to achieve any results out of it except an empty pocket. So, before you think of taking any shortcut in your fitness journey let me give you a single tool that will help you more than any fat burner or a magic pill out there. Start Tracking Your Nutrition This may sound trivial, but trust me it makes a huge difference when it comes to results. I am not saying this based on just my own experience but I have noticed this working on my clients as well. While you may think that you are on low carb and high protein diet, but if you are not tracking your calorie and macro intake, there are chances that you might be consuming more than your target calories. Tracking your food intake gives you a precise calculation of how your body is responding to varying levels of carb and overall calorie intake. This, in turn, will help you in making a smart decision as to how much can you play around with your calories and macros. Fun Fact 1: It Is Backed By Science This phenomenon of tracking calories has been subjected to studies as well and studies do show a positive impact on the results as well. A study conducted by the Kaiser Permanente Care Management Institute established that people who regularly tracked their macro intake were able to lose twice more weight than people who did not. Fun Fact 2: It Helps In Portion Control When you update your food diary daily, you can measure the number of calories you have consumed in every single meal of the day. While some meals might be absolutely healthy but there are chances that you may be consuming a larger portion of it. Even if the meal is healthy, you can't just binge on it and expect that it will not have an impact on the overall calculations. Once you start tracking your meals, it will help you to identify if the portion size of the meal that you were consuming is within your target area or not. For example, a meal comprising of Kidney beans and brown rice would be an ideal choice for lunch but that doesn't mean that you can have 'n' number of portions of the same every day. It Will Help You Connect The Dots There are small food items that you consume throughout the day but they often get unnoticed while you make your diet program. These include multiple cups of tea and coffee, biscuits, namkeen, sugary drinks, flavoured energy drinks, artificially flavoured juices etc. While you may think that they may not make any difference but once you start tracking them you may notice that that's not the case. Sometimes these small snacking items contribute a significant addition to your total calorie intake which may slow down your health and fitness progress. Anuj Tyagi, author of this article, is a Certified Sports Nutritionist and Therapeutic Exercise Specialist from American Council on Exercise (ACE). Now an Online Health Coach, he is also a Chartered Accountant by education. You can connect with him through Instagram on:- https://www.instagram.com/sixpacktummy_anuj/
  4. I'll start my story with a small poem on my fitness journey. From losing weight being the only goal, To the time when goals became limitless. From getting fit being a necessity, To getting fit being the choice. From the time that every little change made me happy, To the time that every change became little. From painful heavy workouts, To how those workouts became a warmup! Less Self Esteem In College It all started in the second semester of my College, where my overweight body used to haunt my confidence every single day. Apparently, after getting teased by a lot of so-called friends, one day, I finally decided to join the gym in my hostel. For 1st and 2nd year students, the gym remained open only in the morning slot, which was from 5:30 am to 8:30 am. Waking up early morning and getting ready for the gym was the most difficult challenge of my life at that time. For that, I used to get up at 5 am in the morning and slogged myself to the gym. This slogging to the gym continued for a month but surprisingly, this habit resulted in the best change in my life. When I got hold of my mornings, my half job was done. Poor Cardio Life Initially, I was guided as cardio being the only way to lose weight. Without any further instructions, I slogged on the treadmill continuously for countless hours. This definitely made me thinner, but I also started to look weak. This was never what I wanted. Later, after watching some YouTube videos and following some great fitness industry influencers, I got aware of the importance of resistance/weight training in preserving muscle and losing weight simultaneously! Turning Point My discovery of weight training as being the catalyst to preserve muscles turned out to be the turning point of my journey. Without any further delay, I started weight training. However, my schedule was not optimal. I tried the following workout splits: 1. Mix workouts 2. Single body part a day 3. Crazy pump workouts 4. Lightweight, high repetition work Real Progress However, the real progress was evident when I started lifting heavy weights with proper form. Squats and Deadlifts were the exercises which made me strong and increased my strength. With proper progression scheme, I was able to lift 200 kg of weight on Deadlift. My Squat strength also rose quickly and I was able to lift 150 kg on them. The changes which I made to my Training Program were majorly shifting from training a muscle once per week to twice a week. Supplements Used As I wasn't getting a lot of protein in my diet, I had to include supplements like Protein Powder and a Pre-workout one. Supplements don't mean anything unless and until you aren't ready to put in hard work and commitment towards the goal. My Final Lesson & Outcome With the help of proper nutrition support, training guidance and sleep, I was able to reach my goal of losing fat and getting muscular and in 3 years. I lost 34 kgs and got down to 76 kgs from 110kgs. People will always be there trying to bring you down and break you, but in the end, all that matters is how much you are ready to put in for yourself.
  5. This is one myth that just refuses to die. A layman knows a simple fact that he/she needs to exercise hard and eat good to lose weight. Though this line itself has quite a lot of loose ends, we will not get technical about it. But this simple understanding has got a lot complicated now, for most people. One stupid complication which has come out of it is the DIET: EXERCISE ratio. There's No Diet To Exercise Ratio © Unsplash There are clearly two camps, in here. First one is the group which supports exercise and claims it to be the one-in-all, end-in-all concept to a fit body. Then there is the other camp, the now dominating one, that is, the diet camp, which consists of primarily the dieticians, and some common trainers and people. For them it's the diet which matters the most. Worse, they claim that even if you don't exercise, a good diet will cover it up all. It is mainly the diet protagonists which have made these ratios of 70:30, 80:20, 75:25 etc. wherein the greater part is taken up by the diet. Now if you ask them a simple question “how did you come down to this ratio?” The answer is either a blank stare with a confused look on the face, which if you closely observe means “what do you mean by 'why'?” Or, it is a common generic answer for many such questions i.e. “everyone says the same thing.” © Unsplash Similarly, when you ask dieticians, as to where they got this stupid ratio from, they simply have no answer. This is not a scientifically designed ratio based on studies. This is simply a self-made ratio. Understand this thing, for a dietician the primary earning is through diet recommendations. If she tells you that diet is not of much importance, or is of equal importance as exercising, she has a fear of losing her customers. Because dieticians are taking money to design a diet for you, they will of course emphasize on diet more. It's their bread and butter. The ratio is always one, has been one and it remains the same. The correct Exercise & Diet ratio is 100:100. Yes, you read it right. Its 100% diet, 100% exercise & overall movement, 100% sleep and relaxation. If any of the components takes a hit in any way, the others will surely suffer. Michele Olson, PhD, professor of physical education and exercise science at Auburn University at Montgomery, Alabama, US, says: “Yes, you can lose weight with diet alone, but exercise is an important component. Without it, only a portion of your weight loss is from fat — you're also stripping away muscle and bone density. Since working out stimulates growth of those metabolic tissues, losing weight through exercise means you're burning mostly fat Are 'Abs' Really Made In The Kitchen? © Unsplash If you ask me about the statement “abs are made in the kitchen”, I would like to restate it, “abs are made in the kitchen, after you return from the gym”. Diet is extremely important, and there is no doubt about this, but then lazy snob, eating less sitting on a sofa, will never ever be healthy or fit, just by being on a diet, neither can a person who is eating and exercising perfectly, survive without proper sleep and recuperation. Even the studies have shown the same, it's a complete package. Human body doesn't work in parts. Akshay Chopra, is a graduate of the National Defence Academy & the Air Force Academy, and a former IAF pilot. He is one of the most qualified health, fitness & nutrition consultants in the country, and an author of multiple books & ebooks. He is among the few in the country to have a background of competitive athletics, military training and bodybuilding. He is the co-founder of the Body Mechanics chain of gyms, and India's first research based channel We R Stupid. You can check out his Youtube here.
  6. The wedding season's here and so are the incoming requests from grooms-to-be to get in shape. Before I begin, let me make it very clear to you that these are VERY basic guidelines that apply to standard 'mindful' dieting. This is not a crash diet by any means. Also, it's on you to judge where you stand physique-wise and how far these tips can take you. Weight loss is very, very subjective. Timeline (No False Promises Here!) Just like Rome wasn't built in a day, you will not be able to lose your lard in a few weeks. Again, it all depends on how much weight you are pushing right now and if you have weight trained and religiously dieted in the past. If you have as much as 3 months, a LOT can be fixed. If you have 1-2 months, still, try these tips and you should feel some difference. 1) Count Your Calories And Divide Fat, Protein And Carbohydrates © Thinkstock Images It's simply fundamental to weight loss. You need to know how much you eat daily. Get on Google and calculate your BMR. The number you get is the number of calories you need to stay as you are on a daily basis. Minus 300 calories from that number and the number you get is the amount of calories you need to kickstart fat loss. Have at least 1.5 grams of protein per kilo of your bodyweight. No need to go crazy low with your carbohydrates; eat 1.5-1.7 grams per kilo of your bodyweight. Keep fat intake on the lower end; eat about 0.7-1 gram per kilo of your bodyweight. Simple! 2) Watch Your Alcohol Intake The wedding's nearing and there will be parties. That's obvious, we get it. But remember that it's very easy to drink calories. More alcohol equals more empty calories. If you must drink, then know that (the point above) you have a calorie cap for the day. Try not exceeding that. Another thing you can do is to cut out calories from food during the morning and compensate those calories from alcohol at night. 3) Just MOVE More Walk where and whenever you can. Do at least 15-18K steps daily. Movement burns FAR more calories and any workout you would do in an hour at the gym. DO this consistently, not a day or two. Set up daily goals. This accompanied with a caloric deficit (1st point), you will see a huge difference. 4) Forget Cardio. Pick Up Weights © Thinkstock Images Too much cardio for quick fat loss? Nope, BAD idea! Instead, hit the weights. Here's a structured program for beginners. You will burn more calories, get stronger and most importantly, won't become skinny fat from being fat. So that's about it guys. There's NO magic diet, food or pill that can EVER help you lose weight effectively. It's a caloric-deficit, protein-rich diet coupled with high movement levels and weight training that will help you.
  7. Tried everything from CrossFit to Tabata and still can't lose fat? If this is your story then let me tell you that fat loss isn't lead by exercising your soul off. We just complicate things for ourselves and then blame other factors like poor genetics or poor trainers. The three principles below are what actually spearhead fat loss: 1) Counting Your Calories © Thinkstock Images When you see someone training hard and achieving goals, what's your first reaction? Probably he's on steroids, right? Well, let me tell you that you probably don't know about the power of calorie counting yet. You can most certainly achieve a decent physique just by counting your calories and macros. So it's quite possible that the guy, who you think is on steroids, keeps a regular track of what he feeds his body to look like that. When I was an amateur, I used to put my diet on a rough estimate of high protein and low carb. However, when I started to count the calories and macros on a sheet of paper, I could make out where was the mistake. I wasn't actually creating a deficit to experience decent fat loss. Though I was taking low carb diet, my total calories were almost near to my maintenance calories. So I wasn't losing fat. Even if you take all the calories from protein, you won't lose fat till the time you create some form of caloric deficit. Thus, start counting your calories if you're serious about your fat loss goals. 2) Training for Strength © Pixabay Strength training or resistance training is the best form of exercise that you can do to stay fit and healthy. Irrespective of your age or target, which could be fat loss or gaining muscle mass, strength training is what is going to take you there. Though I understand that not everybody has the same affection for lifting weights, you have to accept the truth that the benefits of strength training outweigh all the other forms of exercises. It helps you create denser bones, stronger ligaments and tendons, better posture and most importantly, in this context, more muscle to burn calories. Thus, even if you do not like lifting weights too much, I suggest you make friends with it, as it is going to help you keep fat gain away. 3) Stop Running © YouTube Running is the most random advice that people often give someone who wants to lose weight. "Start running and you will automatically lose weight". However, running is not the best tool for fat loss. In fact, I would say it's not anywhere near the top of the list of how to lose fat. Too much of running to lose weight is going to put stress on your knees and shoot up your cortisol levels. This will make you lose weight but not in a very healthy way. Your body might even adapt to metabolic needs and won't even lose weight despite running every day. Running just makes you burn extra calories, but that does not have a big impact on your overall metabolic rate. So, the best solution is to have a combination of strength training and a couple of cardiovascular training sessions every week. This way, you will be able to find a good balance between both the forms of training. Anuj Tyagi is a Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Sports Nutritionist and Therapeutic Exercise Specialist From American Council on Exercise (ACE) . He is the Founder of the website where he provides online Training. Though a Chartered Accountant by education, he has been closely associated with Fitness Industry since 2006. His motto is to transform people Naturally and he believes that the secret formula for Fitness is Consistency and commitment towards your Training and Nutrition. You can connect with him through Facebook and Youtube.
  8. For a really long time, Indians were deemed unfit and their thin-fat body type (less muscle and more fat) was being blamed for their lack of athleticism. Sports medicine specialists also blamed the poor proportion of right muscles amongst Indians as the primary reason that often left us playing the second fiddle to born athletes like the Africans and the Caucasians. If our dubious body structure kept us lagging behind, the lack of infrastructure and proper training facilities further spelt the doom of Indian athletes at coveted tournaments like the Olympic Games. But, thankfully, that's no longer the case. Though it's still a long way to go, there is no doubt that the times have changed in India, which is now taking rapid strides in sports (especially athletics) at the global level. The training facilities have improved, the athletes are now being nurtured from a young age and the availability of sports specialists has allowed Indian sportspersons to achieve their full potential. All of those pivotal changes were on full display at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang last month. © Reuters Going into the event with 572 athletes in its contingent, India registered its best ever performance at the Games. Bolstered by a record-breaking performance by its athletes, India finished their campaign in Indonesia with 69 medals including 15 gold, 24 silver and 30 bronze. It was an outing that was cherished by billions of fans back home and earned plaudits from the bigwigs in Indian sports. Almost a month later, India's historic Asian Games showing seems to have inspired the budding athletes to prove their mettle at the ongoing 2018 Summer Youth Olympics. Boasting of 47 athletes across 13 sports, India has begun its campaign on a positive note in Buenos Aires, Argentina. When the youth become an inspiration. Many Congratulations to our future- Jeremy Lalrinnunga for India's first ever GOLD at the #YouthOlympics and also to Manu Bhaker and Saurabh Choudhary for their historic Gold. #BuenosAires2018 . pic.twitter.com/F0SDGwYiUl — Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) October 10, 2018 The Indian young guns have been on a prolific run early on in the tournament. The likes of Tushar Mane (shooting), Tababi Devi Thangjam (judo) and Mehuli Ghosh (shooting) have all made the nation proud by bagging silver medals. But, it's India's consistency to clinch the yellow metal in the ongoing event that has captured the imagination of their fans. In a mere four days, India has already won three gold medals - a performance that has elated Indian fans. Jeremy Lalrinnunga © Twitter/@olympicchannel "The only thing on my mind is a gold medal, nothing else will make me happy. I am going to Argentina with a strong belief that I can win gold. I have been lifting some good weights during the training sessions and there's this positive energy around me," Jeremy Lalrinnunga had said during Indian contingent's send-off ceremony for the Summer Youth Olympics. And, on 9th October, the 15-year-old weightlifter delivered the goods in a sensational manner. Congratulations to Jeremy Lalrinnunga (IND) ð®ð³ for the first-ever gold medal for India at the Youth Olympic Games #YouthOlympics #GameChangers #WinningWednesday #BuenosAires2018 @ioaindia pic.twitter.com/ZvWHNg3WSU — Olympics (@Olympics) October 10, 2018 The Mizoram lad gave India it's first-ever gold medal at the Youth Olympics after lifting a total of 274kg (124kg snatch & 150kg clean and jerk) to edge past his opponents in the men's 62kg weightlifting competition. If his gold-medal finish isn't enough to make him stand out, the fact that he lifted more weight than senior men's team weightlifter Raja Muthupandi, who lifted a total of 266kg (snatch & clean and jerk) at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, earned him the tag of 'Ironman' at the tender age of 15. Manu Bhaker © Twitter/@olympicchannel If Jeremy opened India's account of gold medals at the tournament, Manu Bhaker ensured that tally kept going up. The 16-year-old became the first Indian shooter to win a gold medal at the Youth Olympics after clinching the yellow metal in the women's 10m air pistol event. The pistol shooter from Haryana shot 236.5 in the eight-woman final to clinch the gold medal. She finished 0.6 point ahead of silver medallist Lana Enina from Russia. While her prolific performance gave India its second gold in the tournament, it also helped the young girl regain her confidence following her medal-less finishes at the Asian Games and World Shooting Championships earlier this year. Saurabh Chaudhary © Twitter/@olympicchannel After a terrific run on Tuesday, Saurabh Chaudhary added another gold to India's medal tally in Argentina. For someone who became senior Asian Games champion and junior World Champion earlier this year, the Meerut pistol shooter lived up to the expectations with yet another brilliant performance, this time at the Youth Olympics. Plying his trade in the men's 10m air pistol event, the 16-year-old didn't break a sweat as he shot 244.2 in the eight-man final to clinch the yellow metal. The teenager already holds the juniors' final world record of 245.5 (1.9 point more than the seniors' record - 243.6). And, on 10th October, he once again made a mockery of seniors' final world record by 0.6 point.
  9. Though Creatine Monohydrate is one of the most researched supplements out there, myths around it refuse to die. One of it is: should you consume creatine while cutting or losing weight? The bro science behind this is maddening; so here I bring to you the most logical and science backed answer to this. Let's take some kill shots at these myths. What Does Creatine Monohydrate Do? © YouTube First, let's understand what creatine monohydrate exactly does. Creatine Monohydrate works as an ATP amplifier in our body. ATP which stands for Adinosine tri phosphate is the most basic unit of energy that is used by the cells to function. When you supplement with creatine, it increases the phosphocreatine stores in the muscles that produce more ATP energy, to fuel the muscles during high intensity exercises. Creatine can also help you in increasing the IGF-1 which in turn may help you in increasing muscle mass. Thus Creatine supplementation is generally done to increase strength and muscle mass in 'trained' athletes. Creatine While Gaining Weight (Muscle Mass) When you are aiming to gain put on muscle mass, strengthening your muscles is of prime importance. Studies have shown that people who consume creatine are able to increase their weight lifting capacity more than the placebo (when not using creatine). When you are able to lift heavier weights, your muscles get strong and you achieve hypertrophy aka muscle growth. Thus, it makes sense to use creatine when you are gunning to gain size. Creatine While Cutting (Losing Fat Without Losing Muscle Mass) © YouTube Something that's VERY often recommended by uneducated trainers is that 'if you are cutting, it's time to leave creatine all together'. The truth is that, it makes much more sense to take creatine when you are cutting. The reason for this is that when you are on a cut, you decrease your overall caloric intake, which leads to less intensity in your workouts. People often report a loss of strength on a cut diet due to lesser carb consumption. Creatine is what's going to minimize this effect by retaining more water in the muscle cells. You will look fuller and strength dips wouldn't be that hard hitting. People who reduce their carb intake and also stop taking creatine at the same time are actually the ones who complain the most about losing strength on a cut. So yes, if you are cutting and want to lose more fat than the hard earned muscle mass, creatine will do the job. Anuj Tyagi is a Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Sports Nutritionist and Therapeutic Exercise Specialist From American Council on Exercise (ACE) . He is the Founder of the website where he provides online Training. Though a Chartered Accountant by education, he has been closely associated with Fitness Industry since 2006. His motto is to transform people Naturally and he believes that the secret formula for Fitness is Consistency and commitment towards your Training and Nutrition. You can connect with him through Facebook and Youtube. Research Studies That Have Been Referred To: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11194113 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5679696/ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4915971/
  10. We've all heard this statement- 'Don't eat near bed time or you will gain weight'. Another common advice is,' if you want to lose weight or maintain a lean weight, don't consume carbohydrates after 6:00p.m. The world wants you to believe that eating at night is actually bad for you and you should avoid eating anything past sunset. But what if I told you that it is perfectly okay to consume food during the night or any other time of the day without worrying about weight gain? Yes, that's absolutely true. Let me prove this to you with logic and science. Where Did This Myth Come From? © Pixabay The proponents of this belief believe that when you go against the circadian rhythm of your body, you tend to gain weight. According to them, normal circadian rhythm of human body tells you to eat during the day and rest during the night. Several animal studies have indeed established the fact that when subjects in studies eat opposite to their circadian rhythms, they gain significantly more weight than subjects who eat as per the circadian rhythms. However, it is important to note that these studies were conducted on mice and not humans. Human Researches Are Mixed A few human studies that were conducted to find out the result of eating at night showed no difference in weight. These studies indicated that it is not actually the time that's important but its how much and what you eat that matters. However, a few studies did establish that people who eat late at night tend to consume more calories than people who do not eat late at night. This may lead to weight gain with people who end up consuming more overall calories. Thus, it is not the timing that is responsible for weight gain, but it is the total number of calories that people end up consuming when they eat at night. Food Choices At Night Are Generally Not Healthier The only problem with eating late at night is that food choices at that time aren't really healthy. Late night eating generally comprises junk foods like chips, sugar coated biscuits, colas, pizza, etc, which are loaded with extra calories. This is the reason why people who eat late end up consuming more total number of calories. Weight gain happens only when your total calorie intake exceeds your body's calorie requirements for a certain period of time. Now this habit of eating junk food at night which is calorie dense and makes you consume more number of total calories is what is responsible for people to gain weight. © Pixabay The Solution The Solution to eating at night and avoiding the unnecessary weight gain is actually to monitor what you eat and how much you eat. If you can control the type of food choice and its portion size, there is absolutely no problem in eating late at night. For this, fill in your kitchen and fridge with healthy and low calorie foods so that when you crave for food at night, you do not have a handy choice for binge-eating junk. Anuj Tyagi is a Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Sports Nutritionist and Therapeutic Exercise Specialist From American Council on Exercise (ACE) . He is the Founder of the website where he provides online Training. Though a Chartered Accountant by education, he has been closely associated with Fitness Industry since 2006. His motto is to transform people Naturally and he believes that the secret formula for Fitness is Consistency and commitment towards your Training and Nutrition. You can connect with him through Facebook and Youtube.
  11. If you are attempting to lose fat or get shredded, there is always going to be an ever-increasing need to do it fast and do it the best. You need to do all the things that would take you to 'Shred City' the fastest. This approach, most of the times, falls flat on its face and the worst, you'd end up looking like a starved homeless person and not a lean guy who has an admirable physique. If you want to be the latter, here are the three fat loss mistakes you should totally avoid. Mistake #1 - Cut Out All The Carbs © Thinkstock Images This is the general notion being promoted by pseudo-experts and weight loss gurus or magicians that carbs and insulin are the enemies to fat loss. If you eat carbs, you are doomed to be fat and to lose that fat, you have to cut them out completely. Firstly, your weight loss comes by creating a caloric deficit and if you want a majority of that weight to be fat, you need to consume adequate protein and do resistance training. What are carbs? They are a source of energy. What do you need to do to preserve muscle? You need to train. You see how one is linked to the other. If you cut out the carbs, your training quality will end up suffering. In its absence, your body can definitely use fats or protein for energy but that will be sub-optimal. So if you want to maintain your muscle mass and performance during a fat loss phase, do not cut out your carbs completely. Mistake #2 - Avoiding The Big Lifts © Thinkstock Images This non-sensical notion is often promoted by uninformed trainers who swear by this 'Lightweights more reps = fat loss, heavyweights fewer reps = muscle gain.' The amount of calories you burn in a training session is minuscule and comprises of not even 15% of your total energy expenditure for the day. And doing a lot of supersets, drop sets or lighter weight training will lead to nothing but you burning out and losing strength in the gym. Losing strength would then mean losing some muscle as well and when you transition to a bulk, you will not gain much muscle as a majority of the time would be spent in bringing the strength up and building the destroyed base again rather than constructing things on a base. So it is a loss on both ends. Prioritize doing compounds and maintaining your strength while on a cut instead of the non-sensical light weight more reps. Mistake #3 - Going Faster And Rushing It Weight loss comes with energy balance; so the fewer calories you eat, the faster you will lose weight. Right? Partly right. Why is that? In the initial phase, this will work out well and the further you go into a diet, the worse you will feel doing this as your stress levels will shoot up, hunger will go up, lack of sleep may happen, irritability will increase, your energy in the gym will go down making your training quality poor. All of this combined may even make you lose muscle and you might as well stop dieting for good as you won't really feel that great being on such a diet. So if you want to get into your best shape, do it sensibly and avoid these three mistakes. Author bio: Pratik Thakkar is the co-founder and director of GetSetGo Fitness, an online fitness company. He is regarded as someone who will make it easy for you to understand the process by putting things in the right context and providing science-based recommendations for natural bodybuilding. You can reach out to him at pratik@getsetgo.fitness and follow him on Instagram and Facebook.
  12. Almost all of the people who join the gym in the hope of losing fat look for exercises which will help them burn fat. What if I tell you that instead of looking for specific 'fat-burning' exercises, you should target something entirely different which will help you lose fat better than just doing those exercises! © YouTube Yes, instead of looking for exercises that will magically burn off all that fat that you are holding, your main aim in the gym should be to get stronger. The stronger you are, the more weight you would be able to lift with a form that you should and the more weight you lift the more muscle you'll build. And building muscle is what you joined the gym for in the first place because exercise does not burn fat. To burn fat you have to eat less food than what your body needs to maintain its weight i.e. eat in a caloric deficit. Think about it, it is a win-win situation for you. You get stronger plus you look better. So, you must now be thinking about how do you train to get stronger and build more muscle in the gym? Here's how. The Progressive Overload Before we get into what progressive overload is, let me share a secret with you. Your body does not care what type of exercise schedules or workout routines you want to follow to lose fat/gain muscle. It also is not bothered about your dreams of getting fit/looking great. What your body cares about is keeping you alive and it wants to and have evolved to do it in an very efficient manner. To make sure that this goal is met, your body has become smart enough to adapt to whatever stress it is put under. So, the only way to change/improve your body (composition) is to force your body to do it, which means you need to create a certain environment consistently for long enough time that forces your body to change and make improvements. When you look at it in terms of fitness/bodybuilding, Progressive Overload is that “environment” that forces your body to change. What Is Progressive Overload? If you want to get fit (build muscle/get stronger) you must force your body to adapt to a tension that significantly larger than what it is used to experience which means if you go to the gym and just do the same “fat burning” exercises day after day in the hope that those specific exercises would somehow directly burn fat (they won't) without aiming to progress in terms of the weight that you lift. Your body will NOT change or make improvements. You can keep doing for the next 20 years and you still won't see any results. © Thinkstock On the other hand, if you increase the tension that you put your body (muscles) under by increasing the amount of weight that you lift, then your body will have no other choice but to make the necessary changes and improvements that will allow it to adapt to this environment and remain capable of performing these tasks. These changes and improvements are those muscles and strength gains, better performance, better body composition and overall a better version of you which you achieve by basically telling your body that in order for it to do what you are forcing it to do, it HAS to make these changes and improvements. Moral of the story being that you should go to the gym and lift some iron and while you are at it, consistently try to lift than what you have been lifting rather than being that idiot that who does 1000 crunches in the most shittiest of forms thinking that it will make him lose fat. Now go do some deadlifts. Nav Dhillon is an online coach with GetSetGo Fitness, an online fitness company that helps people with fitness goals right from losing weight to competing in bodybuilding shows. Nav is an avid bodybuilding enthusiast and heads the NABBA (National amateur bodybuilders association) as a General Secretary. This innate passion and position has helped him work with a lot of bodybuilders to help them take their physique at the next level. He also has a lovely pet called Buster whom he enjoys playing with in his free time. You can reach Nav on nav.dhillon@getsetgo.fitness to take your fitness and physique to the next level.
  13. The process of digestion is important, as this is where the breaking down of food into nutrients happen, which then the body uses for energy, growth, and cell repair. Food and drink that we consume pre or post workout must be changed into smaller molecules of nutrients before the blood can absorb them and carry them to the various cells throughout the body. The three storage places are muscle glycogen, liver glycogen and fat cells. The body breaks down these nutrients that we consume into macro nutrients such as carbohydrates, protein, fats, and micro nutrients such as vitamins and minerals. © Thinkstock Digestion And Weight Loss Not many people are aware but the impact of digestion on weight loss is significant. Digestion is the process of breaking down food so that the body can use it for energy for various activities throughout the day, apart from giving you the energy to lift those heavy weights. Without proper digestion, the body would find it difficult to absorb the nutrients it needs for health functioning for your whole body. Improper digestion will keep you constantly hungry, storing fuel in the form of adipose tissue (fat) instead of using it immediately for its required purposes. How To Improve The Process Of Digestion For Fat Loss? More Fiber If you have a healthy digestive system, this will ensure your weight-loss plan will be successful. One way to improve your digestion to accelerate fat loss would be to make sure to consume enough fibre and fluids. Increasing your physical activity in any way will contribute to the calorie expenditure. Remember, any physical activity done for the body will burn calories. Even digestion burns calories; although you cannot compare it to the calorie burn from physical activity, doing anything healthy to ensure calorie expenditure would be great. Thermogenic effects of food needs to be taken into consideration, foods that take longer to break down will help with the calorie expenditure. © Thinkstock What Fiber Does Fibrous food has a higher Thermogenic effect, which means it takes time to digest. It challenges your digestive enzymes. Since it is not broken down completely but stays intact partially it passes through your digestive tract. As it travels, it forms a gel and absorbs some excess fat, cholesterol and sugar, which is passed through your stool. Foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, seed, beans and legumes provide fibre. Also vegetables such as greens, tomatoes, broccoli and eggplant are good low-calorie options for weight loss. High-fibre foods are more nutritious than their low-fibre alternatives; whole grains offer more nutrients than refined white grains. High-fibre foods contain more vitamins and minerals important for your metabolism. Fluids Fluid consumption is important for weight loss and proper digestion because you need fluids for a lot of body functions. In terms of convenience, moving food through your digestive tract and clearing out the waste from your body. Drinking insufficient water will cause dehydration and dehydration can cause constipation, which can lead to weight gain from bloating. You need to drink at least 1 glass of water every 1 hour. Not many people know this but thirst is already an indication that the body is dehydrated. Drinking less water will also cause problems such as fatigue. Consulting with your sports nutritionist about your fluid needs, especially if you tend to retain water under the skin is very important. How much water one needs to drink is a question and will depend on many factors, including current health status, weight and activity level, weather and geographical locations. Conclusion The process of human excreting is very simple if enough fiber and fluids are present in the body. If they aren't, problems like bloating, constipation and irritable bowel syndrome show up. This can and will in longer runs mess with your fat loss or muscle building goals. Helius is one of Mumbai's most promising fitness professionals and part time kettle bell lecturer. His knowledge on nutrition and trainer soft skills management is well recognized. To know more about him CLICK HERE, and mail your queries about fitness to heliusd@hotmail.com.
  14. I am sure you must have also heard this from many so-called fitness experts 'weight kum karna hai to roti chhor do'. This is one common myth that has been prevalent in the industry from a long time. Even gym trainers tend to believe that you can't achieve weight loss on an Indian diet and you need to leave all the standard Indian foods like chapatti, potatoes and gravies. The Standard Indian diet © YouTube Though India is a big country and our staple food varies from one region to another, I'll still take almost all the staple food here. The traditional Indian diet generally consists of vegetarian and lacto-vegetarian food items. Another specialty of Indian diet is that we use lot of spices in our food for flavoring and not just salt and pepper like the West. Generally, we Indians are vegetarians and have wheat chapatis, white rice, pulses, potato gravy, paneer gravy, parathas, vegetable gravy, salad, dairy products, etc in our daily diet. What To Eat And What To Avoid © Pixabay Though none of the food items in itself is healthy or unhealthy, you should still avoid a few food items if you are trying to lose weight. This is because a calorie is not just a calorie and your body metabolizes various macronutrients in different ways that has an impact on your body composition. As a guideline, you should eat more calorie-dense low GI food and avoid High GI foods which are less dense. You could choose a combination of following food items:- All Vegetables - (cauliflower, mushrooms, cabbage, tomatoes, spinach, eggplant, mustard greens, okra, onions, etc ) Whole Grains – Brown rice, basmati rice, quinoa, barley, corn, whole grain bread, amaranth Legumes – Black eyed peas, Chick Peas, Kidney beans, pulses Dairy – Yogurt, Greek Yogurt, Low fat Milk, Ghee Protein Souces - Tofu, Legumes, Paneer, Nuts and Seeds Healthy Fats – Coconut Oil, Avocado, Olive Oil, Peanut Oil, Ghee List Of Foods To Avoid Refined Grains – White bread, white pasta, biscuits Refined Oils – Sunflower Oil, Soyabean Oil, Canola Oil High Sugar Foods – Ice creams, puddings, pastries, cakes, high sweet yogurt, candies Sugary Drinks – Canned fruit juice, too much of sweet tea, sweet sports drinks, colas and sodas Sweeteners – Sugar, jaggery, honey, sugar-based sauces High Fat Processed Foods – Deep fried French fries, aloo chips, bhujia, other deep fried foods Having the above food items once in a while is okay but you should try to avoid them as much as possible if you are fat and are targeting fat loss. How To Make A Diet Perfect For Weight Loss No matter what diet you follow, the base for weight loss will always remain the same—calorie deficit. You need to calculate your estimated daily expenditure of diet and then create a deficit of around 500 calories. This number of calories that you get after subtracting 500 calorie deficit is the required number of calories that you need to consume to lose weight. Deficit could be as low as 200 and can go up to 1000 calories. Now prepare a diet program by taking the items that have been mentioned above and recommended. You can use any combination of the above recommended Indian food items and make your meal plan accordingly. Trust me, till the time you sit and make all these basic calculation, you will not get an effective weight loss diet plan. Anuj Tyagi is a Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Sports Nutritionist and Therapeutic Exercise Specialist From American Council on Exercise (ACE) . He is the Founder of the website where he provides online Training. Though a Chartered Accountant by education, he has been closely associated with Fitness Industry since 2006. His motto is to transform people Naturally and he believes that the secret formula for Fitness is Consistency and commitment towards your Training and Nutrition. You can connect with him through Facebook and Youtube.
  15. While we all know a lot of people suffer from issues related to being overweight or obese, there is an extremely contrasting scenario where there are dudes who are struggling to put on weight. In bodybuilding terms, they are known as hardgainers who irrespective of the amount of food they eat, they struggle to put on weight. While the reasons you hear the trainers give are that your metabolism is too high or you are an ectomorph (does not really matter), the main reason for you struggling to gain weight is that you are NOT eating enough calories. And this also comes down mainly to you making a lot of filling bro-food choices like oats and potatoes all the time which are high-satiety foods and will fill you up, making you eat lesser calories than needed to gain weight. So it is time to ditch the oats and start including these foods in your diet: 1) Dates © Thinkstock Images A 100 gram serving of dates comes down to consuming 6-7 dates which is an easy task to do. The calorie and macro breakdown of this serving is as follows: Kcals - 270 kilocalories Protein - 4 grams Carbs - 62 grams Fats - 0.5 grams 2) Bananas © Pixabay This is one of the higher calorie/carbohydrate fruits out there. A medium-sized banana has the following calorie and macronutrient breakdown: Kcals - 99 kilocalories Protein - 1.1 grams Carbs - 23 grams Fats - 0.3 grams 3. Intra-Workout Carbohydrate Shake Or Juice © CNPprofessional While intra-workout carb drinks are not needed for almost anyone who is into resistance training alone, it can be a good addition for the hardgainers to get in some calories. A couple of sachets of Gatorade or some carb-drink would add the following calories and macros to your routine: Kcals - 188 kilocalories Protein - 0 grams Carbs - 46 grams Fats - 0 grams 4. Honey Or Maple Syrup © Imgur Liquid calories are the least satiating ones, meaning you can consume a lot of these calories without feeling full. Adding honey or maple syrup to some protein pancakes could be a boon to get in your calories. Two tablespoons of honey or maple syrup will provide you with the following macros and calories: Kcals - 115 kilocalories Protein - 0.1 grams Carbs - 28 grams Fats - 0 grams 5. Nut Butters © Pixabay A lot of brands have flooded the markets with almond butter, cashew butter, peanut butter, mixed nut butter and what not. Though they are not necessarily very helpful for those trying to lose weight, that is not the case for hardgainers as they are getting a calorie bomb by consuming these. Two tablespoons of a nut butter would provide someone with the following calories and macros: Kcals - 147 kilocalories Protein - 4 grams Carbs - 17 grams Fats - 7 grams To sum it up, if you are a hardgainer and you are struggling to put on weight, ditch the bro-bodybuilding foods and eat some high-calorie foods. Author bio: Pratik Thakkar is the co-founder and director of GetSetGo Fitness, an online fitness company. He is regarded as someone who will make it easy for you to understand the process by putting things in the right context and providing science-based recommendations for natural bodybuilding. You can reach out to him at pratik@getsetgo.fitness and follow him on Instagram.
  16. The process of tracking your weight just with the help of a weighing scale has been etched in stone. Majority of the people (I would say close to 99 percent) think that they only make progress when the weighing scale shows a decreased number. This, however, is an incorrect way of tracking your progress whether you are trying to lose weight or gain muscle mass. The scale is only ONE of the factors to measure your progress, not the ONLY or the MOST IMPORTANT one. In this article, I am going to talk about how a variety of factors influence your bodyweight and why you should not be stressing a lot about it. 1) Measurements © accufitness Look at the inches. Measure your body circumferences like the neck, chest, waist, and the hip on a weekly basis and compare them. If you have a little extra time on your hand, adding individual arms and legs can also be done. If you do not make any progress in terms of weight lost but you have lost inches, it is a clear indicator of progress. There are a lot of factors that can affect your body weight; for example, most people ignore the fact that when you start working out with weights (especially in the first 6 months of training), you build muscle along with losing fat. 2) Photos © Hitchfit Take a full picture of yourself in athletic clothing or without clothes from the front, back, and sides on a weekly basis. Make sure that you do not wear clothes that fit you differently as it can make it difficult to measure the progress. Other than that, pictures are truly worth a thousand words. You will yourself be astonished to see the changes happening over time. 3) T-shirt Test © kewlioo Take a t-shirt or go buy a smaller sized/tight-fitting one if you could. Give it a try every two weeks. See if the fit of it is changing with time. If there are gradual changes in the way the T-shirt fits you, you obviously have made progress as the scales might not have moved but the t-shirt will not lie. 4) Track Your Workouts Carry a journal to the gym and note down everything that you are doing. Over time you will see how stronger or athletic you are getting and your performance is improving. Moreover, losing weight on the scale should not be the sole purpose or the end goal because of which you start your fitness, getting fit should be and tracking how much you have progressed in the gym is one the best ways to track your fitness levels. 5) Participate In A Fitness Challenge © the freshtoast Always wanted to go trekking but never could due to a pain in your joints? Well, how about you give it a try after sticking to a fitness regime for a couple of months? You might end up surpassing your own expectations. Remember, getting fit or healthy is not just targeting a number on the weighing scale. Getting fit is a lot more than achieving a target weight; it is a lifestyle. Enjoy the journey rather than stressing about a number. Incorporating these tracking methods will give you a lot more peace of mind and make sure that you are not too hung up on only one aspect and are able to gauge your fitness progress better. Nav Dhillon is an online coach with GetSetGo Fitness, an online fitness company that helps people with fitness goals right from losing weight to competing in bodybuilding shows. Nav is an avid bodybuilding enthusiast and heads the NABBA (National amateur bodybuilders association) as a General Secretary. This innate passion and position has helped him work with a lot of bodybuilders to help them take their physique at the next level. He also has a lovely pet called Buster whom he enjoys playing with in his free time. You can reach Nav on nav.dhillon@getsetgo.fitness to take your fitness and physique to the next level.
  17. One of the most neglected factors when it comes to making progress in terms of fitness that people ignore is stress. Many a times, people who struggle with their fitness goals are going through some sort of stress in their life. Most people make the mistake of ignoring this factor but once you start managing stress better, other things start falling into place more easily. How Stress Works © Pixabay Trying to make progress in your fitness levels while being chronically stressed is like pushing your motorbike to the place that you want to ride it to. You might reach there but it would be a hell lot harder than if you would have ridden it. The reason behind it is that your body's sympathetic nervous system is stuck in "on" mode. It's like your body's smoke alarm is constantly going off which basically makes it's very hard for you to focus on anything and it depletes your will as well. The Peace Killing Hormone Is Friends With Stress Being stressed also makes your body produce a hormone called cortisol which has been linked to triggering cravings for comfort foods and eventually, food binges. Stress also depletes the energy you use to exert self-control. For example, if you are having a bad day at the office and someone offers you a piece of cake, you'll find it a lot harder to not eat it. Our impulse control takes a hit when we feel distressed, so we look for ways to feel better and that piece of cake looks like a very good alternative. How To Tackle Stress 1) The first and the foremost thing that you should do is that you should admit that you are stressed out. Only then you will look for a remedy to your problem. 2) Once, that is out of the picture, you should scale back a little. May be cut down on the number of sessions you work out every week and start dedicating your time towards an activity that you enjoy doing. This will help alleviate the stress of trying to do too much at once. 3) If you are trying to lose weight and the weight on the scale is stuck, remember, weight is just a number. Giving it too much importance can be stressful. There are many more factors to consider when it comes to tracking “fat loss” like taking your measurement, taking photos of yourself regularly, and looking at how your clothes fit you, etc. © Thinkstock 4) You should also look at adding activities which can relax you mentally and physically like yoga and meditation. These activities only take a few minutes of your time rather than hours and can go a long way de-stressing you. Taking care of yourself and it does not only include fitness and nutrition, take up a hobby or do an activity that you like doing, as doing things that you like reduces stress and keeps you active which in turn helps you live a happy life along with a healthy one. Nav Dhillon is an online coach with GetSetGo Fitness, an online fitness company that helps people with fitness goals right from losing weight to competing in bodybuilding shows. Nav is an avid bodybuilding enthusiast and heads the NABBA (National amateur bodybuilders association) as a General Secretary. This innate passion and position has helped him work with a lot of bodybuilders to help them take their physique at the next level. He also has a lovely pet called Buster whom he enjoys playing with in his free time. You can reach Nav on nav.dhillon@getsetgo.fitness to take your fitness and physique to the next level.