That I made!!!
The internet is full of do this….don’t do that…. “Shortcut to a great Ass”…..”6 week 6 pack”…. Each awesome new discovery has another, disproving it.
So what do you listen to? What do you follow?
Every now and then I shall share a mail debunking fitness myths, fitness mistakes. Making sure I (personally) have experienced and lived through these myths and mistakes before sharing them with you.
So let’s get cracking, warning some may be funny and humiliating:
1: I workout more so I should eat more:
This mistake was one of my firsts! I remember back in college when I used to exercise (not train). I would walk around like a dada and eat everything insight. Believing that my body now needed more food! Well thats sounds about logical right?
The result: My biceps and my ponch grew at the same pace. And as most newbies, I only focused on my “gains” (here the biceps) not my overall aesthetic. Huge arms and pot bellies. You see these people at your gym, heck most of the gym instructors fit this description.
So what was going on here….why was this happening. There are 2 factors at play
a) Muscle growth (girls, don’t stop reading, muscle growth is just as important for you as it is for the boys, I’ll explain why later): Muscle grows by tearing it under stress. It needs food and in particular protein, to regrow. Almost all of us are in a constant state of protein deficiency. We do not get the daily requirement of protein from our food. Hence when you start to eat more…..you get more protein….you get more muscle growth! So the benefit was obvious.
b) Caloric Deficit: You lose weight only by getting into a state of a caloric deficit. What that means is that….you need to burn more calories during the day (not just exercising but living and breathing etc.) than you consume. Which means as you start training, try and keep your calories at the same level as before but up your protein to deal will the new requirements. (How to up your protein?…..for another post)
2: Cut out carbs (carbohydrates):
What does this mean? Carbohydrates are the body’s primary energy sources. Excess carbohydrates are stored in the body as fat. Hence carbohydrates have gotten a bad reputation. However without carbs your body will feel sluggish, your brain will not function as well. And eventually your body will shoot into starvation mode (very bad news, your body thinks it’s going to die). There are tons of no carb diets with fantastic short term results, can you live on it? No!
So what’s the way out of this vicious carb circle. Choosing the right kind of carbs.
Good carbs/ slow carbs/ Low glycemic index are carbs that take the body a while to absorb, thus giving you a sustained energy source without turning it into fat.
Bad carbs/ fast carbs/ High glycemic index are carbs that are absorbed very quickly by the body, make you sleepy after eating and get stored as fat.
So as you can see in the above table, replace the high GI foods with the low GI foods. At home start using brown rice, replace potato with sweet potato, add vegetables to your meals.
3: Portion Size:
There was a time I would pride myself in finishing an entire dish cooked at home, taking 3-4 helpings. We used to joke about doing paisa vasooli at buffets and warning restaurants before I entered.
It was about showing off.
One of the biggest learnings for me, was the realisation that we eat too much. Our portion sizes are huge!!!!!! 4-5 chapati is an everyday lunch + the subzi.
This is not helped by the size of servings we receive at restaurants. A typical pasta or risotto (or most other things) is twice what you should be eating at lunch time.
The learning: Our stomachs are elastic. The stomach walls grows to fit the quantity we put inside. So if we eat more…it stretches and eventually becomes that size. Which is why we don’t feel full after a smaller meal.
So what to do?: Start by reducing your portion size one chapati or spoon of rice at a time. I would suggest increasing the portion of veggies or meat and decreasing the rice and chapati/bread.
When eating at a restaurant, ask for a plate and move half your food to it. That plate you ask them to pack for you, right at the start of the meal.
You are not going to starve by eating less. Experiment to see what your ideal portion size is.
This is what your ideal Plate should look like.
I am overwhelmed by the responses to my mails, please keep sending them in. Give me feedback as this will help with the way I shape the communication. Please also give suggestions for what you would like me to write on.
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