It’s one thing to diet and train hard to get lean. It is another to stay same for long term. So if you think you know the drill on getting a good body, let me tell you one thing, we aren’t after good; we aim for great. Here are the 8 tips for getting rid of that extra fat and to prevent it from returning.
Start you engine early
The best way to win the race of fitness is to start your motor early. People who work out in the morning are likely to have fewer excuses compared to those who work out in afternoon or post-work.
Eat more fat
Consuming enough of good fats helps you lose fats. It also helps in faster recovery from workout and is also good for your heart. Goods fats include fats from fish, nuts, olive oil, peanut butter, etc.
Among all other health benefits, green tea will help you to burn more calories daily. Green tea is rich in antioxidants contents and would help repair the damages that could lead to diseases.
Power your meals with Protein
Increasing protein intake will increase your metabolism and would help in maintaining muscle mass, all of which will result in faster fat-burning.
Train with weights
Running might burn more calories than one-hour strength training but weight training causes you to burn calories days after the work out is over.
Stay on move
The leanest people on earth move around a lot more than those with average or above average body fats. It simply means that if you have to work for a full time desk job, you got to work out more than an hour three days a week. Try to stand and move up and around- take stairs instead of elevator and make those coffee and lunch breaks useful by taking a brisk walk around the building or block.
According to the studies, high fiber intake reduces calorie intake of the next meal and vegetable and fruits are rich in fiber. Try to eat more vegetable with every meal, except immediately before and after work out. Also make sure you eat whole fruits as source of energy instead of sugary drinks.
Those who do not get enough sleep at night tend to have slow metabolism. According to studies, sleep deprive people are more hungry and make poor food choices and also eat more. Get a sound sleep of 6-8 hours a day and also try to sleep early instead of sleeping late.
Sometimes, eating habits seems to be so confusing. There is a lot of conflicting information available out there. Whether you should eat small meals and small intervals or should you eat one large meal in a day. Whether to avoid food rich in carbohydrates or to avoid them believe it or not, there is lot of contradicting information available about healthy food habits. But there are some general guidelines that every nutritionist follows and should recommend to their clients.
Never Skip Breakfast – Make sure you always start your day with breakfast.
Planning When and what to eat – You must plan at least, a day before when and what you are going to eat and make necessary arrangement for that.
Drink Water – Staying hydrated is one of the most important rules of healthy food habit. You must drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially before, during and after the meal.
Change to Smaller Plates – If you’re eating in large plates then you must quickly change your plates and move to a comparatively smaller plate. It is believed that “we don’t base our portions on hunger at all; we base it on plate size”.
Do Not Starve – You must not starve yourself that you eat anything you find. If you are hungry eat something healthy. You might have a handful of almonds and walnut with a glass of water. This would subside your untimely hunger.
Eat slowly – While eating you must try to eat slowly by taking small bites and chewing well.
Do not Skip meals – Skipping meals will slow down your metabolism and causes you to starve later. So, try not to skip meals.
Cook Your Own Junk Food – You are allowed to eat Junk food as long as you cook it yourself. Treat yourself with self made junk food as many times as you are ready to cook it at your home, chances are it won’t be every day.
Eat Real Food – Try not to eat processed food. Go for real vegetables and avoid packaged food having high levels of sweeteners, oil and preservatives.
Make Healthy Eating A Lifestyle – Having a healthy food habits should not be one time thing, it should rather be a permanent lifestyle for you.
If you want to gain weight and muscle and thinking about taking a weight gainer supplement. Read these details about weight gainer.
If you’re determined to reach your muscle-building goals, there’s a very good chance that you’ve considered or are considering taking a weight gainer.
Before you purchase these products, read this information. It helps you to invest your money in supplement.
Clearly weight gainers are for those who wants to add weight, and hence are high calorie products with protein content. Weight gainers usually combine a particular quantity of protein with a much higher quantity of carbohydrate and smaller quantities of fat to pack as many calories into a serving as possible.
Means weight gainers are combination of protein + carbohydrate + fat. (vitamins and minerals added are also important. They may also contain some chromium, creatine, glutamine, amino acids and/or other metabolites aiding weight gain.)
They tend to supply at least 500 calories per serving, with as much as 1,000 calories a serving.
Composition of weight gainers
Protein-carbohydrate ratio of weight gainers may range between 1:2 and 1:5. The needs of weight gainer may vary according to the different body types. Those who easily gain fat should take with a ratio of 1:2 or lower and people who wants to gain fat and muscle fast can go with 1:3 or more. But make sure that the carbohydrates are not more than 50% sugar.
Protein source in weight gainers
Mostly people who take weight gainers are ectomorphs, that’s why a blend of proteins, especially with casein and micellar casein, is preferred due to its slow release required to counter the fast metabolism in ectomorphs.
Carbohydrates in weight gainers
Weight gainers are rich in carbohydrates which is the key of weight gain. but it’s important to know what kind of carbohydrate it have.
In weight gainers, carbohydrate could be a combination of high-glycemic sugars and low glycemic starches and glucose polymers providing sugars, complex carbohydrates and dietary fibre.
A good weight gainer is high in ‘Total Carbohydrates’, low in ‘sugars’ and supplies a small-to-moderate quantity of ‘Dietary fibre’ as given on the label.
Fat source in weight gainers
Fats are presents in smaller quantities from various sources such as certain oils. Most products provide 5-10 gm of fat. Fat is not too much of a problem as long as less than half of it is of the saturated variety. The ‘saturated fat’, ‘trans fat’ and ‘cholesterol’ content specified on the label should be low.
Some high-quality weight gainers may specifically add beneficial fats such as omega-3-fatty acids.
Here I want to say again that weight gainers are best used by strict ectomorphs, who have trouble gaining muscle and size, regardless of how much they eat. If you are an ectomorph and not using pure protein supplements and high-glycemic carbohydrates as post workout, you can use weight gainers in a post workout meal.
Must-do steps to avoid injuries and keep your body healthy and pain-free
So, finally you have committed yourself towards getting fit and you are eagerly waiting to see the positive results in order to achieve your fitness goals. The next sound you hear during workout is “Ouch” as a result of most dreaded injury during workout. All your fitness and healthful plans are derailed by this unexpected injury. Every person who exercises fears getting injured during workout. Injuries usually arise due to over doing of right activity or due to performing the right activity in wrong way. You must be able to go to gym regularly to get in shape. You should be able to train hard, burn calories and gain strength but that won’t be the case if you are hurt during your training. You must take precautionary measures in order to prevent yourself from pulling a muscle, sprains, over-training and strain. So don’t hurt yourself because you’re training the wrong way. Here are the top things you should do to prevent workout related injuries.
1. Know Your Body
Knowing your body’s limitation is the best way to avoid fitness injuries. It’s all about knowing weak areas of your body and avoiding the activities that push hard on those areas. For instance, a person with weak knee should not focus much on steppers, treadmill or leg presses or if you have a weak wrist you should not push yourself to lift heavy weights. The point is that if you know the weak areas of your body and you can’t build them slowly, it is better to avoid activities that might hamper your weak areas. Also you must be aware of what joints and muscles of your body are susceptible to injury. If you are not feeling well, you should better take some time off until your body fully recovers because taking a break is better than getting hurt for prolonged period.
2. Balanced Nutrition and Hydration
If you are training hard and lifting heavy but not eating properly you are likely to get hurt. Proper diet and nutrition will not only give you carbohydrates for energy but will also replenish the glycogen stored in your body for your next workout. The protein intake is also important as it will repair the muscles that you have just broken down during previous workout. Also during severe dieting try to avoid heavy training as it would only hurt your body. How you feel all day after you have trained depends a lot on what you eat. Nutrition must be considered as the extension of your workout. Also if you have sweated a lot you must replenish your muscles with the necessary water.
3. Warm-Up and Take it Slow
The easiest way to avoid workout injury requires repetition. A warm up is defined as the high-rep, low intensity and quick paced exercise that increases the blood flow to the muscles. You must always warm up before you workout. During warm up, you actually loosen up the tighten muscles and joints which gets more flexible during high intensity exercise. I can understand that there are times you just want to rush to exercise but going right into the intense training will do you more harm than good. Five minutes is all it takes to warm up. You must also slowly build the pace of your exercise over the time. The warm up could consist of riding a stationary bike, stepper, jogging or some high-rep weight training. You might also go for dynamic stretching before workout and static stretching after workout for your warm up.
4. Rest and Recover
You must set aside a day or two each week for rest and must perform light exercises or you might skip the exercise entirely. The rest time you allow your body helps your muscles to heal and makes them stronger. It takes almost three days for a muscle to recover completely. The strengthening of muscles prevents injuries during the future workouts. Our body gives us signal when to stop exercising. If the pain lasts more than 24 to 48 hrs or you simply feel tired then you need to rest. It is also important to provide rest to your muscles during workouts. You should not push yourself to the point of extreme pain. Taking a break is always better than getting hurt and sitting back for months.
Get Private Training/Personal Training
The best way to avoid the injuries during workout is to have some sessions with the professional or certified trainers. The trainer will provide you with much needed knowledge regarding your posture during exercise. He/she will ensure if your alignments are proper while you’re exercising, which goes a long way in protecting you from getting hurt. Also, getting professional training prevents you from doing wrong exercise for your body type and helps you in moderating your routine so that you don’t do too much.
6. Be Smart and Don’t Overdo
Another common cause of workout injuries is overdoing. You must try to listen to your body and you will know if you’re pushing too hard. This also goes with warm-up before and after exercise. Overdoing is quite dangerous when it comes to weight lifting. You might end up losing control of dumbbell and that can be disastrous. Doing an exercise again and again might help you perfect it but it can also set you up for an injury. Overtraining negatively impacts our body’s overall strength and conditioning. You simply can’t grow when you’re over-trained.
7. Stretch it out (Pre and Post Workout)
However, stretching has no direct role in preventing injuries but it does make your body flexible. A properly performed stretching session after warm up and before weight training helps in relaxing and elongating muscles. It results in warm and loose muscles for your workout. Static stretching between sets or at the end of the workout eliminates the next day soreness.
8. Strength Training
If cycling or running on treadmill is your primary form of cardio then no doubt your quads are strong. But what about you arms? When certain muscles of your body are strong and others are weak it pertains to injury by causing imbalances and also put strain on certain muscles. So, it is necessary to add two or so strength training sessions each week to your workout and focus on toning those week parts of your body that do not get much required attention.
Now that you know what to do and what not to avoid workout injury, I expect you all to have safe and fun exercise. From now onwards don’t get sidelined by the injuries. Take the right precautions and with a right mind set go for a fit body.
Should you sweat it out when you are ill or should you rest and recover?
You have been great at gym and haven’t missed out a day since you started no matter how hard it was. And then one day, suddenly your workout schedule is interrupted by a cold or flu. Now what should you do? Should you skip the workout for a day or two? Or should you continue? I can understand the need to push yourself when it’s the laziness that is preventing you from going to gym, but there are reasons that are beyond our control… and I guess you all know ‘the reason’ I am talking about. There are times when exercising does more harm to you than good. Well, the answer to the question whether to attend or not gym during illness lies in what ails you. For instance, if you are suffering from cold than it might be OK, but if it is fever, it is a definite NO.
When you work-out during fever it increases your body temperature internally, it increases the risk of you getting sicker. Also, our bodies are more prone to infections during and after workout, so you yourself might get in contact with some infections or you might infect someone in the gym who is not yet ill. And since, Flu and cold are contagious the first five to seven days, I would suggest you to stay at home and take rest.
On the other hand, if you are suffering from cold, nasal congestion, sore throat or may be sneezing than it’s OK to exercise. A neck check is a way to decide your level of activity during illness. If your symptoms of illness are above neck like sneezing, runny nose, it is fine with you exercising but if it is below neck as fever, body aches, coughing, then it’s time to stay back at home and rest.
And yeah, one more thing I would like to add up, even if you decide to workout in illness, please make sure you are not constantly blowing your nose. And you must carry your towel and try to sneeze and cough using that, so that the germs do not spread. And try to wipe out the surfaces you have come in contact with to prevent the germs from spreading.
Again I would say, Listen to your body, cold might last a week to 10 days or it might take more than that. Depending on the severity of you illness, decide on whether you should exercise or not. If you really want to exercise during illness, I would rather suggest you to exercise at home only or you might just take a walk.
We all have somewhere in our life come across the famous proverb “Where there is a will, there is a way“. The proverb simply means that if you are determined towards something you will surely find a way to accomplish it. The same applies to fitness and health. So, here I am with a motivational story of one of my client Dr. Anil Shotriya who found his way to achieve his aim to be fit and healthy.
A lecturer by profession, Anil Shotriya, realized in the summer of 2014 that he has become bulky and he needs to get this in check. Dr. Anil not only had high Blood pressure issues but also had Knee problems. He realized that if he does not take some steps in order to get his body in shape he might get susceptible to more diseases in near future. It was then only he decided to join a fitness club to get himself in shape. After some research and visits to local Gyms in town, he finally joined “B2 Zone“. Like everyone else, he had his own doubts about joining the gym which, I tried at my best to clear for him.
While joining the gym in July’14, 48 year old Anil’s weight was 220lb (100 Kg) whereas the ideal weight for a person of his height 173cm (5.8 inches) is somewhere around 155 pounds (70 Kg). And after 10 dedicated months of hard work he lost an astonishing 53lb (24 Kg).
As quoted by Dr. Anil
Before the transformation, I wasn’t able to catch the morning bus to college if it didn’t stopped at the right spot (as in if it stopped a little ahead of where I used to stand). I would wait for another bus to come by and then boarded on it. But now I could even catch a running bus leave alone walking small distance to catch bus.
Due to his consistency and commitment Dr. Anil lost a whooping 15lb (7 Kg) in the first two months of joining and at the end of the tenth month he had already lost 54lb (24 Kg). He has been a source of inspiration and motivation to rest of the members of our Gym.
By joining the gym Dr. Anil already took the first step towards healthy life. And as I always say, right nutrition is the key to perfect body shape and healthy life. Dr. Anil focused on his diet and nutrition. He started working on diet plan as provided by B2 Zone and also took necessary Proteins and vitamin supplements. He never had cheat meals except on Sundays. On cheat days also, he used to have a check on his carbohydrates intake.
As I have already mentioned, initially he had high Blood pressure, by the end of November 2014, he stopped taking medication for the same as he no longer had the High Blood pressure issues. Also Dr. Anil had less pain in his knees which ultimately dissipated.
Once he mentioned “I wasn’t able to stand for long in the bus, people used to get up and give me their seats so that I could sit, but now I do not face any such trouble. In fact, I am fine with providing my seat to those who need to sit.”
Today Dr. Anil is in best shape of his life and he simply endures it. He is happy, confident and is a positive influence to rest of the fitness lovers and people in his surroundings. One thing I admire about Dr. Anil is his dedication and commitment towards the workout. It is an easy task to make excuses but one really has to go an extra mile to get a positive outcome and be able to influence others.
At the end, I would just say that “Nothing is impossible“, as the word itself says “I M POSSIBLE“. If he can do it, you can do it. You just need to buckle up your shoes and commit yourself towards getting fit.
Before considering anything about joining gym, you must first be sure that you ‘want to join a Gym’. What I want to say is when you decide to get yourself into better shape or you want to lose weight, you must first question yourself about whether or not you really want to join a gym or any fitness center. Joining a Gym is a major decision just like making a major purchase. It not only requires true dedication from your end but also is a huge financial commitment. So before getting into any gym take a tour of gym, clarify your queries, take the free-workout sessions of at least 2-3 gyms and then only get to any decision.
While joining a Gym you are supposed to make an informed decision. A good gym will fit your requirements and will motivate you on daily basis to come back and exercise. Apart from these there are various criteria that you must consider before joining a gym. Here are the things you need to keep in mind while making the decision.
Normally, people don’t consider the location of gym as an important issue. But do you really think that if your gym is on the other side of the town, you would be able to commute to the gym on daily basis. Convenience in location is quite an important factor in motivating you to work-out regularly. The ideal location for a gym should be somewhere between your workplace and home or if you are a home maker, it must be nearby your home. If you will have to struggle to reach gym daily, your enthusiasm to work-out might fade away pretty soon. On those hectic days when you won’t have time, having a proximity to gym will make things easier for you. After all, a good work-out is about relieving stress not increasing it.
While joining a Gym, make sure that you ask them about the time slots of the gym. Some gym are open 24*7, while some are open during day, others are closed on weekend. Doesn’t matter at what time of day work out, make sure that gym is open and fit your schedule; else you would end up paying for something you can’t access. Also, if you plan to work-out every day on a fixed time, you might ask about the situation of the gym at that time. Whether gym is packed or free? Is there a line for machines you would like to use? Joining a Gym is not going to help you if you won’t be able to use machines as per your requirement.
3. Trainers and Staff
Most important aspect of any gym is its trainers. Try to attend one or two free demo classes to see if the instructors and trainers know their stuff. Unfortunately, there is no government authorized association or institute in India that provides any certification and training in fitness. There might be some private institutes that provide fitness training, so before finalizing a gym, do ask about the certification of trainers and instructors, else you might end up getting hurt. Another important aspect of trainers is their availability. Are they available when you need them? Are they courteous and supportive? Do they answer your questions?
4. Machines and Equipment
During your first visit to gym, take a good look around the gym and see if there are all “popular” machines and equipment available. You also need to know, if the other members have to wait long for their turn to use the machines. Because, let me tell you, there is nothing more frustrating than waiting for an hour in line for your turn to use machines. You need to make sure that there are variety of machines and not only an array of cardio machines. You can also notice if instructions are posted on machines or not. Be careful of the machines that are out of order, as it portrays the picture of poorly managed Gym.
5. Hygiene and Cleanliness
However, there are no set standards for the cleanliness of gym, but keep your eyes open during your visit to gym, if there is dust piled up on or around the equipments. Also make sure that towels or napkins are available to wipe off the equipments after you use it. Also, see if the staff and trainers enforce the hygiene. Do not forget to peek into the locker room, showers and wash rooms to check the cleanliness and hygiene level.
Cost is usually the deciding factor while joining a Gym. Talk to them about their fee structure. Whether they charge joining fee or not? Or do you need to pay fees on monthly basis, quarterly basis or annually. Ask them, is it possible to cancel the membership without penalty or if fees is non-refundable. And most importantly, does the gym fit your budget or is it creating a hole in your pocket. Because let’s face it, no matter what amenities gym is providing you, if it does not fit your financial equation it worth nothing.
7. Additional benefits
Some additional features could be bonus for you. So, before joining the gym don’t forget to ask about the freebies. Do they have sauna, hot tub or any other facility to relax after workout? Some gyms have in house nutritionists to help you with your diet plans while others have juice and snacks bar that provide post-workout meals. There are gyms that also provide you with physiotherapists and compulsory diet plans.
Each and every person reacts in a different manner to people around them, and you should keep this in your mind while choosing a gym. You should not be intimidated or embarrassed by the people around you. You need to work out in a healthy environment that makes you comfortable and relaxed. Some gyms are unisex while some are gender based; some gyms also provide different time slots for males and females. So just make sure, will you be comfortable exercising around the current members.
All the above points are necessary to consider while joining a gym. Do not hesitate to ask anything before joining and make an informed decision of whether a gym is fit for you or not. Be choosy, ask your friends about the gyms they have been to or are the present members, take tour of gyms until you find the right gym that meets all your expectation and doesn’t dig a hole in your pocket. After all, as I always say, being healthy is a lifestyle and finding a perfect gym is all about finding a key to healthy lifestyle.
Before explaining how Creatine works, let me first start with the basic of creatine. As in, what creatine is actually?
To start with, Creatine is NATURAL SUBSTANCE (Reason for highlighting Natural Substance is because it is not manufactured in lab, it is 100% natural), produced in human body and found in meat such as fish and red meat. It is just combination of three forms of amino acids, that is, Glycine, Arginine and Methionine. Creatine fuels our body tissues during exercise and strengthens muscular contractions.
Does Creatine Helps power up today’s workout or next day’s workout of another muscle?
Normally, I suggest my clients to take creatine after workout. Because the best time to consume creatine monohydrate is when muscles are more sensitive to insulin and are expected to maximally uptake glucose and creatine. The best time for maximal creatine absorption is therefore, POST-WORKOUT when the muscles are totally depleted of glycogen and is PRIMED for Glucose and Creatine uptake in quick response to insulin.
Few days back one of my client ‘Anand Saraswat’ asked me- “how does creatine power up the workout if it is taken after the workout?”
I think many of you have also heard this question earlier. The answer to the question is that taking creatine after particular workout neither fuels that particular day’s workout nor it affects the next day’s workout of a different muscles group.
For Example – After today’s back workout when your back muscles enter the glycogen-depleted back muscles, creatine supplement taken after work out would be stored in the back muscles and would power up back muscles that would result in high energy and greater strength during next Back workout. I hope you guys are getting my point. And yes, another important thing that I would like to mention here is- “Creatine monohydrate is highly unstable in water, if pre-mixed and kept in water for some time; it easily gets converted into creatinine, the breakdown product of creatine, resulting in our body rendering the supplement as waste. It has to be mixed JUST BEFORE CONSUMPTION.”
Being a gym owner as well as trainer in fitness and nutrition, I usually come across some of the basic mistakes made by women. Through casual conversations with women at gym and personal observations I found out various misconception women have regarding workout. Women usually join gym to look better, be it becoming leaner or acquiring curves. And the ultimate motive is to look better instead of being fit. The most common complain I hear from women is “I have been making efforts to work out and I can’t see any result”. Well, I’m about to reveal the most common five mistakes made by women during the workout. Have a look at these mistakes and see if any of these looks accustomed to you.
1. Excessive Cardio
Well, I don’t say that Cardio is bad, but as they say “Excess of everything is bad”, so is with Cardio. Cardio is good and necessary but too much of Cardio is “no weight training”. Hopping on a treadmill, stationery bikes, elliptical or stepmill for almost an hour and then heading for home, and not doing anything else is highly inefficient. Spending more time in a gym is not important; what’s more necessary is high intensity instead of long duration. And these cardio exercises are all low intensity exercises which do not affect more than half of our body muscles. And to burn fats and to gain lean and toned muscles one must lift weights. One must know that there is a place for cardio, if it’s done right but it shouldn’t be the only thing one does. There should be a proper combination of cardio and strength training.
2. Weight lifting with cute Dumbbells
Well you just got off the treadmill and are willing to lift weight; it won’t be of any good if the weights are too light. Until unless you are not regretting your choice of weight while weight lifting, you are actually lifting too light, just go for a heavier one. The simple principle that applies here is that your body will recruit your strength fibers only when you apply more force to it. Also, it is necessary to build muscles if you want any part of your body to be toned. Another misconception with weight lifting that women usually have is that they will start looking “Manly” or might get “Bulky” and might also lose their feminine look. Well, if you really think that pressing, squatting or curling your muscles will grow, than my dear ladies, you are wrong. Increasing weights is only going to make you more confident, stronger and you can still be graceful and feminine. Most of the women do not know their true strengths because they do not push themselves to find out.
3. Abs Obsession
Abs Obsession or as they call it “Absession”, is being only focused on working for the abs or the waistlines. Most of the women I come in contact at gym are obsessed with getting the flat belly. Their only aim is to get abs like Angelina Jolie. Well, let me get you straight, abs are created in the kitchen. It doesn’t matter what amount of crunches or planks you do, it won’t get you a flat tummy until unless you lookout for your diet. So as per the rule, if you are spending more than 5 minutes in abs, you are simply wasting your time. Unfortunately, any amount of crunches, twists or bends will not get you toned abs but lifting heavy weights and multi-joint functional movements (Dead-lifts, squats, pull-ups) might help in building abdominal muscles and will keep your abs engaged during the workout.
4. Ignoring Protein Intake and Food Fear
Not consuming the proper protein is a mistake made by both men and women alike. Protein is one of the most important nutrients that one needs to maintain for a healthy body, especially when we are exercising. It is because when someone is exercising, they are effectively tearing and breaking the muscle tissue. So how do you expect to begin the repair of muscle tissue? Well, protein does the repair part. So this is why it is necessary to consume daily protein especially post-workout. Another blunder made by women is depriving them of food. Ladies, you must know that eating is also as important as workout but in a healthy manner. One must focus on eating healthy rather than focusing on the crash diets. Eating high nutrition food in small quantity in regular intervals is a better way to stay fit.
5. Setting unrealistic Expectations/ Expecting Results too soon
There is a famous proverb that perfectly fits the situation-Rome wasn’t built in a day, so were your bulky hips and belly. It is necessary to set small goals for yourself and keep patience to get the end results. It doesn’t matter what they say, you cannot transform you body in a week or overnight. It takes time and it will. Make a change in lifestyle and you will get to see the results. Cook healthy, eat healthy and do something good to keep yourself healthy.
At the end I would just say that, “Strong women are beautiful women”. Go forth and just do the things right and see the transformation in you. You will be more confident and more empowered.