How do you really lose weight besides the common advice to eat less and exercise more?

Hey,

You can really lose lot of weight by actually putting this ‘common advice’ into practice!

Sure, eating less and exercising more is common advice, but how many people actually follow it?

Very few.

Is eating less good for you? (20% less than TDEE, I am not suggesting starvation)

YES.

Then why don’t people eat less?

Temptation: Its not what you eat, its what comes in the way!!

Why don’t we exercise more, when we know its good for us?

Because we really don’t know how good it is for us!

We have a general idea that ‘working out’ can make us healthy but do you really know how good it is for us?

We were meant to ‘Move’. Movement is in our Dna.

Here are some facts about exercising as given in the book ‘Spark’ by Dr John Ratey:

-Exercise increases levels of serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine-important transmitters that traffic in thoughts and emotions.

-Moving our muscles produces proteins that travel through the blood stream and into the brain, where they play pivotal roles in the mechanisms of our highest thought processes. They bear names such as insulin-like growth factors (IGF-1) and vascular endothelial growth factors (VEGF)

So basically, exercise has a direct positive effect on your brain, and research has shown that you need only ~30 min everyday, is that too much to ask?

In conclusion, the common advise of eating less and working out more is great, but taking action is not common.

What are the best healthful lifestyle hacks?

Hey,

Your mind plays a HUGE role in dictating your overall health.

Not many people here and anywhere else mentions how strong the mind body connection is.

I was watching Dr Lisa Rankin’s Videoon TedX where she talks about the ‘Nocebo Effect’

Nocebo effect is when there is no ailment or disease in the body but a person thinks there is something wrong and therefore it affects the body.

According to Dr Rankin nocebo effect is infact the placebo effect’s evil twin!

There has been so many instances as narrated by Dr Rankin in her TEDX talk where she gives many examples of the nocebo affect—like medical hexing where the three girls being born on Friday the thirteen were medically hexed by a nurse (to know the whole story see the video), very sad!

Further, 3500+ case studies are documented in the medical literature in the Spontaneous Remission Project, compiled by the Institute of Noetic Sciences on nocebo affect.

So if you think just because you are working out and eating a good diet does not mean you are healthy.

A holistic approach is the key which not only requires a healthy lifestyle by a healthy mind too:)

What are the best supplements for a beginner in working out and fitness who wants to build muscle?

Beginners —don’t consume supplements until you read this:

Its always a good idea to build a foundation of good habits before you start spending money on supplements.

Supplements as the word suggest is to supplement your diet.

But what if your diet is horrible! Supplements won’t do you any good and you’ll be simply wasting your money.

Listed below are two simple question that every beginner should ask themselves before they can even think of taking a supplement.

Question no #1:

Have you found an activity that you know you really enjoy and know you can sustain for a long time?

I personally have a feeling that I will be working out with weights till I die! Do you have that feeling with activity in particular? How about a sport?

What’s the point to this?

Most beginners who join a gym or a dance class or Yoga, get bored and stop doing these activities after a period of few weeks. What happens if you are using a whey protein in this case?

Did you know that protein requirements for a sedentary adult and an active adult differs quite a bit?? Read thisto know more.

I have seen it with people that I know—they get excited one day and join a gym, buy a whey protein box, a pre workout, workout shoes all in the same day.

And after 3 weeks, BOOM! They becomes lazy, and ultimately their whey protein expires!

Question no #2:

Have you started eating at least 80% of your food which is not out of a can or a box?

This is a very obvious statement. If you think you are going to build muscle by eating burgers, cereals, or ready made dinners just because you think you are having whey alongside?

Forget it.

There is nothing more anabolic than real food.

Did you know that there are so many phytonutrients that are yet to be discovered that you get from the food that you eat?

Well, I agree the condition of soil is devoid of nutrients, and therefore supplementation with omega-3 oils, a multivitamin can help, but even then I would highly recommend you guys to build up a solid foundation of eating healthy and being active first.

If you have extra money and have the urge to spend it on supplements, I would advise you to instead spend on a good coach, you’ll be much better off!

Is it safe for one’s health to eat only once a day?

Yes it is.

Once a week, I eat a buffet which averages about 2000 calories.

I love fasting. It allows my body to drop insulin levels to a new low. And when your insulin is low, you know what happens, right? Your body burns fat like crazy.

Say I wake up at 5am. And don’t eat until, 12–1pm. Where does the fuel comes to sustain me for that 7–8 hours?

From my body fat:)

Now there is a caveat to this.

Firstly, if you diet is high in carbs, you will have tons of glycogen reserves in your liver and muscle which needs to be burned first before your body starts to tap into your fat reserves.

The process is much complicated than that actually, and overall what fuel (sugar or fat) your body burns is dictated by your insulin and leptin levels & their sensitivities.

Now, coming back to the point, is it possible to eat once a day and still stay healthy?

Yes, according to Ori Hofmekler. His book ‘The Warrior Diet’ is the reason why I started intermittent fasting in the first place. I urge you to read it.

Honestly speaking I found eating once a day to be inflexible.

Ori’s divide one’s day into periods of underrating and overeating.

During undereating you not allowed any food that is too taxing to the body like diary, oils and fats, sugar etc.

So you sustain yourself by fasting (however you can have black coffee, soft boiled egg, whey concentrates, sprouts etc if you feel really hungry) and then when the sun goes down, its time for a FEAST:
But he insists to be careful when breaking your fast.

“Always start with salads and then move to proteins. Only then you can have your carbs etc”, he says.

So if you maintenance calories is about 2500 and you need to gain weight, you can have a meal which gives you about the same number of calories.

Personally, if I going for a buffet, I want to eat my heart out. Overeating is in our DNA we cannot help it right?

Eating 2000 calorie meal is not alien to me, and I frequently enjoy these extravaganza from time to time, allowing me to stick to my super healthy diet plan.

Now, you can get about 2000 calories from a MC-Donald meal too!

Therefore you need to make sure that about most of your food is highly nutritious and not empty calories like pizzas or burgers!

I also urge you to go into this kind of eating pattern slowly.

If you are eating 4 to 5 meals a day, cut down slowly to 3 and then 2.

Readthispost on intermittent fasting where I explain it in detail.

Does drinking lemon juice in the morning on an empty stomach help in reducing belly fat?

Countless people have asked me this question.

And my answer is: NO!

But here are few reasons I still ask them to keep up with this amazing practice:

-For many people drinking water is boring. Adding lemon and (and some raw honey) can improve its taste. Basically you look forward to drinking it.

– Because of adding lemon you are now drinking more water, which not only helps you cleanse your skin, but also lemons also provides Vitamin C which helps in building collagen which can help prevent or delay wrinkles.

-Vitamin C also helps you build up your immune system which fights off cold and other infection

-Furthermore, it helps you clear out the toxins from the digestive tracts. For many people it helps them to freshen up too.

Overall, I believe its a much better option to have something alkaline like lemon juice or even a tall glass of vegetable juice before you reach for your coffee.

Can I build muscle on 2500 calories a day? My height is 5’11” and my weight is 160lbs. I workout 3-5 times a week.

Hey,

You will need some more calories to gain weight, based on your weight and activity levels.

Your BMR is approximately 1600 calories.

If you exercise 3–5 times a week, your activity multiplier to be around 1.55.

That makes your TDEE to be 2,480 calories.

I would add 200 calories more (which takes your total to 2700 calories) and monitor my weight every week.

If I am not gaining, I will further add 100–200 calories more until I start gaining.

Hope this helps:)

Is it bad to squat everyday with a barbell on my back with weights?

Hey,

Thank you for your question.

Squatting is a natural movement a child does unconsciously. I have a 2 year old son, and he does a perfect squat every time:)

I am from Haryana, India, where villagers there sit in a low squat position my dad calls “Ukudu” meaning a low squat. When females clean the house with a broom, they do a low squat as well.

My friend’s wife recently had a baby girl with a natural birth. He made sure she performed hundreds of free squats daily.

Further, a quote by Giulia Enders in her book “Charming Bowels” which sold a million copies quotes:

” Over 1.2 billion people who squat have almost no incidence of diverticulitis and fewer problems with piles,”

Thats the power of free squatting.

Some studies on barbell squats:

studydiscusses whether the depth of squat has any effect on knee health or even lower back health, and results were clear that there was no effect.

In another study, 27 male powerlifters and 28 males weightlifters were analysed and no effect of squat trading on knee stability was demonstrated.

Next comes the frequency: How many times can you effectively squat in a week?

Well, this depends on your goals, nutrition status, genetics, how much sleep you are taking etc.

Ideally squatting 2-3 times a week is more than sufficient provided that overall your workout volume is low (squat being a compound exercise challenges your lower back).

I do squat few months a year, but since my structure is more suited to parallel grip deadliftsI prefer the latter.

Should skinny people aspire to gain weight, do aerobic exercise regularly?

Hey,

A lot has to do with your nutrition and how much rest you are taking overall.

When you are trying to gain weight, you need to progressively overload which allows you to build more muscle mass.

Ideally, I recommend lifting weights 3 times a week. Here’s why.

In order for progressive load to happen, you need to fully recover before you go for your next training session.

Now, I feel working out 3 times a week (which equates to roughly 3 hours) is not enough and one needs to stay active overall.

You have two options in this case:

Walk

(and/or)

Cardio

I personally walk a lot and clock more than 50,000 steps a week. I feel this is the best form of aerobic training for 2 reasons:

1-You can easily think clearly and use this time to plan your day, set your goals etc, and at the same time get aerobic benefit. You can power walk if you wish to. Steve reeves (my role model) was a firm believer in power walking.

Steve Reeves—Power walking with a pair of light dumbbells.

2-Walking won’t interfere with your recovery, especially your nervous system. You see when you lift weights, you are not only training your muscular system but also your nervous system which takes a longer time to recover.

But if you love (this is the key word), doing cardio—like going for a jog, or do it on your favourite recumbent bike, by all means go ahead.

But limit it to 2–3 sessions for a total of no more than 90 minutes. This however depends on how good is your nutrition, how much sleep you taking everyday, genetics, and most importantly whether you are progressing in the gym or not.

Hope this helps.

What should I think about while doing a workout in the gym?

Hi,

Here’s what goes on in my mind:

Since, I only workout 2 to 3 times in a week, that’s like 2 hours in the whole week (not even 1% of your time), so might as well make it count.

For me, going for a workout its like going to war for me. I need to prepare myself mentally, and I start shutting from the outside world usually an hour prior. Its very tough to gym, especially during peak timings, fortunately my work allows me to workout in the afternoons when no one is around:)

So I am focussed. I have a training dairy that I have been maintaining since 2 years which has detailed records about my weight, reps, total volume etc. Since, my overall goal is to gain lean muscle, I know I need to progressively overload my previous weight. I need to make sure to make every set, every rep count. You build muscles quickly when you can concentrate fully on the muscles being worked as you start to develop superior line of communication between the brain and muscle.

Few more tips:
-Don’t use your phone, except for stop watch
-Don’t watch TV
Yes, you can listen to music only if it appeals to you, boring music can really put your mood down, idea is to excite yourself and get into the ‘zone’ so that you can give your best.

Don’t try and impress the opposite sex by lifting more than you can. Seriously stay away from ego lifting!
Of course this is the ideal case scenario, and one needs lot of mental strength to have consistent workouts like that, but my aim has always been to progress not perfect:)

What’s the best healthy snack you can get when starving at night?

Eating at night has got a bad rep!

“Don’t eat carbs after 6pm or else you will get fat!”

“Eat breakfast like a king, and dinner like a pauper”

Come on! These are so many myths floating around most of them so petty, that it pulls people away from something what is really important (like eating below maintenance)

If you are hungry you eat. Period!

Be it night, morning or afternoon!

And what you can eat in the morning, you can eat anytime.

Best healthy snack at night is anything that is readily available so that you don’t have to spend much time to prepare and cook.

You just want to spend few minutes in the kitchen and get back to your work, or sleep or whatever is that you are doing at that time.

Few options:

-Cows milk (add some hershey syrup to make it tastier)

-A piece of fruit

-Any sandwich (include cold cuts, or cheddar cheese if you like)

-Nuts

or anything that is left from the cooking you did during the day time.

Overall try and make sure that its unprocessed and not something out of a box or can and you will do just fine.