Weight loss

How to lose weight – the best and most effective method!

According to this “WHO article” obesity is growing at an alarming rate. Almost 1/3rd of the world is obese or overweight. That is a pretty staggering statistic in itself. By having obesity, you do not just do not look good but play with your health as well as it’s been proved that obese people are at a higher health risk than other people. If you are overweight, obese or in general lookout for better health, there’s a huge information available online as well as offline. The fitness industry has seen a boom today like no other time. There are so many articles, videos and e-books available online telling you about the latest diets, exercises or pills to reduce weight. You must have tried some or many of them only to find that they do not work the way it is claimed to be and probably spent hundreds of bucks to do that as well.

So now you’ve stumbled upon this article in your quest to lose weight. First of all let me begin my article by mentioning that I am not going to provide a magical pill here which will enable you to lose weight in a week or a month; but, what I am going to do here is to provide you with the most tried and tested method telling you “how to lose weight.”

Fun Fact: Do you know the term “how to lose weight” is one of the most searched terms in google search? That just provides a sad mirror image to the state of health in today’s time.

The method that i am going to provide here is the basis of all those fad diet plans which those nutritionists, health experts charge a fortune to provide. You do not need to spend a single penny for this weight loss method. In fact, it is so simple that no one is talking about it and are trying to make the weight loss (or gain) procedure more and more complex day by day.

Now that I have your attention, let me unveil my old, tested, proven and 100% guaranteed method to lose weight. It is called ‘Calorie Count’. I would even go to the extent of saying that this is the only method to lose or gain weight. All other “diet plans” simply revolve around it.

‘Calorie Count’ in its simplest sense means ‘counting the calories’. Calorie is a unit of energy. You consume energy and then you burn energy. If you consume more energy than you burn, you are bound to get fat and vice versa. So the food that you eat, breaks into calories inside the body. The body then utilizes this energy to do all its functions. So if you eat more food than your body burns, you’ll gain weight and if you eat less than your body needs or burns, you’ll lose weight. Its really that simple folks, believe me!

Fun Fact:  An adult man needs about 1,300 calories daily just to stay alive.

You need to get yourself familiar with the kind of calories there are. Different nutrients (protein, carbohydrates and fats) get broken into different amount of calories in our body. “This article” will greatly assist you in that. Now that you are familiar with the breakdown of calories of the foods that you eat, I would suggest you start reading labels of the foods that you purchase to eat. This will greatly benefit you in keeping a watch on your calorie intake as well. There are a few apps and websites that you can go on to and keep a tab on your calorie intake (My Fitness Pal is very popular and easy app to do so).

Now that you are keeping a track of your calories, start a workout or fitness regime as well to kick start the weight loss quickly. If you need to lose weight or gain muscle, we highly recommend getting your calories from quality food sources and not junk food. In fact, try to eat home cooked meals as much as possible as it is very difficult to monitor calories in a restaurant cooked food/meal. Keep a tab on your weight and measurements on a weekly basis and add or subtract calories from your daily meals as per your goal. Confused? Let me make it really simple by this example below

Suppose you are an adult male eating 3000 calories approximately daily and you need to lose weight. If you are eating the same amount of calories everyday and still not losing weight, try to reduce your calories by 100-200  calories daily from your diet which amounts to almost 700-1400 calories in a week and then measure your weight. If it drops, it means it’s working, if it still does not drop, try dropping another 100 calories from your diet. Believe me, it will work for sure. For all those muscle gainers out there, this method will work for you too. Just add calories every week instead of reducing it to gain weight/muscle mass.

Here is the “how to lose weight” method to follow in the following points to make it even simpler for you.

  1. Measure your weight, body measurements (like waist, chest, biceps, hips etc.) and note them down for future reference. You can also take a few pictures of your body from different angles to gauge your progress.
  2. Make a starting point of calories that you need to take everyday for a week. Ideal maintenance calories (calories required to maintain own weight) for adult male and female is 2500 and 2000 calories respectively. You can take these calories as your reference calories.
  3. Now that you know the amount of calories that you need to eat every day, track those calories using an app or note it down in a diary every day.
  4. After a fortnight, note your weight and body measurements again to see if you’ve lost or gained weight/mass and make changes to your diet accordingly, if needed. Add or subtract a certain amount from your daily calories of your diet according to your goals.
  5. Repeat if required. If you start to lose weight at a certain amount of calories, stick to those calories on a daily basis.

Now that you know how to follow this effective “how to lose weight” method, here are a few bullet points to follow  if you really want to succeed in losing or gaining weight.

  • Always take your measurements in the same environmental and physical condition. We recommend taking weight and measurements right after waking up in your undergarments every time. This ensures a consistency of measurements.
  • Not all calories are created equally. So make sure you are eating high quality foods during the whole process. Avoid Junk food or foods whose calories you cannot track. Always eat those foods whose calories can be counted or is available.
  • Stick to this program for at least a month before giving up. As you already must have felt, this is a trial and error method and only you can better accomplish its success.
  • Do not, and I repeat “DO NOT” drop or add more than 500 calories at once from your diet plan. It can be very unhealthy for your body to drop so many calories all of a sudden.
  • Keep a track of your calories religiously on a daily basis. Your success or failure depends on it. Take assistance of an app if you need to.
  • Read product label to better grasp the knowledge of calorie distribution in the foods at super stores.
  • Join a fitness activity like gym, sports, hiking, jogging, swimming etc. for chances of greater success. You need not do that every day but do try to do the activity at least 3-4 times in a week.

Now that you’ve read a one thousand word article on ‘calorie count’, you must have realized that it cannot get simpler than this. We have made the “how to lose weight” process much complex than it deserves. And if by any chance, this method seemed complex to you, just start counting your calories and that’s it. You’ll be better informed, if nothing else.

 

 

Fitness

Simple Fitness Exercises that you can do at home without having to go to gym

Simple Fitness Exercises – We all live a very busy life style thereby making it quite difficult to go to gym or fitness center on a regular basis. Let’s face it; we all have set New Year resolutions to lose weight/gain muscle/look toned but all these resolutions get lost somewhere in the first three weeks of January. This is a scientific fact that most people fail to pursue their New Year resolution only after three weeks. Well it is a fact that most of us lose focus and resolve to continue beyond a certain time period while many of us get lost in our busy life schedules. Moreover, gym memberships can dig quite a big hole in your pocket as well. So what can you do to stay fit without going to gym? Well there are a lot of simple fitness exercises, some of them really very very simple, which we will mention here so that you can stay fit all year long. You’ll not make big bulging muscles but you sure will feel fitter than before.

Start taking stairs instead of elevators

climbing stairs
Do not sweat on seeing this tip. We are not saying that you climb 24 floors to your office but you sure can start climbing 2-3 floors every day and increase the number of floors you climb on a fortnightly basis. After a few weeks you’ll start to feel that you are less out of breath as you progress. Start adopting this fitness exercise daily, you’ll feel a difference. A caution of advice – people with knee problem are advised to refrain from using this exercise.

 

Balance out your diet

Balanced foodWell we admit this one is not necessarily a fitness exercise; nonetheless, it is so important that we have to include this fitness tip here. No matter the amount of fitness regime you undertake, if you do not eat a balanced diet, you’ll not reap the benefits of your hard work. This is even more important when you are not undergoing hard grill at the gym. Because when you are working hard at the gym, you might get away with wayward eating every now and then but when you are working out at home (which is not that hard as the gym workout), it becomes even more important to eat the right foods and the right amount of foods daily.

 

Do not keep water at your desk

Water bottle at table
This one is a fairly simple fitness exercise but you’ll have to inculcate this habit in your daily office/home routine. Never keep a water bottle near your desk. Whenever you feel thirsty, walk towards the water cooler and drink a glass and return to your desk. The amount of calories that you burn while walking to and fro from the water resource may not seem like a huge calorie deficit but you’ll start to feel more active slowly but surely.

 

Walk or cycle to your destination whenever you can

Cycling
This fitness tip is fairly obvious, isn’t it? Try walking instead of driving wherever & whenever possible. We simply want you to walk as much as possible. And just to let you know, there are a lot of professionals who prefer cycling their way to offices now a days. It’s not just to stay fitter, but also to preserve nature. So you don’t just get to stay fit with this simple fitness exercise but also get to do your bit for the environment.

 

Try doing some exercises at home

pushups at homeYou need not get an at home gym to accomplish this feat. What you really need is the resolve and barely 15-20 minutes of your time daily. We recommend exercises which do not require any heavy equipment like push-ups, chin-ups (chin-up bars can be set up easily), burpees, standing squats (without weights), planks, lunges, yoga etc. You can also buy some cheap equipment like weights, resistance bands, weight rods with weighted plates and some heavier equipment like at home gyms, treadmills etc. But remember, you need not spend a fortune to stay fit. In fact just going out for a jog for 20 minutes can do wonders for your fitness. Try this article where we have mentioned 5 best exercises to do at home if you want to know some great at home exercises.

 

Stay focused and keep it interesting

multiple exercises
Gym workouts can be really daunting and boring sometimes. But do not make your at home workouts boring otherwise you’ll fall off this wagon as well. Try to mix it up with different exercises like playing sports, hiking, swimming, at home workouts, skipping, rock climbing. No matter what you choose, stay focused and try not to get bored otherwise your simple fitness exercise may turn into a monster for you.

 

 

Avoid sitting at a place for more than 40 minutes

Sit at office desk
It is believed that people who sit at their desk for an increased interval of time are more prone to chronic back problems than people who do not have a desk job or do not sit that much on their desk. Even simple trick like stretching or standing can increase your chances of burning calories by upto 33%.

 

 

Employ Stretching and twitching

Stretching
Twitching, although irritating, is very important too. It involves stretching muscles, tapping fingers, neck movement, movement of wrists etc. There’s been established a direct link between metabolism and these small joint movements. You can also stretch/lift your legs while watching TV/Movie or read which another small and simple fitness exercise. Just make sure you do not annoy other people with this habit.

 

 

Take Deep Breaths

Deep Breaths
Try another of this simple fitness tip. Whenever you find a few minutes like waiting in a traffic jam, at work or at home, just sit back, relax and take a few deep breaths. Do this for 2-3 minutes. This will boost your oxygen intake, keep you relaxed and less stressed out too.

 

 

Walk neighbor’s dog/dogs or get your own

Walking the dogWalking Man’s best friend is a great way to get in your daily exercise without going to the gym. Walking a dog is like a chore that you need to do every day else it will poop all over the house. Moreover, you will feel a lot less stressed in the company of the canine. Studies have proved that people who spend 30 minutes to 1 hour in the company of a pet are less likely to suffer stress related illness. So take your pet/neighbor’s dog out for a walk or you can ask your local shelter home about whether they need assistance in walking the dogs. We recommend walking 30-45 minutes with the dog.

 

These simple fitness exercises apart, be mindful of any health condition that you may have and consult your doctor before embarking on any fitness schedule/activity.

So you see, you do not necessarily need a gym to stay fit anyways. Just follow these simple fitness exercises or tips, if you may, to stay fit while having fun, comfort and longevity.

 

weight loss myths

Top weight loss myths busted!!

If you really want to know the trick to lose weight fast and easy without any hard work, then I am sorry to say that there’s no magic trick available anywhere which can enable you to do so. You need to take care of your diet and burn calories in order to lose weight. We have observed in our humble opinion that caloric deficit is the best way forward in order to lose weight. ‘Caloric deficit’ refers to being in a depleted state for the amount of calories you require on a daily basis to lose weight. It is really that simple folks. You need to eat more calories than you burn in order to gain weight and you need to eat less calories than you need in order to lose weight.

There is a lot of misinformation and misguiding advertisements (or weight loss myths) circulating right now that it is impossible to pinpoint the right technique anymore. Let us burst a few myths circulating around weight loss tips so that you can make an informed decision yourself.

Myth no. 1:- Lemon juice squeezed in warm water helps in weight loss

This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Lemon water is not a Hogwarts magic potion which will magically reduce those inches around your waist. Lemon water has its benefits like faster metabolism, good dose of vitamin C and my reduce bloating. Chugging tonnes of lemon water in the hope of getting slim won’t help you at all. But yes, by all means if you want to replace your high calorie/sweetened drinks like coffee, soft drinks or sugary juices then go for it. Adding lemon to water is a nice way of adding some flavor to water and can be used to replace the above mentioned drinks which will reduce your overall calories. But lemon water alone won’t do you any good as far as weight loss is concerned.

Myth no. 2: Fats are your no.1 enemy

This one is perhaps the most common of the weight loss myths.

I think you already know that 1 gram of fat contains 9 units of calories while  carbs and protein contains 4 units per 1 gram. This and much other misinformation about fat makes people skeptical about eating fat. But the fact is that fat is not your enemy. It is in fact beneficial in some cases to eat more fat for weight loss. Don’t believe us check out this article on “Ketogenic diet” which focuses mainly on fat. And we have found it to be a great diet for all the weight loss enthusiasts.

Myth no. 3: Supplements can help you lose weight

Well this statement is true to certain extent but not entirely. Weight loss supplement manufacturers want you to believe that their supplement is the only ingredient you need to reduce those pounds. Well, the definition of supplement as per dictionary.com is “something added to complete a thing, supply a deficiency or reinforce or extend a whole.” So now you understand what supplement really is. It just adds to your existing weight loss methodology or enhances it. They cannot make you lose weight just by popping a few pill everyday. Weight loss supplements are pretty useless in our humble opinion and can be a deterrent to health too if taken unsupervised.

Myth no. 4: Low fat/low sugar foods will help you lose weight

There’s a huge influx of low fat/low sugar foods in the supermarkets and these foods are even labelled as to assist in weight loss. What a load of horse pile that is? If you look closely at the nutrition label of some of these “health foods” you’ll find that these foods have same or more calories than the original full fat/sugary version of the food. Do not fall for such a gimmick. Be an aware citizen and read the labels properly before buying anything off the shelf.

Myth no. 5: A calorie is a calorie – no matter where it comes from

All calories are not equal. There are good calories and then there are some bad calories. A bowl of chicken salad with 200 calories is never going to be equivalent to a piece of cake with 200 calories. It really matters what you put inside your body as a fuel. For example, chicken salad will give you sustained energy over a long period of time while the piece of cake will spike your insulin, making you feel energetic for a while and then when the insulin drops ( which it will very soon), you’ll feel energy less and pretty much awful. Our advice would be to avoid all sugary drinks/foods, aerated drinks and alcoholic drinks.

Myth no. 6: Fat is in my DNA and I cannot control it

This is another of the so called weight loss myths. While we admit that obesity is hereditary and may pass from generation to generation but that does not mean it cannot be fought or controlled. A good regime of exercise and diet has enabled millions of people having the so called “bad DNA” to become healthy and lead a very happy and fulfilling life. So stop making excuses and step out of your comfort zone.

Myth no. 7: You can eat as much as you want as long as it’s healthy

We come across this statement numerous times. Many people think that it is alright to eat as much as you want as long as you are eating healthy foods. First of all, most of people have a wrong definition of health foods as we have already explained above. Secondly, you’d be surprised to know that even super healthy food has to be eaten in moderation to maintain a healthy weight. We suggest calculating your daily caloric intake. There are numerous online calculators which will enable you to do that. And now you need to stick to these calories everyday. You can make a few adjustments to this meter as per your need but as already suggested – more calories above maintenance will make you gain weight and vice-versa.

Myth no. 8: All fast food is junk

A majority of fast foods are bad for your health and weight loss goals but there are numerous healthy options available in fast food joints as well. You do not have to feel left out when you visit a fast food joint with your family and friends next time. There are salads, grilled foods and even healthy burger options available at almost all the fast food joints. Its the deep fried, cheesy stuff and soft drinks that you need to stay away from.

 

Myth No. 9: Eating late at night will make you fat

It is true to a certain extent. But we would like to alter this statement to this “eating a heavy meal right before bed can make you fat”. Even the altered statement might not be true. If you have a maintenance calorie of 2000 calories per day and your late night meal makes you fall within that caloric intake, then chances are you won’t gain weight from your late night meal. Eating late at night might slow your metabolism which might make digestion poor but as long as you are eating within your caloric intake, you’d not get fat.

Myth No. 10: Losing weight is a lot of hard work, is boring and takes a lot of time

Another popular myth is the amount of work needed to reduce weight. There is some amount of hard work involved in losing weight but its not a huge amount. There is a certain amount of discipline, self control and focus required along with little hard work. If you mix these ingredients in right quantity ( notice the word is ‘right’ not ‘large’) then weight loss does not seem that big a deal. Plus you can always alternate your food choices, work out regimes on a regular basis so that they do not get boring at all. In fact, creating new healthy dishes and trying new workouts can be extremely fun too. Now regarding the question of the amount of time it takes, it entirely depends on you. If you work diligently and stay focused you’ll see the results for sure. But do remember, Rome was not built in one day nor will you get your perfect body in a short amount of time.

Do not follow any of the weight loss myths without doing your research on them. Stay patient and consistent and the results will eventually come. As usual stay healthy!!!

 

 

Green Tea

Benefits of Green Tea – Weight loss is just one of them

The first thing that comes to our mind when we see a person drinking green tea is that he/she must be trying to lose weight. That’s our first impression of green tea; that it is used for weight loss. Well that is true but there are certain other benefits of green tea as well. Overall a large majority of people still drink coffee and black tea but dear friends more and more people are getting to know the health benefits of green tea and are shunning coffee and black tea for a cuppa green tea. Here are a few ways that green tea is beneficial for you

  1. Weight loss:

    Green tea primarily contains caffeine and healthy dose of antioxidants called ‘catechins’ and the main antioxidant in catechins is called EGCG (Epigallocatechin gallate). Caffeine has well documented effects on stimulating performance during workouts and aids in fat burning while antioxidants boost metabolism. A good metabolism assists in shedding those extra pounds faster.

  2. Improves neurological function:

    As discussed earlier that green tea contains caffeine. Caffeine increases brain’s function  by blocking an inhibitory neurotransmitter called Adenosine. Caffeine has also known to increase concentration of good hormone called dopamine makking you feel good by improving your mood. It also contains an amino acid called L-Theanine which has the ability to cross the blood brain barrier. This amino acid can have anti-anxiety effects on your brain. People drinking green tea have more stable energy than people who drink coffee. This improved brain function may also reduce chances of chronic brain diseases like Alzheimer and dementia.

  3. Improves physical performance:

    Due to its fat burning properties and increased metabolism, green tea supplements are very popular among athletes and active personalities. Although metabolism increase may vary from individual to individual, there’s no denying the fact that caffeine in green tea improves physical performance and antioxidants mobilize the fat cells in our body thereby making it more enduring towards physical performance.

  4. Anti-Cancer Properties:

    Cancer is caused by malfunctioning or damages cells. The damages cells multiply during the oxidization process. The active anti-oxidants present in green tea can have a protective effect on this oxidization. Many studies have observed that green tea drinkers are less likely to get various types of cancer (breast cancer, Prostate cancer, colo-rectal cancer etc.) Green tea may lower risk of cancer in the tune of 20-48%. That’s a very significant statistic and all the more reason to start drinking green tea regularly.

  5. Helps in killing bacteria:

    The biological effects of green tea include killing of bacteria which may cause virus and potentially higher infections. Green tea consumption has shown to improve dental health as well as the Catechins present in green tea kill a primary harmful bacteria in the mouth which contributes to cavities and tooth decay. Green tea is also shown to reduce bad breath. Many leading mouth fresheners and mouth washes have started using green tea as an ingredient in their products.

  6. May reduce risk to type II diabetes:

    Green tea has shown to improve insulin sensitivity. Irregular insulin levels are a leading cause of type II diabetes; a disease which has reached alarming proportions around the world. The antioxidants present in green tea help reduce blood sugar levels and many studies have proven as a fact that consuming green tea may reduce chances of developing diabetes by up to 40%.

  7.  Improves Cardiovascular Health:

    The improved metabolism caused by green tea, hereby, increases blood activity in the body. And this increased blood flow reduces chances of oxidization of blood cells. This oxidization of blood causes increased cholesterol which leads to heart troubles. Green tea’s antioxidant capabilities, thus, may improve your cardiovascular health too.

  8. Anti-ageing properties:

    Anti-oxidants are a mood stimulant and also make skin glow. A person who has a active dose of anti-oxidants looks much younger than his/her actual age. This happens as the oxidization of cells is prevented by the green tea anti-oxidants. Plus the reduced chances of getting chronic diseases provided by green makes you live longer too.  Death chances get reduced by up to 23% among women and 12% in men who drink green tea.

We hope this article highlighted some of the good effects of green tea on your health. Another thing that we would like to mention is that you should not load your green tea with sugars, honey and cream etc. It should be consumed in its natural flavor. But if you do not like the taste, you can add a dash of lemon and some honey and then enjoy a nice hot cup of green tea.

We hope you found this article informative. If you did check out “this article” as well where we discuss the epidemic of obesity in today’s world.

Festival merriment

Top health tips to follow this holiday season

The holiday season is upon us finally. And you know what that means – grand feasts, yummy treats, bizzare cocktails and our health goals out for a spin. We’ve all been there where we follow our health regimes religiously for whole year only to break down at the end of the year festivities. Well it doesn’t have to be like that. There are ways to enjoy the holidays without harming your health goals too much and we are going to share them with you so that you can enjoy your holidays without losing your fitness.

 

Stay hydrated

 

Stay hydrated: We cannot stress the importance of H2O enough. It makes you feel full thereby reducing the chances of you going for that piece of pie or that can of soda. Plus it also helps, largely to keep the adverse affects of alcohal at bay. So keep a bottle of water handy always with you.

 

 

 

Food stocked up
Stock up your cabinet with health foods
: Lets admit it, if you do last minute christmas shopping at stores you’ll end up buying all the wrong things. the market is full of  carb/sugar loaded treats that look so irresistible that we end up picking them eventually. You should pick healthy and organic versions of foods for yourself and stock up your fridge and cabinet with those. Eventually you will pass up on unhealthy food as you have full reserve of food stock available.

 

make treats at home


Try to make treats at home
: We all love pies, donuts and cakes. But there’s a difference from a store bought treat and home made treat. When making these treats at home, you can control and/or substitute the ingredients. For example honey is always healthy option than processed sugar. You get the general idea. Home made treats will be healthier and if made right tastier too.

 

alcohol intake


Watch your alcohol intake
: when friends and family are around, its very easy to lose track of drinks during those riveting moments. And most alcoholic drinks contain a lot of calories. So it might be better to substitute your regular beer with something lower in calories. It might be a celebration on holidays but that doesn’t mean that your meal plan goes for a holiday too.

 

stay active during holidays
Stay active
: We know its difficult during festivals with all the friends and family around to go for a gym session but that doesnt mean that you cannot go for a light walk, jog or swim. In fact make your friends and family join in for walks, some sports or any fun physical activity that everyone can enjoy. It will not only keep you active but can be a great bonding activity for everyone too.

 

Fun with friends

 

Focus on fun not food: We have associated all our festivals and holidays with foods but we forget a very simple thing. It’s all about fun and not the food. Plan some fun activities like group songs, Christmas carols, games etc to make it more lively.

 

 

Also know that you’d be eating some not so healthy stuff during holidays. Do not feel guilty if you do and lose the guilt. A little indulgence won’t set you back a lot. Just remember to do everything in moderation. Last but not the least – Happy Holidays everyone!😃

Top fitness tips

Top 15 fitness tips of all time!!!

Are you tired of missing your fitness targets every time? Do you fall short of your fitness goals every year? And do you start a fitness regime with full dedication only to fall short in the middle of the routine? Well worry not; first of all you are not alone. There are numerous people who show the drive, determination and enthusiasm earlier only for it to fizzle out at the last moment.

First of all, let me confess that I am not a complete pro at finishing my targets as well. Every time I started on a fitness regime, something pulled me back; sometimes it was work pressure, sometimes family and friends demanded my attention; but in the end it all came down to one word – resolve. Yes, if the resolve isn’t strong enough, you will fail in your endeavors – be it fitness, work, relationships or life in general.

That is why I am here to provide you some amazing tips – some of them may be very basic and some of them advanced to help you achieve your fitness goals.

  1. Make a plan: Your first task is to make a plan regarding your fitness goals. You can take the assistance of a professional or simply bump up on any of the numerous fitness sites available online. Just make sure you stick to the plan suited to your level of expertise like beginner, advanced etc.
  2. Stick to the plan: Most of us do start with a fantastic plan and stick to it for some time and then simply drop it as we don’t see immediate results or simply lose interest. Make sure you complete the stipulated time frame of the plan or at least give it 2 to 3 months to bear fruits before giving up altogether.
  3. Set Realistic Goals: This is perhaps the most important of all the tips here. You have to set realistic goals for yourself. You can’t go from a fat person to a person with 6 pack abs in 2 months. There’s a lot of dedication, hard work and sacrifices that goes behind a chiseled body. So make sure you give yourself enough time to achieve the goals. You can set yourself short term goals of course but they have to be realistic nonetheless.
  4. Do your research: When I started out in the journey of fitness and gym, I was a novice and believed everything that anyone told me and it certainly hurt my fitness goals. If you do your proper research, you’ll have less chances of failing in your fitness journey for sure.
  5. Keep yourself motivated. Do not give up: No matter how many hurdles come your way, no matter how hard it may seem, do not give up on your goals. There are people who do not have legs completing marathons, people in wheelchair playing sports and so many other people we can take inspiration from. If they can do it, we certainly do not have a reason to not follow our dreams and goals. If you ever feel short of motivation, think of these people, listen to motivational speeches and cultivate the power or imagination to keep yourself excited to achieve your goals.
  6. Choose an activity that you like: Let’s face it; chances are bright of failure if you do not like the activity that you love. Of course running 1 hour on a treadmill every day is bound to bore you to death. Therefore, choose an activity that piques your interest. It can by gym, dance, sports, swimming, trekking, jogging or even as simple as walking. Just try to inculcate one or activities to your daily life which coincidently also brings us to our next point.
  7. Diversify your fitness activities: Boredom plays a huge role in missing out on fitness goals. The best way to achieve that is to diversify the activities that you undertake. There a plethora of activities to choose from like swimming, hiking, cycling, rock climbing, jogging and all different types of sports. If you are getting bored of your fitness regime, try including a different one for some time and then after some time you can return to the older regime and it would not be so boring anymore. Try it; it’s a tried and tested formula.
  8. Monitor your progress: Another important aspect that many people ignore is to monitor their progress e.g. its best to note down your weight every week if you are on a weight loss or weight gain program. This enables you to constantly be aware of your progress and whether you are doing the right things or not.
  9. Watch your diet: You’ve joined the gym or a sports club and have started on this journey towards being a fitter, healthier person but after your workout session you come home and gulp down a whole cheese pizza or a large burger with side dish of fries and cola. Does this sound familiar? Well diet is the main part of reaching your fitness goals. If you ignore your diet, you won’t achieve any of your intended targets. Also keep a note on the type of diet that you need to undertake. A diet of a person losing weight is going to be different than someone who is aiming to gain muscles and a diet of a sprinter is going to be different than that of a marathon runner. So be smart about your dietary choices.
  10. Do not train longer train smarter: Have you ever noticed a person in the gym who is chatting everyone up and taking calls and regular breaks in between? Do not be that guy or gal, please. Your workouts or training sessions need not be long and tedious. Just focus on your workout, do it with all your dedication and after it’s complete you can chat with people all you want. I’ve found that listening to music via headphones/earphones keeps us less distracted during workouts.
  11. Stretch yourself: Stretching is perhaps the more undervalued activity related to fitness and exercise and I cannot stress its importance enough. By doing proper stretching, you muscles will be more limber and warmer in anticipation of the upcoming exercise or activity. Do your stretches for 10 minutes before starting your exercise and for 5-10 minutes after completing your exercise. Your muscles will be a lot less stiff, your limbs will be more flexible and additionally you will drastically reduce chances of any injuries in future.
  12. Dress for the occasion: You cannot wear an informal dress at a formal reception. Same way you need to wear the right dress for the kind of activity you choose. If you choose running, make sure you have proper running shoes so as to avoid blisters in the feet and avoid chances of injuring yourself. If you choose gym, make sure you wear proper fitting clothes, have a towel to clean the sweat and gloves that help in traction while lifting the weights. Believe me, right dress and accessories can make your workout a lot fun and easy to carry out.
  13. Keep yourself hydrated: Our body is made up of almost 80% water and most of us do not take enough water throughout the day to fulfill our daily quota of water. Many small problems that we face regularly like minor headaches, feeling less energy and having bowel movement trouble can be attributed to drinking less water. Water intake takes even more significance if you have an active lifestyle. Therefore, drink enough water and keep yourself hydrated throughout the day and during workouts. You will feel a lot active if you have enough water in your system. If you want more details on the importance of water, check out this post “HOW EXACTLY IMPORTANT IS WATER AND HOW MUCH OF IT DO WE REALLY NEED?” in which we have greatly discussed the importance of water in our life.
  14. Sleep well: You’ve done a hardcore workout during the day and have taken a nourishing meal as well. Next step is to sleep well and let your body recover naturally from the vigorous wear and tear that it has gone through earlier. Sleep is our body’s natural recovering cycle. It also keeps our mood fresh and makes us happier. So make sure you get a good night’s sleep daily. We recommend 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. To achieve this you can try some herbal teas, listening to soft music, doing some boring household chores, cutting off electronic gadgets before sleep and having proper temperature and light during sleep.
  15. Be flexible: Let’s admit that we all live busy lifestyles which can make us skip our workout sessions regularly. Don’t get disheartened if it happens, it happens to the best of us. Trick lies in managing your time properly. So you skipped your workout one day, try to make up for it next day by adding a few more reps/exercises/sessions to your next workout. Skipping your sessions for a few days won’t derail the process, thinking that it has will certainly derail it. So always be positive and take your sessions with all the dedication and focus.

In fitness as in general life, arming yourself with appropriate information can make a world of difference in achieving your goals. We hope our tips help you reach your potential and achieve even better results than you imagined.

Defining Micronutrients and their role in our body

In our last post “THE IMPORTANCE OF THE THREE MACRONUTRIENTS – PROTEIN, CARBOHYDRATES AND FATS IN OUR BODY” we discussed the significance and role of the three macronutrients namely protein, carbohydrates and fats in our body. Here we are going to discuss the other form of nutrients called “micronutrients” which even though are not required in ‘macro ’ proportions by our body, nonetheless, play equally important role in the day to day functioning of the body.

Micronutrients basically consist of many vitamins and minerals out of which approximately 40 are essential to us and each of them plays a pivotal role in metabolism and the maintenance of tissue function. This includes energy production, cell division, replication, the growth, maintenance and function of our brains, heart, blood production, immune system, lung, skin, bone, muscle, etc. Micronutrients are said to play an important role in our body and depletion of few micronutrients can cause illness or certain harmful effects. Therefore, one should regularly get laboratory tests done to check if the body is deficient in any micronutrient in particular. A lot of diseases/illnesses can be prevented or treated by maintaining optimum amount of these nutrients in our body. Here we will discuss some important micronutrients along with their role and function in our body.

  1. Vitamin A: Our bodies require vitamin A for clear vision along with cell differentiation and bone health too. It supports immune function. Vitamin A also aids both male and female reproductive processes. Recommended daily dosage is between 700-900 micrograms. Animal foods like egg yolk, whole milk, yellow/orange fruits and green leafy vegetables are good source of vitamin A.
  2. Vitamin B1: Also known as “Thiamin”; this water soluble vitamin assists in carbohydrate and amino acid metabolism. The recommended daily dosage is between 1.1 and 1.2 mg. Sources include cereals, grains, beans and peas.
  3. Vitamin B2: This vitamin is also known as Riboflavin and assists in carbohydrate and fat metabolism. The recommended daily dosage is between 1.1 and 1.3 mg and its sources include dairy products, cereals and whole grains.
  4. Vitamin B6: Vitamin B6 helps in protein and carbs synthesis and also supports nervous system and blood cell synthesis. The main sources of Vitamin B6 are meat, poultry, bananas, potatoes, sunflower seeds and oil etc. The allowed intake is in between 1.3 to 1.7 mg daily.
  5. Vitamin B12: This essential nutrient helps in maintaining healthy nerve cells and also produces DNA, the body’s genetic structure. It also keeps our body’s blood cells healthy. There are no known vegetable sources of Vitamin B12 and it has to be taken from animal sources only. The Recommended dietary Allowance (RDA) is 2.4 micro grams.
  6. Vitamin C: Vitamin C is required for growth and repair of tissues in our body and it helps the body to make collagen which is a type of protein required to make skin, blood and bone vessels. It is an important nutrient for healing wounds and bone and teeth health. Vitamin C is available in most of the fruits and vegetables and most abundantly in citrus fruits like oranges and lemons too. The RDA for this nutrient is 75-100 milligrams.
  7. Vitamin D: Vitamin D helps in the absorption of calcium in the body, thereby, assisting in growth and maintenance of bones and bone health respectively. The primary source of Vitamin D is sunlight and can also be acquired from fish, meat and eggs. The RDA is 600 IUs (international units)
  8. Vitamin E: Vitamin E is primarily an antioxidant which means it helps protect tissues from damage caused by free radicals which are harmful for cells and organs. It is also believed to play a role in anti-ageing properties of the body. The primary sources of Vitamin E are seeds, nuts and vegetable oils and the RDA is 19 mg.
  9. Vitamin K: It assists in the clotting of the blood and also plays an essential role in bone health. The daily dosage should be between 90-120 micrograms and major sources include leafy vegetables and soybeans.
  10. Calcium: We all know that calcium is the major ingredient to maintain healthy bones, gums and teeth. In addition to that it helps in blood clotting, muscle contraction, nerve transmission and cell metabolism. The RDA for calcium in human body is 1000 mg approximately and dairy products like milk, cheese along with vegetables like spinach and kale are major sources of calcium.
  11. Magnesium: Magnesiumis an essential nutrient for approximately 300 biochemical reactions of our body. It strives to maintain normal nerve and muscle function, supports a healthy immune system, keeps the heart beat steady, and helps bones remain strong. In addition to this it also helps to regulate blood glucose levels and aid in the production of energy and protein. RDA is 300-400 milligrams and green leafy vegetables, potatoes, whole grains and nuts & seeds can provide sufficient quantities of Magnesium in our body.
  12. Iron: It is a vital element of blood production in our body and also helps carry oxygen to different parts of the body. It also supports healthy nervous and immune system. Animal sources like poultry, fish, pork, legumes, spinach, and tomatoes are the biggest sources of iron.
  13. Zinc: Zinc is needed for body’s immune system to work properly and prevents cell damage. It is critical nutrient for growth and sexual maturation. It is also needed for the sense of smell and taste. Major sources include oysters, beef, clams and whole grains and the recommended dietary allowance is 9-15 mg.

Here we discussed all the major vitamins and minerals. In addition to these there are other minerals like potassium, copper, iodine, sodium, phosphorus and vitamins like vitamin b3, vitamin b5, vitamin b7 etc. which also play a vital role in maintaining a healthy body function. Each nutrient is as important as the other and each of them play a unique role in our body. A deficiency in any one of the nutrient will adversely affect our body health and general wellbeing. It is therefore recommended to have a balanced diet which combines macro and micronutrients in near perfect ratio so that your body can work at optimum levels. We would also like to recommend adding a good multivitamin/multi-mineral supplement to your daily diet in consultation with your doctor so that it can fill in the shortfall of the nutrients which your diet cannot fulfill sufficiently.

The importance of the three macronutrients – protein, carbohydrates and fats in our body.

Let’s start of with the basic question first – what are macronutrients? Well the simplest answer would be – Macronutrients are the components which organisms consume in larger quantities for body functions, growth and energy. The other types of nutrients required by our body are called – Micronutrients, but we do not need these in larger quantities as Macronutrients, hence they are called Micronutrients. There are three basic Macronutrients – protein, carbohydrates and fats while micronutrients are essentially vitamins and minerals and are large in number but required lesser in quantity by our body. Let’s discuss the importance of each macronutrient in our body:

  • Protein: It is recommended that protein should comprise approximately 10 to 35 % of our diet and even more if you are an athlete. The main functions of protein in our body are – preservation of muscle, muscle growth, harmone and enzyme production, repairing body tissues and providing energy in the absence of carbs. Protein is comprised of amino acids which are linked together to form a chain like structure and constitute the properties of protein. There are 20 amino acids some of which are produced by the body and others have to be consumed from outside sources. The main sources of protein are animal products such as meat, dairy and eggs. Among the plant based sources soy contains largest amount of protein.
  • Fat: There is a lot of misconception about fat. First of all, fat is not bad for you at all and a healthy diet should consist of about 20-30% of fat daily. The main functions of fats in our body are
    a) aid in absorption of essential vitamins and minerals
    b) maintaining cell membranes and vital organs by providing protective layer
    c) protect hear and improve brain function
    d) provide a more concentrated form of energy (1 gm of fat provides 9 calories compared to 4 calories provided by proteins and carbs)
    The main sources of ‘good’ fats are olive and coconut oil, fish, almonds and nuts, nut butters and fruits like avacados.
  • Carbohydrates: Carbohydrate is the preferred source of energy for our bodies. When digested, carbohydrates break into a compound called ‘glycogen’ which is then absorbed by our bodies for energy. A normal human diet should comprise of 45-60 % of carbohydrates. The main function of carbohydrate is to provide energy as fuel, aiding bodily functions at optimal levels, stores glycogen in liver for future use, fiber in carbs also helps in digestive health. The main sources of carbs are vegetables, rice, wheat products etc.

All these nutrients together constitute macronutrients and a right balance of these nutrients if important and should be incorporated in a balanced diet.

keto diet

Ketogenic Diet – All you need to know about ketogenic diet

There’s a trend for every type of diet. Not too long ago military diet was all the rage, before that no fat diets were so common. Now enter a new diet called Ketogenic Diet. Well if you think of it, ketogenic diet is not that new at all. In fact this is the diet that our ancestors used to take. In all its basic, ketogenic diet simply means high fat and no carb diet with a moderate amount of protein thrown in between. How much fat – you may ask? Well a perfect ketogenic diet comprises of 75% fat, 20 % protein and just 5% carbs. Confused? Let me try and explain this diet and its benefits as simply as possible.

Now how does ketogenic diet derive its name? To understand this lets dwelve into the science of food a little. When we eat carbs, it gets broken in the form of glucose and gets absorbed by the body. But when you aren’t taking any carbs and just fats, your body doesn’t have its preferred source of energy available anymore, i.e. glucose from carbs. So what your body does is quite magnificient; it starts deriving its energy from fat resources from your body and becomes somewat a machine running on fat as a fuel instead of carbs, thereby, burning fat stored inside your body as well. Now this state of fat burning for fuel takes around 3-4 days from the body to accomplish when it starts running on fat instead of carbs, this state is called as ketosis and your body is said to run on keton bodies produced by burning of fat. Still confused? Simply consider this – body eats carbs, produces glucose for energy and when body eats fats and no carbs, it produces ketones for energy. And as per scientists, ketones make you more energetic than carbs. But to achieve true ketosis, your carb intake has to be below 5% or else it will be difficult to reach ketosis.
Some of the benefits of this diet are mentioned as below:

  • Ketogenic diet is an amazing weight loss diet. You are literally guaranteed to lose an amazing amount of weight and that too very quickly in this diet.
  • You will feel more energetic in this diet as keto bodies have a tendency to provide more energy on burning than glucose from carbs.
  • May Reduce Blood Sugar and Insulin Levels in addition to a Major Improvement in Type 2 Diabetes.
  • Keto diet may be a good for gut health in the long run, therefore, leading to healthy gut.
  • Keto diet provides healthy support to the brain and may lead to a healthy brain activity. Scientists have discovered increased cognition and enhanced memory in adults who were on this diet.
  • Some scientists are even recounting the benefits of ketogenic diets towards treatment of cancer. It’s said that cancer cells feed on carbs and by eliminating carbs, cancer can be cured or atleast this diet can assist in cancer treatment.
  • Again, related to the downstream effects of keeping blood glucose low and stable, ketogenic dieting helps keep blood pressure in check and lowers triglyceride levels.
  • ketogenic dieting is profoundly anti-inflammtory and helps with a host of related health problems like acne, arthritis, eczema, psoriasis, IBS, pain, etc

In my humble opinion, ketogenic diet is a great diet and if you suffer from any problems or are simply in search of a diet to lose weight, simply go for this diet. The results that you will get will be amazing, guaranteed.

Top Super Foods of the world

All food items have some sort of nutrition index about them. But there are certain foods that are on top of the ladder amongst all the foods of the world. These foods are termed as ‘Super Foods’. These foods are nutritionally dense and are extremely good for the health. In some cases ‘Super Foods’ are even said to assist in certain medical conditions. New research is always going on for finding the next ‘Super Food’ but there are some which are tried and tested and can be truly termed ‘ Super Foods’. We have provided this list below based on nutritional value and the ease of availability of these products. We do not want you to spend a fortune of new fads in the ‘super foods’ market. So here we go –

  1. Spinach:- We want you to think of Popeye the sailor man and his super increase in strength when he eats a jar of spinach. Well it might be a little exaggeration but not too far off. Spinach is a wonder food rich in anti-oxidants, anti-inflammatory and rich in vitamin A & K and calcium plus fiber. In fact most green vegetables are extremely nutritious and cheaper compared to fancy ones available in super stores. So add for spinach, broccoli, kale or Brussels sprouts for that daily kick of nutrition density.
  2. Eggs:- The staple food of body builders and athletes all over the world, this super food is rich in amino acids and is a great source of cheap and high quality protein. A medium sized egg provides 6 grams of protein but only 72 calories. It also contains omega-3 fatty acids which is beneficial for heart health. Protein is the building block of muscles and eggs sure are cheap, readily available source of food.
  3. Banana:- There are many fruits like apples, kiwi fruit and avocados which many people will tell you are super foods. But good old banana takes the top spot among fruits in our list. Bananas are easily available all year round, are damn cheap and are tasty as well. This wonder fruit is easy to digest (therefore improves gut health), provides a steady stream of energy to our body (you can watch some athletes eating bananas during their matches) and is an extremely good source of potassium. Contrary to popular beliefs, adding a banana would actually assist people in slimming down rather than gain more weight. So we recommend adding a banana to your daily diet especially if you are an active person.
  4. Almonds:- Of all the nuts available in the market, almonds are the most nutritionally dense. They offer the highest concentration of nutrients per calorie per ounce. They provide a healthy dose of potassium, calcium, vitamin E, magnesium, and iron. They are also a rich source of fiber. Plus they are delicious. Put some almonds in your shakes or smoothies to make them even tastier and crunchy.
  5. Lentils:- This food is extremely cheap, easy to prepare, come in different varieties and readily available plus it’s a great source of protein, iron and other essential nutrients. Iron available in lentils may help fight anemia. This food is a must have in your food cabinet especially if you are a vegetarian or a vegan. This food will assist in meeting your daily protein requirement. Its low in glycemic index too, which means the energy released from lentils may not increase blood sugar as certain other foods do and may keep us energized for longer period of time.

As you can see that our list is not extensive, but is purely based on the cost and availability of the product. You do not need to spend an exuberant amount of money to stay healthy, just add these ‘Super Foods’ to your daily diet and see the difference in your health soon. Stay healthy!