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How to lose weight, get rid of paunch & other queries on Diet & Fitness

Health & fitness has always been a discussed topic on our forum of The Great Pageant Community.  Dig into our archives & you will find many wonderful posts on this topic.  In this one, we have addressed some queries from our community members Ritika, Kartik, Saloni, Shobin & Ana.  These will be helpful to many others who face same or similar issues.  If your query is not answered, message us.  We will include it in some future post related to fitness!

Query No. 1 How do lazy people lose weight? 

So this is the big one – the ultimate question.  The reason why so many institutes are thriving and so many food items are being sold with label “Sugar-free”.  And I am intentionally addressing this as the first query although there are other queires which were asked before.  Because the answer to this query will put things in right perspective and give a good start to understand the basics.

Weight-loss at first place is not the best  and wisest target. Have you seen really skinny people? Often some of the runners from Africa are considered to be good examples for this. There are many people around who look like stick. They look just too skinny – all bones. They don’t have much weight. But are they fit? Is that your target? Not really.

Weight-loss at first place is not the best and wisest target. Have you seen really skinny people? Often some of the runners from Africa are considered to be good examples for this. There are many people around who look like stick. They look just too skinny – all bones. They don’t have much weight. But are they fit? Is that your target? Not really. Image source: http://lupusuva1phototherapy.com/

The point that I trying to make from above image & text is that rather than fighting a demon called weight (which YOU perceive as demon), why not focus on becoming fitter?  Weight is actually just a number.  It’s not just a change in terminology; it’s a change in perspective.  It’s the difference between avoiding failure in a written exam and actually learning something worthwhile and becoming knowledgeable.

A lot of people who are really fit can have high weight.  Recently Mr. India Prateek Jain had posted his weight is 85 kgs and he targets 100 kgs.  Do you think it is foolish?  Not really.  One of the famous Tennis twins Serena & Venus has weight of 90 kgs.  Neither of them is fat or unfit.   Image source: cmofitness.com

A lot of people who are really fit can have high weight. Recently Mr. India Prateek Jain had posted his weight is around 85 kgs and he targets 100 kgs. Do you think it is foolish? Not really. One of the famous Tennis twins Serena & Venus has weight of 90 kgs. Neither of them is fat or unfit.
Image source: cmofitness.com

The point here to understand is – weight is not equal to fat only.  Weight can be in many forms in the body.  The fit Bollywood stars are having weight in the form of lean body muscles.  These are the muscles that make them strong.  These are the muscles that make their body look toned.  And these are the muscles that should be your target! 🙂

So to summarise, better goals would be 1) To become stronger 2) To become lean (which means fat-loss) & sometimes this can mean weight-loss & sometimes this can mean weight-gain too! 

So now, there are two things… the ones you dread 🙂

  1. Diet
  2. Exercise

It is the magic combo of these two that will give you excellent results.  Let’s focus on each one by one.

Diet – What I am going to do is, I will provide tips with logical explanations which you can apply in modifying your eating habits for good.  These are “general” and if you want individualised guidance specific to you, please send us a message and we will try to include our advice in upcoming posts. 🙂

  1. Eat something within first half-hour of waking up, preferably a fruit. First reason is that when you sleep, you don’t eat for a long period of time and hence the sugar levels in blood are low.  So eating something on waking up will do your body good.  It would be a really nice gesture. 🙂 Second reason is it will make you sensitive to your stomach.  Hence you will start noticing when it gets hungry (every 2-3 hours) & when you stop feeling light while eating when you eat.  This guidance from your stomach will be very helpful to you.  It will help you befriend you stomach!
  2. Eat every 2 hours. Yes, you read it right.  Eat something every 2-3 hours.  You must eat only as far as your stomach feels light.  Then within 2-3 hours, you will again feel hungry.  Eating frequently will help you keep your metabolism in a great state.  Even digestion requires calories, so frequent eating means burning calories!  You will have a better relationship with your stomach since you are heeding to its need in a timely manner.  If you don’t eat frequently and eat just lunch/dinner in big amounts, you end up hogging (eating too much than needed so extra food becomes fat) and your body stores fat since it gets in panic mode (due to not getting timely meals).
  3. No food in 2 hours prior to sleep. Yes, because sleep-time is for body repair.  If you eat before sleeping, your food will not be digested properly.
  4. Drink lots of water. Water helps metabolism and keeps your body light.  It improves general functioning of all organs.
  5. Eat only as long as your stomach feels light and stop as soon as you stomach feels “bit heavy”. And it’s OKAY if your plate still has food.  Trust me; you are not going to deprive any African kid by wasting a little amount of food.  Every person on this planet gets what he desires and allows, and no other person can stop that for another.  If you feel guilty, do some social work on Sunday but RESPECT your stomach and body.  Eat only as much you can.  One way to deal with this better is to take smaller instalments of food.  If you feel you can eat 2 rotis, take one and then second after completing first.  It is just an approach – you can develop it or have your own ones.
  6. Insist on having nutritious food & don’t count calories. Eat your daal-roti-sabji guilt free. Eat your daal-rice-sabji guilt free.  Eat your fruits guilt free. If you eat them in smaller portions & frequently, you will make best out of them.
  7. Insist on eating low Glycaemic Index food items – these are the items that do not instantly get converted to glycogen (i.e. plain daal-rice, fruits). High Glycaemic Index items are OK in early morning or after exercise.  You are better off with low Glycaemic Index Items in other periods of day.  You can search about the High & Low GI items on internet.  Generally the traditionally consumed lunches & dinners are balanced and not High GI.  If you mix you daal-rice with sabji & salad, the GI is reduced considerably.

Exercise –  Okay, so the general rules:

  1. Exercise 150 minutes every week. And I say, do only that much. It pretty much means just one hour for 3 days a week.  Quite do-able right?
  2. Try to increase challenge level of exercise every time you do.  Today you walked for 30 minutes at slow speed.  Tomorrow walk for 31 minutes with same speed or 30 minutes with slightly increased speed.  Today you did a bench-press of 80 pounds with 30 repetitions.  Tomorrow do with 80 pounds with 31 repetitions or 85 pounds with 30 repetitions.  This will keep the fun going on and the exercise will be beneficial to you in this way.
  3. Try to do some weight-training.  It helps muscle-growth (the lean muscles). Girls will get toned bodies & boys will get the “Dude” look. 🙂  That’s what you want right?  Plus it’s the BEST way to lose fat & look lean (and hot).

I am keeping it short on exercise for now since for starters managing diet is easier for most people as compared to starting a regular work-out program and staying on it.  We can discuss on exercise in detail later. 🙂

So how can a LAZY person try to bring this to practise? 

  • First thing, start having a fruit in morning.  Buy some & store them, and have one when you wake-up.  Not difficult, right? 
  • Second thing, try to time your meals.  Stop eating randomly and start eating on time.  Eat every 2-3 hours (after 3 hours, stomach is in panic mode) Eat only on this time.  Don’t eat before 2 hours are completed.  Keep an eye on clock when you eat.  Now this can be little tricky. Store some chana/sing/kaju/pista, etc. in your bag so that you can rely on any of these when you don’t get a proper meal.  And yes, by the word meal, I don’t mean only lunch or dinner.  You can have snacks like Bataka-poha, Upma, Dosa, Idli, Bhajiya, etc. too! 
  • And third, don’t eat anything after 9.  Simple!  Start with these three rules & stick to them.  Within 2 weeks, you will start feeling better and then you can start trying to apply other guidelines.  And yes, be easy on yourself if you struggle a bit initially.  It’s really ok, you are learning. 🙂
  • And as far as lazy person & exercising is concerned, how about picking one good exercise/ sport and trying to get into it just for 1 hour each for 3 days?  It can be sports, it can be swimming, it can be jogging, it can be walking with music on in headphones, it can be gym, it can be cycling – the options are endless.  Start doing it and within few weeks, once you “get into the groove”, start applying progressive upload (increasing challenge factor every time).

So there it is, the way lazy people can become fitter – by adopting a better life-style and that happens gradually. 🙂

Query No. 2 How to reduce paunch?

Okay, so first thing first – why do you want to reduce paunch?  It’s really not a big deal to have a little paunch.  Not everyone needs to have a flat belly like Shakira. 🙂  It’s really okay if you have a little paunch – if your back is strong, your body in general is strong & if you are having regular eating habits.  Some people take it as a part of their personality (Ganapati Bappa Morya!)

Contrary to the popular idea, crunches are not helpful in reducing belly fat.  In fact if you over-do crunches before a party to get a flat belly, it will bloat a bit! Image source: http://www.howtolosebellyfatsolution.com/

Contrary to the popular idea, crunches are not helpful in reducing belly fat. In fact if you over-do crunches before a party to get a flat belly, it will bloat a bit!
Image source: http://www.howtolosebellyfatsolution.com/

Now that you are OK with your paunch, let’s figure out how to reduce it. 😛 If your eating habits are regulated (see reply to previous question) & you don’t hog before sleeping, your paunch would be small, though not flat.  If you are “not there yet”, get these things in place – regularise your eating habits as indicated in previous answer & then take the next step.  Next step is strength training (deadlifts, squats, etc.) and yes, put a little ghee in your diet 4-5 hours prior to the session.  Ghee has components which aid you in getting that sexy tummy.  The fatty acids in ghee will be in your blood stream while you exercise and promote fat burning.  So the “notorious” ghee actually helps you in getting that flat tummy!  Surprised?  It’s a fact. 🙂

Query No. 3 Are dietary supplements (Multi-vitamin tablets, bournvita) beneficial?

Yes, it is totally OK to take vitamin tablets if your diet does not fulfil the need. Just ensure they are from good company.  Energy drinks are rich in carbohydrates, which is OK.  But it is just equivalent to any other meal like Daal-Roti-sabji.  In fact a home-made meal would be more beneficial.  But still, these drinks are not BAD.  It’s just that; don’t be foolish in buying them because they CLAIM to make you stronger! 🙂  Some of them claim to be protein-rich, please check the ingredients.  Compare these with naturally protein-rich stuff like Chana, eggs, etc. & you will be surprised at how the makers try to fool people. 🙂 Remember – no drink can substitute the importance of a fit life-style.

Query No. 4 Is there any way I can eat chocolates, pizzas, and soft-drinks & still be fit?

Yes, you can have these, but everything else should be in place.  Have a proper exercise routine with progressive upload and regulated diet habits.  Refer to answer 1 for details.  If all things are in place, having a chocolate or a pizza or a drink as one separate meal (until your stomach feels light) is totally OKAY.  Really!  But please keep it as a separate meal.  The idea of dessert after lunch or dinner is foolish. Dessert is all sugary – have it individually as a meal between lunch and Breakfast, or lunch & dinner.  And enjoy them when you have them.  If you are in start of your fitness journey, better be strict on this one initially though – just once a week can be a helpful rule. 🙂

5 Why is honey said to be good for weight-loss?

First let’s focus on the benefits of honey.  It is said to be helpful in reduction of cholesterol levels, improving liver function, and improving fat metabolism, reduce cardio-vascular strain, regulate blood sugar levels, stimulate liver functions, increase plasma glucose levels & is a good substitute for sugar. So yes, honey is a wonderful thing which you can definitely give a place in your daily diet.

Secondly although acknowledge that Honey is wonderful in so many ways, please don’t feel that having a honey based diet or just having honey in morning will make you slim. 🙂 Honey is helpful, but not a substitute for a fit life-style.

6 Most of fruits have hormones injected into them.  Are they beneficial?  Are fruit juices nutritious?

Well, try to get it from sources which are reliable.  In natural form fruits are definitely beneficial.  They have a lot of fibres, vitamins & minerals.  They are best as instant energy-sources after work-outs or in morning.  In fact I love waking up to bananas! 🙂

Fruits in cut form are better than juices.  Juices have 4 times sugar and the fibre content is lost.  Fruits in cut form are better in terms of nutrition.

 

Thanks for your queries.  Hope that our answers are helpful.  You can comment on these queries.  If possible we will revert here or in form of another post! 

Featured Image Source: http://www.dumblittleman.com/