Wednesday, January 08, 2020

Is not having to count carbs one of your favourite childhood memories ?

Wasn’t that the most amazing phase of life as far as food indulgence was concerned ? You could eat bars of chocolate, tubs of ice cream, sweets , dry fruits & what have you. Yet nothing would show on the scale. 
And what about blood sugar ?? Well that was something only our parents, grandparents & older relatives needed to be concerned about. 
So what has changed over the last few decades that you need to suddenly start becoming conscious of what you eat to maintain your ideal body composition. 
Is it because you’re older ?
But then what about your friend who is just as old as you but is able to freely indulge without a care in the world ? 

The following points will give you some clarity:

  1. As kids & young adults we were always on the go, playtime was at the grounds, activities were more physical in nature, travel was on foot / cycle / bus / train etc. The 10 k steps we struggle to get to today was something we probably covered in half a day.
  2. Your metabolism naturally slows down as you age. In simple terms, your body uses calories less effectively than it did when you were younger & hence there is more left as excess to be converted to fat / adipose tissue. 
  3. A lower metabolism is also due to reduction in lean mass which is an active tissue & uses up energy. Recommendations to include weight bearing exercises as a part of your exercise routine are to counter this effect.
  4. Both men & women experience a drop in levels of hormones estrogen & testosterone respectively as well that of growth hormone which aids in building & maintaining muscle mass.  

So what can you do to counter this effect :
  1. Make conscious lifestyle changes to remain mare active through the day, not just when you are actively exercising.
  2. Healthier food choices & limiting indulgences to only occasionally.
  3. Focus on a diet rich in proteins, complex carbohydrates, fruits & nuts. 
  4. Include both cardiovascular & well as muscle building exercises in your workout routine.
  5. Get adequate rest & keep stress levels low.
  6. Ensure you get your annual health check up & get professional help where necessary.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Supplementation without recommendation.

Vitamin D deficiency is very common, more so with the present lifestyle scenario where most people seem to get very little sunlight. Hence supplementation is a necessity for a vast majority of individuals. However, the dosage & duration can only be determined by a qualified professional based on a blood report not just of the said Vitamin but also numerous other factors. Randomly prescribing or consuming supplements can result in serious side effects.

Why not BMI?

Many of you may have heard one of these from ‘health experts’ … “Your BMI is normal, you are in very good shape” “Your BMI is more you need drastic weight reduction” “You BMI is too low, you must consume a high fat diet & gain weight”
But are you aware that BMI is NOT a credible determinant of ideal body weight & sound health?
Body Mass Index (BMI) is the ratio of height to weight. It is widely relied upon as a measure of overall health, which it is not. And that is simply because it does not take into consideration a person’s body composition i.e distribution of muscle, bone & fat.And therefore a highly muscular person can be classified as overweight or obese even though the extra weight that he carries is typically that of dense bones & lean body mass or muscle (For e.g. athletes). Similarly a person with normal BMI can be in poor health due to low lean body mass & high adipose stores (fat stores). While there are multiple ways to determine body composition, skin fold callipers,body circumference measurements & BioElectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) are the most commonly used. Other methods such as DXA, BIS,3 D Body scanners etc are used in larger institutions.
So the next time a ‘health expert’ talks to you about BMI ensure you ask about the importance of body composition analysis. And if they try to convince you BMI is the only vital tool to determine ideal weight, you know you’re dealing with a ‘quack’ #bodymassindex #bmi #fitness#wellness #idealbodyweight

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Move your workout outdoors #MumbaiMirror

Happy to share my inputs in an article in the #MumbaiMirror and also sharing the content which didn't make it to the article due to space constraints.

Advantages of uphill / stair climbing:
1) Recruits those muscles of the thighs, calves and gluteus which are otherwise not activated during surface walking. 
2) Since you are moving vertically the intensity of the routine is a lot more challenging and therefore you will end up achieving greater cardio vascular benefits. 
3) While running can place a lot of stress on the joints and therefore may not be a option for many with medical challenges walking uphill will result in a similar intensity without the impact 
4) For those who have time constraints the activity will be of advantage as due to its high intensity a shorter routine will give the same benefits. 
5) Since the activities are out is the normal comfort zone the body automatically activates its core muscles and stabilisers which are an extremely important group of muscles. 

Advantages of walking/ running on sand & wet vs dry sand : 
1) Recruits the joints and muscles of your lower legs such as you calves , ankles and knees and hence a great form of exercise to challenge those areas.
2) Walking on soft sand is difficult and the body has to expend more energy for a lesser distance covered. 3)Running on dry sand is not recommended as the unevenness of the surface and the constant digs in the soft sand can cause injury to the joints and falls. 
4) Running on wet sand is less impact on the joints than concrete roads due to the give of the sand which creates less impact on the joints.
5) Greater calories are burned in sand running as against running on roads due to the uneven surface and the constant give of the sand. 

Monday, February 03, 2014

A balancing act - The Hindu

Sharing an article recently published in The Hindu on pregnancy wellness. My inputs are on importance of exercise during pregnancy

A balancing act - The Hindu

Monday, October 07, 2013

BODYWORKS ....Since 1995....God has been kind

It has been 18 years in professional practice  and today BODYWORKS completes 13 years.  From a weight management centre offering    group exercise classes to an exclusive personal training studio ....the journey has been immensely fulfilling. To each one of you who has been a part of this journey with me. ...Thank you !!....For your blessings, love and faith. God has truly been kind :)

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Trainer's over enthusiasm or patrons eagerness ?

While we may never know the answer in this case it is imperative for both to act with responsibility.

While a trainer needs to know how far to push his client and be empathetic towards their physical capabilities, patrons must know how far they can push their own bodies. If your exercise sessions are leaving you feeling drained and in pain, there is something seriously wrong.
Remember, exercise is supposed to make you feel alive and rejuvenated. The mild soreness and pain that you experience is supposed to wear off and with each progressive session your body needs to feel less tired and you must feel more energetic.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Opting for Bariatric surgery ??

This question has been posted to me by many of my clients. Bariatric Surgery (BS) should be in my opinion, the last in the list of options in the treatment plan for obesity. As a weight management specialist my advice would be to first rule out a metabolic cause that may be related to obesity and treat it under medical supervision.

Next make lifestyle modifications, adopt a regimen of regular physical exercise and eat a healthy nutritious diet. This approach is minus
shortcuts but will result in not just weight loss but also improved cardio vascular functioning, improved lung efficiency, stronger bones, increased lean body mass (muscle mass) , improved absorption & utilization of nutrients  and numerous other physiological benefits.

BS can be considered as an option for those with uncontrolled metabolic disorders & for those who are unable to adapt a lifestyle
modification program due to extremely high body weight or due to a physical handicap.Hence, persons with a BMI of over 40 and those with a BMI of between 35 to 40 who suffer with obesity related disorders such as diabetes, sleep apnea, heart disease would be considered as ideal candidates.

 According to certain recent guidelines for a person above BMI of 30 with atleast one 
complication of obesity, BS can be considered as an option. It is also important to note that BS is NOT a cosmetic procedure & hence
should not be misused in order to bring about rapid weight loss.

Advantages of BS:

1) Rapid weight loss immediately post surgery & most people also continue to lose weight in the following 12  to 24 months

2) Improvement in metabolic conditions & sleep apnea with certain studies suggesting a complete recovery from the associated

Disadvantages of BS

1) Most patients complain of nausea, vomiting, weakness, faintness and also diarrhea

2) Unless adequate supplementation is maintained patients of BS develop anemia, osteoporosis & other forms of nutritional

3) Complications such as abdominal hernias, infections, breakdown of the staple line and stretched stomach outlets may call for follow up surgeries.

4) Certain studies have reported that almost one third of the patients who undergo BS develop gall stones.

A question I asked at a recent BS seminar to a group of people who had undergone the procedure was " Have any one of you tried to loose weight by sticking to a weight loss programme for at least six months under the guidance of a qualified professional ?" ....The answer was "No"