Sugar kills! Cardio is critical! Carbs & fat make you fat! Really?

Too many myths… too little truth! Until now…

Food doesn't make you fat... it makes you happy!

“Sugar kills”

Sure it does… when you OD on it. But so do processed meat and grains and, well, work!

It isn’t that one spoon of sugar you add to your coffee every morning that screws things up for you. It is your healthy sweet breakfast cereals with dehydrated fruit lookalikes and energy bars with 100% real chemicals and guiltless fat free desserts and fruit juices with added vitamins and healthy probiotic flavored yogurts that do! Stay away from making sugar a staple by letting it sneak its way into everything you eat and you’ll be fine having that coffee a lil sweet!

And of course, if that spoon of sugar features multiple times a day, then you’re just asking for trouble. But you’re smart enough to understand that, right?

Verdict – Rarely, add sugar to food and make it less healthy. Dont eat, frequently, ‘health’ foods that have added sugars/sweeteners. 

“Carbs and fat when eaten together make you fat”

No they dont! They make you jump up in joy ‘cos carbs + fat = delicious!

Sure a combination of carbs and fat makes you stuff your face. But you know what else makes you stuff your face ever so often? A combination of stupidity & gluttony! Have some common sense. Eat real food for the most part, stay away from making junk food and nutrition-less foods (like grains and sugar) a staple and you wont have to worry about counting your carbs or fat or calories.

Verdict – Stop fearing food and fix your relationship with food. Understand nutrition and make wise choices. Some common sense goes a long way.

“The easiest way to make your festivals healthy is blah blah”

And what is the easiest way to shut you up?!

Festivals are meant to be a time when folks get together, share memories, laugh and, well, eat! Don’t mess with it. As long as your nutrition is solid year round, going crazy 3-4 times a year won’t do any harm to your health and/or abs! Let me put this in perspective.

1 kilo of fat =  7700 calories. So for you to gain 1 kg of fat, you will have to eat 7700 extra calories in that day! Let’s say your apetite is as big as mine and you do end up eating that many calories. What happens? Your body will automatically force you to eat less in the next few days and set things back to normal. Fat gain is only a problem when this type of gluttony becomes a frequently recurring event. As long as such gluttony is reserved for the truly special 3-4 occasions in a year, you have absolutely nothing to worry about.

Verdict – Stop pigging our every other day, eat real, wholesome and nutritious food year round and go to town on that cheesecake on your (truly) special occasions!

“More is better”

No. Better is better.

If training 3 days a week doesn’t produce your desired results (fat loss or muscle gain), look into nutrition, sleep and stress. Are you eating the right foods? Are you eating the right amounts? Are you staying active during your rest days? Are you getting at least 7 hours of sleep per day? Is your stress level minimal to nil?

If you answered yes to all these questions (and trust me when I say 99.9% of people don’t), then look into your training intensity. Most people’s highs are too low and lows are too high. Are you working hard when you do train or are you just going through the motions? Is your high intensity truly high? Is your low intensity truly low? Only after that should you even maybe consider possibly adding a short workout as day 4.

Verdict – Clean up your act first before asking for more scenes! 

“Early morning is the best time to workout”

I don’t care how many studies have been done on workout timing and calorie expenditure and how convincing the results were, but as far as the real world is concerned, the best time to workout will always be the time you actually can workout! What if early AM workout burns 5% more calories? As a matter of fact, what if it burns 50% more calories? If the only time you can workout is evening, do those numbers even matter to you?

Verdict – Find a time during the day at which you can consistently workout and get it done! Less research, more development.

“Cardio is the critical”

You’re right… if by cardio you meant mobility!

Talk to as many ever beat up athletes as you want and ask them what they wished they did more of. I guarantee you every single one of them will say mobility!

I understand lifting weights is flashy and running marathons pumps you up and sprinting till you can’t feel your legs no more makes you feel like you’re da king… but mobility, as boring, slow and painful as it is, is the thing that will save your ass later in life. As for cardio… thats just a waste of time.

Verdict – Mobility trumps everything else! Without mobility you’re just a big bag of immobile fat or muscle… both equally useless.

“Its all about number of repetitions”

Wrong! It’s about about ROM folks! Not read-only-memory you silly software man. Get off them chairs and look around! Its 2011 and you are fat, wearing bermudas to work and listening to BS boys! We’re talking range of motion.

I would much rather have you perform 3 reps of any exercise with full ROM than 30 reps with compromised ROM. It doesn’t matter if you’re doing a bodyweight lunge or a 200 kilo squat or a weighted pushup or a bicep curl – if your ROM is not optimal, you’re asking for joint issues. Do mobility work, move through your full ROM and take good care of those joints and they will take care of you for a long time to come.

Also realize the irony here – the main purpose you (knowingly or unknowingly) move through a shorter range of motion is be able to move more weight but working through a shorter range of motion results in making you weaker and restricts you from using more weight eventually!

Verdict – If you’re not going all the way… you’re not going any where!

Peace out!

17 responses to “Sugar kills! Cardio is critical! Carbs & fat make you fat! Really?

  1. Karthik Kumar November 23, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    Good writeup. Simplistic take on morning workouts though. But good overall.

  2. Rajesh November 23, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    I like what is written here. Made a lot of sense to me. Also, I work out for about 2 hours a day, in the evenings, I was able to to cut down on 7 kilos in less than 3 months. That too without any diet change. I cant resist food and I also have beer twice in a week. With all this, Its a consistent cut down in weight. As rightly said – peace out

  3. Sowmya November 23, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    I’m lost on certain terms and what they mean as well.
    1. I trust cardio refers to any activity that gradually takes the heart rate up and brings it back down. Isn’t that a work out for the heart? Doesn’t cardio fall under the same category like nutrition and many things where each one needs to find what works for them? Why is it a waste of time? Especially if I enjoy say, dancing, swimming, running etc?
    2. A person working indoors in an AC room doesn’t sweat when they lift weights as much as they run around or dance. In that case, isn’t sweating good for you?
    3. Heart rate going up while running Vs heart rate going up when I squat and hold Vs heart rate going up when I lift weights – what’s the difference in terms of what it does to the body?

    • Vizeet November 23, 2011 at 11:39 pm

      I think by cardio he means running or cycling at constant speed for long time. Point is what do you achieve by running or cycling at constant speed. Do you build muscles or build stamina? Actually none. I used to run for 5 km per day in a gym but once I tried playing football I realized that I do not have enough stamina.
      Humans are evolved to be able to perform persistence hunting and can run for hours but the activity is not supposed to be done everyday. Constant high speed running is heavy on heart and you need to give it longer rest.

    • Vizeet November 24, 2011 at 1:10 pm

      There is also lot of difference between running and swimming. In swimming you control your breath which makes a lot of difference.

    • RG November 24, 2011 at 1:21 pm

      You don’t need ‘cardio’ (the way it is meant today) to actually work your heart muscles. Heart rate can be increased and decreased via multi joint multi planar compound exercises too. A circuit type training, for example, achieves this and gets you stronger. When you can get stronger, mobile, faster AND get cadiovascular benefit from training smart, why get on a treadmill/elliptical and race against numbers? So dump chronic medium intensity cardio if the only reason you’re doing it is for fat loss. On the other hand, if you enjoy running or biking or swimming or dancing… by all means… go for it! Just dont do it cos u think itll help you get lean.

  4. Vizeet November 23, 2011 at 11:20 pm

    Simple and Sexy!!! Gr8 post…
    Evening workouts impacts my sleep cycle so I prefer morning time but I think this must be individual experience and not universal truth. Every individual is different.

  5. Mahesh November 24, 2011 at 8:01 am

    Awesome post. How true!

  6. varsha tiwary November 24, 2011 at 11:04 am

    I dunno Raj but I cd fix my hypoglycemia , my tendency to run to fat only when I stopped taking carb + fat combos which i absolutely love – but which sit like a tonne of bricks in my tummy.
    It did not matter how much real food carbs I ate till the early thirties -could assimilate them all ,work out taht much too though all in chronic cardio.
    But after two kids and office sitting you got to eliminate carb laden with fats even when they are real and whole.Whenever my carb intake goes up as during long periods of travel – I put on .Activity levels after a while become self limiting for most of us – but reducing intake is more difficult .I find it too difficult to eat carb + fat virtuously . I think we all must experiment and find what works for our bodies and life stage .
    i absolutely love your input on all else -especially time of exercise .
    I would like to add that you can work out early morning one day and late evening the other ,and when it is cold and foggy – in the lunch break -because mornings and evenings are too cold.It is important to to ensure that you have had your sleep quota and are distraction free than being a prisoner of a set time.

    • RG November 24, 2011 at 1:43 pm

      “I find it too difficult to eat carb + fat virtuously . I think we all must experiment and find what works for our bodies and life stage .” = common sense. Right? That’s all Im sayin.

      Carbs + fat = uber stimulating. Any smart person will know what makes them gain and/or lose and eat appropriately. I’m sorry but (unless you have serious hormonal/physiological problems) I think you have to be stupid/careless to get obese.

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  8. Rob Flanders November 26, 2011 at 4:48 am

    Still delivering your Blog posts the way I like it Raj. Packed full of info, to the point and a must read. Do me a favour and “up the ante”. Too long between posts. Now i know your a busy guy but What about us? HaHa Just kidding. Keep up the good work dude!

  9. bee November 29, 2011 at 3:22 am

    3 or 4 times a year? in india there’s a festival every freaking week with people trying to force you to eat crap. sugar doesn’t kill, but what does it provide? it leaches vitamins from your body, is toxic when ingested with polyunsaturated fats (fructose is) and messes up my insulin levels and general well-being.

    it pisses me off when people tell me “a bit of sugar won’t hurt you.” (not you, raj, people who can’t handle that i don’t eat like they do.) or “a bit of wheat won’t hurt you.” why and how it is any of their business?

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  11. Jackie March 16, 2012 at 11:44 pm

    I stumbled upon your blog. I read everything on here about nutrition. You completely convinced me ( I have a background in physiology), yet, I avoided your site like the plague. I was not overweight, but you revealed to me how poor my diet was. But I kept coming back. First, every month. Then, every week. Then, every day. Why, I asked myself, do I keep coming back to reread everything? Because I realized I was aching to be healthy. To let go of sugar and gluten. I’ve done it. Thanks to you, and myself. Not to brag, but my body is even more beautiful now. Even after birthing four kids and being mid-thirties. People tell me I don’t even look like I have one kid. I have genetics on my side, but you helped me to tap into them. I feel like I shoul pay you. You rock.

  12. Krithika March 22, 2012 at 12:07 am

    Very late reply to this write-up but I have a few things to say. Thank you for writing this Raj. I read this article so often, and have linked so many people to it that I almost have it memorized. I am slowly dropping the grains…ever so slowly…like really slowly, but I am doing it and I can feel the improvement. Also, most of my workouts these days are NOT on machines…My weighing scale hasn’t budged in a while, but I am fitting into clothes that I haven’t been able to fit in, in years…that is real victory to me (I am a girl after all :D)

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