The future of health & fitness

Alright folks. I know I’ve been MIA for a while now but I’m not going to write a big story about how my life was super busy or how I enjoyed a great vacation forgetting to blog blah blah. The important thing is that I’m back and I promise to blog more frequently moving forward.

Let’s get practical

So in the last 6 months or so, if you realized, I haven’t written much sciency articles or anything that talks about the minutiae in nutrition and/or fitness. The reason for this is two fold.

1. Most of the important stuff about nutrition and training that applies to the health and fitness enthusiast, I’ve already covered. I’ve written about RealFood and saturated fat and grains and vegetables and protein requirements and macronutrient splits and superfoods and alcohol and overtraining and the best exercises and running and cardio and fat loss and much more.

2. That being the case, I’m trying not to force my readers into the ‘paralysis by analysis’ zone. I find that there are plenty of great websites/blogs that get deeper and deeper into nutrition (and fitness) resulting in (inadvertently) confusing the reader. While analysis is uber important, for the common man and for the health & fitness enthusiast whose profession is not nutrition or health or fitness, such in-depth obsessive analysis only results in paralysis.

What I have realized in the last 6 months to a year is that people don’t succeed in moving towards a healthier fitter lifestyle, not because they don’t know what to do, but because they don’t know how to do it. Let me explain.

Real-life examples help

I have an awesome online client whose goal was to lose some fat and get healthy. She was in the heavier side to begin with and had specific weight loss goals. As you may know, the heavier the person, the more the absolute weight loss you expect to start off with. So when we started, I expected her to lose about 1 kg per week. She started and saw a kilo (~ 2lb) of weight loss in the first 2-3 weeks. This could be attributed to reduction in junk food consumption and water loss and hence not true fat loss.

As weeks went by, she kept updating me with her weight and measurements and weirdly we saw no change. No fat loss. No weight loss even. Measurements were also the same. I checked with her and she said she has been doing everything required – eating only real food, working out per the plan, sleeping enough etc. She admitted that she had a few slips here and there but she had been sticking to the plan for 95% of the time.

This obviously, baffled me. I went back to her food log, again, and had a nice long look. It all seemed fine. When asked about how she felt otherwise, she mentioned that she saw improvements in all areas except weight and measurements. That is, her mood was better, energy levels were high, skin was better etc etc. So, clearly, RealFood was definitely doing its thing, but was not helping with fat loss. While I asked her to wait things out and give her body the time to heal I was concerned as to why this was happening.

My next suggestion was to get her thyroid checked. She got it tested and all her numbers were kind of normal. Her TSH was a little high but nothing too crazy. Again… baffled. We had a few calls back and forth trying to figure this out and then she sent me an email saying she was going to give this plan an honest shot for the next 30 days. If things went well, that’s great. If not, this plan didn’t work for her. I agreed and she said she wouldn’t contact me until the 30 days were over.

At the end of 4 weeks, she sends me an email saying she’s lost 5 kg.

Well… how did that happen? Did we change the plan? No. Did she eat any special superfood or pills? No. Did she go out and start working out 10 times a week? No. Then how did this happen?  Simple really. Initially, she didn’t do the plan as is. Now, in these 30 days, she did it. And why did this happen? During the initial stages, she was unaware of how to do this right and as a result did it wrong. In the last 30 days, since she set a hard deadline for herself, she was determined to find a way to do it and, well, she found a way and did it right.

What’s my point here?

Most people either take this too lightly or don’t put in enough effort to do it right. And why does this happen? Because most people are lost in the “how to do this” zone. For example, my client, from above, would’ve been able to do this right the first time if she had better a better understanding of the “how to” part of the concept.

To try and solve that issue, I’ve written in the past about how to create your own optimal diet and about how to design your own training plan. I’m know it helped a bunch of folks, but I still don’t think it is enough. So, moving forward, I plan on writing a lot addressing the practical aspects of RealFood, optimal training and lifestyle changes. In other words, my future articles will focus on…

  • Sample diet plans
  • Examples of training routines that can be done with little to no equipment
  • Ways to eat RealFood when traveling
  • RealFood recipes
  • Simple non-obsessive ways to include more RealFood in your diet
  • RealFood for kids
  • RealFood for older folks
  • RealFood with little to no meat
  • Motivation

In my dictionary, sustainability is more important, MUCH more important, than anything else. If you look at RealFood as another diet to lose weight, then it will only act like another diet i.e making you skinny, weak, unhappy, irritable and eventually, fat again. The point is to make lifestyle changes.

We live in an age of information overload. The problem is not lack of information but over abundance of it. The future of health and fitness is sorting through the BS and finding a way to make sustainable lifestyle changes. And that’s exactly what I’ll be focusing on.

If you guys have any thoughts on this or any suggestions as to what you’d like addressed talk about it in the comments section and I’ll be sure to address it.

Peace out.

13 responses to “The future of health & fitness

  1. mokshi83 March 28, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    Hi Raj,
    I will be looking forward to your suggestions in subsequent blogs. It would be great, if you could provide some alternatives to follow Real Food for people like me who are currently dependent on cafeteria lunch (which is a standard ‘indian’ meal with no variations in composition)… what are the alternatives to that?

  2. deeptinatarajan March 28, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    Hi Raj, have you written anything yet on the benefits and importance on regular sleep timings and adequate sleep hours?

  3. swarna mani March 28, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    I am sure you will be addressing this but just in case. Sustainability using Real food. Mostly I go out of my real food line when I am very tired to begin with , if its once a week I do not mind but what if its a very tight schedule week, how to stay in real food during those times?

    • Krithika March 29, 2012 at 5:37 am

      Awesome point. My situation exactly. I try very hard to stay clean, but my commute to work alone takes me 3 hours a day and a lot of days, I am too tired to get anything decent to eat…just grab absolutely anything edible and available. I do recognize that the fact that crap is available makes me go for it!

  4. Madhuram March 29, 2012 at 7:06 am

    For me this post was a “need of the hour” post. Eagerly waiting to learn more from you.

  5. Hari Haran. V March 29, 2012 at 11:35 am

    Great Article! Welcome Back & Rock On!

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  8. sukanyasv March 31, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    Looking forward to the new posts!!! I must admit, my eating habits have changed considerably in the last couple of years thanks to your blog..I might not be following any plan but its kinda become the way of life these days and am glad 🙂

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  11. Tracey May 1, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    Just came across your blog! Very interesting reading indeed. I really like what I’ve read so far and look forward to reading more.

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