Category Archives: Observations

Don’t be an idiot

So about 5 weeks back, I came home from The Quad and brought along with me a pair of pushup handles since I had twisted my left wrist pretty bad while doing some non-training related activity. Due to the messed up wrist, I wasn’t able to do many traditional moves and hence was working within what I could do without aggravating the injury. That night was upper body day and so I decided to do a simple push-pull combo. This was the workout…

Repeat for a total of 10 rounds.

  • 5 pushups @ BW + 70lbs
  • Rest 90 seconds
  • 5 bent over barbell rows @ 135 lbs
  • Rest 90 seconds

I usually try and do more pulls than pushes to even out the chronic anterior-posterior imbalance we all suffer from, so every other round, I added in 10 pullups. So overall it works out to be 50 pushups @ BW + 70lbs, 50 pullups @ BW and 50 rows @ 135 lbs. Being 145 lbs, this is a fairly intense workout but by no means crazy. The goal was exerting optimal power within the constraints of proper technique. If at any point of time my technique was compromised in any exercise I decided to stop the step.

The loads felt light and I kept knocking each rep out of the park. Rest periods were perfect and I felt strong overall. At about the 5th set, as I continued to feel great, I very subconsciously decided that I was going to kill this workout. That is when shit hit the fan.

I reached the 8th round and as I was doing my 4th pushup, I felt some discomfort on my right shoulder (possibly from overly compensating using my right side due to subconsciously trying to reduce load on the left wrist). I consciously ignored it and went on to do my final and hardest rep. I grit my teeth through the pain and completed the set in style but after the set, I felt considerable stiffness on my right shoulder. I did some basic shoulder mobility work and expected to feel better. Since I didn’t feel too much better after the mobility work, I decided that for the 9th and 10th rounds I would not do weighted pushups but would do bodyweight pushups instead. Painful and uncomfortable as they were, the last two rounds were  already“step-downs” from my original plan and, in my head, I “needed” to do “at least” this. Not doing the last two sets was not an option (at that time).

So I did about 25 pushups in each round and successfully completed the workouts with 40 pushups @ BW + 70lbs, 50 pushups @ BW, 50 pullups @ BW and 50 rows @ 135 lbs.

I woke up the next morning with an overly stiff and painful shoulder and since then have been nursing that shoulder till date. While I’m not in pain anymore, I’ll tell you I’m well away from feeling a 100%. This messed up my training pretty badly. I’ve met 4 different physical therapists, spent over Rs 8000, taken two non-consequetive weeks completely off from training and am only now slowly getting back to training with a plan.

One rep! Just than one damn rep! If only I had stopped before that rep, I would not have had to suffer for more than a month. I’m such an idiot! Right?

I’m an idiot alright, but it wasn’t that one rep that caused the damage. As a matter of fact, it wasn’t that set or that workout or even the workouts before that. I wasn’t overtrained or fatigued. I wasn’t lacking focus or sleep. I wasn’t eating junk and was by no means weak.

So then, what caused the damage? Honestly, my attitude. My attitude towards training is what caused all this havoc. Let me explain.

Like most fitness enthusiasts, I have a tendency to get carried away when I workout. Though I have solid goals defined for each mesocycle and for each workout, I tend to forget those and get lost in the moment. I try to kill every single workout. If you have been training for a while, you’ll know that’s a recipe for disaster and if you’re brutally honest with yourself, you’ll realize you do it yourself!

In this specific case, my goal for the quarter was strength. Not max pushups or fat loss but strength. And for me to get stronger I need to train very consistently. And for me to train consistently, well, I need to stay injury free. So, though, at that time, that last rep seemed like it was taking me towards my goal of getting stronger, by doing the rep I injured myself which has set me far far away from my goals.

What do I need now? Rehab? A new training plan? Some postural alignment? Sure. I need all of these. But most importantly I need a change in attitude. I need to look at training as training. I need to focus on the big picture. I need to not be penny wise pound foolish. I need to train myself to work towards a larger goal be it strength or long term injury free living or general health.

Similarly, very very similarly, it isn’t that one week binge that made you fat. It isn’t that one cheat meal that made you “fall off the wagon”. It isn’t that diet that made you sick of health and fitness. It isn’t that trip you had to make that messed up all your efforts.

It is your attitude. It is your attitude towards transformations and fat loss and health. Let me break it down further.

  • If you think you can eat junk tonight and “burn it off” tomorrow either by doing some extra reps or extra cardio, you need a change in attitude.
  • If you think you can “go on a diet” and lose in 6 weeks what you have gained in 6 years, you need a change in attitude.
  • If you think eating well for 3 days gives you the leeway to stuff your face on the 4th day, you need a change in attitude.
  • If you think you can just moving your arms and legs for a few minutes three times a week and saying no to cake once a week will fix all your health problems, you need a change in attitude.
  • If you think the people who look awesome or perform at a high level or live forever just put in a few weeks of work, you bloody well need a change in attitude.

To help you and I change our attitudes, I’ll present here the most inspiring thing I’ve ever heard.

Understand that health or fitness or looking awesome or reversing a disease is a long term effort. You are not going to sport those sexy abs with a 6-min abs program. You’re not going to become an awesome athlete with half-assed mobility work. You are not going to lose (and keep off) those extra 20kg by going on a diet for 2 months. You are not going to live to see your great grandchildren by eating at pizza hut every other day. You are not going to reverse diabetes by replacing sugar with splenda. And we are not going to get anywhere with an attitude that undermines real work.

We are only going to achieve all this by possessing one thing – consistency. Consistent effort leads to sustainable long term results. Period. Be it aesthetics or performance or blogging or cooking or meditation or even life in general, consistency results in excellence while inconsistency results in mediocrity.

And just to be sure you and I got the message, I’ll say it again…

Don’t be an idiot. Focus on the big picture.

Adios!

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Pre-menstrual syndrome, weight gain, carb cravings and cramps

One of the hardest times for all of humanity is when women have their period. While men walk around thinking “Ummm… what the hell did I do to deserve that firing?” women walk around ready to beat up anything in sight. Being the excruciatingly painful experience that this is, the reactions are definitely understandable. But, in addition to feeling physical pain/discomfort, suffering from fatigue and giving in to the almost irresistible urge of believing that “Hey honey, would you like some more cheese?” actually means “Hey fatty! Want more cheese to fill in that bellay?? huh??”, the week(s) leading up to the period is one of the hardest chapters in getting and staying in shape.

Many many women face problems during this time that they aren’t able to understand or deal with and I end up getting a tonne of SOS emails. In this post, I’ll address a few of them.

I’m having my period and feel exhausted but I don’t want to miss a workout session! Should I workout? What should I do?

Firstly, kill the obsession. Realize that you’re not going to workout for only the next 3 months. Fitness a lifelong thing and you need to stay active and/or train forever to be able to stay in shape forever. So missing a workout session here and there for legitimate reasons is absolutely fine.

Secondly, treat your period as any other day. If, in a normal day, you feel wiped out for whatever reason (say, stress, lack of sleep, not enough food etc.) how would you deal with that? Would you power through it and workout? Would you take the day off and recover? Would you still workout but only do as much as you can? Same deal. Listen to your body when you have your period.

  • If you are truly exhausted and aren’t able to focus physically and mentally, it is definitely a great idea to skip the workout. No big deal.
  • If you feel not too tired but not 100%, do something light. Work on mobility. Do a series of bodyweight moves (squat, pushups, pullups, burpees, planks, thrusts, hinges etc.) at a relatively low intensity i.e. never going to failure and resting plenty between sets.
  • If you feel like you can power through it, go ahead and kill the workout.

Bottom line is to listen to your body and act based on how you feel.

– – – – – x – – – – –

I weighed myself today and I’ve gained 2 kilos!! I’ve been eating right and working out regularly but still, this happens! This happens to me all the time. Maybe I’m not cut out to be in shape. Maybe its my genetics. Maybe I’m just cursed. I just don’t seem to lose weight consistently. I lose some and in about three weeks gain 1-2 kilos! Why is this happening to me? Please help!

Here’s some good news for you. You haven’t gained fat. Those 2 kilos are not fat, but water. 1 kilo of fat is 7,700 calories. So for you to have gained 2 kilos of fat, you should have eaten ~ 15,000 calories in excess and that ain’t happening unless you eat 2000 extra calories every day for a week. That’s like eating half a dozen donuts everyday for seven days straight. Well, if you did eat similar to this, then yea, what you gained is fat but chances are you didn’t eat like my man Doug Heffernan.

Water retention is a very common PMS symptom. It generally occurs a week or two before your period and tends to wear off by day 2 or 3 of your period. Though why this exactly happens is still unclear, it is due to hormonal fluctuations that are possibly hereditary. The increase in scale weight is merely due to excess water being retained in your body and is not worthy of phone calls or emails starting with “O… M… F… G!!!”.

That said, here are some ways to keep water retention under control,

  • Watch the salt. No reason to go salt-free or super low salt, but don’t over-salt your food.
  • Drink more water than you normally do. And no, the excess water will not be retained.
  • Remove allergens like wheat, vegetable oils, unsoaked legumes/lentils/beans etc from your diet for the most part.
  • Get more calcium. Don’t even think about popping in pills. Just get yourself a couple of extra cups of whole milk  or probiotic yogurt or a few ounces of cheese.
  • Supplement with Magnesium, if required.
  • On other days, exercise intensely and consistently and stay active all day every day.

– – – – – x – – – – –

I get very severe carb cravings a week before my period! I try hard to resist it but end up eating sugary junk until the cravings subside. What is happening here? Am I doing something wrong?

Once again, this is a common PMS symptom and something that needs attention. The carb cravings that happen during the week leading up to your period are not the same as other general carb cravings that need to be controlled.

For those who don’t know serotonin, it is a neurotransmitter that is primarily found in the GI tract (gut) and is a major contributor of feelings of well-being and happiness and during menstruation a woman’s serotonin levels are at their lowest. Since carbs increase the availability of tryptophan (amino acid precursor to serotonin), it is fairly natural to crave carbs during this period.

The solution here isn’t really to power through the cravings and fight against them and, at the same time, also not to give into the junk food. The the best and most healthful way to address the issue is to eat a more carbs than usual but stick to high quality carbs, especially starches like sweet potatoes, cooked white rice, fruit etc. How much more? That depends on the craving but it is also wise to remember that you’re only addressing the lack of serotonin and don’t posses a pass to binge and get fat.

While it is true that during the week leading up to your period, your glycogen storage potential/capability is increased and hence your body can utilize the excess carbs for glycogen repletion/storage as opposed to storing them as fat, too much in excess and you will start adding goo.

– – – – – x – – – – –

Every month I get pre-menstrual cramps. These cramps are so brutally painful I roll into a ball and weep. I take the day off from work and I’m at home all day doing nothing but suffering through the pain. What can I do?

Many (too many) of my female clients start working with me (for fat loss of course) and within a few weeks report that the unbearable pre-menstrual cramps are now very bearable and in a couple of months, they say, it is almost non-existent.

Why this happens is definitely a huge topic and is something I’ll discuss in detail later because it is outside the scope of this article but I’ll talk quickly about how to fix this.

  • Remove all allergens from your diet – wheat, other allergenic grains, vegetable oils high in omega-6, unsoaked legumes/lentils/beans.
  • Get plenty of omega-3s from fish or fish oil.
  • Supplement with Magnesium.
  • Get a good dose of sunlight or supplement with vitamin D.
  • Get enough and more calcium from high quality dairy.

For 6 weeks do the above. Don’t cheat by tricking yourself into believing a little bit of wheat is fine or junk food every 3 days is fine etc. Do the 6-week stint with utmost sincerity, gauge your results and then make a call on what foods you want to keep in your diet and what foods you want out. Julianne from Paleo & Zone Nutrition talks about pre-menstrual cramps and ways to overcome them with nutrition in great detail and is an absolute must read if you suffer from pre-menstrual cramps.

Peace out.

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.

What is the best rate to lose fat?

Why am I losing only 1kg per week? How can lose more weight faster? How much longer before I reach my ideal body weight? By when can I expect to lose X kgs? 

These are all questions I get from clients and readers all the time and are questions that truly reek of desperation. Being an advocate of sensible and sustainable transformation, I thought it is best that I address the issue in detail while keeping the text as simple as possible.

This is what happens after 12 days on the die-on-the-13th-day diet

Truthfully, everyone wants to go to bed looking like Fat Albert and wake up like Will Smith. But, as fate would have it, the human body doesn’t function thataway. Fat loss is a very complex process that involves changes from the cellular to the organ level… but a process that is triggered by some very simple actions.

Unless you are clinically obese and/or have serious hormonal imbalances/autoimmune diseases, it is unacceptable that you are ‘unable’ to lose fat. In other words, if you are overweight and have been unsuccessfully trying to lose fat for a while, you either have something wrong under the hood (think: hormonal imbalances, micro-nutrient deficiencies or other physiological we don’t understand right away) or you’re not doing the right stuff (think: wrong diet, stupid training, stressful lifestyle etc.).

Fat loss for dummies

So what is so simple about fat loss? I’ll try to explain fat loss in 3 (overly simplified) steps.

  1. When you take in calories (i.e. eat food) you utilize (burn) the required calories and store the remaining calories for future use (in fat cells). These extra calories are stored as body fat.
  2. Consequently, when you take in lesser calories than you require, you utilize all the calories that you take in via food and then get the remaining of what is required from what is stored. That is, you burn the fat and fuel the machine (your body).
  3. So, irrespective of who you are, you need to be utilizing more calories than you consume in order to lose fat.

So, if you are overweight and are having trouble losing fat, it could only mean one thing – you are not utilizing your fat stores to fuel your activities. While this is easily perceived in a healthy body without any systemic derangement, even in the case that something is metabolically wrong (hypothyroidism, leptin resistance, insulin resistance, compromised fat oxidation capabilities etc.), what really happens is that the metabolic handicap restricts you from either mobilizing and/or oxidizing the energy (fat) and hence results in forcing you to stay fat. There is, of course, much much more to fat loss and the many mysteries behind fat loss, but that is beyond the scope of this article.

So why did I even mention all this? Today, thanks to the media, the word fat loss (or weight loss) has been so misinterpreted that…

  • we don’t quite know what it truly is and the complexity involved in its happening.
  • we don’t understand how simple actions can initiate fat loss resulting in long term sustainable results.

And as a result, we end up doing extremely complex actions to initiate (what we think is) a simple process and expect drastic results within a very short period of time (think: zero carb diets, oil-less cooking, detox, raw diets, fat burners, appetite suppressants  etc etc). This is either due to an insufficient understanding of the mechanics of fat loss or due to the baseless belief that if results require actions then awesome results require complex actions or both.

In other words, this is the equivalent of wanting to go from point A to point B using your car but hoping that a certain magical combination of gear shaft movements will potentiate the car to fly and hence reach your destination in record time. Sadly, a lot of people just end up sitting in their cars for years and years trying out the trillion possible gear shaft combinations that would make them fly while all they need to do is to displace that shaft left and up and start moving towards their destination.

Are we there yet?

So now, let’s assume you ‘understand’ fat loss and finally start driving to your destination. How long of a drive is it really? How long will it take you to reach your fat loss goals?

Honestly, I have no idea! But, sticking to the same analogy, the duration of travel and your rate of fat loss depends on a lot of things.

  • How far is your journey? How much fat do you have to lose?
  • Have you been this route before? Do you have any experience with trying to lose fat?
  • Are you taking the long comfortable route or are you taking the short crazy route? Are you planning on losing fat the slow and healthy way or are you looking to go on a (crash) diet?
  • How many unexpected traffic jams are possible? How many forced deviations (vacation, birthdays, business travel etc.) are possible?
  • How often do you take a detour? How often do you deviate from what needs to be done wrt nutrition and training and sleep?
  • And most importantly, how good is the vehicle? Does it have issues under the hood that you are unaware of that might slow you down or force you to stop a few times? Does your body have issues (hormonal imbalances, insulin resistance etc etc.) that you are unaware of that might affect the rate of fat loss?

With so many variables no one can ever tell you how long it will take you to reach your goals or exactly how many pounds of fat you can lose every week. And if someone does promise you a number, then the person is possibly hoping for weight reduction by means of making your wallet skinny.

Estimated rate of fat loss

That said, there is always an estimate. This estimate generally takes into account all these variables and is fairly relevant for the majority of general public. This estimated number holds true for rate of fat loss as it does for speed. If an estimated 30 min drive took you 3 hours, then there is something seriously wrong somewhere and if it took you only 6 minutes, then there is something very unsafe about it. You see my point?

Jumping off the analogy for a bit (only a little bit ‘cos I know you love this!) and talking purely fat loss, the general rate of safe fat loss per week for a generally healthy person is about 0.5-1% body weight per my observations. That is, if you weigh 150 lb (68 kg) and are looking to lose fat, a fat loss rate of 0.75-1.5 lb/week (0.35-0.7 kg/week) seems to be ideal. At this rate, it seems to be possible to continually lose mostly fat without risking loss of lean tissue or starvation.

While your rate could be higher or lower depending on your variables, this serves as a yardstick. Anything much more than this and you’re losing weight too fast which means you’re burning plenty of muscle and possibly pushing your body into a starvation mode. Anything much lower than this and you are best served taking a more critical look into your nutrition and/or training and/or thyroid. (Note that if you are just starting a fat loss phase and are losing a lot more than this, it could be due to water loss and is nothing to be worried about. Your rate of fat loss will eventually drop down and fall within this range)

So if you are losing at a rate that is within this window, smile and keep fighting the good fight for as long as it takes ‘cos you definitely are on the most optimal route to reaching your fat loss goals.

What is the reward?

I don’t want to take the analogy too far (if I haven’t already) but everyone’s travel time is different and it depends on too many variables, some of which you have control over and some of which you don’t. But once you realize that irrespective of how long this takes, this is your trip and you need to do this to look forward to a better future, the boring long “are we there yet?” trip becomes a journey! A journey during which you learn so damn much about yourself, your body, your physical capabilities, your mental toughness and much much more!

So instead of acting like the kid on the back seat constantly asking ‘How much longer?’, frowning, whining and sulking, be the kid that is super excited to be on a journey and has his head out the window! Make it count, make it memorable and make it something you’d remember for life ‘cos at the end of the day it is what you learn about yourself during this transformation that matters. In other words, the journey is the reward!

Peace out.

Do something already!

We read about the why people think they fail in their fat loss goals and then we read about why fat loss is truly simple… and now comes the most important part.

Its not all or nothing!

Say you want to go from point A to point B. Will you ever get to point B if you don’t ever leave point A? More specifically, if you want to go from fatburg to fitshire, irrespective of how long your journey is, will you ever get to fitshire if you won’t ever leave fatburg?

My point is, most people lose the battle cos they refuse to fight it! The most important step towards reaching your goals is to not do the right thing but to…

do something!

If you know you’re in bad shape or want to get in better shape, well, do something about it already! Stop complaining. Stop whining. Stop finding excuses. Stop waiting for the best opportunity. Just freakin DO SOMETHING!

And what is something? Honestly, anything other than nothing is something. Off the top of my head, here are a few ‘somethings’ you can do.

  • Drop junk. Start by reducing the frequency of junk consumption.
  • Eat more protein. If you’re vegetarian read this article.
  • Make a conscious effort to eat more vegetables and less starch.
  • Drop wheat and other potential allergens for the most part. i.e. dont fear wheat, but don’t make it a staple either.
  • Dump vegetable oils at home. Enjoy your ghee and butter and coconut oil and save the vegetable oils for the unavoidable situations.
  • Move some weight. Doesnt matter if these are barbells or bar stools. Move em!
  • Do pushups, squats and chinups if you can do them. If you can’t, feel ashamed and work on getting strong enough to do them.
  • Stay mobile. Don’t sit if you can stand. Don’t stand if you can walk. Make a decision to walk 15 min today. Walk for an extra 2 min every day and in a month you would have found enough time and heart to walk 75 mins a day.
  • Sprint. If you don’t know how to sprint, run as fast as you can for a short distance. Rest for a couple of mins and repeat a few times.
  • Work on developing some common sense. No seriously. Pizza doesn’t make you obese. Sugar doesn’t kill. Stupidity resulting in frequent uncontrolled gluttony is what messes you up.

It is not all or nothing folks… its never all or nothing. You don’t have to do everything I recommend (or anyone else does). Find what works for you at this very moment and start with that. You can make further improvements later.

As a matter of fact, as you read this line right now, make a decision to do something. Small, big… doesn’t matter. Make a decision… quick! Confused? OK here is one I recommend – throw out the junk from the house. All of it. If you want junk, you can walk to the store, buy some and eat it there. We’ll figure out the rest later. Just do this for now.

Don’t refuse to start cos its all too intimidating.

I now eat a diet that is 70% grains (rice or wheat) with some vegetables cooked in vegetable oil, some low fat dairy, fruit juice and snacks. You want me to dump all grains and fruit juice? Ok that’s 80% of my diet gone! And you want me to dump vegetable oils? Ok… thats another 10% gone! And you want me to eat only whole organic dairy? Wow Raj! You’re telling me everything I eat is wrong. Your approach is too intimidating! I’ll get to it when I am in a better place in life.

I get this all the time and I totally understand where you are coming from. But remember, it took you 20+ years to be able to earn and support yourself and a family. Imagine doing this when you were 13? Scary shit right? Same deal! Making a complete dietary change might be too hard and intimidating for you. If that is the case, take it slow. Make one change at a time. Transition into eating real food. It is much easier than you think it is.

There is money on the table!

Too many people fuck around too much and end up doing nothing. This is truly the story of everyone’s life. I understand there is so much information about fat loss and health (all claiming to be legit) out there and it is equally easy to be overwhelmed with all this as it is to stay ignorant. But, seriously, cut the crap.

Listen. I know berries have more fiber and anti-oxidants than bananas. Yes, ghee is better than butter. And yea, sprinting is more beneficial than low intensity cardio. But these are minutiae! If you can reduce your consumption of junk food, industrial seed oils and allergenic grains (wheat, quinoa etc.) to once or twice a week,  eat more organic vegetables, fruits, meat and good fats and stay active in life by moving some, playing a sport and/or training smart 2-3 times a week, you are 90% there! In other words, these are money on the table! Just pick em up! Figure out the rest later.

Truth is, you will always find one excuse or the other to put this away. Why? Because transformations are hard and you, naturally, will find reasons to avoid doing it. Explains the astronomical success of the supplement industry in the recent years doesn’t it?

Stop waiting for the most perfect diet or the one pill that will make you look awesome or everything in life to line up so you can start eating well ‘cos these things won’t ever happen! Be it “I work 12 hours a day” or “I don’t want to shower twice a day” or “My gym is too far” or “I don’t know how to cook real food”, they all mean the same thing – “I don’t have the will to commit to making a change. I’m weak. I’m not efficient enough to make time for my and my family’s health. I’m full of excuses!”

You and only you can make a difference to your health and it is up to you to do so. Or let’s make this 937 word article short and just say…

Suck it up and do something already!

Peace out.

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