Tag Archives: diet

Walking The Talk – Update

Note:

  1. I am into “fitness” and my goal is to get as strong and fast as possible while staying healthy and lean.
  2. I’m not into bodybuilding and hence care more about my strength and endurance than my bicep measurement.
  3. You can see my other updates here, here, and here.

Why do I post updates?

Well, because I want my readers and clients to know I don’t just sit there and say stuff. I’m not one of those internet fitness experts who use the picture they clicked in 1987! I believe in what I recommend. I practice what I preach. I walk the talk!

Anyways, the last time I gave you guys an update was in December, so I figured it is time for one. So, here ya go…

Nutrition:

  • 90% real food with some cheats here and there.
  • Very laid back. Ate out as much as I cooked at home.
  • 2-3 meals a day. Intermittent fasting (Leangains) on most days.
  • Protein sources: Meat, eggs, whey (~ 150-175 gm protein per day).
  • Carb sources: Sweet potato, white rice, other veggies.
  • Fat sources: Avocado, butter, coconut, dairy
  • Click here for more specifics on my nutrition.

Training:

  • Full body strength training 3 days a week.
  • Sprint once a week.
  • Ab work: Maybe 1 set of 8-10 hanging leg raises per week.
  • Off days: Walking (~45-60 min), mobility work, handstands, pistols etc.
  • Click here to see what my training looks like.

Results:

  • Back Squat 5RM went up 25 lb.
  • Front Squat 5RM went up 15 lb.
  • Deadlift 5RM went up 15 lb.
  • Dumbbell Press 8RM Went up 10 lb.
  • Bodyweight Chin-ups went up by 4 reps.
  • Weighted Chin-up 5RM went up 5 lb.
  • Bodyweight went down 4 lbs in 12 weeks.
  • Recent picture below…

 

Peace out.

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I Love You India But… Things Have Changed

Picture from Littlefoodjunction

The ancient Indian diet used to…

  • be rich in saturated fats (especially from dairy, ghee and coconut).
  • contain only little vegetable oils.
  • only contain grains that had be fermented/sprouted extensively.
  • include a multitude of different spices (turmeric, holy basil, coriander etc.) with amazing health benefits.
  • provide enough calories (and carbohydrates) to fuel the intense activity of our ancestors.

The present typical Indian diet…

  • is dominated by grains which are cooked too quickly and carelessly.
  • has little to no protein.
  • is high in vegetable oils.
  • is stripped out of healthy fats.
  • is loaded with anti-nutrients from grains and legumes due to lack of sprouting/fermenting.
  • is deficient multiple vitamins (especially A and B12) and minerals due to the lack of vegetables and animal foods.
  • contains more carbohydrates than is safe for the current lifestyle.
  • is extremely high in (empty) calories (and carbohydrates) for the obvious sedentarism being commonly exhibited.

Though the country isn’t plagued with junk food and fast food chains yet and though most people still eat home cooked meals, today India…

  • has the highest number of diabetics in the world.
  • accounts for 60% of heart disease cases worldwide.
  • is home to ~ 174 million overweight/obese people (in spite of widespread hunger and poverty)
  • has ~ 71 million people suffering from iodine deficiency.
  • ranks 2nd in the world with respect to children suffering from malnutrition.
  • has 4 children under the age of 5 dying every minute due to preventable diseases and lack of immunity.
  • is the country in the world with the lowest number of total Olympic medals per capita.

Maybe there is a connection? Maybe we need to be a bit more open minded? Maybe we should stop with the ‘The Indian vegetarian diet is the healthiest diet!‘? Maybe we should consider a change?

You tell me!

Peace out.

Why diets fail

No stupid introductions. I’ll jump right to the point which is ‘why most dieters fail to achieve their fat loss goals’.

Thinking about food constantly:

If your diet is making you think about food all the time, you’re on the wrong diet. Constantly thinking about food induces cravings (and even releases insulin in some folks) which results in frustration and dissatisfaction and an overall crappy feeling which results in binge eating or breaking the diet with smart statements like “F*ck dieting! Life is short I’m going to enjoy it!”

A good diet is one which gives you the physical and mental freedom to get shit done. Life is not all about food. So stop obsessing about food and direct your attention and energy towards something more productive.

Obsessing about food quantity:

Calories matter. Sure. But not to the extent you think they do. Realize that the number of calories you are trying to hit is just a number. Your body doesn’t say “Oh crap! This is calorie number 1901 and my daily limit was 1900. Every calorie from now I should store as fat!”. Sorry. Doesn’t work that way. The number of calories you put in your mouth is not the same as the number of calories your body receives. Why? That’s a topic for another day.

Calculating calories precisely is impossible. An apple provides 75 calories. Or does it? What if the apple is bigger? Or smaller? A pizza slice has 200 calories per slice. Really? What if the random guy who made the pizza put some extra cheese? Or what if he cut the slice a little too big? Or small? Or put more dough in the crust? The point here is that trying to eat an exact number of calories is a sure shot way to failure.

A good diet will give you the flexibility to eat a little more or a little less. Portion control is all that is required. Simple math will go a long way in helping you stay in the bandwagon. Complex calorie counting will kick you out of the bandwagon faster than you can ever imagine.

Obsessing about food quality:

We live in the 21st century. A time where more than 1/4th of your meals are prepared by some guy who you never knew and will never ever know. You can’t expect all your meals to be cooked with the best quality ingredients. Wild caught fish is better than farmed ones. Sure. Organic is better than chemical filled. Sure. Extra virgin is better than regular olive oil. Sure. But are you going to get these every time you eat out? No freakin way! Are you going to end up obsessing about the quality of food and lose sleep? Are you going to stop eating out forever? Neither.

Realize… your body can handle these occasional hits of sub-par ingredients. Living stress free has a better effect on your overall health (including lipid profile) than any awesome food ingredient will ever have. So chill the crap out! Shit happens… take it easy and move on.

Fearing social occasions:

If you could go on a diet and not attend a single social breakfast/lunch/dinner or happy hour, you’d definitely do well in the diet. Guaranteed. But you’d also need a psychologist, a snake for a pet and a gun to eventually blow your brains out. Social occasions are just that. An occasion to be social, to meet folks, to chat, to catch up and to have fun. Fearing such occasions just because you are on a diet is ridiculous.

A diet that doesn’t allow you to eat at social occasions belongs in the trash and a trainer who can’t advice on how and what to eat at such times is pure incapable.

If you know about the occasion in advance be ready for it by eating appropriately throughout the day or by fasting until the event if it is an event based on food (most festivals). Once at the table, go for the protein first. Then the salad and vegetables. If you’re still hungry or tempted after this eat the grain or the dessert… but feel good about it!

If the occasion just crept up upon you, firstly, don’t freak out. Then, do the same thing. Order/choose protein and vegetables first. If it is some dumb working lunch, order a salad and, well, work as you eat!

Now knowing when to make compromises:

I’ve seen this happen too many times – One awesome Sunday evening your wife and daughter bake a special blueberry pie. But you’re on a diet. You can’t eat that! That’s not healthy… it’s not on your diet! Holy stinkin crap! Life sucks!

The next day, you’re at work and at about 4pm you’re fat colleagues are all having a coffee and cookie break. It’s just store bought cookies, but it looks so awesome right now. And you even forwent the blueberry pie! You say screw it and you indulge. Awesome!

A bite of  that blueberry pie would’ve made your 12 yr old feel like the queen of the world and you’d have had one of the best Sunday evenings ever. Instead you chose to eat cardboard like cookies with a bunch of fat fools who don’t give a pair of rat’s ass cheeks about you? Ridonkulous!

Get your priorities right! There is always a place for mom’s special dessert or your niece’s birthday cake or any form of bacon or a shot of tequila to celebrate a friend’s success. You might have huge guns and an awesome six pack… but without the little pleasures and special moments… life is meaningless!

– Peace.

Evolution and Food: Part 1

Note: I’m not an evolutionary biologist or nutritionist or researcher. The contents of this blog post is based on my understanding of how our ancestors fueled themselves.


We evolved from our ancestors and by ancestors I’m not talking about your great grandfather. I’m talking about the early man who existed millions of years ago. What we are today is a result of what he ate and how he survived. Considering that the early man didn’t have to worry about health insurance and little pink gifts for this girlfriend, all he focussed on was sourcing his next meal and finding a safe cave to wake up alive.

He was always on the look out for the most nutritious and calorie-dense food because food quality and quantity were a big deal. In order to survive (and thereby pass on his genes), he had to eat and in order to eat he had to hunt. While you and I relate food to pleasure and taste he related food to survival. In the absence of food he starved. When food was available in surplus he indulged in gluttony. While you and I relate physical activity to building muscle or burning calories he related physical activity to hunting or being hunted. He fought, ran, jumped, pulled and pushed to survive… to evolve.

Though I have referred to the early man as “he”, this is not the story of one person. Billions of our ancestors did similar things and survived millions of years. Keep in mind though that they were all in different regions of the world and were subject to different challenges. Some lived in sub zero temperatures all year round with limited access any kind of plant food while others lived in tropical climates with more access to a variety of foods. Wherever they lived, they spent all day hunting and gathering food for themselves and their dependents. Trust me when I say that the greatest nutrition researchers and dietitians can’t hold a candle against our ancestor when it comes to food quality and requirements.  They spent thousands of years ‘testing’ the effects of different foods, quantities and feeding times on their bodies. They ensured that they fueled their body with the most nutrient dense foods at the right times because they knew that the nutrition will produce stronger offspring who would continue to evolve.

In the wild the strongest survived. The better the food, the stronger the beast and the better his chances of survival. Like this wasn’t enough reason to be strong, strength was a sign of ‘better genes’ and the females always chose stronger men (and vice-versa). As the stronger ones made it through time, their weaker counterparts vanished and so did their lineage. Everything written until now was meant to give you a glance of their lives and make you realize why food was, is and will always be the most important part of the evolutionary puzzle.

Quickly recapping. What have we established?

  1. The early man was bad ass. He was strong, fast and extremely intelligent.
  2. His research on food (quality, quantity, timing) and the effect of food on the body is unmatched.
  3. He ate only real food and went great distances to procure the most nutritious food.
  4. He fasted (starved) and feasted on a regular basis – more out of compulsion than choice.

So it sounds to me like he is the guy I would go to for nutrition related advice and if I did I’m guessing this is how my Q&A session with him will go.

Me: Our world today is pretty messed up. Even with all the poverty and starvation, about 15% of our world’s population is overweight and 60% of our deaths are from chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes which are all directly related to our food intake. With this as a background, I have a few questions.

Him: I don’t talk much. So if your question is stupid I will skip it.

Me: What should I eat?

Him: Ummm… food. Real food.

Me: How much fat and protein should I eat?

Him: Eat real food… the ratios will take care of themselves.

Me: Are carbohydrates bad?

Him: Are you an idiot?

Me: What about cheetos, cake and pizza?

Him: Are we still talking about food?

Me: What about fat?

Him: Fats are good for you. Grow up.

Me: Carbs are good. Fats are good. Why am I fat then?

Him: You eat too much and you hardly ever move that heiny of yours.

Me: How many meals should I eat per day?

Him: Eat when you’re hungry and when you can find real food.

Me: What do I do when I don’t have access to good/real food?

Him: Skip the meal and fast. When we went hunting for food and came back with nothing, we fasted. We didn’t eat dirt instead.

Me: What is real food?

Him: Ok, you ARE an idiot. Anyways, real food is vegetables, meat, fish, fruit and nuts.

Me: Did you know of anyone in your time with any chronic diseases whatsoever?

Him: Nope. No one.

Me: If you ate so ‘healthy’ and didn’t have any diseases why was your life expectancy 35 while ours is 70+?

Him: Because we played ‘Who dares wins’ with bears and lions everyday you schmuck!

Me: What about grains? Did you guys cook and eat them?

Him: I didn’t eat them. I hear some of us did eat them but our social networking is kind of sketchy so I wouldn’t trust the information. One thing for sure is even those who did eat them ate them when there was no other option. Like we say in our hood… I mean… cave… if you had to choose between McDonalds and grains, choose grains.

Me: McDonald’s?

Him: Yea man. They repackaged and sold rotten animal carcasses left over by hyenas. The clown was a freak by the way.

Peace.

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