If you have missed the other Parts, here they are
I learned from my mistakes. Oh, and there were a lot of mistakes. Where do I start? Should I tell about the mistakes I did twice? Now that is a good story. I have two pairs of Skechers shoes. Skechers is famous for memory foam on the soles which gives you a lot of comfort.
The first time I wore these I did squats on the smith machine and the physics is off when you wear these shoes. The last law of motion where every action has an equal and opposite reaction does not apply. This is critical for a squat where the force you drive down into the ground should be returned through your body, but these shoes absorb it.
I ended up losing balance and almost falling. I knew the shoes are the reason and I should have learned from my mistakes yet even until today I wore these memory foam shoes during squats. But today I tried to see how much of a difference it makes without shoes and doing squats bare feet and the results were remarkable.
Another mistake I have made is spend excessively on shoes. These Skechers cost me upwards of Rs.6000/- and it is unnecessary to buy expensive shoes unless you are into marathons or some serious athletics. Some shoe advice:
- Flat soles ideal for strength training, not very good for running. Flat soles (Converse) isn’t expensive.
- More expensive shoes are made of mesh fabric making it easier for your feet to breathe. This is critical when you are into long distance running.
- Even ‘Power’ shoes from Bata is sufficient if you are not into serious running.
- Go for orthopaedic shoes if you have any foot related problems. I have orthopaedic flip-flops because I have plantar fasciitis. It really helps.
One of the bigger mistakes I have made is not realizing how much calories the foods we eat have. I would assume that low fat, low sugar, low carb or any such health label makes the foods healthy. It doesn’t! It is all in the calories. For example, Tropicana 100% orange juice has no sugar but one serving (200ml) has about 100 calories while Tropicana Cranberry juice (which has sugar) has just 85 calories per 200ml.
There is enough scientific evidence that shows how calories matter more than anything else. But yes, you need a balanced nutrition for weight loss too. More protein, medium carb and low-fat intake is the rule of thumb. Eating a lot of protein can make you fat, so does eating a lot of carbs or sugar. Your body simply converts anything in excess into reserves (fat). Believe me, it doesn’t matter if you eat sugar or chips, it is all fine in moderation. Otherwise they will be converted to fat. Protein, carbs and fats are called as ‘macros’ and always keep track of your macros.
Fat is to be minimized not because it is dangerous (it isn’t) but because it is calorie dense. 1g of Fat equals 9 calories while 1g of protein or carb is only 4 calories. Most fatty foods are not capable of filling your stomach because they lack volume. This is why some of is feel so hungry after eating a full large pizza which is actually about 2000 calories plus.
Focus on foods that have a lot of volume. During summer I ate so much watermelon because it barely has any calories and it is able to add volume to my stomach making me feel that I am full and thus maintaining the calorie deficit.
I don’t follow any specific diet plan. Today I ate a plate of bhel puri and yesterday I ate two plates of dahi puri. But I knew that in the evening I would meet friends and so I made a conscious effort to eat less breakfast and less lunch in the morning. I had a small cup of Pongal, two chapatis with beetroot curry followed by a small cup of curd rice. I knew I was in a calorie deficit, so it was fine to eat the bhel puri.
There are times where I know I will eat pizza with my friends and I make a deliberate effort to eat less breakfast or no lunch at all. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t starve myself, I eat a little fruit every few hours to get by. It is a myth that breakfast is the most important meal in the day. All meals are important! What you eat is important!
Here are a few things I do so that I don’t gorge on food especially while eating out.
- Drink a glass of water before a meal, that way you will order or eat less.
- In a buffet, limit your food to one plate. I know you want to make good use of the money you spent but your goal is more important here.
- Remember that even liquids carry calories. Stick to water or diet coke.
I can’t give you tips on alcoholic beverages because I don’t drink.
Okay these tips may seem boring but that is the journey to weight loss I am afraid. Do this for now until you have reached your height to weight ratio. After that you have a wider room for your diet so occasionally you can breach your daily caloric intake.
I avoid all proceed foods unless it is ice-cream or chocolates. Even then it is moderation. It has been a while since I finished a full bar of Cadbury Silk. These days I eat the sugar-free dark chocolate from Amul which I eat about 2 or 3 pieces in a day to maintain the deficit.
There are some who support the Keto diet, or the low carb diet or any trending diet. I find all these unsustainable because as soon as you must socialize your diet is broken. These diets however work because they are all on a caloric deficit. But flexible dieting works if you keep track of what goes in your body and how much you burn at the gym daily.
In India it is impossible to convince parents that you are going to make your own meals and store them in the fridge for future use. You must eat whatever that is made at home in most cases but what is in your control is the portions and eating in moderation.
You can follow whatever diet you want if the rule of thumb I stated is in the necessary portion. To lose fat, you need to build muscle which needs protein so eat more of that, eat carbs a little for that short burst of energy, and the least intake should be your fats for reserves. There is so much ‘bro-science’ behind what foods you are supposed to eat.
My fellow gym goers tell me that carbs make you fat so avoid it at all costs. They say the same to sugar. There is one amazing bro-science theory I heard which says sugar spikes insulin and that causes you to become fat.
I will repeat this, eating a lot of protein can make you fat, so does eating a lot of carbs or sugar. Your body simply converts anything in excess into reserves (fat). I have noticed that I had once put on weight because I consumed too much protein through whey.
Speaking of whey, here are a few tips on supplements
- Buy a reputed brand, there are Indian brands like Sinew and Gayor Essentials which guarantee purity of the whey protein
- Costlier whey usually means purer whey per scoop which is usually referred to as ‘Iso-Pure’.