In today’s stressful and hectic work routine, it is pretty challenging to squeeze out some ‘me’ time. But it is extremely important to work out to maintain a healthy body and a healthy mind—menssana in corporesana—a healthy mind in a healthy body. And we might add: a body that lives longer. So let us add years to life rather than flab to the middle. Exercise is the elixir: the key. Exercise can help you stay fit both mentally and physically. Staying in shape to wear your favourite outfit can boost your confidence, and can also deceive age.
Exercise, Exercise, Exercise: You are not losing weight, you are getting rid of it
Studies have revealed that exercise has some amazing benefits for the human body. Exercise improves metabolism, builds muscles at the right places, tones and transforms the physique, and can speed up your weight loss process. Exercising every day for a minimum of 30 minutes can keep away diabetes and blood pressure. It can also minimise the chances of a stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases.
There are numerous fitness activities for you to choose from to stay fit. Some of the key workout regimes are presented below:
Cardiovascular Exercise: It is one of the most flexible workout regimes which can be practised at home or at the gym! You can either run on a treadmill at the gym or workout in the comfort of your home—by following workout videos like Leslie 3mile or BBM challenges. Cycling, High Intensity interval training, roping, rowing and running up the stairs are some of the effective cardio workouts. If you love nature—walking, running or jogging in the park—can be an invigorating and an effective workout. However, people who need intense workouts to literally sweat it out and burn the rigid fat can follow High Intensity workouts like aerobics and cardio exercises such as swimming, gymming, playing an active sport and dancing.
Benefits of Cardio vascular exercise are: Boosting of the health of the heart and the lungs, better blood circulation, reduction of the risk of stroke and heart diseases, lower chances of type-2 diabetes, burning fat and greater in weight loss.
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Strength Exercise: While cardio exercises can help you lose weight, strength training regime builds up muscles, aids toning, increases metabolism, and bone density. Strength exercises include push-ups, squats, weight lifting, and crunches. Dumbbells, kettle balls and ropes can be amazing sources of strength work outs. This type of exercise improves lean muscles by burning more calories and building them up. Lean muscles are essential to keep up the muscle mass during the weight loss journey. Strength training at least twice a week can work the major muscle groups—leg, abdomen, chest, arms and shoulders, for example. Following other types of workout regimes can quicken the weight loss but if you do not maintain lean muscles, it can be a long shot to sustain the same weight in the long run.
Benefits of Strength exercise are: Reduce the risk of osteoporosis and risk of injury. Practising resistance training improves insulin secretion to control blood sugar.
Combined Workouts: These are the workouts which can be thoroughly enjoyed while you sweat out some extra calories. Yoga, Power Yoga, Zumba, Aerobics, kickboxing and dancing are some forms of combined workouts. If you love to keep your workouts peaceful, then yoga is the perfect choice. If you love to dance, then Zumba, Aqua Zumba, aerobics, aqua aerobics and dancing can be the best ways to show off your moves for the dance numbers.However, the high intensity workouts like Zumba, power yoga, kickboxing and dancing should be avoided by heart patients and Asthma patients. When people get bored of the monotonous workouts, combined workouts can be a bliss! These workouts can help you burn oodles of weight, in just a short span of time. But make sure not to start these intense workouts straight away. Start by jogging or running or cycling for a couple of weeks and then gradually graduate on to the high intensity workout sessions. This can significantly prevent the risk of any injury.
Benefits of Combined workouts are: They help to induce weight loss, improve metabolism, boost stamina and helps you stay fit for longer. Different Weight Loss Diets: Take a mental challenge.Dieting needs will power; so losing weight is just not a physical challenge but a mental challenge too. There are numerous weight loss diets which you can follow for weight loss. Almost all of them claim to be the best diet. But figuring out the right diet which works best for you may be trickier. Check out the weight loss diets listed below and pick the best to suit your lifestyle.
The Paleo Diet: This diet is a popular protein diet. The Paleo diet claims to incorporate into its regimen the eating habits of our hunter-gatherer ancestors. It strongly avers that the modern diseases are linked to eating processed food, grains, and dairy products. The Paleo diet encourages eating vegetables, fruits, whole foods, lean protein, nuts and seeds, on the whole, more protein and lesser carbohydrates (about 300 to 900 smaller quantity per day).
Weight loss results: The Paleo diet can result in momentous weight loss and reduced waistline.
Pros: It is effective in reducing heart diseases like blood pressure, stroke, blood triglycerides, and bad cholesterol.
Cons: Avoiding whole grains, legumes and dairy foods can miss out some of the major nutritional supplements.
The Vegan Diet: This diet is a complete vegetarian diet, the most committed of the vegetarian version of life. The Vegan Diet excludes any kind of animal meat, and brutality towards animals. “Do not make your stomach the graveyard of animals”, they seem to say, echoing the Moghul Emperor Akbar who was a vegetarian. This diet hence eliminates dairy, eggs and animal products such as honey, gelatin, casein, albumin, whey, and some forms of vitamin D3.
Weight loss results: The Vegan diet assists in weight loss with no count on calories. The high fibre and very low fat diet makes you feel fuller for a longer time. This helps lowering the Body Mass Index (BMI), and body weight.
Pros: Plant-based diets reduce the chances of premature death, risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, Type-2 diabetes, and the risk of cancer or heart diseases.
Cons of the Vegan diet : Completely avoiding animal foods can result in deficiency of major nutrients like iodine, calcium, zinc, iron, vitamin B12, vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids.
Low-Carb Diet: Also known as the Ketonic Diet, this has been a popular diet practice for decades. It involves cutting down on carbohydrates and increasing the protein intake. When the carbohydrates intake is restricted, fatty acids and ketones are used as the prime source of energy. Low-carb diet reduces the appetite resulting in reduction of calorie intake.
Weight loss results: The Ketogenic diet results in twice the weight loss compared to calorie restricted and low-fat diets.
Pros:This is effective in reducing the risk factors of blood triglycerides, blood sugar levels, insulin levels, cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
Cons: Low-carb diet does not suit everyone. Rare cases can result in dangerous conditions like ketoacidosis. Some people may even experience the increase in low-density Lipoprotein or bad cholesterol.
The Low-fat Diet: This diet limits the intake of fat to fewer than 10% of the total calories. The Low-fat diet includes more of plant-based foods and limits the consumption of animal. Unsurprisingly, the low-fat diet is high in carbohydrates (about 80%) and low in protein (about 20%).
Weight loss results: The low-fat diet is effective for obese individuals and helps in weight loss to a great extent.
Pros:Low-fat diet reduces the risk factors of high cholesterol, markers of inflammation, Type-2 diabetes, heart disease like blood pressure and auto immune diseases which affects spinal cord, brain and optic nerves in the eyes. It is, in a different way, manna from Heaven.
Cons: Fats are important in building cell membranes and hormones. It also helps in absorbing fat-soluble vitamins. Thus, fat restriction may result in various problems in the long run. Nothing is perfect on the earth, and let us face this.
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The HCG Diet: HCG is human chorionic gonadotropin is a pregnancy hormone which helps sustains a healthy foetus. The HCG diet has three phases – in the first phase HCG supplements are taken for two days, the second phase is a weight loss phase wherein the calories are restricted to 500 per day, accompanied by HCG supplement drops, injections pellets, or sprays. This weight loss phase lasts for 3 to 6 weeks. The third phase stops the HCG supplements and gradually increases food intake.
Weight loss results: The HCG diet results in weight loss but studies prove the main reason to be low-calorie diet and not the HCG hormone itself.
Pros:No significant benefits observed other than weight loss.
Cons: HCG Diet has many side effects like head ache, depression and fatigue. Some rare cases can also result in death. This is an outright illegal and dangerous diet, and is not recommended to be followed. Simply knowing about it won’t hurt, and throws into relief the benefits of other regimes.
The Zone Diet: is also known as low-glycemic load diet which limits intake of carbs from 35% to 40% of daily calories, protein and fat to 30% each. The glycemic load estimates how much a food item increases blood glucose after consuming it. The zone diet advocates balanced meals with two-thirds of colourful fruits and veggies, one-third protein and a dash of fat like olive oil or almonds. The glycemic load also limits foods such as bananas, potatoes, and rice.
Weight loss results: This diet aids weight loss and curbs appetite. It also follows a systematic weight loss for obese individuals.
Pros:It reduces risk factors for cardio vascular diseases, reduces triglycerides, and visibly reduces the waistline.
Cons: Zone diet promotes healthy eating but it also restricts healthy carbohydrates like bananas and potatoes, which is a major con.
Intermittent Fasting: This is a dieting regime linked to eating patterns. Intermittent fasting relatively restricts calorie intake. Some of the popular methods include:
Eat-stop-eat Method: Includes 2 days fasting in a week.
16/8 Method:involves skipping breakfast, restricting daily eating period to 8 hours and then fasting for the rest of 16hours of the day.
5:2 Diet:Five days of normal eating and 2 days of restricted calorie intake from about 500 to 600 calories.
Warrior Diet: Fasting during the day with small amounts of veggies and fruits and feasting with huge meals at night. Let us remind you that the mighty Emperor Akbar followed this diet regime.
Weight loss results: Intermittent weight loss is pretty successful as it results in easy weight loss because of lesser calorie intake.
Pros:It reduces cholesterol levels, blood triglycerides and markers of inflammation and blood sugar levels. Furthermore, it also increases insulin sensitivity, increases growth hormone and cellular repair, lengthens life span and protects against cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
Cons: Intermittent fasting is beneficial and safe for well-grown and healthy people. However, it is not suitable for pregnant women, breastfeeding moms, children, teenagers, and people who are underweight or malnourished. It can drop the blood sugar levels considerably and hence not a suitable diet for everyone.
The Portion Control Diet: Portion control mainly includes healthy eating for a healthy body weight. It is basically filling up your plate with high-fibre, low-calorie and high-water content foods like fruits and vegetables. This choice of food can be lighter than meat or grains or carbohydrates, but can be relatively filling. Mainly, the portion control diet includes a lot of salads, proteins and lesser carbohydrates. It totally avoids processed foods, junk foods, and anything greasy and unhealthy.
Weight loss results: Portion control prevents overeating and controls the intake of calories and hence is a significant weight loss diet.
Pros:It reduces cholesterol, helps lose weight, reduces risks of diabetes, heart attack and improves stamina.
Cons: It might seem boring to inculcate healthy eating habits as it cuts out junk food, processed food and high calorie substitutes. People can try substitutes like thin crust pizza, grilled meat etc. to treat your taste buds once in a while for a happy body.
Note: It is recommended that you consult a physician before practicing any of the weight loss diets listed above. It is best to know your state of health and then go ahead with weight loss diets to avoid complications.
Know Your Body Type: Staying fit is all about your attitude
Amidst all the diets and the workout regimes mentioned above, the exercise or diet which works for me might not work for you. It is imperative to identify your body type before starting any weight loss regime or weight loss diet. There are three different body types, and below is the list:
Ectomorph: Ectomorphs are blessed with fast metabolism and hence resistant to weight gain. To make it sound simpler, no matter how much or what ectomorphs eat, they gain very little or no weight at all. They are typically leaner, long-limbed and taller.
Suitable workouts for Ectomorphs: Ectomorphs are limited to gain muscle mass. Hence, they are advised to focus on resistance training or strength training. This helps in gaining the muscle mass and strength.
Suitable diet for Ectomorphs:The Paleo diet is best suitable for Ectomorphs. It can help in building up the muscle mass.
Endomorph:Endomorphs are just the opposite of ectomorphs. They tend to gain weight even at the mere sight of food! It can be extremely difficult for endomorphs to lose weight. Blame the metabolism for being sluggish. Endomorphs are curvy, fuller, shorter, with short limbs.
Suitable workouts for Endomorph: Endomorphs are advised to follow high intensity workouts to increase stamina, strength or weight training can also be combined with moderate aerobics to promote effective weight loss.
Suitable diet for Endomorph: Low-carb diet and Paleo diet which is high protein, low carbohydrates, with lots of vegetables and fruits is best suited for Endomorphs.
Mesomorph:Mesomorphs can gain or lose weight easily. They are genetically blessed to gain power and strength. Mesomorphs are strong and athletic. They can lose weight easily like endomorphs and gain muscle like ectomorphs.
Suitable workouts for Mesomorphs:Mesomorphs should focus on strength, endurance and High Intensity workouts. Cardio exercise like pilates or yoga can be combined for successful results.
Suitable diet for Mesomorphs:: Portion control diet or the Paleo Diet or a diet plan high in protein and lesser carbohydrates, a balanced meal overall can work wonders for Mesomorphs.
Tips to keep in mind while following weight loss regime:
Treat your body with love and don’t be too harsh on it.
Take it slow and let your body adjust to the new routine.
Choose what works right for you to keep up in long run.
Healthy eating is basically what your ancestors did. Do not get influenced by fancy fast foods designed for a more rushed life.
Eat on time and avoid distractions while eating. Food deserves focus.
Prefer healthy fruits and natural juices. Avoid alcohol, canned juices, and sugary drinks.
Finish off your dinner by 7 to ensure a sufficient gap between meal and sleep.
Eight hours sleep per day increases metabolism.
Treat your taste buds with your favourite dish occasionally and don’t forget to compensate with workout the next day.
Do not fret when you hit a plateau. Change of workouts can help you overcome a rigid plateau on scale.
Rapid weight loss can show up results faster but cannot sustain for long.
Healthy eating habits can change lifestyle for good.
Healthy Eating and exercise routine is crucial for the goodness of life! Follow the Golden Mean, and stay lean and lithe.