Lean and Fit is the In thing

When this question is asked to people, I am sure that more than 80 percent want to become lean and fit, including me. Working on this health goal is not Rocket science but it requires some careful adjustments in our lifestyle and workout habits. Most of us think that hitting the gym will make us big and strong like the bodybuilders. Just throw this idea out of the window. To become like them, it needs incredible discipline and a herculean effort which most of us are not inclined to. So let’s focus on the one thing which most of us want to achieve and that is being Lean and Fit.

In my journey towards fit & lean, I have worked on many permutations and combinations to the present state I am in. I have not yet reached my ultimate goal but feel that i am on the right path. let’s begin with the most important components of this journey

Work on a calorie deficit: It’s no secret that one will begin to lose weight once you burn more calories than what you consume. The idea is to work on ensuring that you consume far less calories than you expend and do your regular workouts. Now there is no one rule which might fit everybody. You might have to do some research on the net and see what is the exact calorie intake required for your height and weight. Consume about 20 percent less than that to ensure that you are on the right path. Most of us tend to eat far more calories than required especially during festivals. Therefore work on this one area if you want to look fit and lean for the New Year party. It’s a good 8 weeks ahead and realistically you can knock off about 6-8 Kgs if you begin in earnest from now.

Increase your cardio workouts: In my experience just by lifting you will not lose weight especially  in the stubborn areas. Sooner than later you might want to include some sessions of cardiovascular exercise be it running, swimming or even brisk walking. What it does here is that by mixing your workouts you tend to confuse the body. As of now, I go on a high intensity short duration run 2-3 times a week which ensures that you lose body weight 24-36 hours post the workout. You can use whatever strategy works for you but this one method is proven to be successful.

Focus on body Fat not weight: I see people every now and then stepping on the weighing machine and making faces. Well it is a fact that the weighing machine does not lie. For most of us the more accurate method of being lean is a reduction in body fat and not necessarily weight. Do not get me wrong. You will eventually lose weight but first it is the body fat which starts to disappear. The only simple cost effective way which helps in measuring the body fat loss is the simple tailor’s measurement tape. Measure the area around which you want to reduce at least once in two weeks. This will give you a accurate cue of your journey. So ditch the weighing scale and measure yourself with a tape. There are scientific ways of measuring body fat but it is cumbersome and expensive. I always Focus on simple and inexpensive ways of reaching one’s goal.

Lift heavy: Lifting heavy is sure to burn more calories. Do not worry Girls. You will not put on muscle growth and look like those WWF models. You need some incredible amount of testosterone in your body for that .Well coming back to the crux, lifting heavy with less repetition and lesser gaps in between sets will make sure that you hit the fat burning mode to the maximum. If you can mix some heavy lifting with a decent cardio exercise then you are sure to begin your journey towards being fit and lean by the end of the year.

Ensure that you have a balanced protein, Carbs and fat intake: Usually the thumb rule is 50/40/10 and this is the ratio of calories from Carbs/Protein and fat. Do remember that fat is an important component for our body.It has to be a good source of fat namely egg,meat,olive oil, milk and not the trans fat which is basically found in deep fried stuff. Protein intake is usually 1 gm per KG of body weight. Say you are a person who is between 60-65 Kg then focus on consuming 50-60 gms of protein in a day and not more than that. With respect to Carbs stick to whole grains and complex Carbs which will give you energy to sustain through the day. I know this may sound like Latin to many but believe me once you get a hang of this then this will be like second nature to you.

Eat more fruits and vegetables: This is the single biggest diet change you can make that will make the biggest difference in getting you leaner. Two reasons: one is that they are high in fibre and vitamins, which most people are lacking in their diet. Two is that they are high in volume without being high in fat or calories. You can eat lots of fruits and veggies but have very few calories. My post work out meal is always a fruit rich in carbs.

Drink lots of water: Ensure that you keep yourself hydrated and usually the thumb rule is about 2-3 lts of water for an average person. Remember that we are already most of the time in a controlled environment and do not feel thirsty. However your body does need a regular intake of water. Another thing I have noticed is that most of the time you are actually not hungry but thirsty i.e. if you are eating your regular meals on time. The next time you feel unusually hungry just drink a big glass of water. For those working out just stick on to regular water and do not add any sugary mixture to it which will add to the calories. Last  but not the least try to carry a sipper with you. Do not reuse the bottled water which is extremely unhealthy and carcinogenic.

Rest is as important as exercise: Many people who focus on all the other areas, compromise with adequate rest and that is a big mistake. Focusing on good rest is critical and that is where most of us burn more calories. This is more true when we work out in the evening times. Stick to the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep and cut back on your time in front of the idiot box or the internet. I always believe that being fit is like a tripod. One leg is the food intake; other one is the exercise and the last one is the adequate rest. For a healthy you, one needs to ensure all the three are balanced and not compromised upon. If one of the legs get unbalanced then the whole thing just collapses. This is something which anyone of us cannot afford especially when health issues are working out to be extremely expensive on our pockets.

I hope this article does spur some of you to take up the challenge to be lean and fit by the end of the year. I would love to hear from some of you in terms of the challenges you are facing in your journey towards being lean and fit. Do connect with me on my Face book Fan page or mail me on coach@satishrao.in