3 Jul, 2020
The ongoing lockdown is the perfect time to use your time productively to tone your body and stay in shape. If you are struggling to put on weight or being body shamed for excessive weight, which may cause self-esteem issues or bringing your morale down, ignore the haters and instead focus on loving your body. With the right attitude, good nutrition, warm up exercises, and work outs, you can get in shape and be healthy. It only takes willingness, self-discipline, self-motivation, feeding your body with healthy nutrients and putting in the right efforts to have a great body. Yash Agarwal, the founder of Yash Fitness, an internationally certified personal fitness coach, sports nutritionist and also a Reps certified from Mumbai-based K11 Academy of Fitness and Science discusses the reasons for not being able to put on weight or reduce weight, a healthy diet, how to cut down on junk food and exercises, that will make you fall in love with yourself, all over again with your body.
Identify your body type to visualise the body you want
Your body is shaped as an hourglass if your waist is atleast 25% smaller than your shoulder or bust, at least 25% smaller than your hip and your shoulder and hip measurements are within 5% of each other.
Inverted triangle body
You have an inverted triangular body shape, if you have a large bust, or you have broad shoulders, or both. Your shoulders will be wider than your hips and you will have a well defined waist. Sounds attractive, right? Actually, a well-toned inverted triangular-shaped body is considered to be one of the more coveted body shapes with proportionally slim legs.
Pear shaped body
Pear body shape is one where most of your weight is situated around your thighs, hips and buttocks and you have slim arms and shoulders and a bust that is smaller than your hips. The pear shaped body has a wider hip and backside area than the upper body.
Diamond shaped body
If you have broader hips than your shoulders, a narrow bust, and a fuller waistline, you have a diamond body shape. With this type, you may carry a little more weight on your upper legs. You may also have slender arms.
You have a rectangular body, if your bust line and hip line are of the same width and you have little waist definition. Your legs and arms are typically slender and you may also have a flat bottom.
How to visualise your ideal body
Use visualization techniques to help reduce stress and emotional issues.Visualization helps you to eliminate junk food cravings. The body can respond to stress in your life by gaining weight, but there is a particular type of stress that turns off your fat switch and communicates to your body that being thin is imperative to your survival. It is called the Get Thin or Get Eaten Adaptation, and it’s part of our biological heritage. 10,000 years ago, being light, agile, and fast was necessary for your survival, so you could escape predators, hunt and stay alive. This unique type of stress puts your body in a fat burning mode almost immediately. Visualisation is one of the most-effective ways to enhance your workout.
The right way to gain weight
For a healthy weight gain, Agarwal says, you must not go overboard with sugar consumption. A healthy way to gain weight is to have nutrient-dense calorie foods and perform weight training exercises. Excessive consumption of sugar will increase your cravings and make you overeat. It leads to an insulin crash in the body. Some people tend to naturally have a low appetite and that is why they experience difficulty in gaining weight. Stomach issues are also common in people who want to gain weight. The body is unable to break down nutrients in the food and absorb them. Digestive disorders, unhealthy gut or a very low stomach acid are the reasons behind this. If you want to gain weight, you need to keep a check on your bowel movement and bits of undigested food in stool. Bits of undigested food in your stool are a sign that your body is not breaking down and absorbing food in the right way. This leads to malnutrition.
Many people begin to feel a heavy stomach after eating very little food. This means that the rate at which food is digested and processed is very slow. This happens because of low stomach acid. This problem is common in people who constantly overeat or eat junk food regularly. People with a high metabolism tend to digest their food quickly. In that case, you should eat small meals every 3 to 4 hours. This is because the digestive system uses a lot of energy to break down food. Non-vegetarian meals usually take longer than vegetarian meals to digest completely. Thus, you should give time to your body to digest food.
Avoid restrictive diets
In order to gain weight, you must avoid restrictive diets. Consuming more fat or sugar is not the right way to gain weight. In fact, it contributes to clogging of your arteries. To gain weight, increase nutrient-dense calories in your food. Whole eggs, sweet potatoes, peanut butter, avocado or healthy oil like coconut oil and pure ghee. These foods contain medium chain fatty acids which break down in the liver and are not harmful for the heart. You can also make a healthy shake with almond milk, dates, fig and nut powder which makes for a high-calorie, healthy and nutrient-dense shake which can help you gain weight.
Weight training exercises
For gaining weight, you need to exercise. Gaining muscles can lead to a gain in body weight. If you want to lose weight, you should focus on cutting down body fat and instead focus on gaining muscles. Weight training and body weight exercises are going to be helpful for people who want to gain weight. Cardio exercises are not required for people who want to gain weight.
The idea is not to compromise your health while trying to gain weight.
Losing weight to have a toned body
Low carb diets are effective for weight loss and may be easier to stick to than other diets.
The most important part is to cut back on sugar and starches, or carbohydrates. When you do that, your hunger levels go down, and you generally end up eating significantly fewer calories. Instead of burning carbs for energy, your body now starts burning stored fat for energy. Another benefit of cutting carbs is that it lowers insulin levels, causing the kidneys to shed excess sodium and water. This reduces bloating and unnecessary water weight. It’s not uncommon to lose up to 10 pounds (4.5 kg) — sometimes more — in the first week of eating this way. This weight loss includes both body fat and water weight. Reducing carbs can lead to quick, easy weight loss. Every meal should include a protein source, fat source, and low carb vegetables. As a general rule, try eating two to three meals per day. If you feel hungry in the afternoon, add a fourth meal. Planning your meals in this way should bring your carb intake down to around 20–50 grams per day. Eating plenty of protein is an essential part of this plan. Don’t be afraid to load your plate with low carb vegetables. They are packed with nutrients and you can eat 20–50 net carbs per day. Vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, tomatoes, kale, Brussels sprouts,cabbage, Swiss chard, lettuce and cucumber are packed with nutrients.
Food cravings are a dieter’s worst enemy
The types of foods that people crave are highly variable, but these are often processed junk foods that are high in sugar. Cravings are one of the biggest reasons why people have problems losing weight and keeping it off. Thirst is often confused with hunger or food cravings. If you feel a sudden urge for a specific food, try drinking a large glass of water and wait for a few minutes. You may find that the craving fades away, because your body was actually just thirsty. Furthermore, drinking plenty of water may have many health benefits. In middle-aged and older people, drinking water before meals can reduce appetite and help with weight loss. Eating more protein may reduce your appetite and keep you away from overeating. It also reduces cravings, and helps you feel completely satisfied for longer. When you feel a craving, do not indulge in it. For example, you can take a brisk walk or a shower to shift your mind onto something else. A change in thought and environment may help stop the craving.If possible, try to plan your meals for the day or upcoming week. By already knowing what you are going to eat, you eliminate the factor of spontaneity and uncertainty.
Your appetite is largely affected by hormones that fluctuate throughout the day. Sleep deprivation disrupts the fluctuations, and may lead to poor appetite regulation and strong cravings. Hunger and a lack of key nutrients can both cause certain cravings. Therefore, it’s important to eat proper meals at mealtimes.
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