Popular Posts

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Egg, a misunderstood superfood

"Sunday ho ya monday roz khao aunday"

This is not just a marketing punch line but the way for healthy living.
I am not sure about apple but ''some eggs a day will definitely keep a lot of ailments away''.

Because egg is a sheer nutritional treasure, check for yourself

one standard whole egg
45-50 g


Vitamin  A
6% of RDA
Vitamin B2
18% of RDA
Vitamin B5
7% of RDA
Vitamin B6
8% of RDA
Vitamin B12
9% of RDA
Vitamin D
7% of RDA

2.5% of RDA
5% of RDA
3% of RDA
1.% of RDA
9% of RDA
1% of RDA
2% of RDA
22%of RDA

*RDA Recommended dietary allowance is a system of nutrition recommendations from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences about how much vitamins & minerals a healthy adult need everyday. The above figures are approximate.

Egg magic
  • Egg is the richest dietary source of B complex vitamin 'choline'.  Choline is 'the food for brain' needed for better neurological system, brain development in fetus, reducing inflammation in body & produces happiness hormones serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine.
  • Egg has abundance of Sulphur & selenium. Sulphur helps in Vitamin B absorption  & liver function also gives you shiny hair & glowing skin. Selenium is an antioxidant, prevents cell damage, makes special proteins, prevents you from cancer & other disease
  • It is the best source of best protein, all other dietary protein quality is compared against eggs.
  • Egg yolks contain large amounts of both Lutein and Zeaxanthin. These are antioxidant proteins which are vital for eye health, they are building blocks of retina.

All these vitamins, minerals & protein together will take care of even the tiniest interests of your body. In short it is a magic oval for thick shiny hair, gleaming skin, healthy eyesight, stronger bones, better hormonal secretion, macho sex life, impenetrable immune system, muscular body, faster brain, quick nervous system, smoother digestion & absorption of vitamins & minerals.

There are very few other foods which can give you this many health benefits & satisfy your taste buds too. Beside egg's easy & cheap availability is a boon.

Unfortunately this super food's reputation & credibility was marred by some wrong studies & much bad press. eg. Nikolai Anichkov  fed egg to rabbits & concluded it raises cholesterol in humans !
All and all egg became a misunderstood superfood.
Such studies made people yolkophobic ! gulping down those egg whites & tossing the grey balls in dustbin. The fact is yolk contains most of the vitamins, minerals & half of protein in egg.

Many recent studies are upturning the old notions 'Time magazine reversed the argument it made in a 1984 cover story claiming eggs dangerous are dangerous for health'.  One recent study  published in Philippine Journal of Science showed whole egg consumption had no effect on cholesterol level of 115 healthy human subjects. There are many other scientific studies since 1996 that have confirmed and strengthened the conclusions that dietary cholesterol has only a small effect on blood cholesterol. Human liver itself produces cholesterol. It is necessary for hormone production, nutrient absorption etc.

Some other myths related to eggs

  • Brown eggs are much better than white eggs -

    A single brown egg (popular name deshi egg) in Mumbai is sold for Rs. 20 compared to Rs. 5 for a regular white in name of being 'super nutritious' ! It is insane. There is no difference in nutrition value of both eggs, yeah i repeat 'BOTH HAVE EXACTLY SAME HEALTH BENEFITS ' . It is just the color of shell given by feathers of hen while hatching, brown colored hen bores brown eggs, thats it. The brown hen being larger in size eats more & costs more to poultry farms.
    The things which makes difference in egg's nutritional quality are :
    Hen health, what are they being fed ?

  • Raw eggs are better than boiled eggs -

    Forget about protein if the source can cause illness, 30 Americans die annually from 'salmonella' poisoning. It is one of many bacterias present in outer & inner shell of egg. We all know how dirty egg shells are so if you won't boil them they will make you sick. Eat only hard boiled eggs. To your relief,  eggs don't lose their nutritional value after boiling. A standard sized egg will give you 6 gms of protein either way. In fact a study published in Journal of nutrition claims, our body can absorb protein from boiled eggs much faster than the raw one.

I eat 5 whole eggs & 5 whites daily, I know people who consume 20 whole eggs & we all are fighting fit . For best results, I will recommend at least 5 whole eggs daily with 60 minutes of  workout to any healthy individual. If you have any medical condition your doctor can guide you better.

Have eggs, be healthier. 

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Want to lose weight fast ? Stop crunching & stop lifting !

There is a saying about weight loss

“It took more than a day to put it on, it'll take more than a day to take it off. Be patient.”

So patience is the key skill but in order to have a potent & successful weight loss regime we must know which kind of exercises are the most effective ones. Weightlifting & crunches are overhyped weight loss solutions… a waste of time, energy & money. The parameters of finding a good weight loss exercise are :

1) Calories burned
2) Muscle toning
3) Skill addition

Calories burned/hour
Muscles toned
850 - 950
It’s a complete leg workout.
Major muscles worked are thighs (Quadriceps & hamstrings) & calves. Shin muscles assists
800 - 900
It is all about legs & will give you strong core (abs) & flexibility.
Rope Jumping
750 - 850
From forearms to your toe, skipping works all the muscles & if you do it regularly I guarantee you the best toned calves.
700 - 850
No other exercise tones your upper body so well & burns this much calories. Swimming will sculpt your upper back, shoulders & chest.
700 - 800
The complete leg workout.
Sports(football, basketball, tennis)
600 - 700
Complete body workout. The best legs are of football players, best arms bestowed to tennis players & the strongest upper body is of basketball players.
Complete body workout.

*All the above approximate figures are given for a person weighing 160 pounds/73 kilograms. Calorie burning is directly proportional to body weight & intensity of workout. With every 3500 calories burned you lose 1 pound/0.45 kgs of weight.

Compared to the above exercises a hour of crunches will burn 342 calories (57 calories in 10 minutes on doing 100 sit ups), a hour of weight lifting will only burn 200 - 400(vigorous) calories.

Skill addition is something which we always ignore but it is a very important factor. Crunching 100 times, will it add to any of my skills ? It may help me get better at certain activities but otherwise it’s neither a wholesome workout nor very important unless you want to follow Arnold's footsteps & believe me abs are made in kitchen. Compare the torture of crunches to the refreshing cycling, joy of swimming or the benefits of knowing Taekwondo. All of these strengthen your core & tone your muscles too. The most awesome fact is that they keep your heart strong & healthiest.

The purpose of this article is not to tell you to refrain from crunches or weight lifting but to give you better options. To enable you choose wisely among the exercises & plan your sessions according to your goals. The best weight loss regimes can do without weight lifting & crunches.

Bodybuilding.com has come up with this awesome calorie burning calculator. Check it out & redefine your workouts. http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/calories.htm

Train wise train hard.

Information sources for figures.
Ainsworth BE, et al. 2011 compendium of physical activities: A second update of codes and MET values. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 2011;43:1575.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Five lies you will hear about losing fat

In contemporary times when all the hullabaloo is about making money, as any other industry Fitness is also plagued by streaks of lies. Here I bust some of'em.

I'll make you lose fat from your specific body part

Well this is the biggest lie of our times even propagated by some esteemed media houses. Yesterday only I saw a full page article in a leading news daily recommending different weight training exercises to lose fat from belly, thighs, chest etc.
The truth is body parts can't be targeted to lose fat & that has been established with many studies.Fat burning during workout is a complex process.  Doing those torturing crunches & going through hell is absolutely foolish, if your aim is only weight loss. Our bodies are formed according to the genetics. If your genes make you a pear shape obese person, fat will accumulate mostly on your lower body & stick there like a leech,  whatever times you may crunch because you are doing the wrong exercise !
Find here the best fat burning excercises

Steam bath & excess sweating will cut down fat heavily

Why didn't earth crumbled before such dumb claims were made. My dear 'farji' trainers, fat is not water soluble! Steam bath is not a weight loss solution !  The more you sweat more you lose those essential salts(electrolytes) & fluids. More than 90% of sweat is water. A decrease of 5-8 % of body water will result in fatigue, dizziness. Dehydration will give you cramps unless you gulp those rehydration drinks.
Steam & sauna are only purported weight loss solutions with no major, reliable study supporting their claim.

Eat less & all your weight problems will solve
Its not about eating less but eating right & adequate. Cutting down on food heavily will result in lack of necessary vitamins & minerals. On the contrary eating wisely will increase your body metabolism & work as cheat diet. You'll be surprised to know even some fat is necessary for body. Eat well but not in excess.

Whey protein will help you lose fat

This is the ultimate nonsense i have ever heard. Protein isn't going to get inside your body & push the fat out. Whey protein helps in hypertrophy(muscle building). Also when you are working out for longer durations, you may need some protein supplement but i.e. just for preventing muscle breakdown.

Less carbs less weight

Some trainers promote a carb less diet for faster weight loss results. This is again a no brainer, Our energy system needs carbs as fire needs oxygen. You can't burn woods in vacuum, similarly fat burning needs carbohydrates and as i said above it is a complex process.

Train hard Train wise !

If you find it helpful, do hit those f likes, g+ down on the page & share.

Read about how should you breathe during workout here.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Benefits of proper breathing

In the last blog we talked about how harmful improper breathing is & largely what is 'Valsalva maneuver'. Now lets talk about many benefits of a well breathed workout. Breathing well means, taking long deep breaths into your stomach, using your diaphragm to push air out which is metaphorically called 'belly breathing'. Inhaling from your nose & exhaling from an open mouth.

Best fat burner :

While you are busy surfing, asking your nutritionist/trainer/bulked up friends for the magic fat burner pill, you miss the best  fat burner element present all around you for free. Oxygen is the vital element in fat burning during workouts. When you do that heart pounding cardio, bone cracking weight workout even after all the moaning & groaning it might not be effective. Your calorie meter may give you a satisfying statistic but those calories aren't coming from your fat. Because in absence of proper oxygen supply  it is carbohydrates or in later hours of workout protein taken from you muscle being burned as fuel which is harmful.

Builds rhythm :

Rhythm is important it makes your workout easier & energetic. On contrast random breathing will leave you tired sooner. Synchronize your breathe with the lifting of weights and running. By synchronize i mean exhaling when you apply strength & inhaling when you release weight. For running take two steps(One right, one left) while breathing in, and two steps while breathing out also known as 2:2 rhythm. .      

More weights/more reps :

With more energy & good rhythm you'll see your weights are going higher, you are hitting more reps-more sets.You'll be able to run that extra mile.

Stress buster :

Stress pushes the body into survival mode, body secrets more cortisol which in turn slows down metabolism, stores fat. One also starts eating more.Oxygen fights stress, presence of more oxygen in body means less stress & less weight gain i.e. why Yoga is so helpful.

Good posture :

The muscles which help you breathe also play a part in maintaining body posture. Diaphragm, rib cage are connected with your spine. So if you breathe well you automatically maintain the right posture which is integral part of a healthy workout. Bad posture ruins your form & makes your workout injury prone.

So breathe well & workout harder

If you like the post please hit g+, f like, tweet & share so others can benefit too.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Improper breathing during workouts can even kill you !

Breathing forms the base of any workout but when I walk into gyms I find it is the most abused aspect. There are many forms of bad breathing. Holding your breath while lifting the weights is most common of them. Some do it intentionally others unknowingly.  

The rule is to exhale while lifting & inhale when weights are going down, whether they are in your hands or in a cable pulley. In simpler words ‘Exhale whenever you are applying strength’.
If you are a fitness enthusiast you must have heard/read/seen this principle a thousand times. But did you ever asked why? How does it help? Why it is the right way?

Ask your Personal trainers, floor trainers & bulked up friends who shoot their advices every now & then. I can bet more than 95% will be clueless. Fitness arenas have become a thriving place for quacks.  The above breathing technique is right for many reasons but most importantly because it is the only safe way. On the contrary holding your breath & exerting (pushing or pulling the weights) is called “Valsalva manoeuvre” Which can even kill you!

What is Valsalva manoeuvre?
Expiratory effort against a closed glottis, which increases pressure within the thoracic cavity (chest) and thereby impedes venous return of blood to the heart.

The manoeuvre stops the blood from entering the heart & increases thoracic pressure. With release of breath blood trapped in veins rushes, increasing the blood pressure & heart rate.

The patient may feel dizzy or faint during the procedure. There is a risk that the Valsalva manoeuvre can cause blood clots to detach, bleeding, and abnormal rhythms originating in the ventricle. It can also cause cardiac arrest. Consequently, the procedure is usually performed in a setting where emergency equipment is accessible.-Above taken from a medical dictionary.

Bodybuilding.com says, of the 25 documented weight room-related deaths in the United States between 2008 and 2012, the vast majority occurred due to asphyxiation caused by neck or chest compression during the bench press.

One of my trainees told me ‘I am confused because my much experienced former trainer advised to apply this technique. It helps to lift more weight’. My reply was ‘what is more important, to remain alive or lifting more weights?’

Valsalva is a technique used in certain medical procedures but how come it made its way into bodybuilding is interesting. Power lifters used it first because it increases intrathoracic (chest cavity) pressure, which disperses pressure across the trunk thus decreasing the load on the spine (perhaps the reason behind our tendency of performing this manoeuvre unknowingly) & keeping it safe (research supporting this is however limited). This propelled the popular myth that it helps you lift heavier. Also Power lifting is way different from strength training it has its own demands. Power lifters go for heaviest weights. They don’t have X sets of Y repetitions. They do it for seconds. Time is a great factor in Valsalva method.

So if you want to get healthy in a healthy way, exhale when you push/pull & inhale on the way down. 

As I said above Fitness industry is full of quacks because very few trainers are certified & if they are, than not updated. So keep that “WHY” ready every time you hear an advice & do cross check if you get an answer. This is your mantra to keep your workouts safe.


If you have any other questions regarding breathing techniques post it in the comments or shoot it to me on Suraj10c@gmail.com