Diet and hydration (6)
Tis a common lament amongst folks, even though who exercise regularly. You hit the gym regularly, you go for long walks, you do endless amounts of pushups and sit-ups - - but somehow, just SOMEHOW, that stubborn flab doesn't disappear as fast as it should.
You see some results in the mirror - but you aren't entirely satisfied with what you say - and for those of you that are overweight, the flab doesn't seem to go away "permanently".
Now, you might think that the obvious answer to this is the wrong form of exercise - and you'd be perfectly justified in thinking so. In fact, I've said many times before that exercising the wrong way can actually end up being detrimental to your overall health, fitness and motivation levels - not good if that's the case.
But what if your exercising the way you should, and still aren't quite "getting there" in terms of fat loss/overall fitness goals?
Well, the next obvious answer after exercise would be the big D i.e. diet.
That's right - the dreaded word that a LOT of us don't like to hear - including yours truly at times.
Now, when most people think of diet, they're thinking "oh, I gotta subsist on salads, and raw vegetables. Small portions, NO junk food, NO cheat meals, yadda, yadda". And so forth. And while you might be hitting the nail on the head in terms of staying away from junk food and eating more vegetables, the fact of the matter is that DIET for most people equals PORTIONS.
And this, my friend is the wrong way to think about it.
Smaller portions might leave you feeling hungry and irritated all day long - or perhaps you may feel like you've "accomplished" something mentally in terms of "sticking to a diet". But this ploy won't get you long lasting results - and when you do finally give in and have that large cheat meal, the weight will yo-yo right back on.
Not good, my friend. Not good at all.
I could go on and on about what sorts of food to eat, what to eat, when to eat, but I think the best way to go about this would be to give you a personal example - MINE.
Those of you that have been following this blog know that I moved to China last year. You also know that I've been "reunited" with my all time favorite fat buster and "get your rumpus in shape FAST" tool, that being a long, steep hill about 10 minutes walk from my house.
But what you might now know is that I had to leave China for a while in February (mostly personal reasons) - and what started out as a two week odessey turned out into a near 4 week trip, with VERY little, if any exercise thrown in. Oh, and that explains the long break in posts as well. . .
Now, that's not to say I turned into a tub of lard during that period - far from it. In fact people were commenting on how much better I looked since I'd been to China WHILE I was wondering if I was putting on weight, so that should tell you something.
Anyway, I finally got back in March, but I was still busier than a bee for the most part. Sure, I got my exercise in daily here - but my busy and erratic schedules often meant I was eating late, eating all the wrong things at the wrong times - in short - my diet was pretty bad at the time.
And after a week or two of arriving back, I actually noticed that I was putting ON weight in certain areas.
It was a VERY tiny amount of weight to be sure, but it was flab alright - and that's how it starts. Tiny turns into BIG before you know it, and this was when I was exercising hard on a daily basis - hiking up hills in the heat ain't no joke even in the best of weather, and I was doing my other bodyweight stuff as well.
I knew what the problem was, though.
Too many "burgers" (I use that term loosely) gobbled down late at night after I got a respite from my schedule. Virtually no vegetables in my diet, and no real "meat" either for the most part. Well, not unless you count the meat on pizzas to be real meat. . .
And so forth. Now, I got away with this sort of eating pattern for a while when I was younger, but that was for a few months - it eventually catches up with ya.
Anyway, something had to be done.
This won't work, I thought. Here I am, taking time out of my busy schedule to work out daily - and I'm actually LOSING instead of GAINING??
And so, here are a few rules I made for myself around the 14th or so (I think it was that date - I haven't recorded it): -
NO more fast food unless I really, really had no other option.
NO more fried dumplings, or friend anything.
NO more French bread for breakfast (even though I love the taste)
NO pizza, except maybe on Sat nights
Make it a point to eat meat, and lots of it on a daily basis - and make it a point to eat VEGETABLES on a daily basis. And drink lots and lots of green tea/water (this part was easy - I was already doing it).
And - here's the kicker - NO alcohol of any sort, which for me means no beer, or very little of it. (Guys, you're going to hate me for saying this, but beer can really, really screw with an otherwise great diet).
As you can tell, these are pretty simple rules to follow. No fancy calorie counters, no cholesterol blasters, no repeated bloodwork etc etc. Just a few simple rules that I thought I could abide by.
The first week went by smoothly. The second was tougher, and I "cheated" a couple of times, but I made it through. No noticeable results as yet, but I did notice I was generally feeling and looking better.
I had much more energy and more spring in my step - even though it wasn't showing in terms of absolute and rapid fat loss.
Come the third week (around the start of April), and I noticed I no longer even wanted the stuff I ate before. In fact, put a Micky D's supersize meal in front of me, and I'd be asking myself where the greens were - - and thats not because I was feeling "guilty" - - it was because my body just didn't want the stuff any more, period.
Interesting observation, eh?
But what's more interesting is that it was around THIS week that I really started to notice dramatic changes in my stamina and fat levels - not to mention overall appearance.
My hill climb times started to abruptly drop from around 25-28 minutes per climb to between 15-17 - - and given how steep this hill is, that ain't no easy task, let me tell you. (more on this tomorrow - - be looking for my post "The old man I met in China")
The tiny little bit of unsightly fat around my chest that had built up out of "nowhere" started to melt away WITHOUT any direct chest work.
Ditto for that troublesome area around the lower back.
And my pants started to literally fall off me - - even after tightening my belt as far as it could go.
Now, after that third week, I cheated a bit again the fourth week, and then the fifth. But it was only once or twice a week - I ate healthy most of the time otherwise - and kept my exercise routine exactly the same i.e. a hill climb followed by bodyweight stuff.
And I even allowed myself a beer or two on the week occasionally.
And guess what - the results just keep coming. I got in a 17 minute climb on a REAL tough route on the hill today - something which took me around 23 minutes a few months ago (still a good time for that route, but 17 minutes is REALLY good).
So, that was the result of my little experiment - need I say more? I'm not even going to get into how I could and do "cheat" a bit more occasionally than when I first started - - or about how I cannot even stomach the unhealthy stuff any more - - perhaps I'll address those points in future posts.
Folks, diet DOES, and WILL play a huge part when it comes to getting the results you want in terms of fitness. If your not getting the results that you want, then take a long hard look at your diet - it might just be whats drawing you back.
To put it another way - - exercise is king - - and nutrition is queen - - but a cranky queen makes for a tough life if you're the king!
And now, to end this, I'll throw in the final wrench by stating what my diet normally looks like these days: -
Rice at most meals, along with grilled beef, pork, or lamb. In other words, I usually eat meat and rice (two huge no-no's for most dieters) at EVERY meal, except perhaps breakfast. Lamb comes in first on my list, followed closely by beef - with pork running a close third.
(I should also mention I try and stay away from chicken, turkey and other supposedly "lean" meats - they don't do much for me at all.)
I eat steamed leafy green vegetables at EVERY meal - preferably a good bit.
I eat eggs when I want to, and snack on salted cashewnuts and almonds if I get hungry during the day (or evening, for that matter).
I don't eat a lot of fruit - none at all, actually these days - but I don't mind the occasional apple or orange. But, I don't drink any commercially processed OJ or other drinks - NO sugar whatsoever in my diet in any way, shape or form.
I skip breakfast at times if I have to (or lunch sometimes) - but I NEVER control portions when I do eat. In other words, if I want a few more chunks of beef, I'll go right ahead and eat them without feeling guilty.
(Side note: this doesn't mean I eat like a hog - far from it - but I certainly don't limit my portions either)
I drink plenty of green tea and water during the day. I do have the occasional beer, perhaps once or twice a week, but no more than that, and I don't go overboard with it.
And that, my friend, is the diet that's been giving me excellent results - - perhaps not what "the doctor ordered" in terms of a traditional diet, but it works for me.
And it'll work for YOU too, my friend.
Remember, diet is important - but the RIGHT form of diet is of paramount importance. A diet ideally shouldn't even feel like a diet - - if it does, it ain't the right one for you.
And I'll end on that note. If you work out today, make it an excellent one - and write back and tell me how it went!!
P.S.: - Forget watching calories, limiting your portions and all that other jazz the "pundits" yell about. A simple and no-nonsense diet that you can actually FOLLOW - and that won't leave you cranky all day long is laid out right HERE: - http://rahulmookerjee.com/index.php/articles/84-the-simple-and-effective-diet
(I sent this one to my mailing list on my Simple and Effective Diet website at http://www.simpleandeffectivediet.com, but figured it's applicable here as well - so am sending it to you guys as well. Enjoy!)
Well, it's been a long, long hiatus for sure - especially for those of you on the Simple and Effective Diet mailing list. Lots and lots of things going on over the past year, the main ones (the topping on the cake, really, in terms of volume) being a move back to India from the sands of Oman (a country that didn't particularly suit us) a few months ago, new fitness routines (of course!), a new manual on developing your shoulders - and most importantly, the birth of my baby girl a little more than a month ago. More than enough to keep me busy for a few months, if not more!
And as if that "ain't" enough, there are more major changes galore - all very exciting and I'll hopefully be keeping you posted on all those through the blog/email.
(Side note: For those of you that haven't already, you might want to sign up for my newsletter on my other "main" site http://www.rahulmookerjee.com - the blog/list there is update far more frequently than on this particular site. Worry not - I don't plan on forgetting about this particular site - quite the contrary - but as of now, I've been updating the other one a lot more frequently, so you might want to sign up for the mailing list on that one as well).
Anyway, so I was surfing the Internet looking for some decent burger joints (don't ask, long story there) and up pops this URL that claimed the owner of the "Heart Attack Grill" is "proudly displaying dead customer's remains" to it's customers, and is apparently doing quite well also.
Hmm, gotta check THIS one out, I thought. Some loons in this world for sure (no disrespect meant to the Heart Attack Grill management!), but I've never quite heard anything like THIS before. . .
So, I did some research - and it turns out that this restaurant DOES exist - in Vegas - which given the "theme" of the joint doesn't surprise me. It's basically a burger and fries joint for the obese - extremely obese, at that. Some "attractions" here include "quadruple bypass burgers" (which supposedly contain 10,000 calories per burger), french fries prepared in pork lard (not kidding), calorie laden milkshakes, beer and more - in short, a perfect invitation to obesity and a heart attack if one eats these regularly.
Oh, and lest I forget, the waitresses are dressed up as nurses, and apparently "spank" those that are unable to finish their portions. The owner of the joint wears a doctor's white lab coat and makes it a point to warn all and sundry that his food is BAD for you, and those that manage to finish the quadruple bypass delicacy are put into a wheelchair and wheeled out to their vehicle by the "nurses".
And to top it all off (no pun intended), those over 350lbs get to eat free there - no questions asked.
Now, as of late the owner of the joint has apparently been marketing his business by displaying the "remains" of a customer than apparently died while eating a meal at his restaurant, and that has obviously got some folks more than a bit agitated.
Some folks are asking if it's "right" to serve such unhealthy food.
Some are pondering the ethics of the situation, as in, "should he really be marketing himself this way"? "Doesn't the man have a sense of responsibility?"
Well, I'm not really going to get into the ethics part of this - but I'm going to say this - ethics aside, what is REALLY, REALLY pathetic is that folks still GO to this restaurant and eat there - despite it being openly (some would say shamelessly) billed as serving possibly the unhealthiest food you can eat. Despite folks dying while eating that sort of food on a daily basis. And despite knowing fully well that partaking of such food is an invitation to health problems, even if you exercise on a regular basis (unless your Michael Phelps who reportedly needs around 13,000 calories per day, but I doubt most of us fit that bill).
Now, before some of you guys jump on me for saying this, let me make it clear than I have absolutely nothing against a decent hamburger/fries meal. I actually love grilled meat, and I also enjoy the occasional cold beverage along with it, so I'm certainly no "purist" in that regard.
But, I also believe in the concept of personal responsibility - something that seems to be lost to many folks. I mean, allowing oneself to balloon up to over 400 lbs or more isn't exactly being responsbile with your own body - and stuffing oneself silly when one weighs that much with unhealthy food is the same as a slow, drawn out suicide - nothing less than that.
We hear a lot about ethics, and while the provocateur of this particular joint seems to specialize in guerilla marketing (to say the least), what about the folks that continue to eat there?
I mean - the guy's openly telling folks NOT to come to his joint since the food is so unhealthy, and yet folks keep coming - where's the logic in THAT?
And while coming once "just to try it out" might be one thing, there are apparently "regulars" who eat there on a regular basis as well (hey, it's "FREE!" for those of us over 350lbs). Yikes!
I could go on and on on this topic, but it's sad that it's come to this, to be honest. When did the concept of a "good hard days work" followed by a nice, hot dinner along with beverage of choice get replaced by unlimited gluttony and zero physical exercise?
Anyway, my advice to those that continue to enjoy that type of food on a regular basis would be to: -
- At least get on a decent fitness program and lose some of that excess weight, even if doing ONE pushup is a current impossibility right now. The routines in Fast and Furious Fitness will help these folks whittle away the lard in record time: - http://rahulmookerjee.com/index.php/articles/83-fast-and-furious-fitness-the-book
- Ditch the fries, shakes and bread - fatty meat is bad enough, but the rest is just empty calories times 10. Seriously.
- Make a will (if you have loved ones). Chances are that even intense training won't get you in the sort of shape you need to be to "digest" this sort of swill on a regular basis.
- And last, make a drastic change in your eating/lifestyle habits - this is probably the best suggestion, but one that a lot of folks are averse to, since it actually involves some effort and responsibility on their part.
And as for the owner of the Heart Attack Grill, well, I'll say this - he's sure found a marketing tactic that (unfortunately) works - and who are we to condem him for that? His marketing might not "sound" ethical, but neither are the "healthy" offerings dished up by Mc Donalds and KFC - both contributors in a big way to the epidemic of obesity sweeping across the globe. At least this dude is honest about the fact that he's concerned about the money coming in, but also wants folks to know just how unhealthy society in general has gotten - and that to me isn't a bad thing.
Sometimes some nasty medicine is "just what the patient requires" (to paraphrase the late Steve Jobs). . .
And that, my friend, is what I think of that - I'm off to eat some grilled chicken breasts myself shortly!
P.S. #1: - You can sign up for my Simple and Effective Diet list (that I spoke about in this email) right HERE: - http://simpleandeffectivediet.com/index.php/free-newsletter.
P.S. #2: Stay tuned for more MAJOR changes coming - changes you guys will certainly enjoy as much as I will!
Those of us that are looking to get into great shape (or are already in good shape and enjoy superb overall health) know how important it is not just to exercise regularly, but also eat the right things. As the famous Jack LaLanne once said "Exercise is king, diet is queen - put them together, and you have a kingdom". It's a simple message, but one that cannot be emphasized enough.
And in accordance with this, one of the most important things you can do with respect to your nutrition is to eat the right things immediately after a workout. This is important regardless of whether or not you currently exercise, or are looking to drop a few pounds, or fall into neither of the two categories - but it assumes greater importance RIGHT AFTER a tough workout, because that is when your body requires proper nutrition to start the process of rebuilding the muscle fibres you just tore down during your workout.
Eat a greasy, fat laden cheeseburger right after your workout, and chances are that the buzz you've got from your workout will go away after a while, only to replaced by a feeling of fatigue. On the other hand, eat a light, nutritious snack - and your energy levels will shoot through the roof, and stay there a while. If you don't believe me, skip the post-workout heavy meal the next time you workout - replace with boiled eggs and almonds, and then tell me how you feel for the rest of the day.
But though boiled eggs and almonds are a GREAT post-workout meal (I partake of these on a regular basis), there is something else that works even better for me - and that something is not even a solid food - it's meant to be drunk, not eaten.
And just in case you've already decided you know what it is - NO, It's NOT milk. It's NOT the latest protein shake, banana shake, or any other "shake" for that matter. And it's not water, though you do need to drink the right amount of water after (and during) your workout.
Ok, so what IS it then?
The answer is: green tea, or GENUINE Chinese green tea to be specific.
Yes, you heard me right. Not any sort of supplement, or any magic "post workout drink". No protein shakes, nothing - just genuine Chinese green tea - right after a tough workout.
Green tea is one of the best drinks I've ever discovered. In addition to quitting coffee right after I discovered this "magic" drink in China (and drinking green tea is common in China - unlike other parts of the world), I've made sure I partake of green tea on a daily basis - all throughout the day, but also right after my workout. It's well known that green tea is choc-a-bloc full of anti-oxidants that nuke the free radicals (bad stuff) in your body - and THIS is what you require the MOST after a tough workout. Sure, protiens are required - but I can't say enough good things about blasting away the free radicals in your body right after a tough workout.
I feel AWESOME after a mug of hot green tea (more so after a tough workout) - and so will YOU. Just make sure it is genuine Chinese green tea - not the artificial stuff sold in tea bags, and you're all set. Also, and this is important - make sure you prepare the tea correctly, or you'll risk ruining the taste.
Give this a try, and let me know how it goes for you!
PS: Like Jack LaLanne famously said "Exercise is king, and diet is queen". Remember that one without the other doesn't do you much good - and doing the right exercises is key to overall health, strength, and fitness. Fast and Furious Fitness teaches you many of the same exercises LaLanne did on a regular basis, and there's no arguing with the results he got. Grab your copy NOW.
OK, I'll admit it. I cheated a bit on my diet today. Had an EXTREMELY hectic day today, driving all around town - was on the road pretty much all day long, and didn't even have any time to sit down for lunch.
And that's what I'm referring to - I cheated on my diet today at lunch. Had some greasy, fried stuff I would normally not even touch with a ten foot pole, but we didn't have many options available to be honest. No options, and no time either, so had to grab some "fast food" as it were. And that happens to all of us - I'm sure you know where I'm coming from.
The good news though is that I know the cheating today won't end up as excess fat around the midsection. Why? Well, first of all I don't cheat all the time - if I did, that would be another story, but I only OCCASIONALLY deviate from my diet, either due to necessity (most of the time) or sometimes just to eat what I like. The key word being OCCASIONAL - not "every other day", or "Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays".
Second, I'm following the exercise routines I advocate in Fast and Furious Fitness. And if you do so on a regular basis as well, you won't have to worry about the occasional deviation from a good diet either. In fact, there have been many folks that haven't even changed their diet one bit - and have still succeeded in melting the fat off their bodies at the rate of knots. That's right - NO change in their diet, and yet they got the results. I don't advovate this myself, but the exercises are that powerful - so if you haven't already got your copy, do so NOW.
Anyway, I'll be back to my usual diet this evening. And I'm looking forward to it - unlike what most folks think, a healthy diet can be far,far tastier than "fast food" on the run, and I can personally vouch for that one.
So, there endeth today's (delayed) tip. Back again tomorrow!
PS: Grab a copy of the Simple and Effective Diet NOW, and see how you can eat healthy, and enjoy it far more than you do the "fast food". Drop the fast food - it's just not good for you.
Proper diet is crucial to success in one's training program, and living a long, healthy disease-free life. You can follow the best training program in the world, but if you don't follow a good, sensible diet along with it, you simply won't achieve optimal results. To give you another example, you can train the gut all day long with solid exercises that build plenty of muscle - but if you don't follow a good diet, that muscle will be covered in layers of fat, and you simply won't look (or feel) fit. This, unfortunately is the way it is.
Pump second grade or adulterated gas into a Ferrari, and it'll screw up at some point - it's just that simple. And it works the same way with your body.
Regular readers of this blog will know that I had some of the best workouts of my life a few years back in China, when I had a steep hill 10 minutes away from my house. For more on that, you can read my blog post HERE. Now I was in real good shape during that period - and that was great - but the reason I'm mentioing it here is because my diet was less than ideal. And while I could maintain my gains even with a bad diet, it couldn't last forever, and eventually I found that out.
I sure wish I'd have known what I do NOW about diet. And funny part is, it's not complicated in the least; following a good diet is actually extremely simple - but like with everything else, the simple things in life are overlooked most often. And I want to make sure YOU don't make the same mistakes I did. I want to make sure YOU have access to the best information available there is, and it is keeping this in mind that I have launched my comprehensive diet manual - The Simple and Effective Diet.
This manual contains ALL the information that you require to torch the fat off your body, while maintaining a high level of strength and overall fitness. Combine this with a good exercise program, and you won't believe the results you achieve. Given the value of the information in it, I could easily price this manual at $30 or way above - but I'm not. I'm offering this for a ridiculously low price of $6.99 - as I want this information to be available to everyone.
And what's more, you don't even have to wait for the course to ship to you - I'm offering it as a pdf copy for now - so you will receive your copy within 24 hours of payment.
Jump on this NOW - this will be one of the best decisions you ever make.
PS: - Diet and exercise complement each other - but they don't produce optimal results in isolation. To get the best of both worlds, grab a copy of Fast and Furious Fitness as well. You owe it to yourself and your health - so reserve your copy TODAY.
We've all heard the "drink at least 8 glasses of water a day" statement, and the health benefits associated with the same. Today, however, I'm going to go out on a bit of a limb and talk about another often ignored beverage that has possibly MORE health benefits than water - that being green tea.
First off, I'd like to clarify my stand by saying that I am in FULL agreement with drinking eight (or more, if you need more) glasses of pure water a day. I do so myself, and can personally attest to the gains associated with staying proprely hydrated.It is a fantastic practice, and should be followed by everyone. But, green tea is something which has also been of immense benefit to me, and I believe it is something YOU should be partaking of on a daily basis as well.
Let's hark back to 2004, during a "different life", when I was posted in China. I'd exercise after work then - not before - and my routine was an ardous (but enjoyable) daily hill climb in hot and humid conditions, followed by a tough bodyweight routine. I talk about this more in Fast and Furious Fitness. I'd usually get back home late, and was tired and cranky - not the ideal way to start a tough workout immediately after - but a mug or two of green tea later, I was raring to go. My mind cleared up, I got an instant energy "boost", and I actually felt like going out there and busting my backside to get a great workout in - and I usually did.
There were days I couldn't get a decent meal in throughout the day (I'll talk about more the reasons behind that in a later post) but I'd ALWAYS make sure to drink my green tea throughout the day. While it didn't quite compensate for missing meals, it did make me feel as if I'd put something healthy into my body - as opposed to filling myself up with endless glasses of water. And part of the credit for my progress in my exercise routines in China goes to green tea.
Green tea has tons of health benefits, and listing them all here would take all day for me to do - but for now, let's just say that drinking a few glasses of green tea daily is the best thing you can do for your overall health. Just make sure you get high grade, GOOD quality green tea. Also, make sure that you are drinking green tea as it is meant to be drunk- and that is simply adding water to the tea leaves - and not a bunch of sugar, mint, or other additives which completely destroy the flavor of the tea and negate most of the health benefits of this amazing drink.
Note also that green tea is NOT addictive, unlike coffee and other "pick me ups" that folks prefer these days. You will not need to it get out of bed in the morning, or get through the day - but note that if you do drink it on a regular basis (as opposed to craving it) - you will be better off for it.
And as always, make sure your getting enough water as well - and stay away from the nasty stuff (colars, sugary drinks etc). Combine this with a sensible diet, and you've taken care of the diet and hydration part of your routine.
Ok, that's all for today. Back again tomorrow!