Friday, December 3, 2010

Basics of Fitness

Heylo People,

One of the main reasons I changed from a career in banking to a career in fitness is that I want use my experiences and knowledge to help people get fit. And the good news is that it is not difficult. While I was on the Biggest Loser, we were really educated and were made to understand things while we were losing weight. Every day, every session, every moment I learnt something thanks to the entire team there.

Today, I am just trying to simplify those concepts for everyone, because I know that once I understood them, I also understood how I could lose weight and remain fit for life. Please throw in as many questions you would like to, & please remember no question is silly. I hope these 2 concepts which form the basis of fitness would really help you.

CONCEPT 1:Do you know what you mean by BMR?

Basal Metabolic Rate = the number of calories your body burns when your heart is at rest.

So even while you sleep your body is burning calories because your heart is pumping.

BMR is important to understand as it is co-related with both diet and exercise. Everyone has a different BMR. It’s important for you to know yours.

My BMR is 2200 Calories. This means that if I consume 2200 calories of food in the form of Carbohydrates, Proteins & Fat in the day, then I should not put on or lose any weight.

One should eat as much as their BMR if they want to maintain their current weight.

Now if I burn calories at the gym by working out (both cardiovascular as well as weight training, individually or combined), that will get added to the 2200 calories (my BMR) that I would otherwise normally burn during the day.

So, if you burn 1000 calories every day (7000 calories a week), it will result in a weight loss of 1 kg a week (for every 7000 calories you burn 1 kg fat). The faster you burn 7000 calories, the faster you lose weight. Simple to understand??

Simply put the calories you need to burn towards weight loss can be calculated as:

(BMR – Diet) – Exercise = Calories lost towards weight loss.

So if your BMR is 1800 calories, your diet is 1800 calories and you burn 1000 calories through exercise per day, your total calories towards weight loss would be: (1800-1800) – 1000 = -1000 calories burnt.

Here is an example of a friend who had consulted me about his diet:
Now as per his diet he was consuming a minimum of 3000 calories per day( it is also important that the consumption of carbs, proteins & fats are also in proportion). His BMR was 1500 calories, and he did not work out.

So if we apply (BMR-Diet) - Exercise, then:
(1500-3000)- 0= +1500

Which means that he was putting on weight rather than losing.

Now that you understand, I will explain Carbs, Proteins and Fats, about why you need to eat 6 a day, and how to use the energy you get from food for working out.

The body's only source of Energy is Food. Carbs and Fats are the prime providers of that energy. Only when there is an insufficient supply of Carbs and Fats to the body, will the body use Proteins. Proteins are mainly used for Muscle enhancement & maintenance.

Right from the time we wake up, our body requires energy every 2.5-3 hours. This energy only comes from food which means that you need to consume food 6-7 times a the day depending on what time you start and finish your day. Whether you feel hungry or not, you need to eat every 2.5 hours Most people only have 3 meals a day. If you are consuming 'X' CALORIES over 3 meals, you need to spread the same 'X' number of calories over 6 meals.

A common thumb rule for composition is 55% Carbs, 35% Proteins & 15% Fat=100% . If you dont give your body food every 2.5 hrs then you will be using the energy from the protein in your body (i.e ur muscle), which is not good. this means it will take you longer to build that lean body.

Now, when you workout, its just important for you to understand one concept, which is that when one starts working out, the body first uses its Glycogen stores ( Carbs), then it uses the Fat Stores & only if the stores of Carbs & Fat get over will it attack Muscle.

Many Gym-goers make the mistake of first doing cardio exercises for 30 minutes & then weights. This is wrong because they are using their glycogen stores while doing cardio and don't have enough energy to lift weights efficiently.

When you work out with weights, start with a quick warm up (10 minutes), then do your weight training (use your carbs here). You can do your cardio later, if you want (where you use ur fat stores). If you are doing cardio then make sure you dont exceed more than 20-30 minutes because then your body will start use proteins after that.

In short, attack your fat for 20-30 minutes and then stop.

For more clarity these are the definitions of Carbs, Proteins & Fats, which I use in my Presentations:

- Carbohydrates are stored in our muscles and liver cells in the form of Glycogen, which are in turn broken down to glucose

- Fat is stored beneath the skin where it serves not only as a fuel store but also as insulation to prevent Heat loss. Fats contain two types of molecules, glycerol & fatty acids, which when broken down release energy

-Protein is a fundamental building block for the growth & repair of tissues. It is not stored in the same way as Carbs and Fat are. It can provide energy only when there is insufficient supply from the other sources.

I hope these 2 concepts help you all. Please write in with questions or feedback. I am happy to answer.

Making the World a Fitter Place

Enjoy & Stay Fit