“Hey! I joined your page OMNIFARIOUS on facebook. There I asked you guys if I could ask you a lot of questions. You sent me this email id. So here I am with my long list of questions. I’m sorry for taking so much of your time. But I would be really grateful if you could answer my all these problems PLEASE!
Dear Curious, It’s great you know so much about how to be healthy. Before you want to kick a bad habit or food addiction you have to replace it with a good one! You don’t have to cut carbs to zero. It would be unprofessional of me to suggest you to do so. No one can live without carbs. But you have to see which carbs you CAN take. The carbs I absolutely recommend is vegetables, whole grains (although I am not a big fan and you really have to be active to eat a lot of these) and fresh fruits (again shouldn’t be too much per day as fruits contain fructose and that again is carbs).
“1. Ok so first of all, let me tell you that I want to lose weight. But I have absolutely no idea how to go about it. I know about the basics like I have to work out and eat lesser and cut the carbs. But it’s hard. I don’t know how to do this. I love food. And I just can’t live without carbs!! So my first problem is that what can I eat and what can I not eat? Can you provide me with any diet chart or anything and tell me about the foods that I HAVE TO ABSOLUTELY AVOID EATING??”
The carbs that you HAVE TO ABSOLUTELY AVOID EATING is table sugar or anything contains it, processed foods, foods that have a shelf life, soft drinks, fruit juices (fibre is essential and lowers Glycemic index of foods), high glycemic foods (foods that release insulin rapidly in the body like white flour and too much white rice), Transfats and cheap cooking oils and overcooked foods in these oils.
At Omnifarious you have to EARN your carbs. Carbs are long chains of glucose (used by body for sustaining life, functioning and movement) and will turn into glucose once ingested and digested and release insulin. If you don’t move much but have carbs excessively your body doesn’t have a choice but to store it. Excess Carbs (sugars or glucose) is like a guest who stays home even after the party is over (fat). So there would be no way but to match your carb intake with your activity level. Minimum carb intake would be about 130 grams. Although you could look good even at about 200 grams per day. I know we all love food. I do. But you will either need to increase activity level or just limit these.
It should not only be clear why you should do this but also it should really MEAN to you. You should ask yourself why you want to do this and if you are ready for it. I am not suggesting you should never look at these food items again in your life. There are times when I eat them too for whatever reason. But when there is choice (and I normally make sure there is) these wouldn’t be my choice.
Your protein sources should come from lean proteins like meat, fish, mutton, chicken, eggs, tofu and soy milk. I would normally suggest organic stuff since the mass produced products are chemically altered and cause havoc in the system. But except poultry (although finding organic poultry and eggs are extremely easy in Pakistan) we are not too much affected by this in the country yet and you could enjoy other protein sources.
You should enjoy nuts (all sorts of them), Take at least 3 grams of fish oil (or flaxseed oil – I like to have sesame and chia seeds in my protein shakes in the gym as well), have colorful vegetables and fruits. I like to supplement my clients diets with Magnesium, Zinc, Vitamin D3 (extremely essential), B complex and a general multivitamin that you keep switching brands.
But read here and keep the nutritional balance.
“2. Secondly, I was reading about weight loss and I found out something really strange on various websites. It said that sometimes belly fat is a result of excess cortisol which causes accumulation of fat due to stress. So they said that such bodies should not do intense exercise as it would cause even more stress, produce even more cortisol and lead to more fat!!! It said that adrenal kind bodies should stick to low intensity longer duration aerobic exercise while all other body types should do high intensity short duration exercise like resistance exercise or interval training. So how do I determine what is my body type and should I do short duration high intensity workout or long duration low intensity workout?”That’s a good question. This is absolutely correct. You can find out about your cortisol levels through blood tests and saliva tests (the latter is a better option although I don’t know of a place that does that in the country yet). If you live in Islamabad let me know and I will refer you to a lab that give my clients 25% discount. You can find out about your stress through that. Most people are extremely stressed all the time. Our bodies still cannot differentiate between the stress of a tiger running after us or the stress of a deadline. Stress is stress and the body will process it the same way by producing cortisol. However, I should add that the stress of a tiger running after us is something we were supposed to live with and does not harm us. If that stress response was not there we would end up a good hunt and hadn’t made it so far. That kind of stress also makes us produce adrenaline. It is, in fact, the chronic stress that destroys us (stress of a boss, job, studies, computer, relationships, children, etc). Our adrenal gland produce a host of hormones responsible for handling stressful situations. But just like the pancreas that cannot work indefinitely (at some point they will burn out and you will not optimally release insulin to handle sugars and carbs) our adrenal glands can keep up with stress to a certain extent. At some point they will give up. Just like when you are Diabetic and cannot handle carbs, you wouldn’t be able to handle stress and each stressful situation will tax the person more and more. I have had a few clients who I diagnosed with “adrenal fatigue”.
With people whose cortisol level is high, exercise frequency and intensity should be very low. Exercise should not be a stress factor in their lives. It rather has to be something they should look forward to. I am going to write an article regarding high cortisol levels, how to diagnose it, and how to diagnose if you are suffering from adrenal fatigue in a future post and will link it to this.
However, at your age, I see it very improbable that you would have adrenal fatigue. You might have high cortisol levels here and there but that’s perfectly normal. So extremely low intensity exercise or traditional aerobic is not a smart option. Please read this and this post if you need to know why aerobic is not a good option. I should also mention that resistance training (weight training) can be done at lower intensities and benefits of it reaped. This will still be a superior way to Aerobic training.
“3. One concern that I have is a bit embarrassing. It is embarrassing to say this but I have to. I want to lose weight but I don’t want to lose weight from my breasts and butt. Is there any way I can lose weight but STILL maintain the same size for my assets? Or are there any exercises for maintaining bigger rounder booty and chest size or even getting larger assets?”I have addressed spot reduction in this post. However, it is still possible to maintain a big C shape rounder and firmer booty through a few exercises. My favorite ones are the Deadlift, Squats, Lunge variations, Hip Raise/Hip Thrust/Glute Bridge and their single leg variations and Good morning. Please note that you should first learn how to do these exercises properly. As much as they are good they can cause harm to the body if proper technique, from, and progression doesn’t follow. Unfortunately I do not know of any gym in the country except Omnifarous where trainers are certified and know how to “assess” and guide you. If you live abroad and want to join a good facility I might be able to refer you to a professional who has done his homework (I see many trainees every week who have had trainers abroad yet have not been properly assessed and corrected by their personal trainers).
If you are genetically gifted you would maintain larger breasts even as you cut down fat percentage. If not they will not shrink to a disproportionate size and you shouldn’t worry about it much. With proper exercise and progressions you can cut down fat, and at the same time build your curves (wider shoulders, erect posture, C shape butt, and firm Quadricps and Hamstrings. I will address these exercises in a future post and a video entry. We have most of the exercises I listed on our Youtube page:
“4. The main areas I want to lose weight from are from my belly, arms and legs. What kind of workout will be best for this? And can you recommend any very good exercises for these areas that can help me in losing inches off my belly and arms really quickly?”Again please refer to this article by clicking here.
“5. Okay one last thing. My height is short. I’m only 5 feet 2 inches. I’m 20 years old now so no hope for any height increases obviously. But are there any exercises that I can do to add some inches to my height? Some very effective exercises?”There is not any exercise that I can suggest you for increasing height. But I can assure you that weight training does not have to do anything with reducing height. It’s the steroid drugs used at an early age that stop vertical growth and cause growth plate maturations of the bones, not weights and that’s where the misconception is arising from. But if you play overhead sports like Basketball or Volleyball for very long you might see a slight increase in height given you are still in growth. This is almost negligible and might not be worth the effort and the injuries if not under proper supervision.
It’s both ways. Kids start playing Basketball or Volleyball and grow tall and also people who are tall normally tend to go far in these sports. That’s why we see them on TV more. On the other hand, Olympic weightlifters who are shorter make it to the Olympics since if you are tall it would be very hard to Snatch or Clean & Jerk 400 pounds over your head.
I have trained numerous young athletes and enthusiasts who grew taller, stronger and faster in front of my eyes all the time engaging in resistance training.
“6. How can I accelerate the weight loss process? How can I quickly shed off the extra weight? Is there any way or any trick to speed up the process?”
You can accelerate your “fat-loss” by cutting down on calories yet maintaining nutritional balance. If you want to cut fat fast you might go as low as 50 grams per day in carbs but again replacing the calories you might otherwise get from carbs by fats (fat and carbs calorie intake is always inversely proportional).
The law of Thermodynamics states that energy cannot be created or destroyed and can only be transferred. We humans are no exception to the rule. If you stay in a positive calorie balance you will gain weight or maintain the high weight and if you stay in a negative calorie balance you will lose weight. Note, that if you go too low on calories you will decrease your base metabolic rate and when you bring back the calorie intake to normal now every calorie counts more than it did before since your body can now operate on a much lower daily calorie count. You could starve yourself for a month and lose a lot of weight (note I said weight – you could lose a lot of muscle in this period as well hence the lower metabolic rate) but this is not wise to do and is very unhealthy. People who starve diet, or go on various unscientific diets do lose weight simply because they go low on calories and normally have twice of it back once back to daily routine. To lose FAT and keep it off and build good looking muscle requires planning, proper exercise and a “I WILL DO IT” mindset.
I also like to incorporate Intermittent Fasting with my clients and I have seen great results from it on myself and my clients. Please make sure you read the article.
I have had clients who have lost as much as 10kgs in 1.5 months being only 15kgs away from seeing all their abdominal muscles. However, they have been the most dedicated clients. They have had their diets under control with our nutrition system and consultations and they have worked out hard and intense at Omnifarious. Most of these individuals have been very athletic before though. I would not suggest more than 1 to 2 pounds or about 1Kg per week maximum for an individual new to exercise unless the individual is over 30% body fat.
“That is all I wanted to ask. Thanks a lot!”
Hope you got all your answers,
Thank you for choosing us to answer your questions.
Wish you the best of luck in your endeavours.
Do let me know if there is any other question you might have.
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Committed to your health and happiness,