Arun is Bringing You...Your Daily Remedy

Friday, January 12, 2007

From Chubby to Studdly Part 3




If you haven't read parts 1 or 2 of this artcle, please check them out before reading on.

Here's Part 1

Here's Part 2

Ok so here we are, the moment you've all been waiting for...my solution to physical fitness! So without further ado...

In order to get fit in the healthiest, fastest way possible, you need to focus on three elements: Diet, Cardiovascular training, and Weight Training. Yes I know, this is no revelation so far but bear with me! So lets break it down.

Diet

This may possibly be the most important of the three! So what's the first step. Well, eat MORE!

I know what you're thinking. "Don't toy with me Arun! Is this some kind of sick joke where I follow you're advise, then a few months from now after I've gained 30lbs, you say 'just kidding?!"

I wouldn't do that to you. I don't know about you, but I like to eat, and eat a lot! Nobody likes to be hungry, so the key is eating throughout the day to make sure that you don't get to hungry. Now I'm not saying eat whatever you want, but if you pick your foods right, you'll be full and healthy.

Which do you think would satisfy your hunger more, a snickers bar, or an apple, pear, AND orange. They pack the same amount of calories but the latter choice would STUFF me! Not only that, but the fiber in fruit would curb my appetite for much longer afterwards as well.

When I'm grocery shopping, I always look for things that give me the biggest "bang for my buck." Basically what I'm saying is that I look for the most filling, best tasting foods that don't cost a lot of fat and calories. I choose the giant plate of chicken-breast with wild rice and veggies over the single slice of combo pizza. Same amount of calories, only one is way more filling AND healty.

I love making soup for a few reasons. I make it healthy by LOADING it with veggies and chicken breast. You can eat a TON because a huge portion of it is water. And, it's low fat, low calorie, low carb, highly nutritious, and super filling! How's that for a winning combo?

Also, I make it a point to make a little too much vegetable when I eat. Then, I force myself to eat it ALL before I get to whatever my main course is. Now I'm full, and I generally take longer to eat whatever is in front of me. Frequently I save the rest for a "second sitting" of dinner later on. Since it's usually some kind of meat, it's not as bad to consume it before going to bed (as opposed to high carbohydrate foods).

So if you eat like this most of the time, you'll be golden. Always look for getting the biggest bang for your buck with food. The old cliche "you are what you eat" is so true! I used to eat chocolate, fried chicken, pizza, and everything else unhealthy for you all the time! What was I? I was a blob.

I know, I know. We can't eat like this all the time! In fact, I would encourage you NOT to eat like this all the time!

It would be ridiculous for me to recommend making this type of eating a lifestyle change. "No pizza or fried chicken for the rest of your life!" That's no fun, and nobody would follow my advice. I eat like this most of the time but I do cheat on average, one day a week.

Now I don't have a set day of the week where I say "Ok today I'm going to eat whatever I want!" But if I'm doing something like going out, or if I'm really really craving something fatty, I'll cave. Its good because mentally you give yourself a break from this "healthy" mentality which can be hard to maintain. Also metabolically, its good for your body to get lots of calories every now and then.

So let me summarize my diet tips:

1. Eat more food more throughout the day: This revs up your metabolism and keeps you feeling full. The key here is making good choices and getting the best "bang for your buck."

2. Avoid drinking your calories. I know a lot of people who constantly drink soda. Soda is TERRIBLE for you! If I'm going to drink soda, I drink diet. When I drink coffee, I use splenda. I love eating and I'm not going to waste calories on drinks! Switching to diet might be painful at first but you'll get used to it!

There's that old joke about the guy eating a snickers bar and drinking a diet coke...well I'm that guy! When I go to the movies, I load up on candy and bring a diet coke. Any calorie savings are good savings.

Also, watch out for juice. Even though it's "all natural" or whatever, when you juice a fruit, you lose the MOST IMPORTANT fibers and vitamins. What your left with is a drink that's high in sugar. I never buy juice (except for Carrot juice on occassion), but eat TONS of fruit.

3. Allow yourself a cheat day. Its a good mental break from the "healthyness", and it will make following a 90% healthy diet easier.

4. Take some time to research a food before accepting that it's healthy. Read food labels. Know the serving size! I see people get a "healthy salad" all the time, and then coat it with ranch dressing and have a tall glass of OJ on the side. No bueno.

Most people think they know which foods are healthy, but in reality, are TOTALLY deceived. Take responsibility for what you are putting inside of you! Even if I'm going to eat something that is totally unhealthy, I make it a point to know EXACTLY how unhealthy it is for me. Then, I know exactly how hard I have to bust my ass to work it off.

5. Try incorporating some "substitutes." I love dessert, so in my freezer I have "Healthy Choice Fudge Bars." Would I prefer a Double Size Super Fudge Sunday? Damn right I would! But, really all I need is a little sweet fix to be satisfied. The healthy choice fudge bar accomplishes this with FAR less damage.

Cardio

The key here is finding a physical activity you like to do and doing it a lot! Most people don't like running or getting on the stairclimber. I don't either.

When I slimmed down, my primary physical activities were basketball and tennis because I love both sports. Hell, even golf (provided you don't use a cart) is great exercise! Find something you love to do and do it a lot!

Now I did mention I run and do cardio of other sorts as well, but that's not essential. Why do I do it? Because I'm ultra competitive. Being in better shape gives me an edge in basketball, tennis, racketball, golf, and running. I really don't enjoy being on that damn stairmaster, but the whole time I'm busting my ass, I'm thinking "Noone else will mentally put up with this punishment!" so that makes me both physically and mentally stronger.

Also, I really envision the fat melting off and my heart becoming more efficient with every pump. The feeling of accomplishment, energy, and clarity that accompanies the finishing of a great workout is unmatched!

Try to incorporate your fun cardio vascular activity 4-5 times a week and you'll be golden! Also, the higher you get your heart rate up, the more calories you'll burn HOURS after working out. For example, if you have to choose between 20 minutes of interval sprinting or an hour long distance run, you're better off sprintng for less time because you'll burn far more calories after working out.

20 minutes of intense cardio 4-5 times a week is a minimal time commitment, especially if you're doing something you like!

Weight Training
This is the most often overlooked area in fitness, especially among women! "I don't wanna bulk up! I just want to be lean and toned!"

Well I've got good news for you ladies. Unless you're taking some crazy supplements, you will never "bulk up." Hormonally its impossible! Sure you'll add some muscle, but that muscle will make you look toned!

The reason weight training is so important is that, pound for pound, muscle burns more calories than fat. If you have more muscle, you'll be burning more calories throughout the day, even if you're just sitting around. Having more muscle revs up your metabolism beyond belief! You know those bastardly people who eat whatever they want and don't gain a pound? Well you'll be very much like them! You're cheat meals will get burndt up by the muscular furnas burning inside of you! (ok I know I'm getting carried away but you get the point).

Some Tips:

1. Try to use freeweights as much as possible. They activate more muscles that machines, but are more difficult to use, and more dangerous. If you do use freeweights, make sure someone shows you proper form so you don't hurt yourself.

2. USE PROPER FORM!!! I can't tell you how many people I see around the gym throwing around massive amounts of weight while using terrible form. These people will likely gain less muscle and get hurt.

3. Give at least two days of rest between working the same muscle group. Your muscles grow when you're resting! I recommend lifting between 3-5 times a week.

4. Have fun! I challenge myself to do better than my last workout everytime! Also, if you can get a good training partner, you can motivate each other, and the workout becomes more fun.

So that's about it kids! I couldn't cover every little detail, but I hope what I have covered can help you become healthy. These tips can work for everyone, and these healthy habits are now ingrained in my lifestyle.

Honestly, I feel a great deal of guilt if I miss a workout. Why? Part of it is a fear of going back to chubby and part of it is missing the great postworkout feeling of accomplishment. Being healthy is part of who I am, just as much as being clever, witty and devilishly handsome are..... :)

If you are committed, then I can GAURANTEE that you will go from Chubby to Studdly and your ENTIRE LIFE will change for the better!

5 comments:

Timothy said...

This was a good series, and I think you made a lot of good points. If anything burns me up about exercise, it's when I'm watching TV while on the stationary bike and I see a commercial for diet pills. "We don't even ask you to change your lifestyle!" I want to punch that woman in the face for saying that, even if she's just a paid actor. "Pretend you're healthy without ever taking any responsibility for yourself and your actions!" is what she means. It's best when it comes on when I'm too out of breath to even scoff at her properly, 'cause I know I'm doing a good job :)

josh said...

yeah, so i damn near didn't even recognize you when i found you on myspace. and i've known you since what 2nd grade? man good on ya buddy, glad to see you made such a healthy change and are trying to share what you figured out about it. i have the opposite problem though, putting weight on. as simple as this whole plan is, its truly is one of the only HEALTHY ways to get into shape and lose weight. congratulations on the change buddy.

Tasha said...

Hey Arun, this is a lot of great information throughout the series. I think it will help people to see someone they know who lost weight. You look good. Congratulations!!!

Andrea said...

Arun, thanks for the great article. Of course, I knew all this already but seeing it in writing has really motivated me to change my lifestyle.

I've been going to the gym 4 times a week for 6 months and haven't lost any weight so I guess maybe I'm not working out at the right intensity or maybe I should be going more often, I don't know.

For me, diet is the big thing. For starters, I'm going to stop eating as much as my husband!

Great post.

Tim said...

Old post, but a great series to read through. I have been trying to get in better shape for a couple of months, and your first ID picture is about where I started.

I hate going to the gym and hitting the treadmill but I play basketball about 4 days a week and get most of my cardio that way. It's like you say, its much easier when you're doing something you love.