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Dieting Will Kill You Faster Than Obesity. Heres What to Do Instead. – Fatherly

Posted: January 16, 2020 at 6:42 am

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Heres one that will make you rejoice and groan at the same time: Dieting is worse for you than being overweight. Thats right, the restrictive behavior of significantly reducing calories and eliminating entire categories of foods puts such a toll on a body, its better to simply be mildlyobese. But why? Its all due to weight-cycling, the well-established phenomenon that large shifts in eating habits lead to weight loss followed by even more weight gain. Studies show that along with excess pounds, a complex mess of changes to gut flora, metabolism, fats, and, yes, mental health all work together to make you fatter, unhealthier, and more miserable. So why should you quit your well-intentioned but altogether unhealthy diet plan? And what can you replace it with? Lets get into it.

Dieting Messes with Your Metabolism

Heres what happens when you follow a diet any diet that is restrictive compared to your everyday eating habits: Your basal metabolic rate, or the minimal amount of energy your body needs to perform simple functions at rest, drops. Put another way, when you drastically cut the number of calories you eat in a day, your body flips out and says, OK, Im going to drastically cut the number of calories I burn in a day, too. Its not doing this to spite you. Rather, it sees the massive drop in incoming energy and fears the worst: Theres a famine. Your body then launches starvation survival mode and refuses to burn any more calories than absolutely necessary, leaving you wondering why, on three slices of rye toast a day, youre still not losing weight. (The good news: You usually can reset your metabolism when you start eating like an adult again.)

Dieting Is a Nightmare for Your Gut Health

If youve ever had the experience of working hard to shed a few pounds, only to find yourself gaining back those pounds plus a few more the next time the holidays roll around, youre not alone. One of the insidious truths of weight cycling is that most people dont just lose X and gain X backthey gain X +Y back, too. A study in the journal Nature explains why: Every time you add or subtract pounds, a bunch of body-related variables change including blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, and the bacteria in your gut, known as your microbiome. When you gain weight, you develop more of a certain type of gut bacteria that supports the weight gain. But heres where it gets tricky: When you lose weight, changes in your microbiome are slow to follow suit. So if you begin to regain the weight you lost before your gut bacteria catch up to where youre at in your yo-yo cycle, the weight-gain-promoting bacteria still in your gut accelerates the process of packing on pounds, causing you to put on even more than before.

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Dieting Develops the Wrong Kind of Fat

Not all fat is created equal. Sure, fat of any kind will give you hell when you try to squeeze into the dress pants you bought for your cousins wedding. But under the surface, theres subcutaneous fat and visceral fat. Its the latter, also referred to as deep belly fat, that begins to pile up in people who weight cycle and thats a problem because visceral fat tissue is metabolically active, meaning it plays a role in the production of hormones that contribute to heart disease, diabetes, and inflammation in your body. As your weight swings higher and lower, again and again, the amount of visceral fat continues to climb, putting you at risk for equal or greater health problems than you would face if you never lost the weight to begin with.

Dieting Is Horrible for Mental Health

Here you are trying to do the right thing for your health, and all youre managing is to make yourself feel worse. Yo-yo dieting has been linked with depression and low self-esteem as well as a decrease in the chemical production of serotonin, the neurotransmitter in your body responsible for the regulation of stuff like mood, sleep, and, the place the slippery slope begins, appetite. Depression causes its own negative feedback loop, as the worse you feel, the more food becomes a method for self-soothing, leading to weight gain, followed by more dieting, and greater depression. Theres also the less measurable but no less painful element of feeling like a failure: Regaining the weight youve worked so hard to lose makes you feel helpless and like you have no control.

So, screw dieting. When that term pertains to the restrictive behavior of significantly reducing calories and eliminating entire categories of foods in an effort to shed weight, one thing is clear: It doesnt work. But that doesnt mean you just throw in the towel. Instead and this is just as hard as dieting, but better for your mental and physical health you need to make small shifts in how you eat, exercise, and make healthy choices.

Practice Portion Control

So you know you dont want to have a wildly different or restrictive diet. But just because Atkins isnt going to work for you, doesnt mean you could do with eating a little less at every meal. Portion control is probably the number one way to lose a few pounds without messing up your body. Drop your portions by 10% each meal. It will add up and your basal metabolic rate wont know the different. So what does this look like?

Well, a serving of grilled chicken has 128 calories. A serving of steak has roughly 200. Hey, thats not so bad, youre thinking. Thats well within the 2000-calorie-a-day plan Im trying to follow. But when is the last time you ate a single serving of protein for dinner? For the record, thats 3 ounces of chicken or 3.5 ounces of red meat. What does that say there on your steakhouse menu? 16-ounce ribeye? Yeah. Take those 200 calories and multiply by 4.6, throw in a few hundred more for the sauce, and youll see the problem. Youve very nearly cleared your daily allotment with just one dinner entre (nevermind the sides).

You could, of course, order grilled fish instead. But we dont think so. When your belly is craving bloody red meat, give it the steak but give it a third as much as the menu offers. To make it easier on your judgment, ask your waiter to deliver said amount on your plate at the restaurant and doggy-bag the rest for later. If youre grilling at home, purchase smaller cuts or split the giant T-bone with your wife and kids, then load up the rest of your plate with lean greens.

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So youre a meat and potatoes person, aiming to become a gluten-free vegan in an effort to lose weight is like forcing yourself to do yoga when what you really love is football. It isnt going to work. Instead, eat your meat. And your potatoes. The secret is in how you prep them. Instead of going for the cheeseburger and fries, throw a slab of 90-percent lean meat on the grill and roast a few whole potatoes. Youll be delivering a ton more micronutrients to your body when you choose whole foods over processed while cutting your calorie consumption, ounce for ounce, in half.

Balance Your Plate

Growing up, you undoubtedly heard all about the food pyramid that wacky triangle thing with treats at the top and lettuce at the bottom. Thats still more or less the best way to think about the breakdown of your meals and overall daily food consumption. In practical terms, that means when you build your dinner plate, picture a clock face. 12 to 3 oclock should be your protein (chicken, fish, beans, or red meat); 3 to 6 oclock is your starch (rice, potatoes, pasta), the other halfor 6 to 12 oclockshould be veggies: Salad, steamed broccoli, green beans, roasted carrots, and so on. Laying out your meal this way saves you the trouble of counting every calorie, because its virtually impossible to overeat when the highest-cal foods are smallest servings on your plate.

Go for Strong

The numbers on the scale will tell you how much you weigh, but they will not tell you how big your biceps are, how strong your heart and lungs may be, or what percent of your body is made up of fat versus muscle. Quit fixating on some number you think it ideal for a guy your size, and start hitting the weights and pounding the pavement. On a vanity level, a fit body looks a hell of a lot better than a scrawny one. And on a life level, youll be buying yourself a few extra years you can use bonding with your family

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Dieting Will Kill You Faster Than Obesity. Heres What to Do Instead. - Fatherly

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January 16th, 2020 at 6:42 am

What Is the Sirtfood Diet? Inside Adele’s Reported Weight Loss Plan –

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Lately, Adele has been making headlines beyond her stunning voice: After stepping out looking slimmer than usual, a frenzy of reports claim that the 31-year-old Someone Like You singer lost weight by following the Sirtfood Diet, a calorie-restricting eating plan, after her breakup with her husband Simon Konecki.

This isnt the first time Adeles name has been associated with the Sirtfood Diet. Back in 2016, the New York Post claimed the singer lost 30 pounds by eating foods rich in sirtuins, a.k.a. proteins that can be found in certain foods (they also occur naturally in the body). Her former Pilates instructor Camila Goodis also told The Sun that she believed the stars weight loss was 90% diet.

Adele hasnt publicly commented on the rumors swirling around her figure (why should she?!), but her trainer Pete Geracimo (who also works with Pippa Middleton) supposedly likes to put his clients on the Sirtfood Diet.

And as the seventh most Googled diet in 2019, people clearly want to know what its all about. Here, dietitians and a doctor explain what the Sirtfood Diet entails, the foods it encourages, and whether or not its a legit way to lose weight long-term.

The Sirtfood Diet is based on the book by the same name that was written by Aidan Goggins and Glen Matten. The diet focuses on eating so-called sirtfoods, a group of wonderfoods that include nutrient-rich options like kale, cocoa, strawberries, and coffee.

The idea is that certain foods activate sirtuins in your body (a type of protein found in plants) that allegedly boast a slew of benefits, like protecting cells from inflammation, kick-starting your metabolism, reversing aging, and activating your skinny gene pathways, according to the diets website.

Some research, like one 2018 review published in the journal Circulation Research, suggests that sirtuins may help prevent age-related decline (in mice, at least). Another review published in Frontiers in Endocrinology concludes that sirtuins may help prevent insulin resistance and chronic inflammation. But again, this was based on animal studies.

While sirtuins are considered healthy, theres still a lot people dont know about them. The research on sirtuins is promising but more is definitely needed, especially on humans, to determine if any of the claims can be conclusively substantiated, says Keri Gans, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.N., a nutrition consultant based in New York City.

The Sirtfood Diet only mentions a few sirtfoods on its website and blog, but these options make the cut, all of which are nutrient-dense and healthy to eat regularly:

The diet is divided into two phases, and followers are encouraged to do them whenever they feel like they need a weight loss boost.

This lasts for seven days and its also split up. During the first three days, youll have three sirtfood green juices and one regular meal thats rich in sirtfoodsfor a total of 1,000 calories a day. On days four through seven, youll have two green juices and two daily meals for a total of 1,500 calories a day.

This is a 14-day maintenance phase thats designed to help you lose weight at a steady pace. During this phase, youll eat three balanced meals that are rich in sirtfoods, along with one green juice. Its unclear whether this phase has a set calorie intake.

The juices usually consist of matcha, the herb lovage, and buckwheat. As for the meals, recipes include soy yogurt with berries, walnuts, and dark chocolate, an omelette with bacon, red chicory, and parsley, a pita with turkey, cheese, and hummus, and stir-fried prawns with kale and buckwheat noodles.

Once youre done with the phases, youre supposed to look at the Sirtfood Diet as a way of life. You are encouraged, once youve completed the first three weeks, to continue eating a diet rich in sirtfoods and to continue drinking your daily green juice, the diets website says.

The official site also recommends that you stop working out or cutting back on your usual routine during the first phase, since youre not taking in many calories. But, once the diet becomes a way of life for you, it encourages exercising (and eating protein an hour after you work out to repair muscles and reduce soreness).

Yes, youll probably lose weight on the diet. Most people definitely will lose weight during phase one, since they are probably consuming way fewer calories than they usually do, says Gans. While a lot of this may be water weight, its possible to lose actual body fat too.

But that doesnt mean its healthy. It seems gimmicky, says Jessica Cording, M.S., R.D., author of The Little Book of Game-Changers. Any diet where theres a cycle of super restrictive eating and maintenance isnt really sustainable.

First, phase one of the diet is a bit extreme, says Scott Keatley, R.D., of Keatley Medical Nutrition Therapy. A 1,000 calorie-diet is below what is used in almost all human research studies because it is deemed unsafe. People can lose fluid and lean muscle mass while having a caloric intake this low, and it can mess with your metabolism, he says.

Restricting your caloric intake this heavily can only be OK for a few days, but its really not ideal, says weight loss expert Michael Russo, M.D., a bariatric surgeon at MemorialCare Surgical Weight Loss Center at Orange Coast Medical Center in Fountain Valley, CA. Its really important to pay attention to what types of calories youre getting in, he says. Getting adequate protein is crucial, because theyre the building blocks of the body.

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Why Intuitive Eating Is Better Than Diet Culture

The juicing part isnt exactly a hit with experts, either. Im not a huge fan of making juice out of foods, especially when were talking weight loss, as the blender is doing a lot of the work your body should be doing, Keatley says. Green juice is often much lower in gut-filling fiber than youd get if you just ate the ingredients themselves, Cording says, which is bound to leave you hungry.

The diet is also lacking an educational component of helping people better understand what foods are good for their health, and how to develop healthy eating patterns due to how restrictive it is, Cording adds. Finally, there are really no guidelines beyond the two phasesunless you buy the Sirtfood Diet books.

You should also speak with a dietitian or doctor before your dramatically reduce your calorie intake and glug a ton of juice in the name of weight loss.

Ultimately, the Sirtfood Diet isnt backed by significant research, so youre likely better off following a healthy diet you know you can stick to consistently (or a more scientifically-proven option, like the Mediterranean diet), exercising regularly, and getting plenty of sleep.

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What Is the Sirtfood Diet? Inside Adele's Reported Weight Loss Plan -

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January 16th, 2020 at 6:42 am

The problem with talking about your ‘naughty’ afternoon snack at work – The Age

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That looks so delicious, but I can't eat things like that, it goes straight to my thighs.

In her previous job, working at a public library in a support role, Kate* regularly endured comments from a colleague like the one above, which left her feeling "frustrated and angry".

"They were either thoughtless or passive aggressive," she says.

The problem with talking about your 'naughty' afternoon snack at work.Credit:iStock

Kate isn't alone. Mik, who works in paediatric care, finds similar comments in her workplace are most common when she and her colleagues are sharing food.

Comments about being bad and taking leftover dessert or eating another portion, or claims about having to make it up later with exercise just grate on me," she says.

"I usually just respond with a shrug and a food has no moral value, but it depends on the day. Sometimes Im just so tired of it that it seems pointless to even try.

While many dread returning to work after the holiday season, other peoples New Year's resolutions can add another layer of anxiety. Common resolutions are weight or health-based join a gym, diet and, although not harmful in and of themselves, the way they are brought into the workplace can be.

Dieting and body image talk are triggering for people who have had or who have an eating disorder they may trigger a relapse into eating and/or weight and shape preoccupations and behaviours such as binge eating, fasting or purging," says Professor Phillipa Hay, foundation chair of mental health at Western Sydney University.

Michelle Sperling, the Butterfly Foundations national manager of treatment and support, notes the issues that can arise from diet and negative body image talk in the workplace.

Negative comparison between colleagues regarding weight, shape, appearance or even the meals they are eating is something that can occur as a result of such conversations in an office environment," Sperling says.


"We know that when people make negative comparisons as such, they are more likely to engage in dangerous eating and exercise behaviours.

Allison, who works in the legal industry, has been questioned about why she is eating something weird at lunch so many times that she usually opts to eat at her desk instead, a move Sperling says isn't uncommon.

People isolate themselves at mealtimes from colleagues or they avoid work events so they arent left feeling uncomfortable.

Jasmine, who works in the financial services industry, has a colleague who opts to not eat lunch at all, but still joins her coworkers in the break room to talk to them about how bad their food is and why she cant eat it. So many people complained that HR eventually intervened, but the negative diet talk has continued.

I feel fine," she says of the comments. "But some people felt uncomfortable, so now they just dont go into the break room as much.

Given the ubiquity of New Years resolutions, what can be done to avoid the negative impact of diet talk in the workplace?

Professor Hay suggests information on eating disorders and potential negative impacts of diet and body image talk in the workplace should be included in workplace safety training for all staff, given at least one in 20 Australians will deal with an eating disorder in their lifetime.

Professor Hay also suggested workplaces where there may be a higher risk of disordered eating, such as dance companies, undergo eating disorder and mental health first aid training.


For Sperling, it is managers who should be creating a culture where employees aren't talking about weight, shape or appearance, and instead focus more on how a person is feeling.

Sperling also stressed the importance of fostering a body neutral environment, which could include putting up signs in the office that promote body acceptance, hosting events that celebrate body positivity, and holding workshops for staff regarding the impact of negative diet and body image talk in the workplace.

*surnames withheld

Butterfly Foundation National Helpline 1800 33 4673.

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The problem with talking about your 'naughty' afternoon snack at work - The Age

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January 16th, 2020 at 6:42 am

Fitness: A healthy and well-timed diet fuels muscles of master athletes – Montreal Gazette

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One study of master athletes noted a 33- to 38-per-cent increase in muscle mass and strength among those who consistently consumed a high-protein post-weight-training snack compared to those who didnt. Dave Sidaway / Montreal Gazette file photo

The last decade has seen a steep increase in the number of athletes achieving personal bests in their 40s and beyond. This group of dedicated older athletes has redefined the idea of aging, rewriting the record books with performances in the pool, on the track, and in the saddle. So remarkable are their achievements, exercise scientists have been busy studying their training and lifestyle habits to see if they can gather more information on what successful aging looks like.

According to a group of French researchers, there is still a dearth of published research on the link between nutrition and performance in master athletes. In particular, do older athletes have a different set of nutritional needs than their younger counterparts?

We proposed to identify the metabolic challenges that master athletes may face and that require specific nutritional recommendations, said the French researchers in their article Nutrition for Master Athletes: Is There a Need for Specific Recommendations.

One of the primary nutritional goals of any athlete is to adequately fuel training and performance. Active individuals who engage in a high volume of exercise need to consume more calories than someone who is sedentary, based on a greater number of calories expended while training and competing. But nutritional strategies for athletes go far beyond counting calories. Knowing when to eat and what to eat is also key to maximizing performance.

A slowing metabolism and gradual loss of muscle mass, estimated to be six to eight per cent per decade after the age of 30, are two markers of aging that impact performance and nutritional needs. Optimizing the diet of master athletes so as to slow down the physiological changes that occur as the decades add up is an important strategy when it comes to sustaining the volume and intensity needed to maximize potential.

Master athletes who are able to maintain a high training volume and sufficient energy intake with age could maintain their body composition, metabolism and ultimately, resting metabolic rate (the amount of energy expended at rest and during the activities of everyday life), said the research team.

To assist in meeting these goals, master athletes need to consume more protein than younger athletes and their sedentary age-matched peers. The current recommendation for older adults is 30 grams of protein per meal, 10 grams more than recommended for younger adults. For master athletes however, 35-40 grams of protein at four-hour intervals throughout the day is considered crucial to repair and rebuild muscles utilized during exercise.

Practically, this recommendation corresponds to a minimum of four portions of >30g proteins per day, for breakfast (8 a.m.), lunch (12 p.m.), afternoon snack (4 p.m.) and dinner (8 p.m.) for a total of around 120 g protein or 1.5 g/kg body mass per day for an 80-kg athlete, said the French researchers.

In addition, a protein-rich snack should be consumed immediately post-exercise (within the first 60 minutes) for master athletes with high training loads or after an intense workout. A pre-bedtime glass of milk will also aid in muscle recovery especially after a tough day at the gym. Any source of protein, animal or plant-based will do the trick, though there is some suggestion that protein-rich dairy products may be some of the best options.

How effective are those extra few grams of protein? One study of master athletes noted a 33- to 38-per-cent increase in muscle mass and strength among those who consistently consumed a high-protein post-weight-training snack compared to those who didnt.

Still, as attentive as master athletes are to their diet and training schedules, injury and short-term health issues are common. A forced interruption from training and competition is a fact of life for athletes of all ages, but for master athletes even brief periods of inactivity can lead to a decrease in precious muscles mass. Maintaining a protein-rich diet while on the mend can help minimize some of that loss.

As for fat and carbohydrates, carbs should be periodized based on the volume of training with fewer carbs consumed on rest or easy days and greater amounts consumed pre, during and post workouts on days when training volume is high. Fat should be ingested in moderate amounts with an emphasis on foods rich in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, like nuts, avocados and fatty fish such as salmon and tuna.

Keep in mind that athletes should always rely on a food-first approach to realizing their dietary goals, versus consuming supplements in the form of powder, shakes, gels or pills. Theres no replacing the synergy of the macro and micronutrients found in food versus a manufactured product that often promises more than it delivers.

Also important to remember is that older athletes who limit themselves to moderate workouts of less than an hour, need nothing more than a healthy, protein rich diet to fuel their workouts. But for master athletes with performance goals and a rigorous training and competition schedule, its always wise to seek professional advice from a certified dietitian/sport nutrition specialist who can further individualize the special dietary needs of master athletes.

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Fitness: A healthy and well-timed diet fuels muscles of master athletes - Montreal Gazette

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January 16th, 2020 at 6:42 am

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Nina Agdal Reveals How She Gets Her Toned Abs Without Splurging On A Gym Membership – Hollywood Life

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Its no secret that Nina Agdal has an amazingly toned figure & the model shared with HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY, how she gets her rockhard abs & youre not going to believe this she doesnt go to the gym!

Nina Agdal, 27, is known for her toned figure and rockhard abs, and the model shared with HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY, what workouts she does to get in shape. One of Ninas favorite workouts to do is the treadmill and she has become quite popular for her treadmill routines which she shares on Instagram. Nina shared her favorite workouts with HollywoodLife at the Leandro Limited launch event in NYC on Jan. 9, So I do a lot of home workouts. I do the treadmills twice a week, and then besides that, everything I do is basically done in my apartment on a mat with lighter weights, or a Pilates ring, but mostly body weights. Every exercise Nina does can be done from the comfort of your own home. In terms of classes, I love Solidcore for a good core class. It will really make your stomach burn. SLTs great for leaning out your legs. Pure Barre is great for leaning out your arms. But most of the stuff that I do is my own workouts.

As for some specific workouts you can do to ease yourself into the gym, Nina shared, I definitely think my treadmill workouts are super helpful for that. I used to hate cardio. I used to hate running, and even now, I just got back from a vacation, and I know the first thing Im going to do is to walk on an incline on a treadmill. I think its the best way to build endurance and to just get back into it and get motivated.

When it comes to Ninas diet, I actually dont eat breakfast, she revealed. I prefer to have a juice or a smoothie in the morning. Im a big believer in fasting, so I dont eat anything until lunch, which is usually around 2:00 P.M. or 3:00 P.M. For that, I will have some sort of protein, whether its eggs or fish, mixed with vegetables. For dinner, I kind of eat whatever I want, and stay away from anything red meat.

If you want to start the new year on a healthy note, Nina suggests, I think its picking one thing that you can do a day thats different, and in a positive way, whether its starting your morning with a glass of water with lemon, or its going for a walk, or its picking up a new hobby. I think anything thats positive and that makes you happy, I think taking one step will make you take the second.

Some beauty products and trends Nina is currently coveting include the new Leandro Limited Parting Tool. So obviously my new favorite thing is the headband from Leandro, which is the most perfect way to make the perfect side part or middle part. Ive never seen anything like this, and for someone who doesnt really know how to do hair, this is a must-have tool, Nina shared.

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Nina Agdal Reveals How She Gets Her Toned Abs Without Splurging On A Gym Membership - Hollywood Life

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January 16th, 2020 at 6:42 am

How to lose weight like this guy who lost 35 kgs by avoiding these 3 things & following a cardio routine – GQ India

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If youve been looking for ways to lose weight in 2020 to stay true to your fitness resolution, then let 36-year-old Saket Prem Saraf give you some tips from his own amazing body transformation journey here.

Saraf lost 35 kgs and trimmed from a whopping 114 kgs to 79 kgs by following the below weight loss plan.

Saraf tells us that two years ago, he decided to lose weight and whip himself in shape after his family members motivated him to embrace a fitter way of life. My weight loss journey can be divided into two parts. The first constitutes me trimming from 114 kgs to 90 kgs by making the below changes in my diet.

I completely eliminated these three things from my diet:

With the elimination of these three things, I also indulged in the below cardio routine.

Id either cycle for 25 kms/day or walk for 8 kms and then swim for 1 km.

QUICK READ: Swimming workouts: what to know before diving in

Cardio is any form of exercise that raises your heart rate, gets the blood really pumping and gets you to break into a sweat. If youre really unfit then even climbing a flight of stairs can be classified as cardio. Notably, activities such as jogging, running and even skipping comprise as cardio - it is working out with the absence of weights.

QUICK READ: 7 best cardio workouts that burn the most calories

I got stuck at the 90 kgs mark for quite a while, even after I started gymming regularly. So then finally I sought the help of a professional dietician. They created a highly personalised diet for me, and in 100 days, I dropped around 10 kgs. This made me come to the conclusion that your diet plays a major role in your fitness journey.

Now, I eat six meals a day but all in small quantities and all in accordance with my customised diet plan.

QUICK READ: How to lose weight and get fit in 2020: 20 easy tips, diet hacks and workout routines to help you get started

Be patient. Your body will eventually reward you. Also, dont stop eating or starving yourself. Eat home-cooked food, avoid sugar and workout regularly.

Disclaimer: The diet and workout routines shared by the respondents may or may not be approved by diet and fitness experts. GQ India doesn't encourage or endorse the weight loss tips & tricks shared by the person in the article. Please consult an authorised medical professional before following any specific diet or workout routine mentioned above.


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How to lose weight like this guy who lost 35 kgs by avoiding these 3 things & following a cardio routine - GQ India

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January 16th, 2020 at 6:42 am

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Joe Wicks on why you shouldn’t try restrictive dieting this January – Irish Examiner

Posted: January 9, 2020 at 7:52 pm

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January usually happens like clockwork: a slew of new self-help books, articles and slimming blogs encourage you to be your best self, often by adopting a radical new diet that promises to blitz those spare inches around your waist for good.

The problem is, many crash diets encourage periods of miserable fasting and cutting out sometimes entire good groups overnight, and demonise food to the point where youre whole relationship with eating can be under threat.

According to fitness guru Joe Wicks who has successfully helped thousands of people to lose weight staying on these restrictive diets for a long period of time is often unrealistic and unhealthy. Even if you do lose weight initially, its not unusual to gain it again (plus even more, in some cases) before the spring comes around.

Thankfully, attitudes around diet culture are changing. A new survey commissioned by recipe box company Gousto ( has found two-thirds (68%) of UK adults believe the one-size-fits-all model just doesnt work.

So, how can you shed those excess pounds in a safe and effective way? We asked Wicks to give us some quick tips

Why should people avoid restrictive diets in January?

Its the time of year now where everyone wants to make changes to their life, whether thats with exercise or food, but the last thing you want to do especially if youre someone who really loves food is to go on a low-calorie diet, says Wicks, 33.

Sure, it will work in the short-term and youll probably lose weight on the scales, but emotionally its going to absolutely ruin you. Youre going to be so exhausted, you wont enjoy it and its not going to be a sustainable approach.Joe Wicks is urging people to avoid jumping on the crash-diet bandwagon (Gousto/PA)

Try to think about a long-term vision, as opposed to a quick crash diet. Incorporate it with exercise and cooking with fresh ingredients at home; youre much more likely to succeed throughout the year.

Why do people fail at New Years diets?

Because theyre awful, arent they? Dieting is normally all about how little you can eat and how much exercise you can do. When you combine those two things, it effects your sleep, your mood and your energy levels.

If I could give you one tip, its to focus on getting yourself moving instead. I always tell people to start with 15-20 minutes a day of exercise at home; this will get your energy levels up and your self-esteem boosted. Exercising is going to have a massive effect on your food choices and your ability to go into the kitchen and cook yourself something healthy.

Trying to do everything all at once is a bit much, he adds. Focus on fitness first, and the rest will hopefully follow.

What other tips do you have for those looking to lose weight this year?

Have a look at your portion control. Im not saying to count calories, but to keep your plate to a healthy size. The good thing about exercise is that it elevates your mental health and your mood so much that you dont want to go and put junk food in your body afterwards.

Meal prepping is one of the best things you can do too. If you leave the house without food, youre going to grab options on-the-go, which will likely be unhealthy convenience food.

Thats fine to do once or twice a week, but if youre doing it a lot, youre never going to truly know exactly how much youre consuming. The simple act of making some overnight oats for breakfast, or a salad for lunch can make a huge difference over time when it comes to staying lean.

What are you favourite ingredients for healthy eating?

I really think its great to have chopped tomatoes, coconut milk, curry powder, spices and tins of lentils, pulses, grains and beans in your cupboard. With these key ingredients, you can make really amazing veggie curries, or you could throw some chicken in there for some extra protein. Rice is also a great staple for making quick stir-fries after work.

Theres no magic fat-loss food; its all about getting a good balance of everything and getting lots of fruits and veg in your diet.

Its good to be a bit intuitive with it ask yourself what foods make you feel energised and healthy? Dont think you have to jump onto a certain diet because everyone else is doing it.

Do you follow a flexitarian diet yourself?

Yes. I eat a lot of veggie meals and with Gousto, I get four recipe boxes delivered per week that I can make at home. Three of those will be vegetarian and one will be meat-based.

Thats a massive step for me. During the process of researching and writing my veggie cookbook, Veggie Lean in 15 (16.99, Pan Macmillan), I realised that you can get really amazing food as a vegetarian. Im still not fully committed to going hardcore vegan though.

Many people feel like they dont have time to cook healthily, do you think thats untrue?

I really think you have to remove that time barrier from your mind. We know full well that we can smash a Netflix series in a couple of days or watch our soaps, so we can all find half an hour to exercise or cook well if we prioritise it.

It doesnt need to be hours in the kitchen either. My whole philosophy with my Lean in 15 series is that you can make a really healthy and nutritious meal in just 15 minutes, and have some leftover for lunch the next day.

Its that kind of mentality of prepping in advanced and being organised that works in the long-run.

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Joe Wicks on why you shouldn't try restrictive dieting this January - Irish Examiner

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January 9th, 2020 at 7:52 pm

Four realistic steps to eating healthier in 2020 – The Boston Globe

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Weve all done it. On January 1, youre gung-ho about keeping up that healthy eating regimen. But by mid-month, that resolution to choose kale over cookies has flown out the window. We asked Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, how to succeed at eating better in 2020.

Focus on the short term. While a lucky few can overhaul their diet when the clock strikes midnight, thats rarely realistic. For many people, a complete revamping of your diet overnight is not feasible, says Mozaffarian, who suggests incremental changes instead. Very focused, specific goals with a clear timeline tend to work best, like planning to eat at least one serving of fruit for breakfast five days a week. After youve kept that up through January, you can resolve to keep it going for the rest of the year.

Track your progress. Its vital to have some form of feedback to tell you how youre doing, says Mozaffarian, who is also Jean Mayer Professor of Nutrition and Medicine. Whether its with an apptheres a multitude to track grocery purchases or mealsor just writing on a piece of paper, having documentation of your choices will help you succeed. Peer support is also incredibly helpful. Doing this with somebody, especially in your family, works much better, Mozaffarian says. A doctor or friend can help, too.

Use addition, not subtraction. Rather than focusing on the foods you should remove from your diet, hone in on the nutrient-dense options to add in. We need to shift to thinking of food as a positive, Mozaffarian says, Adding good foods is really a good place to start. He suggests incorporating fruits, beans, nuts, fish, yogurt, and vegetables into your meal plans. After all, a lot of people are sick because they dont get enough good foods, not too many bad foods, he says.

Its about more than the pounds. While many people see eating healthier as a means to hitting a goal weight, Mozaffarian says the benefits go far beyond reaching a number on the scale. People can have weight goals, but eating healthy is incredibly important regardless of weight changes, he says. Even if you dont lose weight, people are healthier in the long run. He suggests thinking of a healthy diet, exercise, and weight management as three separate, yet linked, goals. If youre thin and youre eating poorly, youre at risk of many diseases, Mozaffarian says. Weight should be the third priority on the list. If you eat healthy and you exercise more, it doesnt matter what your weight isyoure healthier.


1. How to set a goal to save more money this year

2. Six ways to be a better friend in 2020

3. If you want to read more, you dont need to start with Shakespeare

4. Waste less time on your phone with this simple trick

5. Exercise made easy: The hidden power of taking a walk

6. How to be kinder in Boston, Americas fifth rudest city

7. Whats more important than a barbell for exercise? A pencil

8. Four realistic steps to eating healthier in 2020


Megan Johnson is a writer in Boston. Follow her on Twitter @megansarahj. Send comments to

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Four realistic steps to eating healthier in 2020 - The Boston Globe

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Failing New Year’s Resolutions Need a Monday Reset – Healthline

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Monday may be the most unloved day of the week. For many people, it represents returning to work after the relaxation of the weekend.

But Mondays also may be the best day to start a healthy new routine not just as a New Years resolution but at any time of the year.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland say that Mondays should be viewed as a day for fresh starts.

The hashtag #MondayMotivation trends for a reason.

And with New Years Day 2020 falling on a Wednesday, this first Monday of the year is the day that many people are kicking off their New Years resolutions, 85 percent of which are reportedly health related.

The Monday Campaigns Healthy Monday Reset initiative supports New Years resolutions throughout the year.

The program provides weekly reminders to reinforce habits and actions that can prevent heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and other debilitating chronic health conditions, said Ron Hernandez, managing director of the Monday Campaigns.

The Monday Cues circulated by the nonprofit can range from reminders to practice deep breathing for 5 to 8 minutes to combat stress as well as recipes for meatless meals and encouragement to increase exercise such as running a Monday Mile.

The weekly Monday resets are especially useful following weeks where diet, exercise, and wellness goals may have gone unmet.

That can lead to a slump in motivation that contributes to the 20 percent of people who fail or give up on their New Year resolutions in the first two weeks, said Hernandez.

He noted that research from the Data Decisions Group conducted for the Monday Campaigns found that 73 percent of respondents said that refreshing their intentions every Monday would help them stick to their New Years resolutions.

A similar number said the resets help them get back on task after indulging over the weekend.

If you fall off the wagon, it gives you 52 opportunities to get back on track or refresh your goals, Hernandez told Healthline.

Health-related Google searches peak after the weekend, according to researchers.

Thats why health-promotion programs such as The Monday Campaigns focus their outreach efforts on the beginning of the work week.

People are more likely to begin new diets and exercise routines, or take positive health steps like quitting smoking or scheduling doctors appointments on Mondays than on any other day, according to The Monday Campaigns, which is a public health initiative associated with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, and the Maxwell School of Syracuse University.

Theres a spike in people getting health information on Mondays and Tuesdays more than any other day of the week, and people are also more receptive to the information on those days, said Hernandez.

Interest in The Monday Campaigns Meatless Mondays campaign and other initiatives also rises around the New Year, he noted.

Beginning the week with healthy behaviors helps to support good intentions throughout the week, according to research from the Data Decisions Group.

People who commit to changes on a Monday are more likely to continue through the rest of the week, Hernandez said.

Mondays are also a cultural concept. People absolutely view it as a beginning, he added. There is a percentage of people who view Mondays as something to dread, but also many who see it as an opportunity to get back on track.

This is all true even in a year when the calendar dictates that many people start their new resolutions in the middle of the week.

Given the low success rate of most resolutions, the first Monday of the new year isnt too soon to recommit to your goals, said Hernandez.

The Mondays Campaign partners with employers, schools, the media, and community groups to encourage healthy changes.

Affiliated campaigns include Meatless Monday, Kids Cook Monday, the stop-smoking Quit and Stay Quit Monday, Caregiver Monday, Man Up Monday (aimed at raising awareness of sexual health), the exercise-focused DeStress Monday.

Theres also Monday 2000, which encourages adults to reduce their calorie intake to 2,000 per day.

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Failing New Year's Resolutions Need a Monday Reset - Healthline

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Weight loss: Expert reveals the best fat-busting foods to banish belly fat fast – Express

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As always, diet can play a big part in reducing excess weight, whatever area of your body.

According to Terri-Ann, there are other factors that could be at play when it comes to belly fat. These include:

Menopause: As we age our metabolism slows down and our total body fat percentage starts to increase as a result, she said. Body fat distribution also changes with age, which could, unfortunately, mean more weight around your tummy area.

Stress: This can cause body fat around your middle. Exposure to cortisol, a hormone produced in response to stress, has been found by several studies to lead to an accumulation of fat around the stomach area, she added.

Bloating: This could be making your stomach appear larger than it actually is, she said. Drinking lots of water, doing exercise and ensuring youre eating a diet filled with foods rich in fibre such as whole grains, fruit and vegetables can help avoid constipation and stomach problems, which often lead to excess stomach bloating, she explained.

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Weight loss: Expert reveals the best fat-busting foods to banish belly fat fast - Express

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