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May 18, 2017

My Image

Adarsh Jon Alex on fitness

This is me standing shirtless on the beautiful Azheekal beach. It was not taken recently (shot about two years ago I believe), so I don't exactly look like this right now. Although I've always been this skinny sort of ripped kid from way back.

In this photo you can see me trying to flex my triceps by holding that pose (which may look unusual because people almost always flex their biceps in photos). Pretty developed I'd say. But not much.

Now, if you are into bodybuilding (unlike me) or into human anatomy (like me), you'd know that. But I am guessing you are not. Or are you? Frankly, I have no idea. My blog has zero audience. To be honest, I am the only person I know who reads my blog.

Anyway, welcome, fellow reader! In this entry, I will attempt to briefly (yeah, right!) elaborate the reason behind me using the term 'Fitness freak' to describe myself in the tagline of this website. I will also be imparting knowledge that I've acquired along all these years through my personal experiences.

Before going into the interesting stuff, allow me to recommend you another article on the website titled 'False Image'. It is like a prequel to this Entry... ie, it is a must read! Click here.

Back? okay.

First of all, let me just throw a couple of things out there: I am not a body builder. I have never went to a gym in my life. I do not and have not used any kind of weights for fitness purposes. I am an ovo-lacto vegetarian. I stand 5feet 4 inches tall and weigh 50Kgs. And I don't have a girlfriend.

Ahhh anyway, the intention of the intro was to only make you realize the kind of person I am. Not an expert. Nothing fancy. Just a guy who does simple exercises and tries to lead a healthy life.

For me, Aesthetics of the body is as much as important as the functionality of the physique. Some indulge only in the former (which is something I would not recommend) and for the rest, the latter will be everything. I happen to be right in the middle. Health matters to me as much as the looks. And I do quite a lot of things to keep that balance.

And I am gonna tell you how I preserve that 'equilibrium'.

Understanding the basic stuff.

Now I won't be including super complicated science stuff here. Mainly because I don't know super complicated science stuff and also because you don't wanna read it (probably). Simplicity is the key.

You eat food for energy. And your body uses that energy to maintain itself and its vital organs. But your system uses a great deal of this energy for movement, too. So you walk, talk, jump around like an idiot, you're spending all that energy. And that is a good thing. Everything is cool.

Until either one of these two things happens:
1. You start eating more.
2. You start moving less.

So you get all this energy but the body can't find any way to expend it. So it decides to store it for future use... in the form of... you guessed it.. Fat! *dramatic music* Fast forward 6 months -> BAM! You're out of shape.

So what do you do to prevent all this mayhem? I know the solution!
Start eating less and start moving more.

"The simplest solution is almost always the best." (described in the Occam's Razor)

Now, of course, I am not telling you to starve yourself from today onwards or to go run a marathon. That'd be ludicrous (Starving yourself actually increases future fat storage in the body). All I am saying is to eat a bit less than you normally do. And move a bit more than you usually move. The point is to make that a part of your lifestyle. (See? I made that bold. It means that its super important.)

You see, that is where the confusion happen and people end up doing the wrong thing. They eat nothing or restrict themselves from almost every food. Upon seeing some initial results, they go back to their overeating, no-exercise lifestyle. They gain back their weight and realize everything was in vain. See? that is why I made that lifestyle thing bold.

Also, the 'eat less, move more' advice is for healthy young people who are out of shape. Not applicable for people who are morbidly obese or the ones who have undiagnosed medical conditions or possibly a fried thyroid.

Understanding food.

"Eat veggies, but don't eat sweets" advice is bullshit! Okay, it is not complete nonsense. Surely the former is a healthier choice than the latter. But it does not send the right message. Allow me to explain: 

Everything you eat is broken down by your body into three things- 3 Macro Nutrients.
Now, obviously from your food, you also receive a lot of micros (like vitamins) but they are not really relevant to weight loss so you won't hear me speaking of them.

So yeah, The three Macros! they are Protein, Carbs, and Fat.
Protein is for muscles. Carbs are for energy. Fat is for backup energy & insulation.

The thing about oats or other food the are labeled 'clean' is that they contain a lot fewer carbs to weight ratio. Now carbs, as I said is simply energy. But the thing to understand here is that the carbs you get from oats are not 'good' in the sense. They are simply just less of it. That's it.

Now about sweets, pastries and what not which are labeled 'bad food'. They are not bad! They just contain a lot more carbs to weight ratio when compared to other food like, say potatoes. So the energy you get from them.. the carbs.. are the same that you get from a bowl of oats. The difference is the amount of it you get.

So if you get around 100gms of carbs from one bite of a cake.
You only get 30gms of carbs from a bite of potatoes.
See? Different amount of the same energy stored in the same volume.

But are the carbs you get from the cake unhealthy? No!
The cake gets called a bad food because you don't know what's going on!

So don't fear food. Simply control the food.
If you wanna have some sweets, go ahead! there is not point in dieting or having a good lifestyle if you are sad and grumpy the whole time for not getting to enjoy your favorite desserts and chocolates. Go on, have them! just remember how much energy they contain in them and reduce your rest of the intake accordingly. Or better, after having all that high sugar food, go home and burn that extra energy you got instead of giving your body a chance to store it as fat.

Three reasons why you're out of shape.

1. Ignorance
2. Genetics
3. Bad Glands

The third numbered point refers to any medical conditions you might have. Mainly glands that are secreting way to much juice than they are supposed to. In that case, as obvious as it may sound, go see a doctor.

The second one refers to your body's genetic disposition to store fat. So you will gain more weight than other people and lose less than other people even if you eat exactly like those other people. Pretty much nothing you can do about it except to embrace and act accordingly. Genetics, my friend - What can you do?

First one is named 'ignorance'. We are not in shape because we don't know! We are unaware what we are putting in our bodies and we are unaware of the things we are supposed to do with our bodies. Of course, there are some of us *points at the writer himself* that do know the essentials but still are lazy to do anything about it.

So what are we ignorant about? We don't know exactly how much food we are consuming. That is the sad reality, even if you think you know better. How many of you just eat whatever that is in front of you? if you raised your hand, you have no right to whine about how heavy you've become lately.

The main reason I stay thin (most of the time) is because I am aware of what I am putting in my body. Well, I don't measure and calculate the Macros in my food like those bodybuilders do (which is a good thing but too tedious in my opinion). But having an idea of the amount of food you are having and how much 'energy' it might contain is very beneficial and will aid you in your path to your fitness goals.

The second thing we are ignorant about is how much our bodies should be getting exercise. We sit all day long and don't do anything that makes us sweat. Now, if you live in a hot country, sure! You sweat every hour but that is just your body trying to lower the core temperature. I am talking about real exercise here. And no, I am not talking about going to the gym and lifting weights.

You do not need to go the gym to be fit and healthy. 

Fitness Adarsh Jon Alex

When I say exercise, I mean walking, skipping the elevator, cleaning your house, dancing, playing a sport, practicing some kind of martial arts. The point is just to subject your body to movement. Just move. Do something. That is all you need to do.

But if you want to lose a significant amount of weight instead of just maintaining the body you have (like me), you need to do something serious. Sprinting is a great option. So is any form of HIIT. If that is too intense for you, simply do some basic cardio.

Remember workouts and exercises are crucial to weight lose. But not because it helps you burn the calories but it helps you boost your metabolism and your blood circulation. That is the main role of exercise when it comes to losing weight.

Plus, when you do exercise, depending on the intensity, the muscles used are enlarged after each session. Having a larger amount of lean muscle mass in your body helps you burn a few calories even when you are doing nothing.

Exercise is the key. It is very important and has multiple benefits.
Now coming to the cons of not doing anything physically exerting:

If a person just sits almost the entire day, they are looking at muscle degeneration, organ damage, weight gain, loss of brainpower and much more. Almost all of these are the results of poor blood circulation that are caused by being too idle and lazy. You move more, you move your blood more.

And now things you might have heard of that are probably not true.

1. Situps/ crunches will reduce belly fat.
Truth: There is no such thing as spot reduction. When you lose fat, you lose fat throughout the whole body (or maybe at some places at first) but you don't get to decide which part. If you wanna get rid of the excess fat on your belly or on your thigh, reduce the overall fat% in your body.

2. Situps/ crunches will give you abs.
Truth: They merely make abdominal muscles bigger. The key is to have the correct amount of body fat that is low enough to reveal the protrusion of those muscles (you also need them to big enough to have a protrusion in the first place).

3. Sweating means calories are burning.
Truth: You sweat because it's hot. It is a way of our bodies to regulate the internal temperature. If you run a marathon in the Arctic, you will probably not sweat. Does that mean you did not burn any calories? No.

4. One needs to go the gym to get fit.
Truth: You need to exert your body to burn calories and stress your muscles by simply using them to make them bigger. And trust me, you can do both with even owning a set of weight let alone go to a gym.

5. Working out is the only thing you need to do to get buff.
Truth:  Food is just as important as the workout. Without feeding your body protein, it can NOT build those muscles you want it to.

6. All one needs to do is jog every morning to lose weight.
Truth: No matter how much you jog or run... or sprint, it will not benefit you if you simply eat everything in a 2-mile radius afterward. The trick is the eat the same amount of food you usually eat when you don't do any training while you do training. Does that make sense? read it again if it doesn't.

7. "Dave next door got abs in six days by doing pushups, I can, too!"
Truth: No, you can not. That is Dave and this is you. You're different than Dave. Your fat distribution is different from Dave's. Your genetics is different from Dave's. Your body type is different from Dave's. Your metabolic rate is different from Dave's. Stop comparing. If Priya aunty lost 5kgs in 2 weeks, well good for her! freakin' great! but don't expect do the same in the same time frame.

Understand that different people lose weight at a different pace. Give your body the time it deserves. And Also know that it is a slow process. Unless you take steroids (and inevitably get cancer & ED) you can not make a swift transformation. Give yourself some time. It is your body, not a clay doll.

What does Adarsh Jon Alex do?

Adarsh Jon Alex Abs

I think this was the moment you were waiting for. To know how I maintain the equilibrium.
Well, I am going to tell you what I do! Here you go:

I implement everything I wrote in the article.. in my life. That's it!
No, seriously though, that's it.

*wide grin*

Well, there are obviously these little things I do on a daily basis that is more or less relevant to my fitness life. Those are health choices. And yes, I am willing to share them with you right here!

Before that, let me tell you; this is not how I look all the time. It may be obvious for some of you, and not very much for the rest. I have written about this very topic in my previous post 'False image'. Please check that out if you have not.

So yeah, back to the things I do every day:

1. To maintain my muscles (or sometimes to make 'em bigger), I do calisthenics on a daily basis. They mostly include very simple exercises like Chin-ups (for biceps), Pull-ups (for whole back), Push-ups (rarely, for chest and almost all the upper body muscles), hanging and non-hanging leg raises (for abs and core), Dips (for triceps), 3-finger Push-ups for the fingers, wide arm variant of Chin-ups (for the forearms), normal plank and elbow plank (for core strength, abs, triceps).

All these exercises only require a structure from which you can hang, a floor (or your bed) and your own body's weight. That's it. I do all these in moderation. You can look wayy better if you do all of these a lot on a daily basis.

2. To maintain my fat percentage I do cardio (and HIIT) . Basically, exercises which make your heart go all crazy. For that, I either go to a ground nearby and sprint like something is on fire or I stay at home and 'run in place'. That is just a simulation of actual sprinting at home. And if done right, equally effective. Or I simply do 'mountain climbers'.

bonus tip: When I do cardio at home, it is usually just after I wake up, on an empty stomach. I start the cardio and when I feel like I am about to die I stop, take a 5-minute rest and go to the kitchen to grab a glass of water.

3. I drink only water to quench my thirst. And milk to quench my 'nutritional thirst'.

4. I naturally do not consume any added sugar because I do not drink any kind of beverages (hot or cold) and I rarely eat anything sweet. Less intake of sugar ensures optimum level of Testosterone (it plays a big role in fat loss and muscle development in men).

6. I control my daily intake of calories. The process is so easy for me because I eat Chapathi (aka roti) 4 times a day (along with a variety of veg curries of course). In each meal, I have 3 of them. Not more, not less. And if I go out and eat something very heavy, I compensate for that back in my home next day by eating two less.

7.  I consume around 18 eggs a week for my protein requirements (and for a lot of other micronutrients). Plus I drink 2 glasses of water in the first and the last hour of the day to boost my metabolism and a half glass of water 10 mins before every meal to aid digestion. And I often have my supper 2-3 hours prior to sleep.

I try to sleep at around 11 pm and wake up around 6. That never works out though. I always fail to make that a part of my lifestyle. But I try, and that is what matters *author smiles*

Well, Thank you for reading till this point!

Let us summarize.

Eat food in a controlled manner. Know which food contains what and how much. Drink loads of water. Exercise daily. Have a stable sleep cycle. and most importantly.. be happy. There is no point in having a Greek god like physique when you're unhappy deep inside. So strive towards nurturing yourself physically and mentally.

Well, that is pretty much it! Everything I know, written.

So to conclude this mile long essay, I would like to wish you productive n' healthy days ahead and I hope you make great meaningful choices in your life, small and big, with the knowledge I've equipped you with alongside the wisdom I've humbly tried to impart.

First photo credits: Aadarsh Jadhav.
Stock photo credits: David Whittaker.
Third photo gear credits & Fourth photo credits: Aryan Prince.

Some Portions of this entry was inspired by Lex Griffin's video.
Should any facts presented here be wrong, use contact information to suggest corrections.


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