HealthifyMe is a calorie tracking and one-on-one fitness coaching app that provides diet and workout plans. Indus OS had the privilege of hosting Fitness Coach, Akshay Sharma and Chief Dietician, Anuradha Inamdar of HealthifyMe, to chat on Twitter Spaces.
Akshay Sharma is a certified Fitness Trainer who has trained athletes and military personnel, while Anuradha Inamdar has 18 years of experience as a Clinical Dietician and Sports Nutritionist.
Fitness is a topic that generates a lot of interest and a lot of questions too. So it was not surprising to see that our guests had a lot to offer on each question.
10 Questions At The Fit Talk
Following is an edited transcript of the Fit Talk between Indus OS and HealthifyMe:
1. What is More Important, Working Out or Keeping Your Diet in Control?
Akshay: “It’s 50-50. You need a proper balance between working out and diet. Working out regularly is a must, along with keeping an eye on nutrition. Proper exercise will help boost the overall quality of our genes and improve protein synthesis which results in building muscle.”
Anuradha: “Exercise and diet ought to go hand-in-hand. If you just exercise and don’t take in proper nutrition or vice-versa, then there’s a high chance that you’ll lose muscle mass. So having a balanced diet high in protein (which we Indians lack) along with regular workouts is vital to achieving your fitness goals.”
2. Does a Person Need to Workout Every Day?
Akshay: “There’s no hard and fast rule when it comes to this. It all depends on what your fitness goals are. For example, if you’re trying to improve your performance for a specific sport, then you need to work out every day. But if you want to improve overall health, then there are a few rules you should follow. A person is required to work out for at least 150 minutes a week, which can be spread out over 3-5 days in a week.”
Anuradha: “I agree with Akshay. It depends on the goal. If the person wants to see a healthy weight loss, they should be working at least 5 days a week. There also needs to be a rest day, which allows your muscles to recover.”
3. What is the Ideal Duration of a Workout Session?
Anuradha: “As per the American Council on Exercise (ACE), a person should work out for a minimum of 40-45 minutes a day. It can also go up to 75 minutes. Anything longer than that is unhelpful. That’s because your muscles go into a catabolic state after about a 45-minute workout. A catabolic state means a broken-down state. While your muscles are in the catabolic state, it can’t take anymore and you’ll end up losing muscle mass rather than gaining. Also, your pre-workout meal is meant to fuel your body for an average of 45 minutes only.”
Akshay: “The workout duration depends, again, on your fitness goals. If you’re someone who’s training for a marathon then you should workout longer. But for the average person, 45-60 minutes of a workout should suffice. Keeping the time in check is vital. We’ve already spoken about muscles going into the catabolic state. What also happens during this time is the release of the cortisol hormone which helps in weight loss. So, working out for too long does not help improve your Musco-skeletal structure.”
4. When is the Best Time to Workout, Morning or Evening?
Akshay: “There is no ideal time to workout. The best time is when you can give laser-focus attention to your workout, and you’re not distracted by anything. But a deciding factor to your timing will be your post-workout meal.”
Anuradha: “Coaches and doctors advise working out in the morning. That’s because your metabolic rate is high after you wake up. Fat burning is quicker with a high metabolic rate. Working out after a tiring day at the office is unlikely to help. Of course, a morning workout might be impractical for everyone. So if you are working out in the evening, ensure that you have a proper pre & post-workout meal.”
5. What Kind of Food Should One Consume Before and After a Workout?
Anuradha: “A pre-workout meal should be taken 30-40 minutes before the workout. It should contain a good amount of carbohydrates, proteins, and some amount of fat as well. The post-workout meal should be consumed within 30 minutes of completing the exercise, and the meal should include a good amount of complex carbs and protein. Some doctors advise having protein right after working out, but your body’s immediate requirement is energy. And carbs can meet those energy needs. So, it’s better to have some carbs before downing your protein shake. You can top off your post-workout meal with a multivitamin drink which acts as an antioxidant.”
6. Can Vegetarians Build Their Bodies?
Akshay: “Yes, absolutely. We have a living example, Varindar Singh Ghuman who is from the fitness industry and is India’s first IFBB Pro. It totally depends on our protein intake, our diet, our workout, and our strategy. It also depends on our approach; how much of what we’re doing is right and what is our level of dedication and determination. However, exercise is one thing, diet also plays a vital role. From the nutrition point of view, some amount of supplements is also required to reach adequate levels of protein and amino acids.”
Anuradha: “Vegetarians have no lack of protein sources. There are milk and milk products, soy milk, tofu which is high in protein and low on carbs, and pulses and legumes. It’s not necessary to have any kind of non-vegetarian food to build muscle. Actor John Abraham is a pure vegetarian, and everyone knows what kind of build he has.”
7. What is the Best Training and Diet for Losing Belly Fat?
Akshay: “I am going to talk from the training point of view. So the best training depends on the person’s condition. For example, someone whose BMI is more than 31 or 32 should not be doing intense pushups and pullups since that person will not able to sustain the workout. A proper assessment of the person needs to be conducted to come up with a plan that suits him or her. The best training regimes come under four models, according to the American Council on Exercise. It is also known as Integrated Fitness Training Model, which includes movement training, stability/mobility training followed by fitness training. An absolute beginner does not get into intense fitness training without first going through some movement and stability training.”
Anuradha: “For a permanent reduction in belly fat, the first principle to follow is to eat food that you’ve been eating since childhood and which you can eat for a lifetime. Instead of going for a fat-reducing diet or product, lose belly fat by eating childhood foods like roti, sabzi, and dal. Doing this will get your permanent results. Keep a watch over your portion intake and try getting more proteins into your diet. Avoid any kind of no-fat & no-carbs diet, because fat and carbs are essential for our daily life.”
8. How Long Do I Stretch Before a Workout?
Akshay: “There are different types of stretching like dynamic, static, and ballistic stretching. Some perform static and ballistic stretches before a workout, which is not recommended. You can perform dynamic stretches, however, and this will help your heart and muscles get ready for the main workout. And stretching should not exceed 10 minutes.”
Anuradha: “Completely agree with Akshay. Muscle anabolism is important and therefore you should do a 10-15 minute stretching routine before your workout. Stretching is like turning the ignition key to a car. Stretching will start the engine of your body.”
9. Does Stretching Apply Post-workout too?
Akshay: “Post-workout stretches are as important. Working out puts mechanical and metabolic stress on your muscles and so you need to give some relief to them. Performing static and dynamic stretches after a workout gives a cooldown effect to your muscles.”
Anuradha: “There are some cases of people getting heart attacks after an intense workout session. This can be avoided by performing post-workout stretches. You should avoid heading to the next part of your day without doing any post-workout stretching. Spend at least 10 minutes stretching after working out to allow your body to relax.”
10. Does Exercise Help with Mental Health?
Akshay: “Yes, exercise helps with mental health. There are a few studies out there that support this view. During the normal course of a workout, we are increasing the hormonal secretion in our body. This will make us feel great about ourselves, plus we stay active during the day and we can perform our daily activities better. Of course, in severe cases, proper psychological care is required and exercise may not be the final answer. However, a person who goes through anxiety and stress like everyone else should incorporate therapeutic nutrition and a good workout plan to their routine.”
Anuradha: “My patients used to that whenever they were under stress, they exercised and that resulted in them being happy. So yes, exercise does help. Working out helps in regulating stress hormone secretion thus reducing stress and improving mental health. Follow the advice of your fitness coach rather than trying it on your own.”
Download The HealthifyMe App
Apart from tracking your micro & macronutrients, the HealthifyMe App also helps you manage your fitness journey effectively.
It has a large repository of nutritional facts, and it helps you track how much of each nutrient you are consuming and whether you need more or less of the same. So you can add any kind of food whether it is Indian, Continental, or Oriental, and the AI-powered engine will help you quantify each nutrient.
You can download the app on Indus App Bazaar by clicking here.