Tag Archives: muscle mass

Eat This to Get a Body Like Hrithik Roshan and Farhan Akhtar

Believe it or not, along with your workout, eating more of the right kind of fats will not only enable you to lose extra body fat, but will also help you gain lean muscle mass, resulting in a more defined and ‘ripped’ look.

The best way to lower LDL (bad cholesterol) and increase HDL (good cholesterol) in your body is by reducing the amount of high-glycemic carbohydrates and saturated fats and getting more of omega-3 fatty acids and unsaturated fats.

Unsaturated fats are those that have one or more double bonds in their fatty acid chains. Made up of two kinds of fats, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, these fats provide slightly fewer calories than saturated fats and somewhat less energy. Polyunsaturated fats also contain Omega-3 fatty acids that are necessary to maintain a healthy body.

A recent research from Uppsala University shows that saturated fat builds more fat and less muscle than poly-unsaturated fat. When you get calories from polyunsaturated fats (like salmon, olives, olive oil, nuts, etc.), you gain muscle mass.

Studies show that eating foods rich in monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) and poly-unsaturated fats (PUFA) improves blood cholesterol levels, which can decrease your risk of heart disease. Research also shows that unsaturated fats may benefit insulin levels and blood sugar control, which can be especially helpful if you have type 2-diabetes.

PUFA have the potential to increase insulin sensitivity in muscle tissues. This means that our body uses insulin more effectively to transport nutrients into muscle cells where they increase cell volumization and protein synthesis and at the same time decrease the fat storing properties of insulin in your favor, helping you to stay leaner. They also have a positive effect on thyroid hormones which helps burn fat more efficiently.

Your daily fat intake should be less than 25% to 35% of your total caloric intake. Out of this total, up to 7% can be saturated fats and less than 1% should be trans- fats. The remaining fat in your diet should be from sources of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

The dietary source for unsaturated fats include oily fishes like salmon, herring, sardines, tuna; olive oils, sunflower oil, soybean oil, flaxseed oil, almonds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, etc.

A healthy and clean diet along with a dedicated workout routine is what will get you even close to as fit and ripped as Hrithik Roshan or Farhan Akhtar.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo
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Never Lost Weight Counting Your Calories? We’ll Tell You Why

It is very important to understand the scientific theory behind weight loss before creating your own weight loss strategies. An effective weight loss for the long run is all about a healthy diet and a good dose of physical activity. Counting calories is part of a weight loss plan but not the only remedy for weight loss. Counting calories (or grams of fat or carbohydrates) is far easier than actually understanding the complex effects food has on our bodies and our waistlines. If counting calories is about losing weight then any one would manage to lose weight on their own. Below are the reasons which will clearly explain why you should not always count calories to lose weight.

1. Food produces some hormonal effects in our body. It decides whether to store that fat or burn it. So, depending only on calories will never help to lose the unwanted fat. To accelerate the body’s fat burning hormones, a combination of balanced macro and micro nutrients is mandatory in every meal, rather than depending only on calorie count.

2. The accurate method of checking calories is through the bomb calorimeter method which is practically not possible on a daily basis for regular people. When you calculate by yourself on the basis of some information you found online or on the food labels, you might be hundreds of calories off track. Different bodies metabolize foods at different rates depending on factors such as muscle mass, exercise habits, hormonal changes and lifestyle. Ultimately, counting calories alone will never help you lose weight. It depends on other factors also.

3. Calculating calories might be help you in getting a low calorie meal but is that food going to accelerate or hinder your weight loss? The quality of food you are eating also plays an equally vital role in successful weight loss, along with the calorie count. Always keep in mind the quality parameters instead of depending only on calorie counting.

Calorie Counting Alternatives

Instead of counting calories now and then,so the best way to put a check on weight and to lead a healthy life can be checking on the portions i.e.one should always take smaller portions in a plate, try to take out time for any of the physical activity and lastly focus on right combinations of food.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Exercise – How often and how much?

A regular exercise routine is really important when you want to have a fit, toned and healthy body. But the question is how often and how much should you exercise to reach your health goals. Under exercising or over exercising can affect your body adversely. Under exercising will not give you sufficient results and leave you short of your fitness goals, whereas over exercising can be dangerous, leading to permanent muscle damage, ligament injuries, chronic fatigue, etc.

How often should you exercise:

Being active is a key to a healthy body. But if your health goal is to shed some pounds or build some muscle mass; make a routine to exercise 5 days a week with 2 days of rest. Taking a rest day is an important part of working out because it provides the time for recovery of muscles. During the workout, the body undergoes many changes like depletion of energy stores and breakdown of muscle tissues. Therefore, it is necessary to provide recovery time to replenish these energy stores and to repair the wear and tear of muscles. This also reduces the chances of over working out. Over working out can damage your muscles adversely and can lead to degenerative damage to tendons, ruptured biceps or pectorals and muscle strain.

How much should you exercise:

If you are a beginner then you can start your workout with low intensity exercises like walking for a minimum of 30 minutes. And once you build up your stamina you can increase the intensity or frequency of your exercises such as running or jogging instead of walking, or increasing the pace and intensity of your walk. If you are following a regime for weight training, then you should regularly increase the intensity of your lifts by adding extra weight or by increasing the difficulty level with more complex moves. Doing any exercise should always be a challenge for your body, to force it to gain muscle or lose fat. But do not force yourself beyond your maximum endurance levels. Always keep a target of finishing your workout within 45 to 60 minutes. Working out for longer than that may lead to over exercising. Make the work out effective with shorter breaks and intervals. Do not waste time at the gym.

Diet and exercises always go in hand in hand in achieving any health and fitness goal. Therefore, while focusing on your workout also keep a careful watch on your diet.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Understanding metabolic rate

We often hear about the metabolic rate. But do you really know what it is and how it affects our body? The metabolic rate is the minimum calorie requirement to sustain basic functioning of a human body. A person’s BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) is the biggest factor in determining their overall metabolic rate, as well as the number of calories they need in order to maintain, lose, or gain weight. A person’s BMR is determined by a combination of environmental and genetic factors.

Factors that affect metabolic rate

Age, gender, muscle mass, hormonal imbalance, hydration and nutrition are the factors that generally influence the metabolic rate. Let’s talk about them in detail.

Body composition: Fat tissue has a lower metabolic activity than muscle tissue. As lean muscle mass increases, metabolic rate increases.

Gender: The basal metabolic rate (BMR) averages 5 to 10 percent lower in women than in men. This is largely because women have more body fat and less muscle mass than men.

Age: A decrease in lean muscle mass during adulthood results in a slow, steady decline of roughly 3 percent per year in BMR after the age of about 30.

Hormonal levels: Thyroxine (T4), the key hormone released by the thyroid glands has a significant effect upon the metabolic rate. Hypothyroidism is relatively common, especially in women near or after menopause. Everyone with a weight problem should have their thyroid function checked by their doctor and treated appropriately if it turns out to be low.

Basically the long term factors needed keep a high metabolism are regular exercise / physical activity, sufficient rest/sleep and a healthy diet.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

How to Train Your Muscles

There are numerous exercise that you can workout in a gym. Each exercise is either for a specific muscle called an isolation exercise or compound exercise where multiple muscles are worked together. Which muscle should you train first or what combination of muscles should you take for more training. Training different muscles depends upon what your objective is and your approach to muscle training.

Muscular Man

There are certain number of things one should keep in mind while training his/her muscles. When lifting weights it is most important and foremost to maintain the right posture and perform the exercise in the right manner. Doing them in the wrong posture could unbalance the symmetrical growth of the muscles and could cause injuries and pain. If you are looking for muscle mass then lift more heavy weights with which you could do only 7-8 reps of the exercise. For defining and better cuts of the muscles don’t rush through your session. Change your exercise pattern at times as the body can adapt to the pattern. Rest is important as muscles require time to repair the wear and tear and increase in size and strength.

Work Bigger Muscles First: There are various combinations that you can take while building muscles. There are big muscles in the body like chest, back, thighs, abs and small muscles are biceps, forearms, shoulders, triceps etc. If you work on the small muscles first then working the bigger muscles will be straining as smaller muscles assist in training the bigger muscles. If the small muscles get tired then it will be less supportive for bigger muscles. So do the bigger muscles first and then move on to smaller one. This gives more muscle mass and density to the muscles with strength too.

Combine Opposing muscles: If you are looking to increase strength in your muscles to lift heavier weights then train opposing muscles to concentrate more on the muscles and provide them enough rest. Opposing muscles are least incorporated while doing the other muscle so its gives you time and strength to work the opposing muscles with heavier weight. This style allows you to work more muscles in a workout. Suppose you work your chest then the biceps don’t play much role in it. So it is possible to work the biceps as well with full power and weights.

Work the supporting muscles: Work out combining muscle group in one workout. The muscles that support each other. Like biceps and back. Chest and triceps etc. This helps build muscle endurance, gives better shape to the muscles.  Training supporting muscles works the bigger and small muscles as well. It gives a right combination to exhaust the muscles for better and ripped muscle mass.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Best Weight Lifting Exercises

Weight Lifting builds muscles and accelerates the metabolism of the body. More muscles inthe body will result in higher metabolic rate. You can do compound exercises, means multi-joint movement exercises that work multiple muscles at one time, either by using body weight or lifting weights that have been designed to work specific muscles in the body in order to build them.

Muscular body

Weight lifting is a technique that provides resistance to the muscle to increase their mass and strength. It is one of the more popular forms of strength training that helps building the size and strength of skeletal muscles. Skeletal muscles are the voluntary muscles in our body that are attached to the bones through bundles of fiber.There are many exercise that help develop and strengthen various skeletal muscles in the body. Below is  the list of  best weight lifting exercises for different muscle groups like biceps, triceps, shoulders, chest, back, abs, quadriceps, hamstring, calves and forearms.

Best Weight Lifting Exercises

Best Weight Lifting Biceps Exercises

Barbell Curl: This is the most basic of bicep exercise where to increase its effective increase the weight with which you do not moe than 10 reps. You can do it alternately and do it with barbells for proportionate growth.

Preacher Curl: Preacher curl works the muscle in isolation and exerts stress on the muscle for increase in mas and strength. Helps work the fore arms also.

Close Grip Chin Ups: This is a great compound exercise where it requires lifting the body weight with biceps working the core as well. Build strength and stamina in the muscle.

Best Weight Lifting Triceps Exercise

Dumbbell Tricep Extension: You can do tricep extension either on the bench lying or sitting or on a decline bench. Triceps extension helps the muscle work in isolation and build triceps big.

Dips: Keep your body upright to allow maximum tension on the triceps to build power , strength and mass. You can do dips with a bench, parallel bars or by the side of your bed.

Bench Press: On of the most effective tricep exercise where you can increase tension by add extra weight. You can do bench press with dumbbells or barbells. It works the triceps and the chest also.

Best Weight Lifting Shoulders Exercise


Upright Rows: This exercise builds muscle mass and stregth and brings power to the shoulders. You can do upright rows with barbells or dumbbells.

Overhead Press: You could do overhead press with dumbbells or barbells. Overhead press is a highly effective shoulder exercise. Maintaining the right positions will build immense strength and muscle.

Lateral Raises : Lateral raises can be done with dumbbells and you could do two types of the raises. Front lateral raise for front deltoids and side lateral raise for side deltoids.

Best Weight Lifting Chest Exercise


Bench Press: It is a effective exercise for building upper body especially the chest and triceps as they exert maximum tension on them. There are many variations you can do with bench press like with dumbbells or barbells on decline, incline or flat bench. Increase weight for muscle mass.

Butterfly Machine: Butterfly machine pumps up the chest and builds big chest muscles. Cable cross over and dumbbell fly are also highly effective exercise.

Incline dumbbell Fly: Mind the posture while doing this exercise. It is a isolation exercise for chest and works for a big bulging muscular chest.

Best Weight Lifting Back Exercise

Pull Ups: One of the best back building exercise. The exercise is difficult in the beginning but gradually build endurance and strength in the core which involves the back. You can do variations with chin ups or pull ups. Do palms facing inwards, outwards, inverted chin ups and parallel grips.

Rowing: Rowing helps build overall back muscles in mass and width. You can choose between barbells and dumbbells and increase weight to increase intensity. You can do bent over row, dumbbell row or machine row.

Dead lift: It is a complete back exercise which involves power. The deadlift works the thighs, glutes and calves along with the complete back. Builds power, mass and strength and size.

Best Weight Lifting Abs Exercise

Crunches: Highly effective exercise for the rectus abdominis (6 packs). It is a beneficial exercise for beginners and works in building muscle and strength.

Hanging Leg Raises: This exercise works the entire core and involves hanging in the air while performing the exercise. It works the lower abdomin region and can be done with bent knee raises and staight knee leg raise. It buildd strength and enduarnce in the ab region.

Twist: As you need to burn fat from the sides and build oblique muscle twist exercise is a highly effective exercise for strengthening core muscles and losing fat from the sides. Tones the back and abs.

Best Weight Lifting Quadriceps Exercise

Squats: It works the front thighs, glutes and lower back. For strong lower body and and big muscles squats is highly effective. It can be done with barbells for increase in intensity. Mind the posture while doing squats.

Lunges: Maintaining a right posture and keep back straight is important while doing lunges. Exert pressure with front thighs to push body weight up and not the back. Tones the thighs, glutes, back and hips. Use dumbbels for bigger and toned muscles.

Leg Extension: This exercise is an isolation exercise for front thighs. It pumps up the thighs and helps build muscle mass and strength. One of the best exercise to build quadriceps.

Best Weight Lifting Hamstring Exercise

Romanian Dead lifts: This deadlift works the hamstring, glutes and lower back. It build muscle mass and strength in the hamstring for muscular thighs overall.

Straight Leg Dead lifts: It takes a lot of effort to do this exercise where you are supposed to keep your legs staright and not bent. Though is a compound exercise which works the calves, glutes but very effective for hamstring.

Lying Leg Curl: It is a isolation exercise completely for hamstring. Again a great exercise to build strength and muscles in the hamstring. Do it easily and properly for maximum benefits.

Best Weight Lifting Calves Exercise

Standing Calf Raise: It invoves raising your body slowly on your toes and stretching the most while at the top. Don’t jump while doing the exercise and add weights on the shoulders to increase the intensity. You can use a barbell, smith machine, hip belt, dumbbells to do variations with calf raises.

Seated Calf Raise: Concentrate on the bottom and top part while performing the exercise. Use weight to build big muscular calves. Check the momentum of the exercise and don’t hurry through.

Best Weight Lifting Forearms Exercise

Wrist Curl: This exercise works the inner forearms while it increase the width of the wrist for building muscles. It involves curling the wrist and can be done with weight for more muscle mass and strength.

Reverse Curl: This exercise works the outer forams. Usually this muscle of the forearms get missed out reducing the size of the forearms. Use weights to increase intensity of the exercise.

 

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Get a Lean and Muscular Body with Vegetables

Gone are the days of bulking up and looking like Arnold schwarzenegger. Now Edward Pattison’s (Star of the twilight Series) body is the new rage. Getting lean and having the definition is still not as easy as it sounds. In fact  it is still more difficult to get lean than bulk up. People and bodybuilders usally eat meats as protein sources to bulk up. Unfortunately there are very few natural ways of getting lean. One which is often forgotten due to the quest for a bigger body is the importance of vegetables in the diet. Vegetables are low in calories and full of vitamins and minerals and fiber for better digestion . Besides this they also help develop leaner and strong muscles due to the high quality nutrients present in them.

Green Vegetables and fruits(Cr/freedigital)

Vegetables have very little fat in them which is crtical for reducing body fat to achieve the lean muscular look. Vegetables like cabbage, spinach and parsley are rich source of glutamine which is an amino acid which is the building block of protein and helps build more muscle mass, promoting digestion and tissue repair. The vitamins and minerals with antioxidants reduce inflammation in the body and boost immunity.

Vegetables also boosts muscle growth in older men also as the mitocondria activity in the cells provide more energy to the muscle to perform longer and with power. Doing adeqate resistance exercise with healthy diet will keep them stronger and in better shape reducing chances of injury.

A new study in the February issue of Cell Metabolism traces that improved performance to increased efficiency of the mitochondria that power our cells. The study suggests that foods that contain nitrates make your mitochondria work better and are known as power plants of the cells. Green vegetables are rich in nitrates that boost mitochondria activity giving us more energy during workouts for building leaner and bigger muscles. Good sources for green vegetables are spinach, parsley, kale, asparagus or other green leafy vegetables.

Add a bowl or two of vegetables for better metabolism of nutrients and higher level of energy for building lean muscles. Vegetables are fat free and low in calories reduce the fat percentage in the body giving you a ripped body. Fiber in vegetables keeps you fuller so that you don’t indulge in munching in between meals and avoiding eating extra calories for any storage.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo