Fitmag Loksabha Week 1


The wait’s over! Fitmag Loksabha session one concludes with answers to some of the most important questions we got last week from readers. And our experts have these answers for you:

1. Question from Antony Prem – “Body recomposition. Can this be achieved or is this a myth. Calorie surplus on lifting days and slight deficit on non lifting/cardio days?”

Answer: Body recomposition is possible and is not a myth. There are various ways of doing it and the most common way of doing it is by staying on maintenance calories and engaging yourself in weight training.

The other way is to stay on surplus calories for a certain period and then move on to a deficit for a certain period, and keep juggling between the two while simultaneously engaging yourself in weight training.

Body recomposition is considered to be a myth by a lot of fitness enthusiasts mainly because it does not show overnight, or even in a course of a few months. It may take a few years to see some reasonable difference in muscle mass.

– Aniketh Shetty (INFS Faculty)


2. Question from Dipinty Ghoshal –“People here have been seeing advising people to drink diet coke/ red bull etc. (rather, telling them yes you can drink), and no to fruits!!!! The former are filled with artificial sweeteners, preservatives etc. Why such a big no against fruits????”

Answer: Fruits can be included in normal day to day food habits. It can be also included in your diet based on its caloric and nutrient value.

Fruits consumed under normal levels do no harm. But they do contain calories. On the other hand, Diet Coke has low calories or none at all. If you are on a rigid diet like keto, fruits might push you out of the ketosis process, but this won’t be happening with artificially sweetened beverages. That is why you usually perceive a ‘no’ to fruits and a ‘yes’ to Diet Coke.

Even though it’s not a right approach to be dependent on sources sweetened artificially, but at the end of the day calories and the process matters.

– Suraj Ray (Fitness and Nutrition Coach, SQUATS)


3. Question from Saurabh Gupta – “Workout routines – which type of workout routines should be incorporated when doing: (a) HIVT    (b) Periodization    (c) Push Pull Leg”

Answer: Completely variable to individual and current body stats.

Ideally, one can start off with a normal push pull routine, learn the form and technique, focus on progressive overloading, and after a certain time, can target HIVT.

However, HIVT itself can lead to saturation if done for long durations, because one might not be able to increase the load at regular intervals due to excessive volume. So, you will have to play it smartly here.

HIVT coupled with progressive overloading can be considered an intermediate level plan, while periodization  can be a pick for advanced lifters.

There is no point in experimenting with rep ranges, unless one can comfortably squat atleast upto his/her body weight.

– Shanu Shashank (Fitness and Nutrition Coach, SQUATS)


4. Question from Chandar Prasad – “Why is Belly Fat the last to go?”

Answer: I’ll answer this in two ways –

Basic – You weren’t always fat, right? There was a time, probably when you were a kid, when you were fit, and didn’t have much extra fat on your body. And somewhere down the line, you started getting fat deposits all over your body. This is a predicament that most of us have faced in life.

Now, the places where you got this fat deposited first, will be the last places to let go of the fat.

First In Last Out. That’s how it works. What is the logic in it? Let us look deeper to learn more…

Deeper – Your fat cells aren’t all the same.

There are receptors that are present in your fat cells that help in fat mobilization, that is, fat release from the fat cells. Unless the fat is released it can’t be oxidized (or “burnt”, to put it more simply).

Now these receptors are of two types, Alpha and Beta.

Alpha receptors make this process difficult, and beta receptors make it easy.

So the reason why it’s difficult to lose your belly fat is because you have more alpha receptors in your belly area.

These areas eventually become “stubborn areas” for a person.

There, you have your answer.

– Dev Biswas (Chief Editor, Fitmag)


5. Question from Geetanjalee Dadage-Patil – “How to strengthen the pelvic area after child birth?”

Answer: Pelvic floor exercises are the exercises that can be started in the delivery room itself.

Pelvic floor contraction can be done slowly (Pull your pelvic floor in and up, hold-2-3-4, relax) or quickly (Hold-Relax-Hold-Relax)

Appreciating if the pelvic floor is really contracting or not is a big task.

Few instructions which can help you contract your pelvic floor efficiently:

• Imagine stopping passing urine
• Imagine gripping to stop a tampon falling out

Pelvic floor contractions can be performed in any position, but to start with, sitting on a hard chair leaning forward to support forearms on knees, with thighs and feet apart, is useful.

200 contractions/day must be attempted. Its not an impossible task as it sounds. It can be achieved by doing 4 sets of each of 50 reps every time you feed the baby.

– Ismat Khoja (Fitness and Nutrition Coach, SQUATS)


6. Question from Rishabh Batra – “At what stage should one stop keto and start carb loading?”

Answer: When one sees that body fat % has come down to around 10-12% (ideally) for men, and if one has been into keto for atleast 4-5 weeks.

At this point, one can go for a full body depletion workout, have a cheat meal and slowly start adding carbs back to the diet.

PS: One has to be watchful while adding carbs. When one adds back carbs suddenly after a long duration of stayjng in keto, he/she might feel bloated at times.

– Shanu Shashank (Fitness and Nutrition Coach, SQUATS)


7. Question from Chinmayi Panda – “Why a big no to tea with milk with/without sugar in all diets. This is something which we have been doing since ages… Do we have any scientific reason to replace them with black tea/coffee?”

Answer: Tea with milk or sugar is one of the major sources of empty calories. Minimum 2-3 tea cups of milky tea is consumed on an average day. The question is, why waste so many calories when you can have something substantial in the given macros?

Alternatively you can try black tea or black coffee with a spoon of unsweetened cream. Tastes great and you can incorporate it even in strict diets like keto.

About consuming it for ages, sadly enough, we are still eating as we used to when we ploughed fields the whole day. Activities/lifestyles have changed so much but surprisingly the food pyramid is same. We have to change our perception about nutrition with time. Fitness isn’t a single formula that applies to all over time. It is an evolving area, with new light shed by new researches all the time. So, question the norms and accept only when there is proof.

Hope this helps!

– Swati Sodhi (Fitness and Nutrition Coach, SQUATS)


8. Question from Avika Ananta Ambadekar – “I still feel a funny pain upon doing crunches. It has been 6 months. Also backward bending yoga in the same situation?”

Answer: Abdominal crunches isn’t harmful if done with proper progression. Do not directly jump to it. Start with abdominal tucks, planks, glute bridges, and the progress to crunches. Post C-Section there can be diastasis recti (separation of the abdominal muscles, causing a gap that appears as a ‘baby bump’ even after childbirth) so splinting is very important while performing. Splinting means embracing yourself from the abdomen to approximate the rectus abdominus; an abdominal belt can also be used. The complaint of backward bending is possibly due to spinal anasthesia given at the time of surgery. Working on your back muscles will help you reduce your pain. However, at all times, avoid exercises which induce pain or discomfort.

– Ismat Khoja (Fitness and Nutrition Coach, SQUATS)


9. Question from Avika Ananta Ambadekar – “How can lunges help knee pain whereas it increases knee pain with crunching sounds?”

Answer: Exercise selection is important when it comes to any muscle group, specially when one is having a trouble in that area. Working out your knee will help in strengthening your knee muscles (quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves.) Which will in turn help you to support your body weight and reduce the pressure and pain on your knee joint in general.

If you have a knee injury then selection of exercise will be case specific, lunges with full range of motion might not be the right workout in certain cases.

Lunges are better avoided, instead start with introducing some knee strengthening exercises and some stretches.
Adding front squats can be a good idea here to avoid any excessive force on knees.

There have been many researches too, where people with knee issues can switch to front squats and keep their legs worked out with less load and strain.

– Suraj Ray (Fitness and Nutrition Coach, SQUATS), Aniketh Shetty (INFS), Shanu Shashank (Fitness and Nutrition Coach, SQUATS)


That concludes the Loksabha for last week. Watch the space for future sessions to get expert views on topics related to fitness, health, and nutrition!

Stay aware and stay healthy!

– Fitmag Team