Debunking the Most Common Myths About HIIT Workouts

HIIT, or High-Intensity Interval Training, is a form of cardiovascular training with short intervals of anaerobic exercise and increasingly lesser recovery period. HIIT helps burn a high number of calories in a very short period of time and is an important part of fat loss regimes as well as for athletic sessions. Though HIIT is not a very new concept, there are still many myths revolving among fitness amateurs. So today we try to debunk seven most common myths related to HIIT.

Myth: HIIT and Cardio are the same

While both of them involve following the same basic rule, i.e., to keep the heart-beat elevated during the entire workout, the workout session is made keeping many different aspects in mind.

HIIT may involve a variety of exercises like burpees, push-ups, squats, etc. with different variations done at maximum effort for a fixed time interval with a specific set rest time. The time interval is set to provide maximum workout time with decreasing rest time. During the workout, the active heartbeat is kept at 90-95% rate with rest heart-beat at 40-45%. At this rate, the exercise is more of an anaerobic type.

Cardio, on the other hand, involves a prolonged period of the elevated heartbeat with almost no rest period, done at an intermediate intensity. The main aim is to keep the heartbeat up and going with the exercise being mostly aerobic. Exercises can include jogging, burpees, etc.

The basic workout regime differs in rest periods and aerobic/anaerobic workout. If your aim is loose fat with muscle building, HIIT is the best option.

Myth: HIIT is better than steady-state cardio

This is a common notion that an intense HIIT session is more effective than steady-state cardio. It is not entirely true because the type of workout depends on your fitness goals. If you are aiming for fat loss, HIIT would definitely be the better option. Steady state cardio is done to maintain a heart rate up to 65-70% and is aimed at improving heart and lung health, as well as improve blood circulation and overall health. So design your work out depending on your health goals.

Myth: HIIT is enough

As much as HIIT seems to work, it is not enough if you want to lose fat as well as gain muscles. As the name suggests, HIIT is intended to work on shredding fat and losing calories. HIIT workouts help by increasing the metabolism of the body, but you have to include weight training in your session if you want to strengthen the muscle. Take it like adding more fuel in your tank if you want to go for a long distance, but if you want to carry the biggest load for the same distance, you have to have a bigger engine with more horsepower. So HIIT is for distance (fat loss) and weight training is for more horsepower (muscle).

Myth: Age is not a bar

While the name might not give you a feel of what strenuous sessions this might be, HIIT is not a walk in the park. While there is always a beginner level, it’s like going for a short marathon knowing that you cannot even run for a mile. So, if you are a total novice, or if you are restarting after a long gap, it is advised to build up your stamina for a couple of days with normal to intermediate cardio sessions before going for a full-fledged HIIT session. Consider it as a pre-HIIT warm-up session lasting for days instead of minutes.

Myth: The longer, the better

It is a common myth that doing more cardio can help burn more calories and hence more fat. While the former might be true to a certain extent, the latter is a total assumption. A prolonged period of cardio has shown to use some of your stored energy reserves and then turn to breakdown your hard-built muscles to supply energy. As for HIIT, it is a common saying that if you are doing HIIT for more than 3 times a week, you aren’t doing it right. A proper HIIT session, if done right, is too gruesome and takes a heavy toll on the energy reserves of the body and you need to take a good rest of at least one day before your next session. Also, there is a concept of EPOC (Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption) which states that after an intense anaerobic exercise session, the body keeps oxygen to remove all lactic acid build up in the muscles. This process requires energy which is made available by burning fat and finally boosting metabolism. Therefore, keep the session short, intense and take proper rest for maximum benefit.

Myth: Any exercise can be included

HIIT is aimed at burning calories and rep up the heart, but the exercises chosen for that has a huge impact on the result. Try not to stick with the same set of repetitive exercises like push ups, sit ups, etc. Try to include more compound exercises that involve the whole body like burpees, bear crawls, squats, circuit training etc. Mix your sessions up, design new circuits and keep it interesting.

Myth: HIIT alone is sufficient for fat loss

Muscles are built in the kitchen, not in the gym. What you eat has probably more effect on your fat content as compared to how much you sweat out in the gym. So, make sure you analyze what you eat, count the calories you consume, and keep it a balanced diet. Break your 3-big-meals in five smaller ones so that you never feel full yet have a constant energy supply.

HIIT is a very efficient fat loss and stamina building regime, as well as quite an efficient test for one’s fitness level. Just make sure you have your facts as well as planning right so that you can reap maximum benefits.

Answers to Most Frequently Asked Questions Related to Drinking Water

Yes, water is good for health. You should drink at least 8 glasses of water in a day. We have heard it all. Despite knowing the several benefits of drinking sufficient water, we tend to ignore it not take it so seriously.

Did you know? The human body comprises of 60% of water and each day we tend to lose 64 ounces of water only through the process of perspiration? Though it gets unnoticed since we are not working out, but the fact is even sitting on the chair, working or any sort of activity includes this process. So, now you know how important it is to drink sufficient water every day.

People have a lot of questions regarding drinking water – how much water should you drink, should you drink cold or luck warm water, should you drink water immediately after waking up? Let’s try to find answers to some of these questions

How much water should I drink per day?

The amount of water you should consume varies from person to person. Approximately it is said to have 8 glasses of water every day, but in some cases, women are suggested to have 11 cups of water whereas men are advised to have 16 cups of water. Again, it varies in the case of children too. The portion could also change depending on your exercise regime or the overall activity levels through the day.

Does climate impact the water need?

Yes, the amount of water your body needs gets impacted depending on the change in climate. You should always remember that our body reacts according to weather. If it is too hot, our body wants more of water whereas, in cold days, we prefer drinking less water. But, don’t always go by the demands of your body – there is a minimum limit we should always fulfil since our body needs the same amount of water no matter if it is cold or hot.

Does drinking water help in weight loss?

Even if you don’t change your lifestyle, consuming more water could help in weight loss. Consuming water before a meal reduces your appetite and you tend to consume fewer calories. Water is purely calorie free and it helps in increasing the number of calories you burn, which can eventually lead to weight loss. Replace your cold drinks with water or even drink a glass of water whenever you feel a little hungry – it diverts your mind from intake of calorie and helps you being healthy and definitely promotes weight loss.

Do water purifiers take away all the good minerals in the water?

RO Purifiers, which are becoming more popular these days, are blamed of removing minerals from the water. However, a good quality purifier will remove only the bad minerals present in the water and retain the good ones like calcium and magnesium. The inorganic minerals which are hard to absorb by the body are removed in the purification process and the good essential nutrients are retained.

Should I drink water from copper vessel? Is there any additional benefit of that?

Drinking water from the copper bottle works great for your mental and physical health. Since copper is considered one of the most important minerals for our body, it is recommended to store water in copper utensil overnight and drink it the next day. Consuming this early morning empty stomach reduces the risk of heart attack, helps in weight loss, it acts as antimicrobial, and it keeps you young. It also has anti-inflammatory properties which reduce body ache, it is good if you have acidity problem and many more such benefits.

Are there some “best times” to drink water?

We are all aware of the benefits of drinking water, but yes, there are some best times to drink water. Early morning as soon as you get up, drink one glass of water as it helps in removing toxins from your body. Drink water half an hour before a meal. It helps in weight loss and improves the digestive system. Many experts suggest not drinking water while eating meals. Wait for half an hour post meal and then drink water. It is also said that drinking water before taking bath can reduce the risk of cancer.

Is drinking too much water dangerous to health?

While drinking water is good for your health, consuming water in excess quantity could decrease of salt and sodium in your blood which could lead to water intoxication. It is quite serious and can be fatal. Your kidney can tolerate only half a litre of water every hour. If that increases, then the water starts flowing from blood to cells and it could result in swelling of the brain.

 Is it dangerous to drink water from plastic bottles?

Yes, it is harmful to drink water from plastic bottles. Plastic bottles release lot of toxins and chemicals – if water is kept in plastic bottles in heat or for a longer duration, these chemicals can be extremely harmful to the body and might lead to serious health issues. Several studies show that chemicals found in plastic water bottles can negatively impact the body hormones and specific organs of the body.

Water is one of the best drinks for your body. Keep it simple – drink when you are thirsty, drink clean water, and avoid plastic water bottles (they are bad for the environment too!).

Let’s Talk About Mindful Eating

How do you have your breakfast? While reading a newspaper? While scrolling through news apps on your phone? While watching TV? Or, just running out of the house in a rush with either grabbing something like an apple or nothing?

How does your day proceed? Stressful mornings? Skipped or late lunches? Half of the time forgetting if you ate something or not?

If you have nodded a yes for any of the above questions, this article is for you.

What is Mindful Eating?

Mindful eating is a Buddhist concept that helps you in understanding the value of the food you eat and what that food is doing to your body and you. Mindful eating is like meditation but to appreciate the goodness of what you are eating.

Irrespective of who we are and what we do, our lives have become a constant hustle to make end meets. This hustle is all about earning a living to be able to fend for ourselves and ironically, that’s what we overlook while getting caught in this vicious circle of hustling!

Mindful eating is a practice that makes you aware of the food you are eating and what your body is demanding by understanding your hunger cues and pangs.

Every time you feel a hunger pang, you don’t need to fill yourself up with food. More often than not these hunger pangs are due to reducing water levels in your body. Are you amazed? Well, this is what practicing mindful eating teaches you about your body and digestive system.

Why Mindful Eating?

The everyday hustle has reduced eating to a thoughtless activity. People are so busy running according to the clock that it has become a mechanical act to fill their bodies with food during lunch breaks or tea time in offices. People are so pressed for time that eating has become a rushed activity. People have mastered the art of finishing a meal in less than 10 minutes! Have you ever stopped and wondered that this is what you keep hustling for and you don’t even spend 30 minutes in a day to appreciate what’s on your plate?

This rushed and mindless eating has grave repercussions on the human digestive system and the body. A rushed meal means faster deglutition which results in overeating or binge eating in a majority of the cases. The faster deglutition means you are not chewing your food properly which ends in the inefficient absorption of nutrients from what you are eating.

During office lunch breaks, have you felt that you have eaten too much or too less? It takes 20 minutes for the brain to understand that you are full. If you have a rushed meal you either end up eating more than your capacity or indulge in binge eating every half an hour.

By practicing mindful eating you slow down the deglutition thereby making yourself and your brain aware of what you are putting inside rather than just dumping it in. Slowing down the eating process makes it an intentional act instead of a forced activity. It helps you in distinguishing between the actual and false hunger pangs along with making you aware of your bodily requirements.

Benefits of Mindful Eating

Practicing mindful eating can do wonders to your health and body. Some of the benefits of mindful eating are, it:

  • Improves digestion
  • Helps in better absorption of nutrients
  • Makes the metabolism healthy
  • Aids in weight management
  • Reduces over-eating
  • Reduces food cravings
  • Can help with depression
  • Felicitates healthy eating
  • Prevents binge eating
  • Makes you enjoy your food 

How to Practice Mindful Eating?

Practicing mindful eating can be a little tough in the beginning but it is absolutely doable. Here are a few things that will help you in following mindful eating:

  • Turn off from all sorts of distractions while eating. No TV, no laptop and no phone.
  • Concentrate on what is on your plate. Make yourself aware of the food you are eating.
  • Don’t eat in a rush. Sit down properly at a table and chew your food slowly.
  • Take at least 20 minutes to finish each of your big meals.
  • Enjoy the flavour and taste of the food you are eating.
  • Get aware of hunger and when you begin to feel full.
  • Stop eating the moment you start feeling you are full.
  • Focus on your meal.

These might seem simple to follow or adopt, but when you start practicing mindful eating, you will realize that it isn’t as easy as it seems. However, don’t give up because, once you start practicing it, the results are amazing. Start with one meal. Eat that one meal mindfully every day and when you feel you have mastered the art of mindful eating with that one meal, you will automatically inculcate the habit of mindfully eating your rest of the meals.

 

The 5 New Popular Diets You Need to be Aware of

The moment we hear the word ‘diet’ we associate it with weight loss. This phenomenon has become so prevalent that there are times when people use weight loss and diet as synonyms!

Over the years, nutritionists and physicians have insisted on following a diet in order to lose weight. Well, that’s not all a good diet does. Besides keeping a check on your weight, it promotes overall good health and well-being.

Following a fancy diet has become a fad and everybody wants to jump on the diet bandwagon without understanding the importance and implication of these diets. Each body is different, and so are its requirements. No two people can gain from the same diet. Apart from losing weight, people follow a rigorous or strict diet to gain weight, build muscle, increase stamina, improve immunity, and to stay fit.

Popular Diets

 It’s always wise to understand what you are feeding to your body. Your body becomes what you eat. Here is a peek into some of the popular diets doing the rounds at present:

  1. Blood Type Diet

Did you know that your blood type can play a pivotal role in deciding what you are eating? This particular diet focuses on the person’s blood type. This type was formulated on the basis of various researches that have shown the importance of a person’s blood type on their health. You might know people who lose weight quickly and some who try every possible trick under the sun and, yet, their weighing scale doesn’t move an inch. The blood type has a significant role to play in this as well. Studies by researchers have ascertained that people of different blood type react differently to factors like stress, physical strain, certain food items, viruses, etc. Some blood types are more prone to diseases as compared to others. So, if you are suffering from chronic ailments or clueless about why your current diet is not making you healthier, you might try this particular diet.

  1. DASH Diet

Dash diet has been in the news recently in the US for being the best diet to combat depression. The researchers believe that people following DASH diet had shown improvement in their mental health. This diet is based upon natural food products like fresh vegetables and fruits, nuts, fat-free or low-fat dairy products, healthy fats, and lean meats. This diet lets you keep a check on your blood pressure as well. If you are suffering from depression or blood pressure issues, then you can give this diet a shot.

  1. Primal Blueprint Diet

Also called as Caveman diet, it was introduced around mid-70s. The primary motive of this diet is to eliminate grains from your gastronomic routine. This diet emphasises on eating like the cavemen that include consumption of meat, fish, nuts, and raw vegetables. There are neither specific portions to adhere to nor any intervals to keep a check on. Eat when you feel hungry and eat to your heart’s content.

  1. Flexitarian Diet

As the name suggests, it is a flexible diet that allows you to shift between vegetarian and non-vegetarian foods. It is aimed at reducing the meat intake without completely excluding it from the diet. This diet encourages you to eat more veggies. As the name suggests, this diet is all about flexibility – it not only helps in weight loss but also helps in lowering the risk of heart diseases, diabetes, and cancer.

  1. Intermittent Fasting

Contrary to the belief of eating at often regular intervals, this diet promotes eating in long gaps. Indians have been following fasting as a ritual since times immemorial. This diet is just that – fasting. You can opt from various fasting intervals depending upon the need of your body and physical activity. The variations that you can choose from include:

  • 20 hours fasting called as the Warrior Diet
  • 16 hours fasting meant for lean gains
  • 36 hours fasting which is Alternate day fasting
  • 24 hours fasting once or twice a week

Those following this diet have experienced better productivity, improvement in mental and physical health, muscle gain, and fat loss. Of course, intermittent fasting has to be properly combined with regular exercise and right eating.

Every diet plan is meant to cater to a specific body. You need to first understand your body and know what you need and require from your diet before starting on any diet plan. It is advisable to check with your nutritionist or physician before starting any particular diet.

Diet Myths You Always Believed

It is the universal truth that is seldom acknowledged that everyone secretly aspires to have an amazingly toned and healthy body. While it has been proved beyond a shred of doubt that achieving that takes time, patience, discipline, combined with exercising and a healthy diet – sometimes we tend to take desperate measures to get to the results quicker. However, not everything you read about dieting is true. Some of them are just tales to make you think you’re helping yourself whereas; you might really be putting yourself in terrible danger.

Here are some diet myths that you always believed to be true but sadly are not –

Crash diets help in weight loss

It has never been a good idea to suddenly stop your regular diet and start eating as little as possible. We have written in the past about how fad diet is the worst solution for weight loss. Crashing dieting only makes you lose the water weight and sometimes you would gain more weight than lose it. It also leads to eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia. A healthy diet is often misconstrued as eating less but your doctor and your nutritionist will tell you otherwise.

Not eating at night helps

Skipping meals will not help you lose weight. Period. Blood sugar tends to dip due to not consuming food, and when you wake up the next morning, you would be craving food that is loaded with carbs and sugar. It is better to be following a controlled and balanced diet than trying these rather harmful to health ideas.

Bananas make you fat

A lot of people believe that bananas are fattening. But the truth is, bananas are low in fat and are packed with potassium. To be precise, there is only 0.5g fat and 95 calories in a banana! It’s an excellent pre-workout meal and, no, when eaten in moderation, it does not make you fat.

Protein bars and shakes help you lose weight

Unfortunately, the advertisements for protein bars and shakes are completely wrong. Not all of them follow all the health protocols and sometimes it is just better to invest your time and energy in a sit-down meal. Some of the popular protein bars might be using bloat-causing additives like carrageenan and be using artificial sweeteners in place of sugar. It is best to do your research before you purchase any protein bars and make sure you are not allergic to any of their ingredients. As for protein shakes, it is better for you to make those at home with a selection of fruits and vegetables that are good for health. Besides, homemade beats store-bought every time!

Eating big portions of healthy food wouldn’t affect you

Ever heard the saying that too much of anything is bad? It continues to be true in the case of healthy food as well. The idea of a healthy diet is to make sure you eat right and eat the amount that is filling. If you stuff yourself up like a Christmas turkey, you will end up feeling that way!

Coffee can help you lose weight

The myth is that the caffeine in coffee would act as an appetite suppressant and metabolism booster. However, the truth is, too much coffee intake would only lead to sleeping disorders and anxiety. If you plan on getting your coffee from your favorite coffee shop, remember that the add-ons would only lead to more calories. Drinking a cup or two of coffee or tea a day without cream or sugar, however, would be perfectly fine for your health.

Drastically cutting down on calories helps

As discussed before, drastic measures never end well for anyone. If you cut down your calorie intake drastically, you might lose weight, but you will end up gaining it back again. Psychologically, you cannot change your diet overnight. In fact, you would end up feeling deprived and hungry if such were the case. The best thing to do is consult a nutritionist and figure out a weight loss plan that works best for you.

Skipping breakfast helps you lose weight

This is far from true. If you don’t eat breakfast, chances are you will be hungry throughout the day and try to compensate by eating rather unhealthy meals. Whereas; eating breakfast helps you manage your hunger better. Opt for healthy food items such as oatmeal with fresh berries for your morning breakfast.

You don’t need a controlled diet if you work out

There is an idea that if you hit the gym often enough, it doesn’t matter what you eat. However, people forget that exercise is not a punishment for what you just ate. It is more of a celebration about what your body can do. In the long run, if you continue with an unhealthy diet, it won’t matter how long or how fast you ran on the treadmill. Besides, sometimes the calorie counter on the machines are off and might give you misleading records of your health.

There are plenty of other myths floating around the internet too. If you are planning on changing your diet, then consult your doctor and nutritionist and figure the perfect diet for you. Doing crazy things to get faster results often backfire and you might end up doing permanent damage to your health.