If someone is overweight or obese, they are at higher risk of developing serious health problems, including heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes mellitus, gallstones, breathing problems, and certain cancers hence energy balance is important for maintaining a healthy weight and that is what we are trying to understand through our series on Healthy weight awareness.
Prasanna Kirtawade, Cofounder and Director, UFS Fitness Studio, has over 19 years of experience in the fitness industry. He is an ACSM certified Personal trainer, Rehab Trainer, Kickboxing trainer, Strong nation sync member, Marathon Coach, and a Certified Tai Chi instructor.
Evita Misquitta, Cofounder and Nutritionist, UFS Fitness Studio, has been in the fitness industry for a decade, she is a Nutritionist, Reebok certified aerobics and Functional Trainer, Zumba Licensed member, and a Strong Nation Sync Member.
Difference between losing weight and losing fats
Prasanna explains, “The weighing scale has always been a psychological aspect at every health club and people are misguided that it is an aspect where you can gauge your output and think that they are doing great by losing 100 grams or 2 kgs, but the actual way to lose weight is to focus on fat loss and work on the muscles. One needs to be more patient, consistent with workouts and diet, and also have the right guidance. When we talk about healthy fat or unhealthy fat, one must understand the difference between losing weight and losing fats, because fats make you look out of shape while being the major reason for various chronic illnesses and health issues. So one needs to understand that, losing weight can actually lead to losing one's muscle mass or essential micronutrients from the body which might lead to early aging, sagging of the skin, lowering of immunity, and much more. But when you target losing fat, that's connected to gaining lean muscle mass, getting stronger and increasing the stamina while keeping the diseases at bay,” he says.
Health and wellness industry is the most ignored industry in India
Prasanna and Evita share their concerns, “The health and wellness industry is the most ignored industry in India. In my experience of 19 years, gyms used to be more like a status symbol in 2000 - 2010, now, it has become more like a place to socialize, but the actual people who want to get into the fitness zone or into a fitter lifestyle are very less. So, the number of people who are actually educated about getting fit or working on the entire aspects of workouts, like muscle training, cardio training, nutrition, are few. It has also led the general population to believe that fitness is not important for them or going to the gym leads to muscle building, or if a female wishes to go to a gym or studio, she wants to look like an actress, but they fail to understand that it is getting one into a good shape and making them healthier. On the other hand, if a doctor advises someone that they are not in a good state of health, then they would definitely join gyms or studios, so there is a fear factor where people are motivated towards fitness only when they, a friend or a family member gets ill or contracts diabetes or hypertension. But since the majority of the population has underestimated the importance of exercise, it has led to the ignorance of health and wellness,” they say.
The most important aspect is - Positivity
Prasanna and Evita list a few simple formulae to lose weight, “People follow a certain diet, a specific amount of workout, and lose weight but the actual way to lose weight is by balancing a lot of other things as well:
- Definitely diet and exercise are the key aspects to lose weight.
- But so is rest, which people always forget about the resting – one needs to take 7 - 8 hours of sleep.
- When people start working out, they are motivated, that needs to stay all along the journey.
- The most important aspect is the positivity - we need to have that spirit where one loses weight, gets into a great shape, follows the diet and exercise but then by the end of 3 - 6 months hits a plateau and then they feel that they have lost the race and they give up.
- Also, one needs good guidance from an expert who can push them from point to point to get results.
So we always follow these pointers at our studio, as nutrition and exercise people can follow, but what about rest and the positivity or fighting spirit? That's what we give them!” they say.
Finding the right person is very important
Prasanna and Evita share some advice, “Nowadays, we have Google and YouTube, where people simply log in to find ways to lose weight through different diets but we always specify this to people who visit our studio, to find and go to a qualified expert, who is certified, has the knowledge, and can train you well, with whom you can work out and they understand your health or your performance level and can help to achieve your goals. Second, the path of losing weight or gaining weight is not easy, so it is good to stay positive and fight through the journey and keep the focus. Otherwise, if they follow everything that is available like exercises and diets, they might end up with injuries or health issues,” they say.
(Edited by Rabia Mistry Mulla)