Ask Me Anything - Q&A with Pratik Thakkar (9th July, 2017)

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Q1.How to lose weight when someone is going through PCOD?

A.In general, irrespective of a person's hormonal problems, two things come in picture.

Firstly, eat in a calorie deficit which is eating less than what our body expends in regular basis.

Secondly, by doing some weighttraining & cardio activities. PCOD is not an obstacle when it comes to fat loss, but results are a bit slower . The person needs to be more consitent & do it in long run.

Q2.How to control cravings ?

A.When a person is on diet, being flexible with foods will help. They can add many varieties of foods and favorites within the calorie intake and macro nutrients limit. Be it fat loss or muscle gain, consistency is the key.

Q3.Workout at home is ideal or not?

A.For beginners it's absolutely fine but in the long run human body will adapt to certain amount of weight. That is when addition of external weight is needed. If a person is fine investing money on home gym, then it's okay else investing a small amount on a gym memebership is a smarter idea. Home gym will cost way more when compared to any gym membership. Here is a home workout video which one can follow.

Q4.How can you manage diet & workout if we are mostly travelling?

In this situation, you can plan your workout schedule for future. If you're travelling for 3 days per week then you can workout for the remaining 4 days. Calorie cycling will help in this situation. Days should be divided into high calorie and low calorie days depending on the travelling schedule. Low calorie diet should be maintained when you have things in control and high calorie days for the travel. By doing this you can stay in your total week calorie limit. While travelling , home workout videos will help and non-travel days you can hit gym and continue with the routine.

Q5.Can anyone add long distance training with 4 days weight training?

A.Set a goal first, if you want to be a marathoner then focus more on it and keep few days for weight training. If you want to build muscle and look good then do a bodybuilding style workout with added LISS or HIIT. Don’t try to master both as it wont give you desired results.

Q6.Do fat burners work?

A.In most cases fat burners don’t work. Fat burning supplements have no to less impact on our daily activities. They can only bump up our daily expenditure of calories upto a very little extent. 20mins of walk is suggested rather than investing in fat burners.

Q7.Should we ignore egg yolk? Should one include it their diet?

A.Eating egg yolks is absolutely safe. It comes under fats and there is no evidence that the dietary cholesterol has any effect on serum cholesterol. So you can consume it. Adding egg yolk or not depends on the macro intake of a particular person.

Q8.Are macro measurements important in keto?

A.Definitely. Whether it is keto diet or not, if one is trying to lose weight, its calorie deficit and the ratio of macros is personal preference. Calories matter, if a person is adapted to food and is eating excess calories then they are going to put on weight.

Q9.Should one drop their fat percentage and then start training for running?

A.It depends on the goal. If the short term goal is to get better body composition, they can do it and if your goal is to be good at running, practice is the key.

Q10.Cooking multiple times for every family member makes me lose focus, how to stay focused?

A.Its not a problem. Start using the foods which you are preparing for the family and take those foods as the source of carbohydrates. Just measure and take the estimation of those foods. Set the protein intake perfectly and having tea or coffee will not affect the progress. You can prepare your diet plan and get it reviewed in the group by a coach.

Q11.Reasons for Plateau and how to break it?

A.There are many reasons a person hits plateau while dieting or training.

1. It can be because you are doing it for a long time and the body got used to it.

2. The schedule is hectic and there is lack of sleep.

3. NEAT- Non Exercise Activity Thermogenisis might have come down.

To break plateau, you can go with a diet break and eat at maintenance calories and keep checking the weight and later re-start your diet. NEAT, comes down when the person is deeper in his diet. Just give a couple of weeks gap and then re-start.

Q12.Will taking only protein help in being calorie deficit and lose weight?

A.It depends on the energy expenditure, irrespective of the macro nutrition intake. But again, both carbohydrates and fats have their own roles. So you would rather want to eat or follow a plan that has everything.

Q13.When can men start bulking?

A.For men it is 8-12% and women 15-18%. Body will put on more muscle than fat in this range. So it’s a good range to start bulking.

Q14.If a person is on high fat diet for long time and want to add carbohydrates, but still in a calorie deficit for fat loss and they do not see any progress. What can be the reason?

A.After Switching from high fat to carb diet, there is glycogen repulsion and water retention. Keep checking the weight correctly and take weekly average. After starting a new plan, give it two to three weeks before discarding it.

Q15.Will just following diet and not working out at gym help? Will it hamper the metabolism?

A.Following a calorie deficit diet can help to an extent but working out can be more beneficial. You can do simple home workouts which will help for a couple of months. After than adding resistance training helps.You can get resistance bands or dumbbells and do home workouts. As long as a person is not in extreme deficit and not ignoring protein, metabolism will not get affected.

Q16.Sometimes when we are travelling, though we try eating according to macros, foods outside has little more fat(butter, ghee, oil) than what we use at home. So, how can we keep track of that?

A.Planning out the food intake while travelling and packing the food is a better option than eating outside. Incase it is not possible you can compensate by cutting down the calories from other days of the week.

Q17.How do you build a posture(no bulking or something) without going to gym?

A.I am not able to maintain my schedule. I have tried gym and a proper diet but not able to gain weight. It has been constant since the last 2-3 years.Add more resistance to training, start with home workouts. Later joining gym will be the best option in most cases. Try to train atleast for three to four days a week. Eating in calorie surplus and tracking the calories can help achieve your goals.

Q18.I am into flying and I think flight food is frozen food with high preservatives. Should I stop eating flight food in order to lose weight ?

A.The food served in flight will mostly be of good quality and standards are maintained. If you feel its of good quality you can consume it. And if you are travelling for shorter distance try to carry snacking options or eat outside the flight. If you are travelling for longer distances, its ok to eat it as it will be once in a while.

Q19.Earlier I was okay not eating sweets, but after following a very low carb diet strictly for 4-5 months, I've lost all my resistance. I am not able to get rid of the cravings for sweets now. I have also started having green veggies now, as a result I am unable to follow the diet regime any longer. How do I fight this now?

A.Having sweets is completely okay if the calories are in check. Try to add vegetables back in the diet. Try to establish healthy relationship with the foods and do not chase for quick fat loss. Once you are in mentally stable situation go back to dieting.

Q20.What are the best snack in options when you are dieting... Because snacks are where I completely fail and eat something which doesn't help me continue my calorie deficiency.

A.Protein shakes, protein bars are best options. It helps you feel full for longer time. You can even carry yogurt and consume it. As it has little protein and helps you feel full.

Q21.I travel a lot daily and eat out side food (hotel). It is very difficult for me to maintain a good diet and gain muscle. Need your help.

A.Hit calorie surplus. Start tracking the macro nutrients and track the body weight. If 2-3 meals are outside, try to carry one to two meals from home, so that you can avoid eating outside food which can help you track the food.

Q22.Hi , should we follow the cycle of creatine as prescribed by manufacturing company or just consume it with post-workout ?

A.Women can consume 3gms and men can start with the dose of 5gms. No need of high dosage loading phase and its completely safe to use it throughout the year. Starting with standard dosage and continuing it is safe.

Q.23.How should one maintain the weight, when the goal is achieved. Is one required to be on a diet, perpetually?

A.1.Track your macros for sometime after you stop your diet. So that you can visually estimate the foods.

2. You can consume the required protein and keep tracking the weight on weekly basis. If you find you are gaining weight, make changes in your diet and see to it that your weight remains constant.

Q24.Does dieting without exercise lead to weight loss?

A.Yes, if you are eating calorie deficit you will lose weight. Energy expenditure will fall after some time, deficit will become maintenance and later you will not lose weight. Exercise will help in losing weight efficiently and helps in bone health, immunity in long run. So try to incorporate exercise.

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