Lose those Covid curves. Move from round and robust to lean and lithe this year, leaving the tell-tale signs of annus horribilis behind. Fitness expert Prateek Kumar shows you how

It may seem tough to lose the 15 odd pounds that you have piled on during the successive lockdowns by tucking into those slurps, YouTube inspired cookies, and cheesy indulgences while you pandered to the home baker that secretly lurked within your heart. Fitness trainer Prateek Kumar reveals the secret behind some of the most envied figures and physiques in the film industry and suggests ways to shape up a workable solution for us to shrug off the odd 8 kilos in those recently acquired Covid curves.

The perfect balance

Move aside green tea capsules and husk glugs. “Sustainable fitness leads to self-preservation. You need to follow the Pareto principle which states that for many outcomes, roughly 80% of consequences come from 20% of the causes: keep 80% food that you eat nutrient-dense (like fruits, vegetables, lean meat, rice…) and 20% food energy-dense (butter, cheese, chocolates…) Bringing in these basic parameters will ensure you lose between 2-3 kgs a month,” says Prateek. Of course, this works in tandem with a daily exercise routine that could involve a sporting pursuit, a walk up the stairs to your apartment skipping the elevator, running errands on foot, yoga, Zumba, pilates, jogging, or clocking 8-10 thousand steps a day on a fitness tracker works well too. This will shape up your curves effectively and slim out the love handles.

Time it

So is one hour of exercise every day sufficient: how do you gauge whether the exercise routine is enough as per your body weight requirement and if you are sweating profusely, then does this mean you are burning it up effectively? “Sweaty workouts do nothing but make you hungry,” he explains. “Remember fat leaves your body as carbon dioxide when you exhale, and not as sweat. Our minds are fed with the myth that effort in the gym results in weight loss. A simple calorie deficit and a 15-20 minutes brisk walk, three to four times a day, will work wonders for weight loss too. This routine, when coupled with basic strength training in the gym two to three times a week, will change the way you look radically. Inclined walks, climbing stairs, farmer’s walks, skipping and swimming are the best exercises one could do on their own.”

Lose the Covid curves. Keep 80% food that you eat nutrient-dense (like fruits, vegetables, lean meat, rice...) and 20% food energy-dense (butter, cheese, chocolates...)

Stay motivated

Connecting with friends who are clambering out of the chub rut themselves is a great way to build up steam. Sign up on peer groups to stay inspired. But is it cool to weigh yourself every day? “Honestly, I weigh myself every morning on an empty stomach to gauge how food/sleep patterns/water intake affects my body composition.

Shilpi Madan for Sunday Herald

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