Kush Kapoor was frustrated with gaining weight based on what he thought was a healthy diet, which made him slim while still building muscle. here, says men’s health how he did it.
For a long time, I thought of myself as someone who eats healthily. I’ve struggled with weight and body image issues my whole life and was overweight when I was a younger teen. One summer, I lost 17 kg (37 lbs) in eight weeks, only to go back to school and realize I’ve dropped not only fat, but a lot of my muscle mass as well. I was seeing myself as ‘skinny fat’ – I no longer struggled to get dressed, yes, but I still had quite a bit of extra fat around my stomach and chest.
I tried to build mass through exercise, but didn’t get into a consistent routine. I was eating a “healthy” diet, but didn’t realize at the time how much I was overeating. I had regained most of my weight, and by the time my eighteenth birthday began, I found myself going back where I started: reading a number on my scale and feeling my heart sink.
After seeing all my progress slipped away, I decided I needed some help. I registered with Absolute performance in SingaporeI work with a personal trainer on both my diet and exercise.
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The big revelation to me was actually very simple: calories matter. I thought I could eat as much as I wanted, as long as I could call it “healthy.” If you’ve watched my meals before I started UP, you’d think I was already on a weight loss plan. I didn’t eat refined sugar, every meal consisted of a large portion of protein and vegetables, and I ate nuts and fruit. The problem was that I ate a lot more than I needed.
I actually started paying attention to how much I ate. I kept track of my calories and macronutrients, cut out a lot of calorie-dense foods and stocked up on berries, vegetables, and lean meats like chicken breast and white fish. I often start the day with scrambled eggs with spinach, then cabbage salad with grilled chicken in the afternoons. Dinner was usually a lean protein with some starchy veggies, one of my snacks was high in carbs (usually some fruit), and the other was high in protein (I’m a big fan of dried meats like biltung). The big change wasn’t what I ate, but how much: I probably cut my calorie intake almost in half.
I also committed to training five days a week. For four days, I’ve been going to the gym, with two pushing and two pulling days. Then I’ll do a day focusing on the arms on my own. I started with cardio on one of my days off (usually a 30-minute run or swim) but phased it out pretty quickly.
One of the biggest changes in my lifestyle has been to push my step count up to 10,000 per day, and then to 15,000. Some days I would find myself spinning around the house before midnight to achieve my goals, but by doing so I burned the same number of calories I burned While running for 30 minutes.
In just over five months, she’s lost 11 kilograms (24 pounds) and reduced body fat to 17.3 percent; I wear over 5 kg (11 lbs) of lean body mass. I’ve really learned the golden rule, that calories in versus calories out is what matters most. And I challenged my limits, pushing myself beyond what I thought possible in the gym.
I am so proud of the lifestyle change I made. Weight training has become a part of my life, and there are few places where I feel more comfortable than in the gym while working out. Diet and exercise are some of my top priorities; Not only did going to the gym make me more confident in my appearance, it also increased my confidence in my self-control and my ability to follow through on difficult commitments.
Pursuing a stronger, better version of myself keeps me motivated and makes cheating on my diet or skipping a day at the gym nearly impossible (although I’m still human and suffer from occasional slack); I’ll keep pushing myself in the gym for as long as I can. As more of my friends take their fitness into their own hands, I hope to continue inspiring people to make positive changes in life and to set an example of what to do, what to avoid, and how to be proud of who you are.
For anyone just starting out, I would encourage you to focus solely on your journey. Don’t fall into the trap of comparing yourself to others. Track your lifts, monitor your progress, and be proud of yourself. You will always meet someone who can lift more than you, has more aesthetics than you, or can somehow eat worse than you can while keeping his lead; It shouldn’t matter. When you focus on your own journey, you will be your happiest person.
Jesse Hicks is a Detroit-based writer and former columnist for The Verge who specializes in long-form stories about science, health, and technology. He has written for Men’s Health, VICE, Harper’s and many other publications.
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