Fitness has been a major concern for people in this 21st Century. Either people are too skinny or overweight due to their tight professional schedule or an unhealthy diet. However, people need to ensure their fitness to stay a happy and healthy life. Interview Times had a great conversation with Rayansh Thakur, a fitness expert and athlete, and got to know more about a perfect physical and mental routine to keep yourself fit. This is how the interview went-
Can you brief about yourself to your readers?
I am an Athlete, A Fitness Expert, A Nutritionist, and Mr. Delhi first runner-up under Men’s Physique category. I completed my Sports Nutrition Course from K11 Fitness Academy. But I wasn’t always a professional fitness trainer and Nutritionist as I am today. I was a photographer, and it was much later, after many lows, that I rediscovered my love and passion for fitness. I aim to train, inspire, and build awareness among people about a healthy lifestyle through exercise and a quality diet via an easy transformational program. I also provide free consultation sessions because it is something that I feel deeply about.
Within the last three years, I have helped transform 1000+ lives for the better. I want to participate in various national and International Competitions under Men’s physique category in the coming years. Apart from that, I am working towards building a gym, a kind of one-stop fitness center providing all training forms
How long have you been in the fitness industry?
I have been a virtual trainer and Fitness Expert for almost three years, where I have trained people around the globe with custom and personalized wellness programs. Apart from a certified nutritionist and fitness expert, I am also an Athlete.
What inspired you to be in the fitness industry?
I was an athlete since I was 13 years old, so it was a natural path to follow for me. My journey from a professional photographer to a certified trainer at Anytime Fitness and then a nutritionist was driven by my zeal to inspire people to improve their lifestyle and adopt healthier habits. Working out makes me feel good and also stimulates mental wellness. It brings me a step closer to preparing for International competitions under Men’s physique category.
I am immensely motivated and inspired by Sergi Constance’s athletic spirit and discipline.
How much necessary is mental fitness?
Mental health refers to how people think, feel, and act as they face life’s situation. It influences the way individuals look at themselves, their lives, and others in their lives. Like physical health, mental health is essential at every stage of life, and I would say they are co-related.
Do physical fitness regime helps to provide mental fitness as well?
Yes, regular exercise has a profound positive impact on depression, anxiety, and ADHD. It helps relieve stress, improves memory, and helps you sleep better, and boost your overall mood. You also learn discipline and train your mind to be calm.
Physical activity kicks up endorphin levels, the body’s famous “feel good” chemical signaling you to be euphoric and feel content.
Another mental benefit of exercise is reduced stress levels—something that I have personally experienced. It can make us all happier. Increasing your heart rate can reverse stress-induced brain damage by stimulating the production of neurohormones like norepinephrine, which improves cognition and mood and prevents clouded thinking by stressful events.
If you have trouble getting a good night’s sleep, exercise can help with that too. Physical activity increases body temperature, which can have calming effects on the mind leading to less sheep counting and more shut-eye.
What are your tips for people who are obese, want to lose weight but cannot join a gym?
Eat smaller portion sizes
Portion control can help you lose weight as it means you are consuming fewer calories. The trick is to eat right so that the energy from the food is used up by your body and does not get stored as fat. One way to achieve this is by eating on a small plate and taking only one serving of food.
Avoid eating processed foods
Foods that are packaged and processed contain less nutrition and more calories that do more harm than good. Give sodas, chips, and biscuits a miss and have fruits, veggies, and home-cooked meals instead.
Reduce intake of simple carbs
You do need carbs, but an excess of them can hamper your weight loss goals. Refined flours, bread, rice, pasta, sugar are all high in calories and carbs. Cut down on the portion size of carbs and add protein-rich foods to your plate. You can swap your wheat chapatis with jowar, bajra and ragi rotis, and white rice to brown rice or quinoa.
A doctor-recommended exercise, taking brisk walks every morning is a tried-and-tested way to keep fit. With time, you will also see weight loss results thanks to the calories burnt during this activity. Ensure that you wear proper footwear when walking and have a gap of 30 minutes between your walk and meals. Walking on a full stomach is not recommended
An eco-friendly way to burn calories, cycling is an excellent cardio exercise that will also give you perfectly toned legs. If you do not have a cycling path nearby, you can also look at indoor cycling every day in most gyms these days. You can slowly increase your distance and pace to see faster weight loss results.
If you do not want to pick up dumbbells, you can use your body to help you build muscle. Exercises like planks, crunches, push-ups, pull-ups, squats, lunges, burpees, etc., are all bodyweight exercises you can do even at home. The number of reps and sets you do will determine the results. Start slow with a set of two with ten reps each, and slowly increase the amount. Ensure your form is correct, as a wrong exercise posture can do more harm than good for your body. Also, make sure to include warming up and cooling down exercises. Slow and steady is the key.
What are your tips for people who are skinny and want to gain muscle?
To gain weight, you need to eat more calories than your body burns. It doesn’t matter if you think you eat a lot. If your average calorie intake is smaller than your calorie expenditure, you won’t gain weight. To get bigger, you must create a caloric surplus. You have to eat more food than you do now to put on weight and stop being skinny.
Eat More Meals. Small meals are more comfortable to eat than big ones. They don’t make you feel stuffed. Wake up earlier, eat breakfast, and then eat 3-4 more meals a day
Track Calories. Skinny guys over-estimate how much they eat
Lift Heavy. Stop wasting time with curls and flies. Do free weight compounds like Squats and Deadlifts instead. They trigger more strength and muscle gains to gain weight.
Add 500 calories per day to gain weight. For the 60kg/135lb skinny guy, 2112 maintenances calories become 2612kcal/day. Round this down to 2600kcal to keep things simple – this isn’t surgery, and the calories on food labels aren’t 100% accurate anyway.
Add more protein- Eat 0.82g of protein per pound of body weight per day for muscle building and recovery. That’s about 100g of protein per day for the 132lb/60kg skinny guy. You can easily hit these numbers by eating a whole source of protein with every meal. Here are some of the best proteins sources for gaining weight-
Steaks, ground round
Chicken breast, chicken thighs
Tuna, salmon, mackerel, sardines
Yogurt, cottage cheese, milk
How important is a diet in maintaining the perfect fitness?
You are what you eat! According to research, nutrition has the largest impact on our fitness. Food as medicine has become a popular theme for health improvement. 2020 was a stark reminder to keep a check on what we consume. Healthy eating helps to maintain a balanced weight. All your exercise, gym, stretching, and yoga efforts are in vain if not supplemented by a proper diet plan.