Monday, December 29, 2008

My Before After - Dec2008


Been getting some queries from friends and fellow colleagues... and some stranger over this blog..asking wassup with me.. not much update recently etc..  some concerns like.. are you still on your journey? are you done? write some more. Some said, they need to see me going as their motivation.

I've got some serious follower to my experiences, and some occasional follower (some of them really has really make some good progress!!).. I'm getting more hits than ever! some friends said, Sher, you better make money with what you're having here. Or write a book to share the experiences, and get more money..

Well, my intention is just to share my experiences, and get people access to information that I've at a point don't have a clue on what and how to do.. I feel good knowing people can benefit from this information. I'm just doing my bit to humanity!.. 

(perhaps, just perhaps one day, i'll write something more structured, probably not a book, but some more blog! ;)

Anyway, yes, thanks for asking, I've been busy, and still going strong with this new lifestyle of mine. It has been almost 2 years now!... time really flies..!

Here's my latest before and after pic.


click on the image for a bigger version

My wife took a candid shot of me while working on my threadmill lastnite, and I thought it's a good time to share with you all my latest pic... been a while right?.

There you go! as you can see, I still got some flab that needs to be eliminated. My family and friends said, that's enough Sher.. you're getting too skinny already.. but like I've always told them, not yet... not until my six-pack surfaces!

Right now, I can only see some shadows of the 4-packs on my tummy, to get to the last 2-packs - it's the most hardest. I'll show you my tummy when I'm able to get the shadows of all six! ;)

Anyway, happy new year to you all!

May the new year brings you a new resolution - remember, aim to lead a healthier you!


Sher Khan.

Some previous post that might be of interest to you, with regards on how I do my nutritions:

Friday, December 26, 2008

Selected as a Success Story Winner

hey all,

Did I tell you I've been selected as Winner of a success story by a training program run by a world famous fitness guru Craig Ballantyne?

well, I did! (back in Nov 08, sorry forgot to post it here).

As I've shared with you in this blog, I've followed a few exercise programs, and Craig's is one of the first program I've used, and later bumped into Mike and Vince. These 3 coaches has been my references, and all of them has given me the insights into putting in the best methods in my exercises routines.

But I must say, Craig's is still my all-time fav! check his site, and his youtube's!

here's Craig's post on his blog mentioning about me!


Sher Khan.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Results Don't Lie


I know, I know, it's been a while, my last post was on 11-Nov.. that's the longest silent ever - a month without a single post!. I've been dead busy at work... and also going on various short holidays... it's Year End!!

But then, being busy it's a perfect time to give some excuses of not eating right or skipping exercises.. we're busy!.. no time! right?

Wrong.

Anyway, I'm here not to say what's right or wrong. Sometimes, I don't know if I'm right.. or wrong myself?! They said.. the facts/numbers don't lie, and I use that as a gauge to whatever I'm doing.. the best feedback to yourself is the RESULTS you're getting. 

some example
1. Does the scale shows you're going up or down? 
2. the mirror test shows your belly shrinking or growing? 
3. Does the pants you are wearing this morning either much tighter or looser?
4. The last push-ups you did reached 20, today.. 25?
5. What about chin-ups? how many reps can you do today?
6. On nutrition - did you drink sugary stuff yesterday? how many plain water did you drink yesterday? when was your last can of coke/pepsi/soda?
7. what about fast-food aka junk/high-calories food? when was your last time having it? ie. french fries, donuts, potato chips..
8. Your blood pressure, sugar level, cholesterol level, etc? what's the numbers tell you?

You get the idea.

I used to records my daily log of what I eats and exercises... jot everything down in my phone.  Having it noted somewhere, allows me to review my progress, and improve it along the way.

Yes, I do sometimes slipped up, or indulged - we need to enjoy life! - as long as I'm good 90% of the times, I should be ok. (see my post on that earlier - Stay Good at 90% of the Time or another one Celebration = Food !) .

So, what's your own results telling you?

let's strive to be a healthier you!


Sher Khan.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Rejuvenated!


I just had my medical check-up done few days back, and frankly I was a bit worried for this check-up. Worried because the last check-up I did was about 6 months ago (the longest period in between the checks since I started this journey), and I don't know what would my results be. I know I've been good, but yeah.. occasionally, I did slip up.. missed my exercises and gobble-up more than I should... worst, I just came back from a 4 days company retreat (means lotsa hotel buffet spread!.. how could one resist!).

Anyway, gotten the results, met the wellness doctor, let's just say, I'm overwhelmed!!
The doc actually said, 'Sher, you're now free from any health risk, you've rejuvenated yourself!'

I seek further clarification, wanting to know what she actually meant. She said, just look at your vital signs. The records tells the histories, about 1+ years ago, you're pretty much considered as a 'high-risk' or 'borderline' in terms of the medical risk of getting myriads of diseases especially related to diabetes and hearts diseases (stroke, hypertension, heart attack!). Today, your vital signs tells me that you're very well within the desired range, and I can safely say, you're at a perfect health!

Last Feb 2007, I've set myself to seek a healthier life, and I guess I did it!

I've achieved my goal!

Now, let's take a look at the results:


click the image for a bigger view

My Blood Sugar level was originally at 5.8, and now hovering around 4.9-5.1
My Total Cholesterol was originally at 5.45mmol/L, now at 3.4
My Triglycerides was originally at .39mmol/L, now at .28
My HDL was originally at 1.13mmol/L, now at a whopping 2.09!!!
My LDL was originally at 2.8mmol/L, now down to 1.2!!!
My uric acid level was originally at 487, now at 375!!
My Blood Pressure was originally at 122/84, now at 103/56.
My BMI was originally at 45.7, now at 24.5.

Like I said over and over again, losing weight is just the side effect of trying to be healthy. Focus on leading a healthy life (eat right, drink right, plus do regular exercise). Check the rest of this blog, I've pretty much documented my journey to share with all of you out there. If you've questions, feel free to drop me a line. Good luck!


So, what's next? lots of people has been asking.

let's do it in the next post ;)

be healthy!

Sher Khan.

Friday, October 31, 2008

My BMI is finally NORMAL!


As I've promised from my earlier post (end August, just before the Fasting month), so here's my latest BMI results!

From being at BMI of 40++ (off the doctor charts - see my earlier post), 

this is what I had said:
----
***my goals are to be within the normal BMI (18.5-24.9), I'm close to it, but not yet. When I started, I used to be at BMI rating of 40++ (when the Doctor tries to calculate my BMI, she turns her little 'BMI wheel' (just like when the doctor checks for women ovulation cycle), and mine is off the wheels totally. The doctor tried to act cool, and just assumed 40++. I was totally devastated!).
------

Today, my BMI is at 24.6 (about 1 plus year later).. 

I am on top of the world!!! (click on the link, I just had to have that song played!)

If I can do it, you can do too!!!

here's the BMI result!


Here's my updated weight lost chart, from ever since I started.



yes, it has been extremely slow since I past the 80kg mark, and took me almost 5 months to shed an extra 10kg.. tough, sloww.. but most importantly.. there's progress. 

Actually, I'm not worried at all.. because I know, my exercise routine has increased tremendously for the past months.. now my interval training burst at 9+kmph on average (sometimes it burst up to 10+kmph). I'm able to bench press at 30kg with 8-12reps! and just recently, able to do chin-ups for 5 reps for 3 sets!! 

So, who said that we can't gain muscles while losing the fat?

I'm way overdue for my medical check-up with the wellness doctor - made an appointment, and shall update you all the progress I've made thus far.

btw, I've never ever ever ever thought a normal weight BMI is something I could ever achieved..ever. But I did!!!! whooaaa... that's an accomplishment. I should treat myself with some nice choc almond fudge ice-cream or deep dish double cheese pizza or warm mud pie chocolate cake or even a nice daun pisang nasi lemak??!!!

should I?

I think you know the answer.

have a great weekend.

Sher Khan.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sher's own 100% whole wheat bread recipe!

Finally, a 100% whole wheat  bread that I can proud of!

As some of you already know, I'm on a quest to a healthy, tasty, whole grain bread for a while now, baking my own whole wheat bread (i mean 100% whole wheat, no white flour watsoever). 

Have read a lot of recipe & how-to on the net, and have put into practice a couple of tries. 
Today, I’m able to make it the best so far (on the taste & softness especially – the look?, I’ll improve later). I’ve improvise here and there to my own liking based on  the original recipe that can be found here  (another good one, and another). You can also see a lot of videos on youtube.



This is how myfinal bread looks like, still to cool it off on the wire rack, but as you can see, everyone can’t wait.. (already eaten some slices.. ;)

Actually it’s a bit too brown to my liking, next shall try it at slightly lower temp, per below steps.

Well, since I’ve improvised from the original recipe, and you can’t find the below recipe anywhere, so I called it..

Sher’s Whole Wheat, Rye, Honey & Flaxseed Bread ;)

What you’ll need

1. 3 cups of whole wheat flour (from Bake With Yen - special whole wheat flour. On that note, I've even grinded my own from the wheat grain, but it turns out the final flour is not as fine as when i bought it from the store, bread turns hard!) - i guess i need to get a good grinder machine.

2. 1 cup of rye flour (from jusco/giant - organic rye flour by Radiant)

3. 1/2 cup of vital wheat gluten (also from Bake With Yen – was looking all over, finally found it here! It's important to develop that extra gluten (wheat protein) to bind the wheat together and to make the bread softer, and not a doorstop hard!)

4. 1 teaspoon of sea salt (actually I put just about less than 1 teaspoon – don’t want to add to much salt into my diet)

5. 1 packet (11g) instant dry yeast (Saf-instant brand)

6.  1 1/2 teaspoon honey – any brand would do (I've found if I were to put lesser .. the bread overall, doesn’t taste as good) - infact a bit sour without it (the sour came from the wholewheat flour)

7. 2  cup filtered warm water – not to hot! Will kill the yeast.

8. 3 teaspoon of organic flaxseed (add more if you’re ok with the taste)

9. less than 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil

 

Steps:

1. mix the dry ingredients together (1,2,3,4,5), stir them well in the mixing bowl.

2. add the 6, and gradually add the 7.. 1 cup at the time (warm water) - depending on the type of flour, you may need slightly more water.

3. start to mix all up nicely - easier to use your hand, and adding more water as you squeeze them in between your fingers.

4. once the dough starts to form like an elastic ball, start kneading, pull and push for about 10-20 mins (depending on how well you knead)

5. make sure the dough is not too dry, must be just nice to make a smooth ball, pls not too wet either (you can only judge this when you do more - too many variable effect this - water, weather, type of flour, yeast, gluten, the surface you mix/knead)

6. when you ready, drop the 9 into your palm, and smear the bowl that you want to leave the dough to rise (just enough to moisten the surface) – cover it up with a clean dry kitchen towel. Before you cover it, just turn over the ball of dough to ensure it is well covered with the smeared oil – need it to be slightly moist – you don’t want the dough to dry up.

7. leave it to rise for about an hour to 2 hours (depending on the weather), until it doubles up in its size. After about an hour, poke your finger in it, and see if the hole you make stays as it is - then it’s ready,  else, leave it to rise.

8. Once it has double its size, punched it down, and start kneading again, knead it until the dough is just nice (not to dry or wet, not too sticky). if it is, you may need to add some water or even flour as required. Not to forget, this is the time you put the 8 into it, and start kneading until you feel just right (I just don’t know how else to describe – you’ll just know ;) – well after many try.. you know when you know.. hah!

9. Then, get your loaf tin ready, again use the 9 to smear the tin slightly, all over, then with your still oiled finger, take the dough, use both of your hand to make it a smooth tight ball.. you need to ensure the top of the ball is well stretch, it’ll rise nice and high.

10. place it in the tin, cover it with a kitchen towel, and let it rise again - now for about an hour.. should rise again about 2inch up from the loaf tin.

11. When it has risen, get ready with the oven. at 200 degrees, heat it up, bottom burner only.

12. sprinkle the top of the dough with some flour or oat before putting it in the hot oven - time it for about 30min (max).

13. for the last 5-6 minutes, turn both side of the burner on (top & bottom) - to get that slightly brown top.

14. when time's up, immediately take the loaf out of the tin, and cool it down on a wire-rack (do not leave it cool in the tin!!) – or else you’ll get a soggy loaf! You’ll know it’s nicely baked if you hear a hollow sound when you tap the underside of your loaf.

15. best to leave it to cool for about 2 hours - but i bet ya - you'll want to cut it immediately to have a taste - the aroma is too good!


More readings for you:

Why you should take whole grain bread - http://www.healthcastle.com/brownbread-wholegrain.shtml (and you’ll understand why I bake my own)

Health Benefits of Flaxseed - http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=81

Also, don't miss Top Nutrition Trends in 2008

enjoy!


Sher Khan.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Celebration = Food !

Now comes the Eid 2008, as other celebration in Malaysia (or elsewhere), it's normally associated with food.. a LOT of fooooooooodddd. Eid celebration also encourage us to visit our relatives and friends, again.. we are facing with more fooooddd at every turns.

One would definitely has problem with over-eating, and.... I'm not spared nonetheless! ;p

So, how do I behave?

To my surprise, I've been behaving quite well this year!.. so far.
If you've followed by story, last year Eid, I had about 8 pieces of the raya cookies. This year.. 0 , yes ZERO cookies!!!!!! yup.. not even any homemade! even better, for the 1st time in my Eid life, I didn't even touch my family traditional meal during the morning of Eid and Open Houses... the favorite Nasi Dagang! (if i can abstain from that.. hmm.. forget about rendang or lemang or any other delicacies).

Most of you has been saying - "Sher.. you need to live life much more.. life is about satisfaction.. enjoyment, indulgences..yadda yadda yadda....". Yes I agree totally with you. I am enjoying life, and with the stuff I eat. Contrary to popular belief, I've never starve myself. If you're with me during any meals, you shall see that I do eat a full plate of stuff!

People are asking how do I maintain so much discipline to always eat healthily and almost rarely ever cheat.

Wikipedia defines willpower as the ability to exert one's will over one's actions. It manifests as inner firmness, decisiveness, determination, resolution and persistence.

But is it about willpower or disciplines?















When I think about it... it's not so much of a discipline or willpower per say. It's something inside my head really. I don't see myself 'on a diet', but rather leading a new healthy lifestyle. I've this thing buzzing in my head that made me think that eating sugary, deep fried, processed, sodas are just evil and shall do harm to my body.. and it's no longer appealing at all to me.

Infact, it goes a step beyond... those food appears disgusting to me and I've no desire to eat them at all.

The more I read about our food and it's nutritional value, the more I appreciate the food that is good for us, and despise and hate the ones that is not (and able to cause harm to our bodies). The knowledge I've discovered and understood (about food and how it interact within our bodies) changes the way I see and think about food.
(read more on the topic of nutrigenomics - the science behind on how food talks to our genes)

These days, my dislike of junk food becomes a bit paranoia.. the smells of KFC/McD sometimes can make me sick, and the smells of fresh fruits makes me feels energized!

In my personal opinion, what goes in my head is no longer about discipline or willpower, but it's about the mindset that I've developed within these past year... I no longer crave for those junk foods (yes.. that includes fast foods, processed foods - donuts, pastries, cake, cookies, sausages, hotdog, burgers, canned foods, sweet desserts, etc)

I just crave and focus on natural whole real food diet.

Am I kidding? no, I'm serious.


Sher Khan.

my other posts here:

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Supplements...

The other day I was at my relatives, and in the kitchen, noticed that there are so much of these so called 'health' food and supplements... in various powder forms to pills to tea bags to liquid forms. (btw, be extra careful with various form of 'detox diet' that comes into the market these days.. if you're thinking of taking them.. must read Demystifying Detox Diets'.

They asked me.. 'which kind are you taking?'.. I answered 'none of them!'.. but I make sure I take my capsules of multi-vitamin and fish-oil daily.

'That's it?...... 'yes, that's it'.

I'm not a doctor, and I don't intend to prescribe anyone anything. But sharing my experiences, I've learnt that these are the minimum 2 essentials supplements that a person should take daily. 'Essential' here is because our body can't produce it by themselves, and you need to take it from the food source or supplements.

The multivite is to ensure I've a complete dose of most nutrition daily (good article here), and the fish oil.. loaded with it's omega-3 (DHA & EPA) is not naturally produce by our body.. so we need to take it daily for it's well established, not just for heart health but also for optimum functioning of both body and mind, especially in reducing inflammations, and overall disease protection. (Read some articles on the benefits of fish oils)

Taking nutritions from the food sources is preferable than supplements, but the concentration of Omega-3 is better in capsules form (plus it's pure, and free from toxic), and for another obvious reason.... I do want to eat chicken as well! (not just fish!).

Also, I ensure that I still need to feed my body with the whole natural real foods that loaded with antioxidants, high-fiber, other vitamins and minerals... with lots of plain water! minus the 2 most evil substance found in our food supply everywhere... . the man-made trans-fat and HFCS aka super-sugar! good article here

These days, I've been thinking of taking the Whey Protein as my standard post-workout nutrition (..still thinking, not sure which brand is suitable for me.. too many of them in the market!!!). I need it especially to boost my muscle growth.. and to speed up my 'recovery period' before the next workout... these days.. my post workout soreness is killing me...! ( see D.O.M.S.)

My multivite is from GNC Mega Men, and fish oil from GNC Salmon Oil.

Good article - checkout Should You Take Supplements?

long live and prosper!


Sher Khan.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

You are what you eat!

Had a chat with a colleague recently, as usual, these days, the topic of interest would be.. 'how can I lose weight?'.. 'how did you do it?' etc.. Well, that's the reason why I put up this blog. Some comments said, 'yeah.. i read them.. but tooooo muccchh info la Sher'... '.. half of it I don't quite get it...' .. 'especially when you start talking about BMI, LSD, Interval, Phytonutrients, carbs, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, BMR, low glycemic, glycemic load, heart rates, etc, etc..'

uuhmm.. err.. I thought I've given enough references (by putting links to various sites, google searches, etc) to give people the insights of what certain terms that I think you need to know in details, etc... to understand what's happening.

Those links I've provided is not just a random pointing.. Those are real information/knowledge that I've found, hand-picked, that supports what I'm saying.. (no syok sendiri here ok..). Yes, I do read them, and I'm assuming you shall continue reading around that pointed sites!

If you're really interested to know what I've done.. I'm sharing with you all here.. not keep any secret whatsoever! and btw, I'm not selling any special diet products here ok! All with the spirits of open sharing.. I give some, you give some... win-win for all.. for the mankind! ;p

now, if you're still interested to lose that weight/fat/flabby.. I'm asking you, please answer honestly:
  1. what have you done today that is different to achieve towards your goal?
  2. what have you been eating today? list them down (let's be honest!), and look at the list, compare with the list for yesterday, and the day before, and before. Now, look at it seriously. Are you doing ok?
  3. have you exercise today? yesterday? last week? pls use your body more.. no time? use stairs instead of lift! even for a short 2-3 flights, parked at the farthest spot from the door!
Think of it this way --- there's must be something wrong for the past months/years that you've done that turns you to what you are today

The phrase of 'you are what you eat' is actually true, I believe in it!!! (I used to think the person who came out with that is dumb!)


There are some days when I came back from work, I feel so tired and lazy to exercise, and as soon as I drove up the my driveway, decided to skip it, no exercise for today. Put down my laptop bag, hit the couch, and watch TV, flipping the channels - then it hits me.. that's what I've been doing back then, that made me fat.. I need to change them!.. I've a goal..!
well.. the next minute, I'm already in my jogging shoes, pounding on the threadmill.
If you don't like doing gym, or bodyweight - get yourselves involves in sports.. whichever/whatever kind would do.. as long as you use your body more!
(in the pic, me playing beach volley..)

Decide what you want, put up the goal, and never look back.

all the best.

btw, read this excellent report "dark side of cardio" by my fav trainer - Craig.

Sher Khan.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My exercise routine during Ramadhan month

Now that you've learnt what I'm eating during the fasting month, as promised, here's what I've been doing for my exercises routine during this period.

I've been thinking myself - how should I do my exercises? how do I incorporated my routine and keep my fitness and overall muscle mass intact? My worst fear is.. I shall lose the hard-earned lean muscles mass that I've been developing for the past months, and worst, my overall fitness plummeted.

During this month, my major concern for exercise is .. TIME. You see, I normally do my exercises just after I came back from work, and that's generally around 7:30pm'ish. As soon as I reached home, I shall hit the dumb-bells and treadmill for a solid 30-45mins... just nice for my dinner typically by 8:30pm'ish (i try to complete my dinner before 9pm, and leave me about 3 hours before I hit the bed)

During the Fasting month, I try to reach home by 6:45pm'ish, and hit it immediately. I typically managed to do about 15-20mins max, sometimes for just as short as 10mins... my point is.. I do make sure I still do my exercises! though not as long or not as frequent, but i tell you, about the same intensity as normal days (to maximise the time) . So far, I manage to squeeze about an average of 3-4 exercises per week.

So what kind of exercises I've been doing? due to the short period of time, I tend to focus on circuit training or supersets..

I tend to do various bodyweight workouts, if I've 10mins, I try to do a quick one such as this one below on youtube by Vince..




or try Craig's chest superset, or abs superset. OR if that's too hard for you, watch a simple bodyweight for beginners (i used to do this myself back then..). Go on and search on youtube to see more body weight exercises variations - pick the one most suitable for you. (another good one here if you've 30mins).

I tend to focus more on strength training rather than pure endurance cardio (running, biking, etc) - main reason is I feel my body contains less nutrition (esp towards the evening), and when the glycogen stores has been depleted, it shall start to generate the energy by breaking down my most precious asset.. the muscle. That's the first thing our body shall do, before it hits into the fat stores. Therefore, I make sure I build more muscles, while keeping my heart rate up (try doing heavy weights, and focus on speed - I bet you'll gasping for breath! - who said strength training is not cardio? it's pure anaerobic..!!). see aerobics vs anaerobics

Having said that, last weekend, I ran a few laps on a local stadium track for just about 30mins (finished at about 7pm). Surprisingly, after close to 2 weeks without hard runs, that session feels invigorating!

It's safe to say now that exercising has become a part of me... I feel something is not complete if I don't do exercise. (check my earlier post on how sedentary my lifestyles were)

till then.. be healthy!
and how is your fasting doing so far?


Sher Khan.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

What the World Eats


Such as interesting article that was posted originally by the TIME Magazine.
You can also see this from
Dr. Mercola's site, and some comments by him.

Please do check it out and to see how fascinating to look at what's on other people's tables across the globe.

Please do look and examine closely at each of the foods they have..

and then honestly ask yourselves - what would be on your kitchen table at home? which country is similar to yours?

Sher Khan.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

How do I eat during the Fasting Month

Yup. The Ramadhan is here, and it is in the second week now.

I've been getting quite a bit of inquiries on how I do I eat & drink during this period. Sometimes I feel like I'm a nutritionist/doctor.. you should look at their genuine and honest look when they asked that question. They really expecting me to tell them how to eat & drink!

This would be my 2nd fasting month since I started my journey, and I'm still learning on how best to do my nutrition and exercise. And I don't have a special/proper meal plan or guidelines during this period. Infact, I've been wondering myself the best way of doing it.. I don't think I should 'prescribe' to you any plan, but what I can do is to share with you how do I do it (hhmm.. sounds like Discovery channel pulak!)

On nutrition:

during sahur:
  1. first of all, I make sure I DO NOT MISS my morning meal (sahur). It's a must and crucial in order to ensure your metabolism in check and provide sufficient nutrition in your body. Please make sure you wake-up and eat!
  2. I shall take down a full glass of water, and followed with some fruit cuts (to kick-start my digestive system, and provide a quick release of carbs with good antioxidant)
  3. Then I start with the main meal - good portion of all essential nutritions. My rule is to cut the plate into 4 quarters (normally it should be some brown rice, chicken/fish, veggies, fresh fruits). But during this month, my portion is like brown rice,veggies, fish/chicken, fish/chicken. I took 2 servings of protein instead, and get my fruits intake before and after meal. Slightly more than usual for my typical meal. I even take some handful of nuts just before the end of the sahur.
  4. Why? I want to ensure I've enough nutrition, I focus on more protein, and complex fiber. Protein keeps you satiated and full longer, and fiber keeps my metabolism running at peak.
  5. I also tend to eat brown rice more than my usual breakfast oatmeal - main reason is because i think fresh food is better.. and complete.
  6. Oh.. and I drink lotsa of water!.. just plain filtered water.. loads of them.. nothing else.
  7. Besides the fruits, I tend to avoid any sweets stuff (even the good dates/raisins/fig/prunes) during sahur- I already get enough 'sugar' from the brown rice, veggies & fruits that I eat. Carbs metabolises into glucose (sugar) in our body for energy production. The higher the sugar, the higher our liver needs to secretes the insulin. I want to maintain my insulin levels at a moderate pace... not to spike it (to avoid craving/binge later, and control my appetite - that's the key! - more on that later)
  8. Then, I make sure.. I do not go back to sleep. That's the last thing you want to do. After your big meal, pls do not go to sleep (it's ok if you want to be a sumo wrestler). Because when we sleep, we're shutting down most of our bodily functions, and we tell our body to keep the excess nutrition for storage for later use... and guess what, our body's storage is FAT! (studies of Sumo wrestler diet shows this as a fact!.. hence their daily routine is to have big meals, and sleep immediately after that!) don't believe me? click here
Ok?

for Iftar (breaking of fast):
  1. once iftar, i have 2-3 dates, and 1-2 full glass of water. followed with some fruits.
  2. rest a while (do your maghrib prayer during this time is the best), and then I go straight to my main meals.
  3. again, my meal focusing on complex carbs, with loads of lean proteins, with food that is high in pythonutrients - whatelse if it's not a lot of veggies! just remember that the greener the veggies, the more nutritious it will be. (highly recommended vegetables)
    Also, refer to my old posts on how I do my nutritions, nothing far-off than that.
  4. one thing for sure - I don't take any of those sweet treats or deep-frying foods, and please do limit those 'bazaar ramadhan' foods. Home cook meal is still the best (you know what you are putting inside, and the quality of the ingredients you used.. something as simple as the type of oil you use, and how much salt/sugar you put into it, not to mention the freshness of the ingredients!)
  5. and throughout the entire nite - i make sure i drink lotsa plain water. I also drink a big glass of warm green tea around 10pm'ish...
  6. typically, once I came back from the tarawikh prayer, i shall do a small meal - a full plate of fruits, or some yogurt concoction i'd made (3-4 scoops of low-fat yogurt tops with ground flaxseed, pumpkin/sunflower seeds, almond/cashews, dash of pure cocoa powder.. yummy!!)
  7. i make sure i stop eating 2-3 hours before i hit the bed.
that's it.

oh btw, I tend to pay an extra attention to my urine... I make sure it's clear and not smelly (indication that I've enough fluid in my body). Dehydration is a major problem during fasting month. Make sure you drink enough!

Exercise? next post.


Sher Khan.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

My August 2008 Photo

Sharing with you my latest pic. Captured on the 31-August-2008.


click on the pic for a larger image.

BTW, my BMI is now at
Almooooooost there...... !!!

Hope by this Raya, I'll be well within Normal BMI!!!
hmmm... I'm still wondering if my 6-pack with ever surface!..

check your BMI

Sher Khan.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

My Exercises..

This month I've been talking a lot on exercises/workout. I'm not saying that whatever I've done is the best or perfect for you, but what I'm doing so far is to share exactly of what I've been doing - so that you have an idea what I've done (that's the main objective of me having this blog)

Whichever you think it's useful - by all means, please go ahead an use it. Like I said many times, I've tried a couple out there, and have read a LOT of websites, and bought some books as well. Whatever I've shared is from my personal experience, and I'm sharing it to the world.

Here's the link again:
Exercise? - Part I
Exercise? - Part II
Exercise? - Part III
Exercise? - Part IV
Exercise? - Part V

This is not ALL of it that I've to say about exercises - but I've covered some major points of how I do my exercises. Follow some of the links I've provided, and hopefully you'll find the most suitable regime/programs for you. (oh btw, there's one more topic I wanted to comment wrt exercises - our internal cell powerhouse - the mitochondrial function, an important reason why we need to exercise - I'll do that in my upcoming post).

Whatever exercises do you, my advices are:
1. please be consistent - don't expect you'll lose weight by doing just once or twice a week - strive for at least 3 times a week. I used to do 6 times a week during my initial days.
2. start slow, and keep note on it - i used to have a log of what kind/type of exercises I do, and what have i achieved .ie. running - 2km, 5mph, 45mins. etc.
3. the most important - is progression. a little a day goes a long way... today you walk at 2mph, then 3mph, later 5mph, after that you run at 5.5mph, or today you bench at 10kg, then 15kg, later 30kg!
4. your nutrition - if your intention to lose weight - exercise alone is not enough. You need to take care of your eating habits.. focus on eating healthily - drop the junk food please.

Here's some of my posts with regards to how I do my nutrition:
Now I know your secret.. you don't eat rice..!
To Loose Weight, You Don't Have To Starve..!
Stay Good at 90% of the Time
What do you drink?
What Kind of Diet are You On?
What's Your Typical Breakfast?
What's my typical lunch/dinner?
Counting Calories..
What's Natural Real Whole Food?

Hope that helps!

Sher Khan.

Exercise? Part V - why Interval training is better..

...continuation from my previous post on Exercises at Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

I told you about my personal trainer Mike Greary right? in my Part 4

Take a look at his latest comments.. I agreed 100% to his words (see my comments in earlier posting). Putting it here for your enjoyment... (thanks Mike!)

-------------------------------------------
Well, after watching the Olympics for the last couple of weeks, I think I've found the Olympian with the absolute BEST six pack abs...

The winner by a landslide is:

Usain Bolt!

If you've seen a couple of the times he's pulled his shirt up a little, you'll see that he easily has one of the best sets of ripped abs in the world.

This is not a surprise, as 100 and 200-meter sprinters usually have some of the most impressive bodies in the world. Compare those strong healthy muscular physiques of world-class sprinters with the typically skinny, weak frail-looking physiques of marathoners.

That's one reason why distance running will NEVER be in my exercise repertoire!

Another is the fact that distance running at the same basic steady pace only trains your heart rate in one specific range the entire time instead of a hugely wide range such as in sprinting. A sprinters heart is always going to be stronger than a marathoners heart (unless the marathoner trains in higher intensity ranges as well for at least some training).

And the 3rd reason that distance running will never be in my exercise repertoire is the fact that it is BRUTAL on your joints pounding the pavement (or the treadmill) on a daily basis. I'll stick to sprinting on grass fields or hill sprinting, which will actually strengthen instead of tear-down the joints, when done properly.

As you can see from the incredibly ripped abs of Usain Bolt, there is a reason that sprints (and hill sprints) are included as some of the most important factors that I talk about in my Truth about Six Pack Abs program.
If you want lean, sexy, ripped abs... stop crunching and start sprinting!

Mike Greary
Certified Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal TrainerFounder -
http://truthaboutabs.com/

------------------------------------

In the meantime, watch this simple bodyweight core workout.. simple.. no need special equipment.. everyone should do it. My extreme fav.. I do this almost every other day.. in the morning and at night! (quick one before I hit the shower!)




Easy right? what are you waiting for?


Enjoy!

My other posts on nutrition:
Now I know your secret.. you don't eat rice..!
To Loose Weight, You Don't Have To Starve..!
Stay Good at 90% of the Time
What do you drink?
What Kind of Diet are You On?
What's Your Typical Breakfast?
What's my typical lunch/dinner?

Sher Khan.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Exercise? - Part IV - Interval and Strength training

...continuation from Part I, II, III

In the last Part III, I touch so much on the Interval Training. Like I said, I'm a true believer of this type of training - mainly due to it's effectiveness in burning the fats, in a very short period of time.
The most common excuses you'll hear all around you with regards to exercise is.. "I've no time..".. "I'm too busy".. etc. etc. etc.. and choosing the type of exercises that doesn't requires a lot of time is very important criteria for me.. and for you too! (so no more excuses!).

Well, if you're really thinking of losing the fats (I bet you are - that's why you're here reading my blog) - you need to include exercise in whatever 'diet' program you're in. We need to use our body more! ok try this, while reading this, I want you to stand up - but without any support to the armchair or desk you're sitting - just stand up using both of your feet. Try now.

That's an example of a squat. One of my fav exercise - coz in a single move, it uses multiple muscles group - we called it compound exercises. That's the key of choosing what exercises to choose, some more example of compound exercises - deadlift, lunges, push-ups, bench press, dumbell row, etc. The more muscles you work on, the more energy it needs and the more calories it burns!

Another key tips - Cardio workouts will torch calories, but resistance/strength training is a big part of the equation if you want to burn fat. Boosting your muscle mass increases your metabolism, so you burn more calories all the time, even when you're not working out.
Check this report on the Darkside of Cardio by my fav trainer - Craig

On a typical workday, I normally do my strength workout for about 20-30mins, and then followed by Interval Training for another 15-20mins. I've read somewhere about that strength training shall creates some kind of hormones in your body, and when you followed with high intensity cardio, it shall burns the fats at a faster rate... I don't know if it's true, but believe me, I've tried quite a few variations/series, and I've found that this combination is the fastest way to blow-torch my fats!

Infact, Craig Ballantyne's Turbulence Training(TT) is based on this concept. I've tried a couple of exercises out there, and by far, TT's is my fav. To this very day, I still uses his techniques in most of my bodyweight exercises. The bodyweight training is so practical and easy to do, and you can do just about anywhere - at home or in a hotel room.. with quick routine for blasting the fat.. even if I've only 10-15 mins.... so no excuses of not exercing... Thanks Craig!

See here some great tips from Craig (10mins workout)


No excuse of no time to exercise huh? ;)
Since I've found Craig's workout routine - on YouTube, you can find many others. YouTube has been my valuable resource on learning the many variations of working-outs etc - just make sure you search properly ;)


Other great trainers of mine (they're my trainers because I've been following their programs as well) :-
  • Mike Geary (I love his nutritional insights, and simple exercises that focus on the core training) - don't forget to subscribe to his newsletter - excellent dose of health insights!
  • Vince DelMolte (his no-nonsense tips is excellent - I love the fact that this guy don't believe in any of the body building miracle powder out there.. focusing on natural whole food). He has some great free videos on YouTube.. check it out please!

also, please do check out Men's Health Belly Off program. Don't miss this one (btw, most of this is from Craig's methods - but you get to see great videos.. like spiderman push-ups etc) - download and print this workout guide.. awesome!

while you're at it, do try the No-Gym Required program.. it looks simple, but boy, it leave you breathless!

Check them out - I'm sure you'll find something you'll like.
continue Exercise? - Part V


Don't miss my other posts on Exercise
Exercise? - Part I
Exercise? - Part II
Exercise? - Part III

have you exercise today?


Sher Khan.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

What's my typical lunch/dinner?

Some friends commented that whatever I mentioned here doesn't typically applies to our typical diet here in Malaysia (most of my reference are based on western recipes etc).
So instead of talking/writing about it, I decided to take the picture of some of my typical lunches and dinner... some while at work, and at home. So you'll get the idea what I eat, and my portions.

Enjoy!

At lunch, generous portion of veggies (bit hungry that day), and fish (not sure what recipe is that, but as long as it's not deep-fried, or loaded with heavy cream or oily recipes, I'm ok).


at lunch, 2 veggies, and was looking for my protein portion, none available, had to choose a stir-fried tofu (could hv been better - so stick with smaller portion).


Dinner - veggies soup with tofu, brown rice with quinoa.. yummy!




One of typical dinner at home (my dear wife cooks!). Some brown rice (carbs), roasted chicken (protein & fats) ,stir-fry veggies (carbs). That yellowish bits ontop of the rice is some roasted garlic.


I was having lunch at an indian restaurant. 2 dishes of veggies, and curry fish (minus the gravy).


This is at another lunch, the Tandoori chicken, and some veggies.


Big lunch - grills fish head (terubuk!!), and some veggies (raw & stir-fry)

At lunch again, stumbled into a banana-leaf restaurant - not a good option, they don't have much choices for me. I finally decided on capati, fish curry, and some veggies. I don't recommend to take this often though (i didnt indulge on the cucumber yogurt thing or the curry gravy tough) - got no better choice that day - I was out for a meeting, and found this place. Choice could hv been better.


Get the idea?

Refer to my other post:
Now I know your secret.. you don't eat rice..!
To Loose Weight, You Don't Have To Starve..!
Stay Good at 90% of the Time
What do you drink?
What Kind of Diet are You On?
What's Your Typical Breakfast?

Hope that is helpful to you! let me know if you've any questions.

What have you been eating today?

Sher Khan.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Counting Calories..

If you have been following my stories so far, you shall realised one thing - I've never count my calories... input or output. Why?

Why not? I never need to.. to start with, counting calories are just too complicated, and not practical. To make things worse, we, living in Malaysia, the government doesn't put any strict rules for our food manufacturer to list the 'nutrition labels' in every food they released in the market (unlike in USA market, you can actually rely on their food ingredient list, and food nutrition list). Yes, there are some local manufacturer provides those labels, but only to those who has the ISO certification. The rest? I don't trust them.. hence, I don't rely on any of this inaccurate information to do my judgement..not anymore.

Having said that, like I've mentioned many times, focus on real whole food diet - in other words, if the food has a label, most of the times, it's not whole/real. So, best to put it back on the shelf. As Dr. Hyman had put it - Everytime you're not sure if the food is real or processed, ask yourself this question "did my great grandmother eat this back then?", if the answer is no, again, put it back on the shelf, you're better off without it.

It's true that the basic rules of losing weight is to understand the input & the output of calories. How much coming in (input), and how much it's being used (output). Simple-losing-weight-math says, if the output is greater than the input, thus it creates a caloric deficit in your body, the result? you will loose weight. That's for sure.

My problem with counting calories is.. the counting. Typical adult male needed about 1800-2000 calories a day (enough energy to get through his normal day - checkout BMR), and to loose weight, you need to be below that - around 1600 or less kilojoules only, and maintain that throughout. On days where you've exercised slightly more (the output), then you perhaps can take in (input) extra calories... well, after a gruesome 5km run, having an extra cheeseburger doesn't hurt right?.. right?

If you've been big, and trying to loose weight, still trying to achieve that set goals... then that is wrong for you. After running for 5km, you've created a caloric deficit environment in your body, what you should be doing instead is to gobble up on nutritious food to nourish your damage cells/muscles for a full recovery, and enhance your metabolism further, and quickly recover for the next run! i.e Eat lean chicken or fish or eggs, with dark leafy or cruciferous veggies, some brown rice, and fruits on the sides - btw, drinks only plain water please! That cheeseburger is nothing but loaded with high saturated fat (the burger meats), trans-fat (the meats was deep-fried?, slathered with thick layer of mayonnaise), and refined-carbs (in the buns) - all of the ingredients to keep you.. fat.

Get my drift?


Sher Khan.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Exercise? - Part III

...continuation from Part II...

I've talked about Interval Training earlier in the Part II - I'm a true believer of this type of exercise... especially if you're thinking to burn the excess fat in your body.. FAST!. You see, the LSD method is ok, but the problem with that exercise is - the moment you stop exercising, you practically stop burning calories (but still better than not exercising at all) per say... I mean.. not as effective as what Interval Training shall gives you (they called it the 'afterburner effect'). Doing Interval Training, especially the High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), you shall only do 15-20mins max, however, the after effect of the exercise (that's another 23 hours or so), you shall still burning calories - yep, while you're resting, driving, or even sleeping... for the entire day!!!

There's too many references on the web can proof you that point. Go ahead and search Mr. Google. or click here to see Dr. Mercola's comment on it.

Why should you waste your time pounding on the pavement or threadmill or bicycle or rowing or stepper, etc etc for hours while you can do it at 30mins or less. Heck, personally, I only do my Interval Training exercises for exactly 16mins everytime... !!

So, you're wondering, what the heck is Interval Training?

---
A simple definition of Interval Training is: short, high-intensity exercise periods alternated with periods of rest. These higher and lower intensity periods are repeated several times to form a complete workout . Here’s a basic example: walk for 5 minutes at 3.5 MPH, walk for 1 minute at 4.2 MPH and then repeat this sequence several times. Most people spend their workout time only performing continuous training exercises. These are exercises where the intensity level is basically constant throughout. An example of this is walking at 3.5 MPH, at 0% incline for 30 minutes.
----

See this excellent YouTube video by one of my #1 personal trainer - Craig Ballantyne.(great trainer! love his bodyweight workouts and the circuits)






Sounds simple right? It is!

Go ahead and try it. This should be your main cardio exercise method - and boy, you shall see the fats melt away!

In my experience, as mentioned in the Part II, I've started with the traditional LSD method, and the result was too slow, and requires longer duration (these days, we don't have that luxury - especially on weekdays). Interval Training is the answer - and since I've started, I've never look back. To me these days, walking is not enough anymore - since I've lost 50+ kilos, I need to change my routine even harder, else I'll hit the plateau. I've experienced this myself, where my weight chart was almost flat for at least a month, until I've changed my routine for higher intensity, then I've broken the plateau. I now ran at 9.2mph for each minute, and doing active rest at 4.4mph. I did at least 5 burst...everytime.

So, what are you waiting for?

Sher Khan.

continue to Exercise? - Part IV

See also Exercise - Part I and Exercise - Part II

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Fruit Juice is Way Over Hyped


I like this article so much by Dr Mercola, that I want to share it here.. pls go to the full article - see his comments on Fruit Juice.

If you love fruit juices - this is A MUST READ!!

see my comments on water.

thanks Dr. Mercola!

Sher Khan.

Exercise? - Part II - LSD, Cardio, Walking

... continuation from the Part 1 ...

My immediate thought was to quickly sign-up with a local gym, and perhaps hire a personal trainer... time is really running out. I need to loose this fat within the 3-months that I've set, whatever I do, I need to decide fast... take action now!

The problem with me going to the gym was that, I've to be away from home.. I figured, is it worth for me to achieve my goals while leaving my beloved kids and wife at home?, and me pounding on the threadmill/irons for 1-2 hours daily going back and forth to the gym?

Not worth it, and I don't think it's for a long run.

But then again, for me to jog around the housing estate at around 7:30pm to 8:30pm daily sounded a bit scary... knowing the fact that there's a lot of hungry-stray dogs and worst.. mad-man on the street!

That's when I decided to buy a cardio machine at home. Made-up my mind to get a elliptical trainer, for it's low-impact workout - remember i was still at 133.7kg at that time. At the store, to my surprised, none of the elliptical machine (aka cross trainer) able to support my weight!!!! most of the affordable models has a max limit of 120kg!! (unless i get a gym-grade equipment which will cost me more than RM8000!!).

I tell you, that alone killed my enthusiasm big time. I almost give-up, called my wife and chatted for a long time on how dissapointed I am (while I was still at the store). After the call, I was ready to leave the store, and that's when the salesperson offered me to get a good-ol-fashion threadmill.. which was on sale, and a last display unit.. at a very special discount.. and doesn't have limits on max-weights!

I hate running, let alone to jog by myself in the living room... but looking at my options in-hand... I don't have a choice! and I still would like to achieve my set goals!

I went home proudly showed the paid invoice to my wife, expecting a delivery within a couple of days. I'm excited, at the same time, worried, coz I've no clue how the hell I'm going to fully maximise the use of the equipment... can it assist me in my goals? i don't know..

While waiting for the machine to arrive, I've made an extensive readings through Mr. Google on how best I can maximise the use of my new toy. In my mind, I shall only use the machine to do a good walking exercise only (because I hate running, period). That's when I learnt about fat burning zone, target heart rate, maximum heart rate (MHR). Excellent article here on the Truth About the Fat Burning Zone.


Here's the most recent picture (2-Aug-2008) taken of my threadmill. Been having it for 1+ years already - one of the most used/useful investment I've made to myself.




You need to learn on how to maximise your time in the workout, by doing exercises at the intensity that gives you the most effective results. You shall learn about target heart rate & MHR, or a more simple method using the Borg Scale of Perceived Exertion: (see below)
Level 1: I'm watching TV and eating muruku
Level 2: I'm comfortable and could maintain this pace all day long
Level 3: I'm still comfortable, but am breathing a bit harder
Level 4: I'm sweating a little, but feel good and can carry on a conversation effortlessly
Level 5: I'm just above comfortable, am sweating more and can still talk easily
Level 6: I can still talk, but am slightly breathless
Level 7: I can still talk, but I don't really want to. I'm sweating like a pig
Level 8: I can grunt in response to your questions and can only keep this pace for a short time period
Level 9: I am probably going to die
Level 10: I am dead

You have to target your workout at level 6-7 to be in the 'fat burning zone', to achieve the best results. (I tell you later that I've discovered that this is one of the biggest myth in doing your cardio workouts).

I started my walking workouts for at least 2-3 months (tried running, but hell it's too much for me), based on the general knowledge in cardio (i know now it's a myth!!!), I did what they used to call it LSD - Long, Slow, Distance. I walk for as many hours I can on it, at Level 6-7, as far as I can. On weekends, I even did some hours in the morning, and later some more at night (to clock-in more hours in my workout charts).

Yes, I did see some results, but boy, very slow, too slow infact, excruciating loooong hours ... not to mention dead boring routines!!

(Not until I've discovered the science of Interval Training, and later High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), circuit training, & supersets training. That's the key in my workouts of blow-torching the fat. It provides shorter time of workouts (max 20mins cardio), many variations (interesting routines), and excellent results - yes!).

Still, the LSD seems the only knowledge I've at that point in time....my enthusiasm still at the highest.

Let's continue to part III later - I'll share with you what I've learn from my personal trainers... yup.. with an 's'... coz I've a few of them, and I follow closely their advises... stay tune.

In the meantime, if you want to read more, try this good light reading from WebMD:


Sher Khan.

continue to Exercise? - Part III

LinkWithin

Blog Widget by LinkWithin