Archive for the Nutrition & Diet Category

Benefits of egg protein

Posted in Nutrition & Diet on August 22, 2014 by takeupsculpting

Eggs are considered among the best protein foods available in nature.

Science speaks volumes of this wonder food and its benefits when properly cooked, Christie Knudsen, M.S., of American Society for Nutritional Sciences, has said.


Raw eggs might contain bacteria called salmonella, which lead to severe infection and health problems.

Eggs can be boiled, poached or cooked in any manner to keep such problems at bay.

Biological value

Egg whites are superior sources of protein with no fat or cholesterol. They have a high biological value, which is a measurement of protein quality that indicates the rate of efficiency with which the nutrient is utilised.

On a scale in which 100 represents maximum efficiency, egg protein reportedly scores 93.7. Milk protein is rated at 84.5, fish 76, and beef 74.3.

Picture courtesy: Internet

Picture courtesy: Internet

A large egg white contains about 3.5 gm of protein,  0.3 gm of carbohydrates and 17 calories.

Incomplete protein

Vegetarian sources contain heart-healthy fibre, but lack vital amino acids and are “incomplete proteins.”

Egg whites provide essential amino acids in the right proportion for optimum utilisation. Eggs are also excellent sources of branched chain amino acids such as leucine, isoleucine and valine, which prevent catabolism (muscle breakdown). This is a vital part of any fat-burning diet plan.


Several trainers and doctors condemn the idea of eating whole eggs for the fear of cholesterol and fat.

A large egg yolk contains about 5 grams of fat and 215 mg of cholesterol, according to American Egg Board.

But, recent researches have firmly stated that eating whole eggs do not raise blood cholesterol levels or harm the cardiac muscle. Scientists blame refined flour and high glycemic index foods for causing heart problems. American Heart Association has recommended that any person who enjoys good health and indulges in regular physical exercises can eat at least four whole eggs a week and an unlimited amount of egg whites (based on sport-specific, calorific and nutritive needs). That is some good news for health freaks.

It is time you started consuming this super food the right way and in the right amount to improve your diet programme and health.


–  C. Lakshmi Kumar


Get-big diet

Posted in Nutrition & Diet on September 7, 2013 by takeupsculpting

People often seek a diet plan to build muscle, but hesitate to cook and consume quality foods.

Please understand that you cannot build lean muscle without consuming extra calories, especially from top class protein and complex carbohydrate.
Professional bodybuilders spend lot of money on hi-tech supplements and quality foods. However, in our country , competitors work too hard to earn and spend money from their own pockets. Not many have sponsors like a few elite champions.
So, what we need is a good strategy. We should plan and do only the right things so that whatever we do helps us move closer to our goals and avoid waste of time, energy and precious money.

Mr. India Arasu - Picture courtesy

Mr. India Arasu – Picture courtesy

All about quality
Protein, carbohydrate and fat are needed in certain quantity in every meal for a person to build quality muscle.
A person who consumes extra calories from lean protein sources such as grilled chicken breast, egg whites and tuna stands a better chance of gaining maximum lean muscle than a person who simply adds several hundreds of calories from all kinds of high-calorie foods.
In general, an increase of 10 to 15 per cent in calories consumed might start the growth process. Hard-gainers can increase calories by even 20 per cent. Those who are able to add muscle to their frame easily can bump up their calories by 15 per cent.
Trainees who tend to get a smooth look easily (endomorphic nature) should experiment and find out exactly how many extra calories their body needs for growing.
There are many competitors whose body needs nothing more than 500 calories higher than daily expenditure. And that increase too would be from lean sources of protein.
However, this does not mean that a person should not add carbohydrate foods such as yams, potatoes, grains, whole wheat products or oats. Every individual is different. So, the best approach would be to slowly add things and see how the body responds.
Meal frequency
Eat at least 5 to 6 small meals a day. You will need at least 1 gram of protein for every pound of your body weight ( 2.2 gm of protein for every kg of body weight).
This means that a person who weighs 180 lb needs at least 180 gm of protein every day to build muscle.
A smart trainee who eats six small meals containing 30 gm protein each wins the battle hands down!
Metabolism, utilisation
By training hard and feeding our body the right way,  we gain more lean muscle, thereby increasing our metabolism.
Smaller meals are generally believed to be utilised and absorbed better than large ones.

Frequent meals that provide enough protein maintain nitrogen balance, which is very vital for gaining muscle. This ensures that the body is in an anabolic environment.
Large meals lead to blood insulin level spike. Controlling insulin output is very vital to staying lean and not getting fat.

Simple rules
This is the best suggestion former Olympian Lee Labrada offers : While planning a meal, ensure that it contains lean protein source of the size of your palm. Carb source should be of the size of fist.
Fats are hidden in our food sources. So, be on guard.
Adding a tablespoon of olive oil or fish oil for cooking protein will take care of dietary fat requirement.
You may add a piece of any seasonal fruit to a meal or two for extra vitamins. Green, fibrous vegetables should form large part of your meal.

Here is a sample diet chart
Meal 1: A cup of boiled oats, an apple, 6 egg whites, 2 yolks
-Nutrients: 1 cup oats (78 gm) – 13 gm pro, 6 gm fat, 51gm carb
1 apple (110 gm) – 15 gm carb
6 egg whites + 2 yolks – 26 gm pro, 10 gm fat
Total: 39 gm protein, 66 gm carbohydrate, 16 gm fat, 564 calories

Meal 2: A handful of peanuts or almonds, lemon juice without sugar
Total: Nuts (75 gm) – 16 gm pro, 14 gm carb, 36 gm fat, 444 cals


Meal 3: A small cup of brown rice, 250 gm of fish or chicken breast, vegetable salad
Nutrients: Rice (100 gm) – 6 gm pro, 75 gm carb,
Fish or chicken (250 gm) – 50 gm pro, 5 gm fat
Total: 56 gm pro, 75 gm carb, 5 gm fat, 569 cals

Meal 4 (post-workout): Whey protein shake, 1 glasses of milk
Nutrients: Protein shake – 24 gm pro, 2 gm carb
1 glasses of milk (250ml) – 8 gm pro, 12 gm carb, 5 gm fat
Total: 30 gm pro, 14 gm carb, 5 gm fat, 221 cals
– ———————————————————-

Meal 5: 250 gm of fish or chicken breast, a boiled potato, spinach
Nutrients: Fish or chicken (250 gm) – 50 gm pro, 5 gm fat
100 gm potato- 24 gm carb, 2 gm pro
Total: 52 gm pro, 24 gm carb, 5 gm fat, 349 cals

Meal 6: 50 gm of cottage cheese or peanut butter, vegetables
Nutrients: Cottage cheese (50 gm) – 6 gm pro, 3 gm carb, 4 gm fat, cals
Peanut butter (50 gm) – 12 gm pro, 11 gm carb, 24 gm fat
Total: 18 gm pro, 14 gm carb, 28 gm fat, 380 cals

Note: This plan has been laid out for a person weighting 180 lb, who has moderate metabolism and trains 4 days a week.
Drink plenty of water.
– C. Lakshmi Kumar



Eating for good health

Posted in Nutrition & Diet on March 13, 2013 by takeupsculpting

Everything has become instant in today’s fast-paced life. Fast food, instant ready mixes, instant batters and so on. Though on one hand awareness of fitness and exercising has been constantly on the rise, on the other consumption of instant food has been increasing. Time being a big constraint, families becoming nuclear, both husband and wife working, there’s hardly any time for cooking, leave alone cooking only healthy foods. So people are forced to opt for instant foods compromising on essential nutrients.
It’s nice to note that the common man has started to read the label of food products he buys.

The main things people look for are fat and carbohydrate content. They are also becoming more conscious about what they eat. But, this is not sufficient. Quality protein plays a major role in our daily diet which is the most neglected macronutrient, especially by strict vegetarians. However, any nutrient-rich food or drink should also be had only in moderation. Excess consumption might cause unpleasant side-effects.
Here is a sample diet which is healthy, doesn’t overload your system and also saves time spent on cooking.
Breakfast – 6 tsp oats + 1 glass milk + few strawberries or guava + few walnuts
Mid-day snack – 2 to 3 whole wheat biscuits + 1 cup green tea
Lunch – 1 small cup brown rice + Vegetables + green peas or soya
Evening snack – 1 cup of mixed fruits or 1 cup of sprouts +1/2 serving protein drink (approximately 12 gm protein)
Dinner – Roti + vegetable salad + paneer
Drink plenty of water every day.
Points to remember
Veggies such as broccoli, celery, spinach can be consumed every day.
Fruits such as banana, mango and jack fruit should be had only in moderation.
Pop-corn prepared with very little oil can also be had as a snack.
Products made with ragi, semiya and wheat can be added to the diet here and there.
Non-vegetarians can add a couple of egg whites to breakfast; grilled chicken breast to lunch or tuna to dinner.
No cookie cutter stuff
The outline for this eating plan has been drawn keeping in mind that the trainee takes part in some kind of moderate activity throughout the week like weight training for a couple of days and cardiovascular training for a couple of days.
Talk to your trainer and nutritionist and make a plan which would suit your body and needs. Use this plan as a guide. Remember, there is no one-size-fits-all plan.
– P. Srimathy


Food supplements needed the most

Posted in Nutrition & Diet on November 15, 2012 by takeupsculpting

Every competitor has to battle several odds before he is being accepted as the best. E.Karthik of Chennai, who is gold medalist in federation cup, is one such competitor.


I  regularly come across a lot of bodybuilders who are serious about building their physiques but are financially struggling. In countries like ours, only a few have the desire to take on challenges against such odds and over 90 per cent of these warriors come from a poor background. Often they are confused about what minimum food supplements are needed.

Here are a few suggestions which might be of help to those who do not want their supplement bill to soar.

1. Take 1,000 mg of Vitamin C, split into two doses every day.

2. Add a multivitamin/multi-mineral tablet to your lunch, which might contain brown rice, vegetables and chicken breast.

3. Take calcium orotate once with a meal.

4. Take a serving of whey protein immediately after workout.

5. If possible, take 5 gm of glutamine, twice a day. This helps to improve recovery and gut health.

This supplement plan has been suggested under the assumption that your diet contains enough solid food giving you sufficient calories and all macronutrients such as protein, carbohydrate and fat in the right numbers based on your activity level and physique goal.

– C. Lakshmi Kumar

Pomegranate juice may help in muscle recovery

Posted in Nutrition & Diet on January 30, 2012 by takeupsculpting

Any kind of recovery agent is considered the best friend of body builders and hard-training athletes.
Now, pomegranate juice is being considered to have the capability to help in muscle recovery. A recent study reported in Journal Strength Conditioning Research has said that pomegranate juice reduces post-workout muscle soreness in some muscles, if not all. Pomegranate is rich in polyphenols, which help to control free radical damage and inflammation. There are also some studies which claim that pomegranates help in preventing skin and prostate cancer.
Team Masters is of the opinion that any hard training body builder or sportsman would benefit by adding a serving of pomegranate juice to his or her diet regimen.

_ C. Lakshmi Kumar

Eating slowly can help you to lose fat

Posted in Nutrition & Diet on May 3, 2010 by takeupsculpting

My grandmother used to quote an old saying in Tamil language which when translated into English may read ‘the one who chews food well before swallowing will live for a hundred years.’
Funny, isn’t it?
However, researchers have started to state that while trying to lose body fat, a person has to chew every piece of food really well and eat slowly!
Eating slowly ensures that a person eats less, thereby consuming fewer calories.
In a book published over three decades ago, authors Richard B. Stuart and Barbara Davis had said that eating slowly provided greater appetite satisfaction. Even as a person eats, the brain senses the food through certain hormones in the gut. Pushing down food into the stomach promotes release of hormones such as cholecystokinin, glucagonlike peptide-1 and ghrelin. Secretion of these hormones sends signals to the brain telling it to cut down appetite. However, this process reaches the peak only after 20-30 minutes!
When a person eats fast, he or she does not give the body a chance to control appetite or get a feeling of satisfaction.
A study conducted in 2009 compared two groups of women. Those who ate slowly, chewing every bit of food 20-30 times before swallowing, consumed less food (and thereby fewer calories) than those who ate fast.
Researchers also said that they left the dining table satisfied.
Another study which compared two similar groups found that those who ate fast had greater release of insulin. Higher insulin levels may eventually lead to insulin resistance.
It’s well known that higher insulin levels may result in an increase of body fat, especially if a person consumes a lot of calories.
A third study, which observed men and women in the 30-69 age group for a period of three years, found that those who ate fast gained more body fat. Those who ate fast were three times more likely to be overweight than those who ate slowly!
So, if you are on a diet plan – either to lose some body fat or get into a bodybuilding competition – start chewing every piece of food several times before swallowing it.
You can eat smaller meals and get away with a satisfied smile.
You can burn all the fat you want by combining the diet with systematic weight training and enough cardio.
_ C. Lakshmi Kumar

Leucine can help to lose fat

Posted in Nutrition & Diet on November 23, 2009 by takeupsculpting

Leucine is a branched chain amino acid which is vital for building lean muscle tissue.

This amino acid acts as a signaling chemical in protein synthesis.  Scientists at the University of Tennessee have recently stated that leucine helps to regulate “mitochondrial mass” in skeletal muscle and fat tissue.
You may be aware that mitochondria are energy centres of cells. They control the rate at which the body expends calories.

Researchers say leucine steps up the activity of genes linked to mitochondrial activity. This means it may help in burning more calories and, in turn, losing fat.
Foods rich in leucine have been found to help in fat loss.
The take-home lesson is that by adding amino acid supplements such as leucine to a fat-loss diet regimen combined with optimum rest and correct training, you can be sure of preserving lean mass and burning unwanted fat.
_ C. Lakshmi Kumar