May 27, 2007

Half a movie a day...

keeps a doctor away. That's been my mantra for fitness for a year now. Last year, buying an electronic gadget during the last weekend shopping of May was a turning point for me. Lemme explain. For the previous 2 years, my gym workouts were helped by listening to music. During early last year, I realized that, in order to lose weight (fat), it is not enough to lift weights.. a lot of cardio workouts was a must.

I would listen to my favorite songs from my iPod and work on the elliptical/treadmill/cycle. But then, doing for long duration of time was tough - Boredom soon starts setting in, since the songs are already listened hundreds of times, and there is nothing new and exciting in it. Then, I moved to NY and joined a professional gym for the first time, since the school gym was useless. Paying quite a bit of money for gym, I thought that I should utilize the gym time very efficiently.
A month passed by, and my weight remained the same or marginally lower. On one fine day, I saw a lady working out while WATCHING MOVIES ON A PORTABLE DVD PLAYER. The novelty immediately stuck me.. and I started realizing the advantages..

* There is always something new while doing the workout.. a movie watching experience is totally different to music.
* A nice multitasking, by blending fitness and entertainment, both of which are my favorites.

I immediately bought a portable DVD player, and voila.. that was it.. I borrowed a lot of movies from my library and started watching them while working out. No matter what the genre of the movie is, time just flew by during the multitasking, and before I know it, I would have burnt hundreds of calories. Sometimes, getting engrossed in the movie made me lose unthinkable amounts of energy. Though the screen (7 ") was unfamiliarly too small, I got used to it pretty soon. No complaints.

I checked my weight the very next week, and I could see a difference!! I have got a best companion for my workout!!! My weight reduction was so drastic (and within allowed limit), that I could start sensing it. The whole body felt so good with unnecessary weight going away regularly.. There were times I would burn close to 1000 Cals a day on the average, 7 days a week.. Once while watching a Hindi movie, I didnt feel like stopping it and ended up burning 2000 Cals.. (that is a bit too much.. dont try it until u r very comfortable).

I have been noting my weight down for almost 2 years now. Being a scientist, I plotted the weight over time.. there was a change in the slope of the line at one particular point (inflection point). And it was the last week of May, 2006. My face and body underwent a change in a period of just months. I read quite a bit on fitness and corrected a few mistakes that I was doing. Some quick tips on weight loss..

* Doing cardio for the duration of half typical Hollywood movie, say, 45 mins at a decent rate of 14 Cals per minute would help you burn 630 Cals a day or about 4400 Cals a week. A pound of body weight is equivalent to 3500 Cals. Thus, 5 pounds (2.2 kg) can be lost in a month. Do more and lose more..

* Doing little bit of weight-lifting (for both genders) would enhance weight loss, thanks to some hormones which are secreted during the work-outs (when muscles are stimulated). It would also help maintain a good tone.

* Follow the age-old saying: Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper. I used to do the mistake of skipping breakfast... What a blunder.. when body needs food the most, the first thing in the morning, depriving of it would make the body angry, and it would be waiting to punish you by storing as much as fat you would feed it the rest of the day.

* Olive oil is a wonder oil for cooking.. the body yet doesnt know how to store fat from this oil.. b4 it does, make use of the opportunity. Believe me, the taste of food cooked with olive oil is absolutely fine.. Keep ghee, coconut oil and vanaspati to a minimum. Body loves them..

* There are many machines one can use for cardio.. the treadmill, the elliptical trainer or the cycle. I dont like cycle, since it involves a sitting posture. Many would have felt knee pain after a long walk/run on the treadmill or in any ground... thats bcos you are banging your feet against the platform. IMHO, the elliptical trainers are the best, since the feet dont move at all, and the up and down motion is equivalent to climbing staircase against gravity. Also, they are easy on the eyes while watching movies.

The only problem with the weight loss is that, your pants would get so loose, you will have to buy new ones.. but that is the reward you give yourself for looking lean and fit.. :)


J said...

wow, I loved this post! very very informative. thanks :-)

Jason said...

I also like the post. Thank you very much. I try myself

Biby Cletus said...

Cool blog, i just randomly surfed in, but it sure was worth my time, will be back

Deep Regards from the other side of the Moon

Biby Cletus

Nitin said...

Raju, it seems like a good idea, but for some reason it doesn't work for me. I watch dvds on regular tv when working out, but since i have seen all my DVDs beforehand, it does not keep my attention when on the treadmill. Do you watch a new movie everytime you workout?

Badri said...

"Ore kalula rendu mAnga" :)) Very useful.

Raju said...

J, thanks and u r welcome.. :)
Jason, u r welcome too..
Nitin, long time.. How r u?

Yeah, new movies indeed..
Badri, adhaithan english-le multi-tasking-nu solluvanga.. ;)

Nitin said...

hey raju, doing good. has it been a year since you moved to NY, how is it like? im coming there for an internship over the summer. Watch any tamil movies lately, i saw chennai 600028, very fun movie. Not posting anything cricket related these days (vexed with india's world cup performance?)?

S.Ganesh Kumar said...

Can you give me your e-mail id?
By the way,some nostalgia.(For me.)
When I was studying in a school,our English madam said your 'age-old saying':
Eat breakfast like a emperor, lunch like a king and dinner like a pauper.
Then my friends asked "How about princess?"

Me too said...

I should tell this to my husband! We so far used our portable DVD player to entertain our daughter on long road trips. These days I use it to go to sleep early(I watch movies in installments like mega-serials!)!

sks said...

how much weight have you actually lost? And how do you measure your cardio rate? From the treadmill or the cardio-instrument that you could tag on to your wrist?

Raju said...

Nitin, yeah.. a year in NY now.. It has been OK so far. Good to know that you are coming here.. try to drop me a mail (given below).. Let us try to meet some place.

I saw almost all the decent movies released this summer.. incl. Chennai28, Karuppusamy, Naan Avan illai and Unnale..

Indian team's performance is one big reason why I am feeling enthu enuf to write cricket posts..
Ganesh, welcome here..

My e-mail ID is rajublog-at-gmail-dot-com.

Sariyana aalungadhan unga friends.. endha nalla vishayam sonnalum edakku madakka edhachum kekkuranga.. :)

Ur teacher c'd have said:
For boys: Eat breakfast like a king..... pauper..
For girls: Eat breakfast like a queen, lunch like a princess and dinner like a paupress.. ;)
Aparna, Hmm.. I've seen that's what people most use portable DVD player for..

Well, nowadays, since I have become sufficiently thin, I dont do long cardio workouts.. just less than 15 mins. on the machine, which means I'm also in ur 'converting-movie-to-megaserial' club..
Sanjay, well.. loss of weight alone wouldn't be a good indication of becoming thin.. bcos, weightlifting along with cardio will dissolve fat but increase the muscle mass.. so, the correct way to measure fat loss are 1) inches lost - esp. in waist; 2) actual calculation of body fat % using simple instruments available in most gyms.

Nevertheless, I lost over 30 pounds in the period May-October last year. My waist shrunk by about 5 inches. And my body fat % decreased from ~ 25-30% to ~ 6-7%.

Anonymous said...

Thalaiva, thanks for the info.


Vikramadithya said...

Hello Raju,

Am gonna try this and if the results are +ve, am gonna suggest ur name to Oprah's Show on " Raju's recipe for losing weight" ;)

Oprah : Welcome 2 the show Raju. So, what's special abt super star's movies that ur losing so much weight?

Raju : super star movies aa ??

Oprah: ain't u frm tamil nadu ?

Janani said...

Hey I am gonna give it a try. Aana...

Try than panni than parppom...

Raju said...

EKP, Welcome here and thanks.. :)
Vikramadithya, LOL.. Good luck on ur try.. :)

Well, though it is sweet of you suggesting my name (in the near future) to Oprah, I guess the concept of visual entertainment blended with working out is not new.. Almost all gyms have TV in front of the machines; some advanced ones also provide individual monitors to watch the channel you want. My idea is merely a small next step to evade boredom, and so far it has worked wonderfully for me..

With the 'Sivaji' fever catching up, I see that movies literally mean only Rajini now..
Janani, good luck to you too.. Do let me know the result after a month..

starleads said...

Good idea to burn out some calories without getting bored into the routine. ellipticals are always better than cycling or treadmills.

J said...


Which portable dvd player do you have? planning to buy one for my friend. so any recommendation? :-)

J said...

test..did you get my comment

mooskietx said...

Because of this blog I updated my fitness routine.

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