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    Fitness isn’t about losing kilos, but building muscles, says Sheela Nambiar in new book, Gain to Lose

    There’s something women fear more than muffin tops and flabby tummies—bulging muscles. But Dr Sheela Nambiar’s new book, Gain to Lose: An Essential Guide to Losing Fat by Gaining Muscle, sets the record straight. Weight training not only helps you get stronger and burn fat (even while resting), it also goes a long way towards dealing with diseases like diabetes and osteoporosis. And no, it doesn’t make you look like a man!
    “This book is not a follow up to my first (Get Size Wise); rather it is an ongoing conversation with my readers,” explains Nambiar. “Most people talk about losing weight, but weight is a combination of fat, muscle, bone, fluids, etc. What they need to be looking at is burning fat and one of the ways to do that is by building muscle. It has been proven that building muscle increases the body’s basal metabolic rate, its ability to use sugar and much more,” she adds.

    Straight talk
    The book draws upon Nambiar’s 22 years of experience as a practicing obstetrician and gynaecologist, and gives readers information in easy-to-read chapters. While it begins with how we ‘adapt’ to gaining weight, much like the story of the boiling frog she references, the consecutive sections give an in-depth look at the structure and function of muscles, fitness trends and how weight loss is a positive byproduct of the entire process. “I’ve also touched on the psychology of why we do what we do and how we slowly degrade. But if you react in a timely manner, it is easier to get fit,” says Nambiar, who also runs a fitness programme called Training for Life, in Ooty. The book delves into the scientific side of things, too—from the Indian phenotype (we suffer from sarcopenia or low muscle mass) to how we burn fat. “Some of the chapters may be heavy, but I’ve tried to make them interesting,” says Nambiar, adding that the FAQ section addresses common fears.

    Step by step
    Extremely reader friendly, each chapter ends with a quick recap of what has been discussed. An entire section has been dedicated to spelling out basic weight training exercises (with helpful illustrations and handy tips on what to avoid), a brief overview of eating right and even a section on what kind of cardio to do—with high intensity interval training rating high. “I’ve included real-life anecdotes from my clients, along with stories from women who have actually ‘gained to lose’,” says the 47-year-old, who believes that an interested reader would like to know all sides of the story.

    Rs 295. Available at all leading book stores. Details: 64550262

    —Surya Praphulla Kumar

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