Gain To Lose

I have loved the rush my body feels after a workout ever since I learnt to enjoy exercise as a 10-year-old kid. Back then, it was limited to morning walks and cycling but the seeds for a lifetime relationship with the adrenaline rush, feeling the burn and beating excuses were sown early in my life. Looking back, I have always been fascinated by the fact, how much I have tried to be lazy but every single time, in matter of a few days, I would be seen exercising with a renewed zeal.

However, I have never worked out under supervision of a trainer or in a gym. It has either been in the lap of nature or in the comfort of my home. This time around when I resolved to switch to a healthy lifestyle, I had in my mind that I need to step out of my comfort zone, switch to eating healthier, working out in a more informed manner to achieve noteworthy results and let things take their normal course, because my aim was a long-term change in the quality of my life.

In the past few months, I have read a number of articles on these lines on the Internet. It was then I chanced upon the book, Gain To Lose ~ An essential guide to losing fat by gaining muscle . I must admit, this is my first ever book on fitness. Though I have read many articles on this topic, but I never picked up a book. Like everyone else, I have always felt, I knew it well that one needs to work out and eat less and results would sum up to a fitter me.

However, this time around, I chose to shrug off my assumptions and chose to pick the book. The book had a very interesting synopsis that closely matched what exactly I had been aiming at.

In Gain to Lose, Dr Sheela Nambiar, a practising obstetrician, gynaecologist and a fitness and lifestyle consultant, explains how losing weight does not necessarily mean that one is losing fat and being slim is not necessarily the same as being fit. Instead, building muscle is the key, not only to losing fat and keeping it off, but for better functionality, a youthful body and greater strength.

Quick-fix diets and fads are not the answer; it is important to maintain a disciplined lifestyle. Therefore, say NO to exercise and diet and YES to train and eat. Based on her personal experiences and research, the author has delineated unique ways to permanently lose fat through muscle gain.

This book will show you how to get healthier by applying the right workout techniques, which result in fat loss and help you get into great shape. With useful tips and exercise regimes that can easily be followed by anyone, Gain to Lose: An Essential Guide to Losing Fat by Gaining Muscle is a must-read for women who want not just to look slim, but to be fit.

The book opens with a Prologue where Dr. Nambiar has shared her personal experience with exercising and what all made her decide to write this book. This is followed by ‘How to use this book’. I think this section is very well thought of, because it actually helps to guide the reader how to go about the contents, how to analyse the scientific facts and why not give up reading the book midway just like we give up exercising.Gain to Lose

The high point of the book is its systematic approach. The author patiently talks about the roadblocks Indian women ( yes, the book mainly focuses on the fitness of Indian women) face in their journey or attempts or lack of a fit life. She has touched upon the anatomical, physiological, social, economic and also emotional aspects of food and fitness. The book is generously seasoned with anecdotes from Dr. Nambiar’s journey of working as a fitness and lifestyle consultant, which help address many of our doubts, busts myths in a subtle yet assuring manner.

I loved that the book focuses on overall fitness and inspires to not limit our focus to changes in the weighing scale. The book advocates how we can achieve desired fitness by incorporating muscle training that not only gifts our body a toned shape, but also curbs the need to starve ourselves to stay in the normal weight range.

” The discipline that comes with a regular exercise programme in addition to thoughtful eating is the reward in itself.”

Doing cardio exercises like a crazy, eating bare minimum yet failing to lose weight after a point has been one of the major problems I have been facing time and again. I’m glad I found a solution to it in this book. The book is very useful for anyone who feels they are too old to adopt a fitness or muscle-training regimen and are currently battling the ill effects of obesity in one form or the other.

The book also has the ‘Basic weight-training exercises’ explained with pictures and a mention of the mistakes to avoid. I found this section useful in helping me correct a few postural errors I had been committing. I loved the idea of talking at length about ‘Rest and Recovery’ and considering food a friend and not dreading eating a few food groups.

” One of the important ways of keeping weight gain in check and losing fat is to increase the muscle mass, since muscles are the primary consumers of energy from the fat stores.”

I must admit, having been a science student and coming from a family of doctors this book was very easy for me to understand. But, the parts which talk about the anatomy of the muscle and fat cell or the chapters discussing the physiological aspects of various food groups and hormones can be a bit difficult to follow or stay interested in for a layman. Nevertheless, they have been explained in an easy to understand format and form an essential part of this book.

The cherry on the cake is the ‘Recap‘ at the end of every chapter and the FAQs at the end of the book. The book paints a complete picture with weight-training as its central focus. Ever since I have read the book, I have made sure, my father and mother too read it and we enjoy discussing the various aspects while adopting them in our daily fitness routine.

I highly recommend this book to everyone who has been working towards leading a fit life and also those who need a strong motivation to choose fitness over a sedentary life.

About the Author – Dr Sheela Nambiar MD is a practising obstetrician gynaecologist and a fitness and lifestyle consultant. She holds a certification from the National Association of Fitness Certification (NAFC), USA. She has her obstetric practice in Ooty and has a wellness/fitness program called Training For Life (TFL) which she uses as an extension of her medical practice. She also owns and runs the TFL fitness studio in Nungambakkam, Chennai.

About the Book :

Rating – 4/5

2 thoughts on “Gain To Lose

  1. Wow, this sounds like just what I need, ME! I absolutely don’t need to lose weight. Most of the books in this category are not suited for me, since they all talk about ways to lose pounds. What I need is to gain muscle mass and improve fitness. I need to build muscle strength and tone my body.

    Maybe I will pick this up. Just a question though. You said the book explains/depicts the weight training exercises you need to do with pics. Can they all be done at home? By yourself? Did you still feel the need of hiring a trainer?


    1. It is a great book for everyone whether they are looking at losing weight or just getting fitter.
      I personally have been doing weights from over 10 years though nothing beyond 5kg and never sought any professional advise.
      I do the simple dumb-bells but use them to train various muscle groups.
      The deal is if you have never done weight-training & have never observed anyone do so in the family or friends, it is recommended to seek professional guidance ( that the book also suggests).
      In my case, I have seen my father do weight-training all my life, so things have been simpler.
      What I’d suggest is, you have a read of the book and then decide what your plan of action should be, because the book gives a fair amount of idea as to where one stands and what to do next.


Comments are closed.