Looking good, feeling bad


Lord of Penmai
Jul 5, 2011
Looking good, feeling bad

When news flashed that actor Hrithik Roshan got his sixpack in three weeks, in Chennai, Ajit Shetty's heart sank. He knew he would be inundated with phone calls from young men at his gym eager to do the same. "Most people won't listen if you tell them to take the slow and steady path to a good physique," says Shetty, managing director of health and fitness club Score.

A lot of youngsters in Chennai are trying to hit the fast track to building muscle, which is not good in the long run, say fitness specialists. "They download advice from the internet without cross-checking facts with real professionals and begin fad diets and workouts," says Shetty. "People should realise that celebrities start high-protein diets and strenuous workouts only after consulting doctors, dieticians and trainers."

The health industry seems to be concerned about the increasing number of cases of eating disorders in men who are obsessed with their bodies. Just as eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia affect women in the quest for size zero, men seem to be heading in the opposite direction, popping protein supplements and steroids in their quest for size hero. An obsession that is being captioned by the media and those in the health industry as manorexia.

Psychiatrist Dr Vijay Nagaswami admits to seeing cases of men who feel they simply do not look good enough. "These are cases of body dysmorphic disorder in which people become obsessed with what they imagine as flaws in their appearance. They end up subscribing to all kinds of crank diets which can seriously affect their health," he says.

Dietician Dr Dharini Krishnan says that many men ask her to prescribe a diet that can help build them larger muscles. "We first assess their protein levels before we let them go further but I always warn them not to go overboard," says Krishnan, who believes that Indians should not go on a high-protein diet.

She draws up a balanced diet for them and also warns them against heading to the nearest gym and drastically altering their diet. "There are some gyms that tell people to eat 13 eggs daily from day one. I don't advocate it as the body cannot handle a heavy diet like that," she says.

Former bodybuilder S Suresh says that for several years he was obsessed with bulking up. He constantly used protein supplements and anabolic steroids to keep his muscles looking great. "But then I realised what it was doing to my body and I stopped," says 39-year-old Suresh, a former Mr South India.

He says that a number of professional body builders stock up on the supplements and anabolic steroids. "But after a competition, when you stop taking the supplements and steroids, you feel depressed and lethargic and your muscles begin to droop. So people resume taking them as they want to keep looking good and hearing compliments on their physique," he says.

Now a personal trainer, Suresh says he sees a lot of youngsters spending close to Rs 10,000 a month on protein supplements and anabolic steroids, which cost from Rs 50 to Rs 1,000 a pop. "After a while, they find they cannot stop the steroids and need higher doses. That's when it gets dangerous," he says. "I made the mistake years ago and know how hard it is to get back. You'll feel like a hero when you are on the steroids but later you are down to zero."

Muscle mantra

To build muscle, you need the right nutrition and fitness guidance. Do not follow everything on the internet

Slow and steady is the best way to build muscle

Do not try supplements without professional advice
Jan 30, 2012
Thanks for sharing but there is a little issue that I couldn't get. Just concerned if it
would be considered disgusting.
So, should I do it or not?

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