A tiny little bit about maintaining health

gabrielfallen profile image Alexander Tchitchigin ・5 min read

As long as I'm a software developer working from home and thus sitting in front of a PC for most of the day and not walking too far, I'm rather interested in maintaining my health and shape. Not that I achieved staggering results at that but I still answered this question: https://dev.to/shofol/what-kind-of-physical-exercises-do-you-maintain-to-be-fit-and-healthy-4ai6 😊

Below I reproduce my answer but I might add some more to the post later on.

Bad news: to lose weight any sort of exercises is next to useless, the only thing that helps is eat less. :(

Good news: eating way less is surprisingly easier than you think! 😃

Disclaimer: health and medicine related stuff is extremely individual. I can and will tell what I do and what and how worked for me personally. It might not work or be harmful for other people depending on their individual physiology and health. Plus I'm very far from medical education and practice, you really should consult specialists and even after that proceed with extreme caution.

OK, now to fun stuff. What if I told you you can eat at least twice as little and lose weight without feeling hungry, weak or anything? 😃

At least, that was the case for me. If anything I felt better and more energetic because I stopped overeating and feel too heavy and too sleepy. I discovered that I can literally eat twice as little as usual and not feel hungry or anything.

Being frankly I felt some discomfort at first, some unclear feeling of something not being right, being unusual. But that was just mind tricks my brain played on me. The brain doesn't like changes, it doesn't like when things don't go as usual so it makes you feel like something's wrong and as if you have to make it as before. Thus I didn't have heavy feeling in my stomach and my brain was telling me it's not right and I have to eat more to get this heavy feeling back! But assessing my actual physical state I found time and again I feel no hunger, no stomach ache, no weakness or anything. Quite contrary my actual physical state was better than usual after lunch. So I kept ignoring the signals my brain was sending and after some time I got used to eating less and it became my new norm.

Even before that I read a long post on research regarding health benefits of intermittent fasting (which are surprisingly many and proven for mice; for humans it less clear due to challenges in conducting direct experiments). So after I discovered it's so easy to eat that much less, I thought how hard can it be not to eat for a 24 hours? Apparently, again, much easier than one might think! 😃

A hint: to fast for 24 hours you need to skip just 2 meals in a row, not 3. ;) Consider this: say, you had a breakfast at 8 am. Now you skip lunch and dinner this day, sleep at night and by 8 am next morning 24 hours have passed at which point you can eat again. But I don't eat breakfast, so I just additionally skip lunch every other day or every two days, I'm not super strict about my diet. :)

Yet another piece of a diet I'm not strict about but still keep in mind and try to aim for is a Keto diet. Again you can read a lot about how it's beneficial all over the Internet. :) But as long as I'm not strict about it I'm not in ketosis, thus I'm just on a low-carb diet in the end. Still aiming at near zero carbs intake is a much more clear goal for me. Thus I always know how much carbs I should eat: exactly zero. And all the carbs I do eat are too much and against my diet. Too bad but whatever. 😃

In the end after some months past all these adjustments to my diet I lost about 10 kg. And I wasn't overweight before that either! Thus I didn't try to lose weight, it just happened. 😃

I think these actually the most important factors that can protect you from getting diabetes, back pain, cancer or heart issues. But you asked about exercises, so I'll continue. :)

First, why exercises won't really help you loose weight. Compare the numbers. In about 2 hours on a bicycle I spend about 500 kkal. I usually ride 2 to 4 times a week. Let's take maximum: 4 times a weak, thus loosing 2000 kkal per weak additionally. Now when I do literally nothing lying on a sofa all day long I spend about 3000 kkal per 24 hours. That's at least 21000 per weak. 2000 more at best change nothing for me. Most likely, I consume all the 500 kkal I spent on a bike immediately after that 'coz I feel hungry.

Does that mean you shouldn't exercise? Absolutely not! 😃

I like riding a bike very much I think it's a great activity for so many reasons and beneficial for both physical and mental health in so many ways, I can't recommend it enough! 😃

But as long as I work from home and too lazy to go to gym and weather doesn't permit riding a bike, I exercise with a kettlebell. At home, right next to my desk. :)

As for particular exercises with a kettlebell I don't think they matter much. I do whatever I feel like doing at the moment, from simple squats to swings to pushes to whatever.

Additionally to that I do some common bodyweight exercises on the days I don't do kettlebell. Anyway I never perform heavy or very intensive training, just 30-40 minutes to stay somewhat in shape. :) Overtraining is a real thing, I'm just very far from it, but you might not be if you really serious about your training. Be careful.

I hope these simple and not strict at all advice might be helpful and will encourage your curiosity and activity towards better health. 😊

DISCLAIMER AGAIN: I'm mostly healthy person, I don't have severe preexisting conditions (though I have some chronic conditions it's almost nothing) and I haven't become much healthier. Thus what I described might only help relatively healthy person become a bit more healthier, that's it. You should always consult with health professional before experimenting on yourself!

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Alexander Tchitchigin


A coder pretending to be an engineer. Learning by trying lots of different stuff: programming languages, web frameworks, data analysis...


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