A 35-year-old cardiologist said he was inspired to make a year-long fitness transformation.
Dr. Amar Shere starting lifting weights and eating healthier to be a better role model for patients.
He lost 30 pounds, and said the key to good results is consistency and simple, healthy habits.
As a cardiologist, Dr. Amar Shere thought he knew all the right things to tell patients about how to eat and exercise for better health, even sharing tips in popular TikTok videos.
But last year, Shere had a revelation that he wasn’t taking his own advice, and decided to transform his lifestyle to be the best possible role model for his patients, losing 30 pounds in the process.
“I realized I was not listening to my own advice and I wasn’t being the doctor I wanted to be for my patients,” he told Insider. “I wanted to be a positive role model for my patients and practice what I preached.”
Shere, 35, said he found a personal trainer (Kunal Makwana of KMAK Fitness) to help him stay accountable and give him the tools to build a customized routine he could stick to. Healthy habits like eating enough protein and strength training a few times a week to build muscle, burn fat, and feel better in his day-to-day life.
He ate more protein to support healthy metabolism
Shere said that as a longtime vegan, he thought he was eating the right foods for his health, but found he was relying too much on unhealthy processed vegan foods and takeout, which didn’t have enough protein to support his health goals.
“The biggest change I made was to increase my protein,” he said. “I wasn’t eating the right amount of protein to see the results, to gain muscle mass and lose the weight I wanted to lose.”
Shere started aiming to eat at least 1 to 1.2 grams of protein per kilogram of his body weight (on par with the latest evidence on the ideal amount of protein for muscle gains). That’s around .6 grams per pound.
As a vegan, his go-to sources of plant protein include tofu, tempeh, and lentils.
He started lifting weights to build muscle
Shere isn’t new to fitness. He’s been a fitness instructor for a Bollywood-inspired program for a decade, and said he loves to dance. As such, he was already doing plenty of aerobic exercise, which is great for heart health. But working with a trainer helped him stick with more regular sessions of resistance training, which helped him improve over time by gradually working up to more challenging weights.
“The biggest thing was staying consistent with it. It wasn’t anything fancy. Basic exercises and progressive overload really helped me lose the weight and gain strength and muscle mass,” Shere said. “Sticking to a plan for weeks on end, that’s when I was seeing the results.”
Rather than trying overly complicated movements, he stuck with classic exercises like chest presses, shoulder presses, and squats.
Resistance training is also great for overall health, including heart health, and can help prevent illnesses like heart disease and boost your lifespan, especially in combination with cardio exercise, research suggests.
His personal trainer helped him design short workouts for his busy schedule
To make his exercise routine even easier to follow, Shere said he stuck with a workout split of one day dedicated to upper body, one day for lower body, and one day for full body exercises — about two and a half to three hours total.
“Working 60-70 hours a week, I did not have time to go to the gym every single day,” he said.
Continuing to do exercises he loved, like dancing, and having a supportive community helped him stay motivated to stick to workouts, according to Shere.
“Having another person to help motivate you on days when you want to quit makes a difference. I think that support is really important,” he said.
Shere said he also started walking more outside of the gym, aiming for about 10,000 steps a day — evidence suggests adding even a few thousands steps to your day can have major health benefits.
He prioritized a calorie deficit to burn body fat
The last major change Shere made to lose weight and build muscle was maintaining a calorie deficit, making sure to burn more energy with exercise than he ate in the form of calories from week to week.
The key to staying in a calorie deficit over time is not to cut out all the foods you love, according to Shere.
“If you incorporate some of those foods into your diet, you’re more likely to stay on it. It’s not all or none when it comes to healthy eating,” he said.
For instance, Shere said he’s been eating fewer processed foods, packaged foods, and takeout but treats himself to a daily serving of heart-healthy dark chocolate. His favorite healthy chocolate recipe is melting dark chocolate over Greek yogurt, freezing it for a few hours, and then topping with berries and walnuts.
“I have a big sweet tooth, so I wanted to make sure I included that in my diet,” he said.
He said consistency and recovery were key to his success
To round out his routine, Shere said he also prioritizes getting at least seven hours of sleep a night, and practices some breathwork and meditation. Evidence suggests stress and sleep deprivation can stall weight loss, causing you to craving certain foods and eat more.
“Any result is really a matter of consistency. Simple but consistent habits ultimately lead to growth,” Shere said.
Making lasting changes to his routine has helped him relate better to patients who are working to get healthier, according to Shere.
“Before, like many doctors, I was telling patients ‘Just eat healthier and go to the gym.’ Now I’m definitely more empathetic and inquisitive in terms of their lifestyle'” he said.
Read the original article on Insider