“Ask Your Doctor” with Dr. Kasi
Today we sit down with Dr. Kasi Viswanath Pasumarti (who is also the CEO of @the_muscle_mechanic_) to discuss commonly asked health and wellness questions. The host of #askyourdoctor – Dr. Kasi is on a mission to spread knowledge to the general public using unbiased research.
1) You have a very demanding and busy life as a doctor – and you are also the CEO of “The Muscle Mechanic.” How do you find the time to work out?
I feel that no one can do it all of a sudden out of nowhere, it does come with practice and discipline. We all have the same 24 hours, we are what we prioritise.
“Where your focus goes, your energy flows.”
2) What’s the most effective way to build muscle?
Let’s break it down this way:
If your goal is to build muscle effectively, you must focus on:
TRAINING PART –
a) Resistance training
b) Progressive overload – constantly challenging the muscle to grow better and stronger
c) Stretching routine –
*Ballistic stretching – before workout, to ease the joints and muscles, to improve the force of contraction, range of motion, injury prevention
*Static stretching – post workout, to cool down the body, to relax the muscles, yoga poses can be inculcated as a part of post workout stretching routine.
RECOVERY PART –
a) Adequate sleep – the repair mechanism will be in its finest form during the body’s resting phase
b) Hydration – You should replenish your body with an adequate amount of water (there is no standard amount of water that can be prescribed, it depends upon individual’s need). If your pee is more concentrated, then you are most likely dehydrated. Listen to your body.
c) Nutrition – Protein rich diet at every meal, depending upon the activity one may require anywhere between 0.8-2 gm protein / kg body weight, make sure your plate is wholesome and balanced.
d) A good body massage – (optional)
It improves the blood flow and eases your body, reduces the chances of muscle pull and cramps – and there-by speeds up the recovery process.
3) What’s your opinion on crash diets?
An absolute no (kindly don’t go for it!)
Instead, please look for the following things in your diet :
4) What’s the biggest fitness myth you would like to debunk?
*SPOT FAT REDUCTION IS NOT A REAL THING*
The most commonly believed myth is that to get those chiseled 3d abs, you don’t really need to do 1000 crunches / 100 leg raises. Like it’s said, “Abs are made in the kitchen.” First try to reduce the body fat as a whole by being in caloric deficit and reduce the consumption of heavily processed food as much as possible. Keep reading to know about the 80/20 rule.
5) Is there such a thing as a “Super Food” ?
No single food (not even a superfood) can provide all the nutrition needed for your body.
There are a few foods which are power packed with nutrients, some often call them superfoods.
Here are the top six I would recommend:
a) Fish – Good source of Omega 3 fatty acids which have cardio and neuroprotective effects. For further info on this subject, please visit :
b) Berries – fiber and antioxidant dense, fights inflammation.
c) Green leafy vegetables- good source of vitamin A , vitamin C, Calcium – and it can be added to soups and stews.
d) Yogurt – good source of calcium, probiotics, try avoiding sweetened / flavoured ones, instead add fruits of your choice to the yogurt.
e) Citrus fruits – Orange / lemons/ amla have abundance of vit C and they’re power-packed with antioxidants.
f) Eggs – Rich source of vit A , vit E, B5, minerals like zinc and selenium, relatively cheaper source of high quality protein.
6) Healthiest way to lose weight quickly?
You can either lose weight in a healthy and sustainable manner or in a quick way.
There is no single best routine that works for everyone – so many factors can alter the time that is required in an individual (like genetic makeup , muscle memory, calories in and calories out, etc.). At the end of the day we have to figure out what works the best for us and our body and try to be as consistent as possible with our choice.
7) If you are what you eat, what are you ?
Sometimes it gets extremely difficult to eat clean and healthy – we are not machines. We do have cravings for foods at times (hedonic hunger). Our body is much more complex than we think, so that’s where most of these FAD diets fail (they’re not sustainable). Instead try doing 80/20 rule, in which 80% of food you eat in a day must be unprocessed / very less processed and 20% of your calorie intake from moderately processed/highly processed (mostly your favourite foods). In that way, you can prevent weekend hogging in the name of your cheat meal.
“If you don’t invest in your wellness, you will be forced to invest in your illness.”
8.) What is carb cycling?
As the name says, it basically involves going back and forth between high carb days and low carb days – and sometimes no carb days. There is no scientific research that suggests carb cycling is more or less effective than other diets for weight loss (as I said earlier, there is no one routine that suits the best for everyone).
9.) Is sleep important?
I cannot emphasize enough how important sleep is!
I made a post on this aspect in two parts – which is a summary of 200 + articles and a book called ‘Why We Sleep’ by Matthew Walker – please go through it here:
10.) How do you stay motivated ?
Sometimes it gets really hard to keep going – there will be hurdles to test our focus towards the goal. It’s humanly not possible to stay focused & driven all the time, so first find a strong cause and you shall automatically bounce back to work.
“Starve your distractions, feed your focus”
11.) What inspired you to become a doctor, and what was the road like in becoming one?
My generation is the first one to get educated properly, my dad has always dreamt of seeing me as a doctor.
I was raised in a small village in India. It’s a small place where a tertiary health care set-up is almost 80 km away! My native language growing up was in Telugu and I could not speak English. When entering medical school – the English medical language was very sophisticated.
After my +1 and +2 in high-school, I couldn’t fetch a seat in medical school. I had to take a year drop – and after one year of hard work, efforts, and many struggles – I got into KMC Mangalore (MAHE University).
Once I got into medical school, I didn’t connect well to the med school subjects in my first year. When I started working out, it all slowly started making sense and I was able to understand anatomy, physiology, and biochemistry well.
Initially, it was very difficult to understand. In fact, it used to take 15 minutes to read a page! I tried my best to get a grip over the English language by reading a lot of articles on bodybuilding, health, nutrition, yoga, and pretty much all of the genres of health and wellness.
When I look back on all of it is worth it, because I’m a doctor now.