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In Conversation With Birin Padam On Healthy Living

Nirmala Garimella

Birin Padam grew up in Lexington, MA before graduating from Johns Hopkins University in 2014 and pursuing a short stint as a semi-professional soccer player. After spending a few years in Atlanta, GA post-graduation, Birin returned to Lexington, MA as a personal trainer and owner of BSP Athletics. Today, his training focus is on healthy living through calisthenics and nutrition guidance.

Tell us more about BSP Athletics?

Founded in 2018  BSP Athletics focuses on healthy living catered to the South Asian community. With my background as a soccer player and personal trainer, BSP athletics focuses on 1-on-1 and small group personal training in fitness and soccer for individuals of all ages in the Metro Boston area. Areas of expertise include weight training, fat loss, nutrition guidance, calisthenics, speed of play (soccer), technical foot skills (soccer), and college recruiting (soccer). 

What should we pay attention to as we go into the holiday season?

As the holiday season engulfs us, there is the strong inclination to binge eat, frequent the endless holiday parties, and especially enjoy the comfort of our couches. Inevitably, on January 1st, many of us will be searching for the next fool-proof diet or fitness trend to reverse the
weight gain we experienced in the past year – only for that motivation to be short lived and quickly followed by our former habits.

Fortunately, there are realistic and plausible ways to weather the storm before we get to 2019…and it is entirely achievable without having to change much of our lifestyle. But before I share these tips & tricks, we need to make sure we set a SIMPLE GOAL for ourselves. Without a healthy living goal in mind, staying on course will be difficult and hard to measure. So, take a few minutes and think about your objective – it can be weight loss, strength gain, improved fitness, etc. – and write it down. Put it as your daily reminder. OWN it!

But keep it simple.

Can you share some tips and tricks to keep ourselves healthy?

Now, a look at these tips & tricks to help your healthy living habits and enter 2019 with.

1) Snack Preparation – This is not the elusive MEAL PREP but an easily achievable SNACK PREP! Instead of eating expensive and unhealthy vending machine foods, save money by making your own healthier version. Before the week begins, prepare, plan, and pack your
daily snacks for the entire week to avoid excessive and poor eating choices. For example:

a. Swap the bag of chips for your own concoction of healthier fats, like almonds, walnuts, and pistachios. Limit your serving size (1 serving size is approximately ¼ cup) to no more than 1 a day.
b. Swap flavored yogurt for a more, protein dense, Greek yogurt option. Just be weary of that sugar (sugar content should be less than half of total carbohydrates).
c. Snack on vegetables like bell peppers, broccoli, cucumber, carrots, etc. Slice them up and enjoy with a tablespoon of hummus for a filling, low-calorie, snack.

2) Why you should eat BEFORE going to food centric places – Going to a party, restaurant, or even a grocery store on an empty stomach is NOT a wise decision.

a. Our cravings for quick energy (fats like burgers and simple carbohydrates like sugar) supersede our best interest and make it easy to indulge on nutrient-lacking options. Unfortunately, majority of us have been taught to NOT eat before going to parties; which tends to mean hungry bellies and extra calorie consumption. Thus, the inevitable weight gain (calories consumed > calories burned)!
b. The solution - EAT before going to that party. Yes, eat BEFORE the party! We can still enjoy the party food, but do so by consuming smaller quantities and making wiser choices; all because of arriving on a semi-full stomach. This way you avoid eating based on cravings but rather focus on taste and hunger avoidance. That said, the food we before coming should be a nutrient-dense snack or a small meal like an
apple and peanut butter, a fist-sized piece of tandoori chicken (~4 oz), 1 cup of steamed vegetables, etc.

3) Sit less! Move more!

a. Going to a party? Find an excuse to stand.
Fun fact: in 1 hour, we can burn an extra 50 calories by standing instead of sitting.
b. At the mall or any other multi-story building? Choose the stairs and walk briskly.
c. Watching TV or movies? Do 20 squats and 10 push-ups, every 15 minutes or so

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