Karishma Chawla, Nutritionist, and Lifestyle Educator suggests that health should be looked at as “Celebrating Life”

“Don’t let the weighing scale define you. Losing weight is commonly at the top of everyone’s priority list,” says Karishma Chawla, Nutritionist, and Lifestyle Educator.

     January marks the first month of a new year and this is the month wherein the resolutions are made and people get focused on trying to stay in good health and knock off the extra weight thus marking this month as - Healthy weight awareness month. So, in honor of the month of new beginnings, we at Medicircle have begun this series wherein we are interviewing the experts in the field of Health and Wellness to give out correct information to all our viewers and readers.

Karishma Chawla, Nutritionist, and Lifestyle Educator are one of India’s leading certified integrative gut Microbiome and hormone experts. Counter to the popular norm – she doesn’t believe in straight-jacketed, standardized plans & practices that demand stringency for quick results without necessarily addressing the root of the problem or the essential lifestyle changes needed to achieve optimal health. Her practice is based on the principle of Bio-individuality- to have a deep respect and understanding for each individual’s personal body composition & its specific nutritional needs. This could involve needing physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual guidance to achieve optimal health

Don’t let the weighing scale define you

Karishma sheds light on people having this notion that loss of weight seen on the weighing scale means it's good, “Don’t let the weighing scale define you. Losing weight is commonly at the top of everyone’s priority list. Be it a businessman, a housewife, a senior citizen, or a college student, being fit is a goal shared by everyone alike. However, the more we research facts, the more we realize that the traditional weight loss approach has now been replaced by the new (and improved) fat loss approach. Let’s look at the 3 ways your body loses weight:

Dehydration – NOT a recommended method of weight loss, for obvious reasons Lean weight loss – This is the most abused form of weight loss but what people don’t get is that they put on weight as quickly as they lose it while harming their bodies unknowingly. Lean weight loss happens when people go on crash diets, cut back on their calories too much, and improper exercise. Lean weight loss is actually the breakdown of muscle, which is highly detrimental to the body. This leads to the reduction of the BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) and jeopardizes body structure and function.   Fat Loss: The key to adjusting your body composition should be determined by reaching a body fat goal that is realistic and can be reached within your time frame. 

Depending on the goal, it may take weeks or months. Crash diets, starving or unrealistic eating regimens commonly adopted by many for quick loss are best avoided. When you do this, you end up losing muscle mass, which means a drop in BMR and an increase in your body fat %. All your goals, be it fitness, weight loss, spot reduction, anti-aging or simply looking good are best served with one easy formula – Increase muscle and reduce fat,” she says.

Obsession about weight loss

Karishma explains the challenges faced by the health and wellness industry in India, “Well the most common challenges would be:

The general mindset looks at healthy eating as a strict diet regime and often individuals look for quick fixes such as crash diets, fad diets and so in. Also the entire obsession about weight loss and not fat loss.  A very important aspect is to look into the circle of life which comprises joy, creativity, fulfilled relationships, career, regular exercise, play & hobby, spirituality, sleep and stress along with healthy eating. You could be eating the best foods but still not achieve the desired fat loss goal or optimal health without a balance in all these parameters.

It is imperative to adopt healthy eating and lifestyle measures to help heal the mind, body, and soul,” she says.

Principles for Fat loss  

Karishma talks on Principles for Fat loss:  

1. Never skip meals and eat every 2-4 hours 

- Improves energy level and muscle recovery

- Increases metabolism and body tone

Eat lean, complete protein with each meal

- Improves muscle growth, activity, and recovery

- Increases metabolism and fat burning

- Improves body tone and workout performance

Eat high-fiber foods with each meal: 

- Increases metabolism and fat burning

- Reduces free radical attack, and risk for cancers, diabetes, heart disease

- Increases digestive health

Eat good fats daily

- Reduces risk for cancers, diabetes, heart disease

- Increases metabolism and fat burning

- Reduces inflammation, improves fluid balance, improves skin and hair

Eat whole grains

- Maintains steady energy levels

- Provides calories with minimal chance of fat storage

Exercise daily

- This should comprise aerobic as well as resistance training. Vigorous resistance training will maintain or increase your lean body mass. Muscle burns calories, which means that with every pound of muscle gained, you will be burning more calories and increasing the rate of fat loss.

Avoid foods with sugar or Trans fats Avoid fried foods and heavy sauces Use low-fat protein supplements to meet the daily protein requirement Do not eat junk food daily. These foods are usually high in fat, salt, and calories

I would draw attention to GUT health. Optimal gut health is imperative on balancing blood sugar levels, detoxification of the body, brain health, and metabolism and largely in regularizing bowel movements. In fact, 70-80% of the immune system resides in the gut. The Gut is the house to the various bacteria that help with gut health. In fact, they are known as an organ by itself weighing around 5 lbs. Keeping these bugs happy goes a long way to manage your weight.

Eat fermented foods such as fermented veggies like carrots, cucumbers, cabbage, cauliflower, homemade yogurt, and kefir. They loaded with beneficial bacteria Eat foods high in fiber, they feed the gut bacteria and help them produce compounds that help with immunity and inflammation as well. Sources are oats, barley, high fiber fruits and veggies including onion, garlic, asparagus, avocado, leek, and Jerusalem artichoke,” she says.

Look at it as “Celebrating Life” 

Karishma shares some tips, “Look at it as “Celebrating Life” because nutrition and lifestyle are in unison, like married for life in order to give you the best health and success. Few tips are as follows:

When you crave unhealthy food ask yourself, will this help you in moving towards your goals or detract from them? When you don’t know what is not working for the body, look into your digestive health; check on energy levels, sleep and bowel movements Call your attention to spirituality, it helps gain emotional and mental strength, we now know how close mind and body are connected and how can mental health impact weight and diseases Focus on social connection, humor, and self-care. 

Nature has given us all the tools we need to heal and thrive. We just need to reach out and harness it. If we treat food as information and lifestyle as medicine- all we need is the intent and practice of self-love to bring a magical transformation to our lives!” she says.

Her areas of expertise include (and are not limited to):

- The Ketogenic diet 

- The Vegan diet

- Intermittent fasting 

- Guidance and correctional nutritional services w.r.t conditions such as obesity, PCOD, thyroid disorders, menopause, blood pressure, diabetes, allergies, skincare, lactose intolerance, and weight loss management in adults as well as children.

Clinic Location: Breach Candy, Mumbai

(Edited by Rabia Mistry Mulla)


Contributed By: Karishma Chawla, Nutritionist, and Lifestyle Educator
Tags : #medicircle #smitakumar #karishmachawla #diet #dietician #lifestyle #healthy #National-Weight-Loss-Awareness-Series

About the Author

Rabia Mistry Mulla

'For vessels to change their course, they have to be hit by a strong wind first!'
So here I am penning down my thoughts on health and research after 6 years of planning Diets.
Being a Clinical Dietitian & a Diabetes Educator I always had a thing for writing, alas, been hit by the winds towards a new course!
You can write to me at [email protected]

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