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 keep off the extra weight. Since this month is Healthy Weight Awareness Month, in honor of the month of the new beginnings we at Medicircle have begun the series wherein we are interviewing the experts in the field of health and wellness to give out correct information to all our viewers.
Sheela Tanna, Consulting Dietician, Ambuja Cements Ltd. has over seventeen years of experience as a nutritionist and fitness consultant. She is also a Regular writer for Times of India publications - Bombay Times/Mumbai Mirror/ Femina.
Thin is not ‘in’ anymore
Sheela shares her thoughts on healthy fat and unhealthy thing, “It is a very passive thing right now. If you're sleeping well, eating well, feel hungry on time, are active, are happy, have glowing skin, have good hair, then you should be very happy and not focus on weight loss. But of course, if you have a little bit of belly fat or an apple-shaped tummy and you get tired very soon, get breathless while walking, don't feel like exercising, then it is a wake-up call. So the definition of a good healthy body and mind has changed now, thin is not in anymore,” she says.
Weight loss is a very simple thing
Sheela speaks on the challenges faced by the health and wellness industry in India, “Weight loss is a very simple thing, and I fail to understand as to why people are going gaga over a protein pack, protein bars, protein powders, and supplements. Weight loss is a very simple thing. Eat well, exercise well, be happy, sleep on time, wake up on time and eat right at the right time. You don't need to take any kind of supplements or protein supplements if you're eating well. You get first-class protein through a vegetarian and nonvegetarian diet, just follow WHO recommendations. Also, one needs good carbohydrates, good fats, which is homemade cow ghee, ghani oil - extra virgin cold-pressed locally produced oil, no need to buy imported, expensive olive oil, good leafy vegetables, local sesame, local walnuts, almonds in the right amount and in the right way which means do not fry to roast in fat. You have five components to help you lose weight and achieve that hormonal equilibrium. So get into your pair of good pair of shoes and socks and just go for a brisk walk that is a good exercise. You don't need to join an expensive gym to lose weight as weight loss is a lifelong journey,” she says.
Homemade food is the key
Sheela shares her opinion, “The best way to lose weight is to have:
- Homemade food
- Locally available food
- Seasonal food
- Lesser pesticides sprayed foods
- If frying something then fry in cold-pressed oil
- Stay away from instant food
- Stay away from packaged food, fried foods
- Whatever is available in the grocery store - they claim that they are healthy, but no, make it at home, eat it at home. Invest little time and some energy, and make it at home.
- Read the label if they say that we are sugar-free, but instead of sugar, they may add something else that is also equally unhealthy.
- There cannot be non-fried wafers as all roasted snacks have some kind of fat if not this something else. So people need to understand.
- Exercise is the key exercise - some sort of exercise you have to incorporate in your day to day life.
- Sleep on time – cause it leads to hormonal imbalance
- Stay away from all the fizzy drinks
- Stay away from very spicy food because that irritates your gut lining and then you cannot digest food if you cannot digest the food that is the root cause of all the problems.
- Water intake - your urine should be crystal clear. If you don't like plain water, you can take fruit infused water, herb-infused water, coconut water, lime water, honey-lime water, vegetable juice, green tea, or herb-infused green tea. So there are different ways you can incorporate water in your day to day diet and it gives you instant pick me up effect, it fills you up with fewer calories and it also kills your hunger pangs,” she says.
There is no instant weight loss
Sheela explains, “In the 15 years of experience, I've seen many patients who have spent 1000s of rupees in different weight loss clinics or at different Ayurvedic doctors, they follow weird diets like fruit diets and I would like to share a small story wherein a few years back a gentleman came to me, who had followed the fruit diet for five years and he lost 45 kgs along with 90% of his hair, his teeth weakened, he became very much wrinkled and since the past two months he had stopped his fruit diet, but he couldn't digest normal food anymore. So that was the damage he did to himself and that took him at least 5 – 6 months to get back to his normal life. Hence, don't go for any kind of weird diets or crash diets, or instant weight loss. Consult from a well-qualified dietician or a well-qualified doctor who doesn't say that, ‘no diet, no exercise, and lose weight’. That is a very wrong thing. One must understand that you cannot take any medicine and lose weight. People are very much into supplementing themselves. You cannot supplement an orange with a vitamin C pill, there is no comparison. One is synthetic and the other is natural. So go for a normal, natural diet, and when you cross your targeted bodyweight, for example, your ideal weight is 60Kgs, and if you cross 65 then it is a wakeup call, don't wait till you reach 85Kgs then it becomes very difficult to lose weight. Don't listen to high tech weight loss clinics who advertise a lot, they charge lakh of rupees, they use those machines by applying some creams, vibrators which is not correct and it doesn't help, if you lose weight instantly, you will gain back. So don't get hypnotized and it is just eyewash there is no instant weight loss. You have to eat, you have to exercise, you have to retain your muscles and you have to lose your fat slowly and steadily and save your bone, muscles, hair, and ultimately weight. So you should be very happy, energetic, and your skin should glow that is a healthy way,” she says.
(Edited by Rabia Mistry Mulla)