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.
Shivani Sikri, Founder, and Chief Nutritionist, Nutri4Verve is an internationally renowned and award-winning Nutritionist having more than a decade of experience. She has transformed thousands of lives from millennials to golden-agers.
Being fat is associated with a myriad of negative stereotypes Shivani explains, “We have absorbed the message 'fat is bad' and 'thin is good' from the moment we are born. Being fat is associated with a myriad of negative stereotypes and evaluations. It is not a fact, it is a view and views will change over time. We should not automatically start associating fat people with health problems, but for realizing that it can be the stigma of being fat that makes people sick; also that people diagnosed as ‘overweight’ or ‘obese’ are often given ‘weight loss’ as a route to cure rather than carefully reviewing all symptoms. Body composition and abdominal girth are more important, so it's better to have more muscle than fat, and if one has fat in this case, ‘official’ obesity is completely unproblematic. To emphasize, this stigma is so ingrained in our society that fat people face disadvantages, such as in the job market. On the contrary, it is incredibly easy to compliment a person on their positive qualities like their smile, their hair, their intellect, and interpersonal skills. To sum it all up in one sentence - Ultimately, we all want to be valued for who we are. How much we weigh at a given point in time has nothing to do with it,” she says.
Spend on health to avoid complications later in life
Shivani explains, “India's rapidly growing and increasingly affluent population means that there is a need for:
- Affordable and reliable health services – so as to continue to grow with a population of 135+ crore as per current stats, the country ranks second among the world's most populous nations.
- At the same time, a large part of the population of India today has not adapted to technology as quick and affordable support to reach professionals in the hour of their need. However, this picture is changing substantially during the underlying COVID pandemic and over the next few years hoping that more people will adapt to technology at ease.
- Lack of technical knowledge or adaptability (lack of willingness to change with time) in the majority of the population to reach and avail benefits of health technologies like getting in contact with health care providers through Apps or sharing reports or information through emails, messages, or other sources is very important to seek right and timely guidance from the right professional.
- Furthermore, people are also reluctant to invest in their health at first, to maintain a healthy lifestyle. They visit clinics for support only when the disease sets in, when it’s even more difficult to recover and even more expensive treatment is required.
Instead of seeking guidance from a specialized health professional, people prefer to Google their problems, diet, and supplements, even medications, which eventually do more harm than good. They feel comfortable in following the shortcuts to achieving their goals, rather than following the right path and consulting a trained and qualified professional. We need to invest in skilled human, affordability, education/ technical knowledge and changing mindsets of the people to spend on their health to avoid complications later in life, in a very sustainable way,” she says.
Important tips to lose weight
Shivani shares her opinion, “There are many ways to lose weight, but unfortunately most diets leave us hungry, craving, and dissatisfied. It is important to focus on the points, as below, to get success in losing weight in a healthy way and also sustain it:
- EAT RIGHT FOR YOUR BODY TYPE
Do not starve your body. Start eating the right quantity, and combination of foods as per the bodily requirements such as medical requirements, medical history, family history, allergies.
- STAY HYDRATED
One should drink 2 to 3 liters of water a day. Sufficient fluids stimulate the body's metabolism and thus help in losing weight faster.
- STAY ACTIVE
Walk regularly as it stimulates the metabolism. In addition, walking reduces stress and helps clear one’s head, because losing weight is primarily a matter of the “head”.
- SLEEP WELL
During sleep, we regenerate and recharge our batteries for the next day. Those who have been well-rested are more concentrated and more balanced. Sleepless nights are not only annoying; they also have a negative effect on our weight loss behavior.
- PROPER NUTRITION IS THE KEY
Fat does not make you Fat, if they are healthy fats from good oils and nuts that are healthier. A diet rich in vegetable fat from olive oil, nuts, and seeds, lowers body weight better than a low-fat diet. It also significantly reduces the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and cancer.
- DO NOT STARVE
Introducing new ingredients, recipes, keeping food exciting, tasty, and colorful will keep your diet interesting and nourishing.
- BEWARE OF EXTREME DIETS AND THE YO-YO EFFECT
There is no point in driving a large calorie deficit in order to lose weight as quickly as possible or to define if you change your diet again after a short time," she says.
Change your lifestyle as a whole
Shivani shares her thoughts, “Losing weight successfully is actually very easy - provided you know how to do it. The main culprit is starving diets, when we go back to the normal eating habits, we gain back weight as quickly as we lost. So constantly changing diets and counting calories is not the ideal way to lose weight in the long term. In order to keep your dream weight permanently, you have to change your lifestyle as a whole:
Tip 1: Set Small Goals
At the beginning of a diet, we are highly motivated, especially when the pounds drop off quickly at the beginning. But after a week or two, it doesn't work that fast anymore so "Set a realistic goal like 1/2kg or a maximum of 1 kilo per week are feasible. “Be realistic - and stay calm”. Just because a diet worked for your best friend doesn't have to have the same effect on you. The idea that it is enough to simply avoid sweet, fatty foods or do play sports are typical mistakes when losing weight.
Tip 2: Fill your stomach up with Low calorie and more nourishing food
Low-calorie dishes that keep you full for a long time. One can combine meat, fish, or dairy products with salad, vegetables, and fruit. Whole-grain foods also fill you up for a long time.
Tip 3: Do not put up prohibitions. Just have flexible control over your cravings
Do not be strict with yourselves when losing weight because sooner or later the cravings follow. Always remember: “balance” is the magic word.
Tip 4: Change unwarranted eating habits - Start one by one
Changing habits is really difficult. Start including one or two good habits or lifestyle rituals week by week. Don't try to get rid of all habits at once.
Tip 5: Find your binging triggers
Stress, anger, boredom: there are many reasons why we eat. Hunger is only a small part of it. Observe yourselves for a few days and note when and why you eat. With this in mind, you can change your habits. If you tend to eat when stressed, take regular relaxation breaks. Boredom eaters should become more active and find new hobbies. Incidentally, thirst is often misinterpreted as hunger. Result: Instead of drinking a glass of water, you eat something and if dehydration persists, our metabolism goes down which in turn leads to more fat being stored in the liver. Remember to drink enough water regularly.
Tip 6: Exercise Regulary
Make exercise a part of everyday life.
Tip 7: Meal Prep
Preparation is everything! If you have healthy meals or snacks with you in the office or on the go, you don't reach for fast food when you get those hunger pangs.
Tip 8: Learn to love yourself
Those who love their bodies lose weight more successfully and for a longer period of time,” she says.
ABOUT SHIVANI SIKRI
Nutri4Verve: Online Weight loss Diet Clinic by Shivani Sikri: AWARDED BEST DIETICIAN; DELHI
Address: B-1/22, Block B 1, Safdarjung Enclave, New Delhi, Delhi 110029
Phone: +91- 88003 39577
(Edited by Rabia Mistry Mulla)