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Oh, the constant struggle of weight loss! If you have tried every diet possible and exhausted multiple gym memberships, but are still struggling with weight loss, it is time to examine exactly what is going wrong. There is plenty of information available about which workout is best suited for you, all the fancy diets you must get on, and all the food that you should eat and what you must not. However, a lot of information can sometimes also be extremely misleading! Ace celebrity nutritionist, Rujuta Diwekar, sheds light on WHAT the fault in your diet is…
Rujuta Diwekar is an extremely well-known name in the health circuit. She is the designated nutritionist (or rather the miracle maker) to many Bollywood celebrities, and also the woman responsible for Kareena Kapoor’s post-pregnancy figure. She has consulted budding stars like Alia Bhatt and Varun Dhawan too and guided them on their quest for a healthier weight.
But her health and nutrition magic is not restricted to celebs; it works for everyone! She has broken various diet and weight loss myths that affect the regular Indian woman, through her books like ‘Don’t lose your mind, lose your weight’ and ‘Women and the weight loss tamasha’. Her inputs have helped us access information for a healthier lifestyle and actually make it possible.
The Indian Weight Loss Journey – Where Do We Go Wrong?
With increasing inclination towards achieving a healthy body and losing the excess weight, a lot of people are falling into the vicious cycle of what’s called as diet ‘fads’! We have started looking for more expensive and not so easily accessible food sources like quinoa and kale – foods which an average Indian would have perhaps not even heard of two years ago.
Rujuta, however, emphasises the nutrient value and the potential of ‘Indian superfoods’ – locally sourced and extremely healthy. Indian dietary habits are different from the West and therefore changing the whole pattern of your diet suddenly can actually do more harm than good.
Here’s everything you MUST KNOW about these 6 Indian foods before you decide to say NO to them! Ditching them can actually be counter-productive for your weight loss goals!
1. Ghee will increase cholesterol
Ghee is considered to be fattening and unhealthy and is shunned because it apparently increases cholesterol levels. However, Ghee has been used in Ayurveda and Indian cooking for a long time and has a ton of benefits – from efficiency in burning fat to protecting the gastrointestinal system. You’ll also be surprised to know – ghee helps balance cholesterol levels and not increase them! So do yourself a favour and don’t cut out Ghee, or as the West calls it – clarified butter – from your diet!
Watch: Kareena Kapoor shares the benefits of eating ghee, why Indian cuisine is her favourite and how she stays healthy:
2. Rice is a meal full of carbs
With carbs being painted as the villain in our weight loss journey, rice is commonly shunned as a meal of carbs. However, rice is also rich in important vitamins and amino acids along with carbs which you might be missing out on. Additionally, cutting out carbs completely leaves your body unable to produce instant energy and can result in hypoglycaemia or low blood sugar. This is harmful not just for your weight loss mission but also for your overall health.
3. Sugar should be avoided
As surprising as it may sound, sugar is actually a super food and not a no-no for weight loss! Sugar in India comes from sugar cane, and along with jaggery, is beneficial in improving digestion, fertility and complexion! So what about those ‘No Sugar’ warnings? Rujuta says, “The problem is not sugar. The problem is processed and packaged food that is high on sugar, particularly since this form of sugar is mostly derived from high fructose corn syrup, which is linked to obesity.”
Therefore, sugar in moderate quantity (The World Health Organisation says we can have six to 12 teaspoons of sugar a day) is actually good for your health – don’t go about missing on your share of sweetness!
4. Bananas and Mangoes aren’t beneficial fruits
Totally false! Yes, all fruits have fructose – but they also have various essential nutrients that the body needs. Also, eating local fruits like Banana and Mango instead of Blueberries and Kiwi is better for your digestion as your body is more accustomed to these fruits. Better digestion means better metabolism, which directly boosts your weight loss goals.
5. Full Fat Dahi
A lot of us look for terms like ‘fat-free’ when eating food while on our diets. For the sake of fat-free, we end up going for packaged dahi instead of homemade full-fat dahi. However, full-fat dahi actually has benefits that aid weight loss – from improved metabolism and digestion to reducing bloating! These benefits are usually missing from the store-bought dahi. So when you want that flat tummy, full-fat dahi is just what you need!
Did You Know: Skipping ‘high-fat’ food and opting for ‘diet’ foods is actually bad for you! A study published in the journal Physiology & Behavior states that diet products that state they contain low or no fat may have a higher amount of sugar that could make you fat! “Most so-called diet products containing low or no fat have an increased amount of sugar and are camouflaged under fancy names, giving the impression that they are healthy, but the reality is that those foods may damage the liver and lead to obesity as well,” said the study’s principal investigator Krzysztof Czaja, Associate Professor at University of Georgia in the US.
6. Skip the cashews or peanuts to lose weight
Finally, this is possibly one of the most common health myths many of us believe in our weight loss journey. But Rujuta says on cashews, coconuts or peanuts, “Vegetarian food is zero on cholesterol and we have been fooled into believing otherwise by everyone – from the doctors to the media and everyone in between.”
Cashews are rich in nutrients like essential fats and proteins. Your body needs them when it is trying to get fitter and get adjusted to your exercising or other physical activities. Next time when you’re eating cashews or peanuts – do it guilt-free!
Did you notice one common thing about the foods on the above list? All the foods listed above are locally sourced! Studies show that locally sourced fruits, grains and vegetables are far more nutritious than the rest. Our grandmas always insisted on the nutritional benefits of the regular ‘dal-chawal’ and ‘roti-sabzi’ – and indeed, that’s the key towards maintaining a balanced diet.
Next time you’re sitting down for a meal, listen to the expert and do not feel guilty when you add that spoonful of ghee in your bowl of dal! Indian foods are key to weight loss and good health, and the experts vouch for it too!
‘Healthy’ Foods That Are Actually Bad For You
Instead: Choose wheat flakes in place of cornflakes for a healthier morning.
Instead: Eat jaggery. It is the best alternative to sugar as it is unrefined and actually provides nutrition.
Instead: You’re better off buying that yummy bar of butter or even better, picking ghee over anything else!
Instead: You can choose to make your own granola with rolled oats, nuts, raisins and fresh fruit! All you have to is roast and mix and enjoy.
Instead: Snack on some unsalted nuts and raisins to complement your evening chai!
Instead: Fruit is your best alternative to these bars.
Instead: Have the whole fruit to load up on goodness.
Instead: Take a power nap when you are short on energy and drink plenty of water. Crunching on an apple too is known to help beat the drowsiness.
The #RDfitnessproject2018 by Rujuta Diwekar
Wondering how to incorporate Rujuta’s advice for your weight loss?
Well, Rujuta shares the answer herself. With the new year, Rujuta has started a fitness challenge – #RDfitnessproject2018 where anyone can join – at no costs!
Rujuta shares a tip/habit every Tuesday on her social media handles that will help you reach your fitness goals. Simply incorporate the tip into your lifestyle – one at a time, and before you know it you’ll be well on your way to a healthier life!
We’ve compiled the tips from the first three weeks below for your convenience:
The fitness project 2018 – Week 1 guidelineWelcome to a one of its kind open participation public health project. i am…
The fitness project 2018 – Week 2 GuidelineFrom the shastras to your nanis and dadis and now even the Sunday Mail of…
The fitness project 2018 – Week 3 guidelineWell, all talk about fitness is useless if it doesn’t make you rethink the…
You can keep up with the #RDfitnessproject2018 here and follow it on Rujuta’s Facebook page.
Do let us know how well the challenge worked for you below! All the best!