Women & The Weight Loss Tamasha by Rujuta Diwekar
Celebrity nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar adopts a common sense approach to nutrition and weight loss in her book Women & The Weight Loss Tamasha. The lady responsible for Kareena Kapoor’s hot bod puts her fitness mantras in the book.
The nutritionist who taught us that simply eating is the key to a fab body is back with a comprehensive book on women, food and everything in between. From puberty to marriage, from pregnancy to menopause. Rujuta Diwekar was at Reliance TimeOut store in Cunningham Road to launch her latest book ‘Women & the Weight Loss Tamasha’. The book even has a personal note written by the famous actor Kareena Kapoor.
In the book, Rujuta explains in detail the changes women go through (and God knows as Indian women we go through way beyond just hormonal — husband, in-laws, children, career, etc.) and how what we do (or don't) during these phases affects our overall well-being. Building on her four principles of eating right from Don’t Lose Your Mind, Lose Your Weight, she goes on to share her four strategies (Nutrition, Exercise, Sleep and Relationships) for each of these phases and especially the lifestyle disorders of PCOD, hypothyroid and diabetes. Rujuta, in her usual indomitable style, debunks (rubbishes rather) myths related to food, hormones and workouts, forces us to rethink our belief that pregnancy, menopause, hypothyroid, etc come in the way of losing weight and reveals just how easy it is to remain healthy, strong and fit through one’s life.
Apart from discussing her latest book, the event also saw Rujuta sharing her views on the importance of good health and the need to maintain it especially among women. Rujuta Diwekar enlightened the public with tips for healthy living as well as cleared various myths on dieting and fitness.
In the plethora of diet fads and fears, Rujuta s voice rings loud and clear, urging us to use our common sense and un-complicate the act of eating. With over a decade of experience working with people from all walks of life, she has fine-tuned her methods to the real issues facing urban Indians. In an exclusive chat, Rujuta talks about her magic mantras of eating right and adopting a healthy lifestyle. Excerpts from the conversation:
MyBangalore.com: To begin with, tell us about the book. How much research has gone into it?
The book is about the changes women go through and how these phases affects our overall well-being. As time passes we change the way we treat ourselves, especially women tend to ignore their health after pregnancy. The book aims to help all women out of this mindset. I want people to go beyond weight loss and focus on adopting a healthy lifestyle. Also a lot of research has gone into this book; whatever I’ve learnt in the last 33 years is in the book.
What is the best way to go about eating?
You need to take a close look at your habits and evaluate them to see if you're making the healthiest and wisest choices. Nothing is taboo as long as you eat in moderation. Also fad diets will get you nowhere because you're reducing your calorie intake only temporarily. But over the long term, they don't work because you're not changing your overall habits. One should incorporate a lot of fresh and locally produced fruits and vegetables in their diet; also rely on your instincts when it comes to eating, don’t overdo it.
What are the popular myths about food, weight and nutrition?
Some of the most common myths relating to weight loss is skipping meals or spending more hours in the gym. Also there is a notion that all one has to do is reduce their food intake, exercise and they will lose weight. Weight loss may improve bio-markers temporarily, but in the long run, improvements are not sustained. It’s very important for people to understand that the quality of food or your workout matters more than quantity. Dieting comes with its own set of health issues, and this is a fact that many health professionals don’t want to acknowledge.
Exercise or diet, what is more important?
Exercise and diet are like the two sides of the same coin. To ask me to choose which is more important is like asking a mother to choose the favourite between her two children. If you want to be healthy and have a toned body, then you must eat right and exercise at least thrice a week.
What are the four principles of eating right, as you’ve mentioned in the book?
1. Don’t drink tea or coffee first thing in the morning. Eat fresh fruits
2. Eat every two hours.
3. Eat more when you are more active and less when you are less active.
4. Last meal should be at least 2 hours prior to bedtime.
What is your take on Size-Zero?
Size Zero is just a creation of the media, such a size doesn’t exist. Size Zero is just a garment size that can be found in a retail store. In fact this is what prompted me to write my first book, I wanted to dispel all the myths about weight loss and emphasize on healthy eating.
You also provide marathon training, how did you get started with it?
I worked with Anil Ambani for the 2005 Mumbai marathon, and the whole experience was very refreshing. So I started a marathon training program for beginners in 2006. The running community across India is growing and if people wanted to train for marathons and runs, there was no proper setup to help them out. We conduct marathon program that starts every year in October and is in a 14-week format for beginners as well as experienced runners.
What are your future plans?
I don’t really plan the future, but as of now I’m busy promoting the book. Also in April we are organizing a group wellness retreat in Darjeeling. It’ll be a one of its kind retreat with structured activities, learning sessions about your body and its ever-changing nutrition requirements and a peak into the life in the Himalaya. The crux of the trip will be the daily learning sessions (on food and nutrition) and structured activities (runs, Yoga, Core strength and balancing, etc). The focus will be on imparting the right information on planning your meals and work-outs that you can bring back and implement in your day to day life.
Avoid drinking tea/coffee first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Opt for a healthy breakfast of fruits, dry fruits, milk.
Say no to aerated drinks.
Don’t check your weight everyday, infact throw away the scale.
Avoid late dinners
Don’t leave long gaps between meals
Do not use tea/coffee/cigarettes/alcohol as appetite suppressants.
Do not over exercise in a hurry to lose weight.
Do not use food that comes packaged in plastic
Eat seasonal foods. Nature makes certain foods available at a particular time because these foods are at the peak of their nutritional value during that season.
Sugar is always a better option than a sweetener. Anything that is artificially made is not good for your body.
Work out for more than an hour at least thrice a week.
Eat in peace, not in pieces.
Relish what you eat, no point stuffing yourself with something you don't like.
Stay away from anything that says low-fat, low-sugar. Certain fats are necessary.
Most importantly finish dinner by 7.30
The book 'Women & the Weight Loss Tamasha’ and the audio Cds are priced at Rs. 200 each and is available at all leading bookstores.