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Home Life Style The same diet cannot help everyone: Food and Wellness Coach Anupama Menon

The same diet cannot help everyone: Food and Wellness Coach Anupama Menon

Anupama Menon is not a regular wellness coach. She gives you a perspective which shakes many of your previous beliefs about food and diet. She offers no weight loss solution, but she promises to ‘fix you and change your life for the better. She believes everybody has a secret that one needs to unlock, after which a personalized approach in terms of what you eat, when you eat and most importantly how much you eat goes on to define your overall health and lifestyle. She has been consulting individuals & corporate clients where she suggests nutrition plans with a focus on many significant factors including weight and fat loss, in-depth understanding of supplemental science, healing & therapy resulting in long term health benefits.

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Anupama encourages people to develop an appetite towards gene and enzyme led approaches for a holistic lifestyle that is proven to be beneficial. No two people are the same and hence their diet and exercise regime cannot and should not be the same either believes Anupama. We spoke to her at length about food, nutrition, weight loss and holistic living and this is what we learnt from her. Excerpts:

What’s your approach to nutrition? How is it different?

We take so much time choosing our clothes, but when it comes to diet, we follow the latest fad, without thinking if it would suit us. One has to understand that all bodies are different and so is their requirement. There are two systems that define our body. The first one is the digestive system-it is largely related to our gut and the kind of bacteria that colonise it. The second is the enzyme system-these are the chemicals present in the body that help in digestion. In fact the process of digestion begins even before the food enters our body. The mere smell of food begins the process of secretion of digestive enzymes. Based on these, individual bodies differ from each other. Some people process carbs better, others are better in processing proteins. Hence we follow the approach based on a person’s body type and nutrition requirement and do not give tailor made charts to people.

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What are some of the most common mistakes that people commit on the path of losing weight?

The first and the biggest mistake is that people give a target to themselves in losing weight-like they want to lose 10 kgs in one month or 15 days. Weight loss should be gradual and holistic and any drastic loss is not good for the body. The second mistake is food fidgeting. People think that junk food is what comes out of packets or what you eat out. But even eating an apple or a piece of dark chocolate when you are not hungry is junk for your body. Meal gaps are important as your body needs time to digest food and then take some rest. Third is sleep. Not sleeping enough has become a metabolic disease. People sleep at 2-2.30 am and then wake up late. And then they complain that they feel tired all the time. It is important to have 7-8 hours of sleep and you must sleep at a fixed time and wake up at a fixed time. During weekdays, make your schedule as boring as possible. And only then you’ll see the change that you want to see in your health. And last is exercise. there is no need to immediately start a vigorous exercise regime. Plan your workout and be steady about it. And lastly, giving up on dairy, or gluten without knowing whether they are good or bad for you. There is no research to prove that the food that we had been comfortably eating since centuries is now causing diseases in our body.

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What do you think should be a one-day meal plan for a working individual on a weight loss journey?

Start your day with minimum foods. You should have a simple meal with just 3-4 ingredients in your breakfast. A meal with 10-12 ingredients would be too much for your body to cope up with. Start adding more foods as your day progresses. Foods have a lot to do with your mood. You can have rice/dal and subzee, dahi in the afternoon and at night you can have phulka, dal and vegetables. Follow a diet that’s easy and simple.

Is sugar as bad as it is slated to be? Or has it just fallen out of favour like eggs and ghee once did?

Sara Gottfried in The Hormone Reset Diet, says that there are certain foods that are additives. For example sugar, milk, coffeene and alcohol. Although I do not agree with her that all may be bad for everyone. But you can eliminate these one by one and check what suits you.Sugar does have empty calories and too much of it can cause insulin resistance. But then again some tolerate it way better than others. It is advisable to reduce the amount of white sugar in your diet.

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What are those five simplest tips following which any one can lose weight?

1. Take care of your gut. Some foods that you might be consuming may have a damaging impact on your gut. You can try finding this out by gradually eliminating certain foods from your diet until you find out what does not suit you 2. Don’t starve and don’t overeat. 3. Be aware of what you eat and carefully notice what you are eating is helping your body or harming it. And lastly, keep a journal. It sounds simple, but trust me it does help.

What are those few things parents should never do while taking care of the nutrition of kids?

If you want your kids to eat healthy, you have to eat healthy first. Make eating an enjoyable experience for the, . Do not restrict anything. Just limit foods that are unhealthy. Also, do not overfeed. It never helps.

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