In his Instagram biography he calls himself a “Fat Loss Ninja”, and rightly so, as the famous nutritionist Siddhant Bhargava reveals that the most common query he receives from his clients is “How much weight can I lose in a month?“. But he is quick to add that there are certain things to follow weight loss journeyas it shares the most important thing to remember for sustainable weight loss.
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The expert, who advises healthy diet plans on actors like Alia Bhatt and Sara Ali Khan, recently released her podcast on Audible entitled “What is the lifestyle‘, in which he shared diet and lifestyle tips. In a similar vein, he spoke with indianexpress.com about his latest project, Indian diet, famous clients and more.
Healthy eating can be subjective depending on health and body type. Given Indian eating habits, can you devise a generalized “healthy eating plan”?
Given the Indian vegetarian diet, what we lack most is protein. I can give you many things we can do, but first we need to start with the one and only important element: protein. Whether it comes from dal, paneer or soy, everyone should start giving much more importance to the amount of protein you consume. Once you do, you will notice that many lifestyle and health related issues go away protein it is the building block of life, and is important for cell repair and regeneration-degeneration. So, by doing this simple diet change, we will go a long way.
Weight loss has always been a hot topic. What are the things to do and not to do when it comes to it?
Both, when it comes to losing weight, are what you need eat lots of protein. Second, you need to stop eating unhealthy foods, and three, you need to exercise at least 3-4 times a day, because when it comes to losing weight, there is only so much you can diet. It should be noted that a diet will extend over time as you can only eat a lot. Thus, despite being in a calorie deficient diet if you don’t burn calories, weight loss will be difficult.
They don’t include staying away from fashions and trying to lose weight too fast. A healthy rate for losing weight is 2kg a month, which most people think is too little but it really isn’t. It is, in fact, sustainable weight loss which will not return. The third thing is that you shouldn’t try to find shortcuts and “magic drinks or pills” to lose weight – they can help you lose a few pounds, but they will affect your metabolism in a bad way. Also, the weight will come back.
The only formula you swear by when it comes to losing weight.
A caloric deficit. Nothing is more important than that calories inputs versus calories out. No matter what you eat, a caloric deficit is paramount.
The pandemic has changed our eating habits in many ways. What have been the pros and cons of it?
In the pandemic, people have done it he started cooking a lot more, and I think having control over what you eat is very important. I say that because when you buy from the outside, you don’t know what kind of ingredients in how much have been used – people add a lot more fat to make the food tastier. But when you’re cooking at home, it gets a lot easier, as you have control over everything, including the amount and type of ingredients you want to use. Second, people have also become much more aware and have begun to prioritize their health much more. And I think our podcast on Audible, ‘Kya Lifestyle Hai’, fits perfectly into that concept. Teaching people to make small changes in their lifestyle to create a greater and more dynamic effect on their longevity and quality of life is the way forward. I think everyone should make smarter decisions.
There are many diets, from intermittent fasting to the Keto and the Mediterranean; Do you recommend any diets to customers? If so, what and why?
It depends on what your goals are. Sometimes, I recommend a Ketogenic diet because it is really useful for many people who suffer PCOS, pre-diabetes and those who cannot control the amount of carbohydrates they consume. But, it also has its drawbacks as it is a restrictive and difficult diet to follow. So in most cases I don’t suggest a diet, what I do is ask my clients to have a calorie deficit by eating less and exercising more, as weight loss is a calorie deficit. It’s just about making decisions where you can reduce your calories and increase your calorie burning a little more – a philosophy will take you a long way.
The only (Indian) food that is highly undervalued, and why?
Yogurt or dahi; it is a food I have been consuming all my life and I feel it is very underrated. People keep talking about milk, but yogurt is one of the best sources of fats, probiotics, and protein.
The most common query you receive from your clients and the advice you usually give.
The most common query I get is, “How much weight can I lose in a month?” and I always suggest the healthy way to lose weight: 2kg a week or a month. But sometimes people want to lose weight faster and I try to live up to their expectations. Although many times, they have unrealistic goals, for example 3-44 kg per month, so I try to satisfy it.
You often work with celebrities who have to lose and also gain weight depending on the characters they play. Doing so regularly can be harmful to the body. In these scenarios, what do you recommend to ensure that transitions are always healthy?
I will always recommend healthy transitions, but often do not have time to do so. For example, if they have to shoot for a movie where they have to lose 20kg in 5 months, we have to do it. That’s why the life of a celebrity is not easy. They are not always the healthiest people around; but they have to do what they have to do. It’s just the nature of their business and sometimes they have to put their long-term health aside and think about short-term goals.
The only famous customer you have the most fun working with?
Alia Bhatt, always. He is the best person to work for, more receptive and more aware. She is the best client anyone can work with.
Health tips for staying healthy during the summer; and how can it be prepared to strengthen immunity in monsoons?
For the summer, it always will be hydrate more. With rising temperatures, hydration becomes a key because if you are dehydrated, you feel weak, tired and your mental productivity low. When we talk about hydration, water alone is not enough, we need to have electrolytes; coconut water has become my favorite. For monsoons, being aware of where the food comes from is important due to the increase in food poisoning. Do not have raw food in the monsoons it’s something I’ve been following for a long time. But if you’re at home and you wash raw food and cook it yourself, you’re fine.
Can you tell us about the podcast, and how is the information different from what you share on your social media?
‘What is the lifestyle‘it’s different because it’s purely audio, unlike when I share information on other platforms where you see my face and you see me emote. But, there is a certain charm to an audio podcast. Here, you are more immersed in what I am telling you, in the way I am narrating and talking to you. Somehow, it becomes like a 3D experience with headphones connected. We’ve all been looking at screens so much that we’re tired of consuming video information and I think that’s a good change as we get to consume some health. information based on this mode.
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