Learning to eat well may initially need a diet – a series of diets that will be the bridge that finally leads you to a potent changed lifestyle that you can carry on forever hence, the diet you choose will have to be a good one. When health experts say good, they actually mean ‘apt’ – customised to your body type, that works to reduce food residue in your body to a minimum, keep your digestive condition at its best and delivers energy, good sleep and nutrition.
In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Anupama Menon, Nutritionist, Health Coach, Founder and Director of Right Living in Bangalore, said, “There is only one rule in choosing that starting point – that there is no one rule that fits all. No single diet will work for everyone. Whether it is intermittent fasting or a ketogenic diet or a high protein diet, or any diet off the block. Every individual’s body is different and has to be treated as such. The idea of losing weight or getting your health back on track is that you don’t retrace your steps, you never go back to square one and the benefits you have achieved never get undone.”
She advised, “First, it’s important to understand if there are any imbalances in the body, specifically those related to inflammation, gut, hormones, stress and blood markers, as these can greatly impede your results. You need not stop yourself from eating out or your most desired foods – be it those fried goodies or desi sweets – they can all find their way into your menu. Without fear. You can exercise to stay fit (maybe 4-5 times a week for 45 minutes) and yet maintain your weight and health. You need not tear yourself with workouts in the pursuit of extensive results. This kind of engagement with your food, health and exercise may take time. It may take effort but your body is too precious to have it done any other way.”
Bringing her expertise to the same, Ritika Agarwal, Nutritionist, Health Coach and Founder of The Mint Enfold, said, “I am all for a balanced diet with all the macros thrown in, as I believe that we need nutrients from all the food groups in certain amounts. I don’t necessarily believe in counting calories; rather I would focus on where the calories are coming from. Not all carbs are bad. Focus on the good ones – the more complex ones, the whole grains with all the fibre, the veggies and the greens. Having said that, of course moderation is the key without going overboard with any one food or food group and that’s where mindfulness and a holistic approach to eating comes in.”
Neha Patodia, Nutrimend Founder and Head Nutritionist, echoed, “The most commonly asked question to a health expert is “which is the best diet?” The answer to this is there’s no best diet. There is no one size that fits all. People are diverse in regards to body type, tastes and preferences,budget, time availability, nutrition knowledge. Hence, there’s no way one could help all these folks make incremental improvements in their eating with “one” diet plan. The diet plan that will work the best is the one that is formulated after listening to one’s needs, what one wants to accomplish, how one lives, what’s really important to them. Also, working on long term habits is always better than just following a set plan. Diet plans have expiry dates, habits stay with us for life. Hence, habit-based coaching is always better than diet-based coaching.”