Get rid of assumptions

Health coach and nutritionist – Neha Ranglani debunks myths on what makes us lose or gain weight in a new fitness show. By Team Viva

Your skinny best friend seems to eat twice as much as you. But you’re still overweight. Why? For decades, experts thought they had the answer — too many calories and not enough exercise. But the latest scientific research is turning those assumptions down. Differences in our individual biology — our genetics, hormones or psychology — all play a crucial role.

The show Why Do I Put on Weight follows five volunteers who go on diets tailored to their bodies and brains. They’re just like us, normal people who experience weight gains and losses. Combining science with engaging personal stories, this experiment might change the way you think about diet. If you thought long term weight loss was impossible, you need to rethink.

Given the current situation, people are dealing with a lot of physical and mental health challenges. The show Why Do I Put on Weight talks about the different factors behind weight gain. What’s your take on that?

We always think weight gain is a food related problem but in reality there are various other factors that play a role in fat gain and loss process, such as genetics, biology, stress, psychology and more. And given the situation, the health challenges have increased because the gyms were shut, there weren’t any proper places to exercise, no proper routine and no sleep schedule. So, these are some of the reasons behind our weight gain.

As a nutritionist, what one advice would you give to someone who is on their weight loss journey?

My first advice would be to always keep a check on the stress levels as it’s very important to be stress free. Even in this show we have discussed factors that affect your health. Your attitude, emotions, mental state, psychological well-being, everything matters in the weight loss journey. It is also important to have a proper routine and stop binge eating. During the lockdown most of us had a lot of time in our hands, so we consumed a lot of junk food in free time, which affects your health. So it is very important to have a mindful approach towards the diet. In turn, we should add more of fruits, raw veggies, salads, and nuts in our diet.

It is believed that in the process of weight loss, 30 per cent depends on exercise and the rest 70 per cent is diet. Is this a myth or a reality?

It is a reality; the fact is that activity and some kind of exercise is very important. But nowadays people have made exercising a mere trend. And now we all have a sedentary lifestyle, mostly working on gadgets. Hence there is less of body movement. Such a lifestyle demands frequent movement and regular exercises. There are different kinds of exercises one can opt for — Yoga, pilates, HIIT, cardio and others.

What is your take on packaged and processed food available in the market that claims to be heathy?

With the advent of advertising and marketing, the food industry always tries to manipulate and tempt people to try their products which are claimed to be healthy by them. However, I think homemade and natural foods are more sustainable, affordable and nourishing comparatively. All these processed foods with preservatives sold in the name of health are the reasons why we gain more fat in our body. Hence, homemade food is the best choice.

How important is exercise for your body?

Our generation is not very active as our ancestors were. Earlier we didn’t have house helps, or lifts in building, people used to walk long distances, that’s the reason our ancestors lived a very active life. However, our lifestyle is completely different, we get everything at the tap of a button. This results in less movement which means higher need to exercise. If we don’t exercise, our muscles loosen up resulting in further complications. As we sit in one position, our back and abdomen muscles tend to weaken. I personally believe in yoga, its very strengthening. But one can also try variation of workouts between cardio, HIIT and yoga as workout in any form is important.

What are the five most important things one can keep in mind for a healthy lifestyle?

The utmost important thing is to consume right food and healthy drinks. Another important thing is get proper sleep as it determines your attitude, mood and mental health. Next is to maintain your stress levels and be aware of it. Lastly, its self-love. Don’t compare yourself, your lifestyle with others and never give out negative statements for your body. Your body is your house and power store.

(Watch the show on September 7 at 8 pm on Sony BBC Earth.)

Source: The Pioneer