Diet

An Exclusive Interview with Ms.Deepshikha Agarwal – Corporate Dietician and Sports Nutritionist

An Interview with Ms Deepshikha Agarwal, an Indian, Mumbai-based Dietitian and Sports Nutritionist Ms Deepshikha Agarwal is an Indian and a Mumbai-based Dietitian and Sports Nutritionist. She is associated with various hospitals, corporate companies and conducts wellness workshops. Also a health writer, she writes nutrition related columns in some leading newspapers and various health magazines. For any further assistance one can contact at:Clinic

 


Address:
Shree Siddhivinayak Polyclinic
101, Marve link bldg, Behind Old uncle’ss kitchen,
Malad (West). Mumbai-400064. India.
Telephone Numbers: 022 28825449/28825893
Email Address: deepshikha_dietician at yahoo dot co dot in 

Interviewed by Sukumar

Q) Could you tell us a little bit about your background? What made you take up a career as a dietitian and sports nutritionist?
A) I am a graduate in Dietetics and Post graduate in a very rare subject called Sports Science and Nutrition. There is only one college in India which has this world renowned Sports Nutrition course. I have also done a detailed study (thesis) on Fitness of our Indian athletes. But unfortunately, our Indian athletes do not give much importance to nutrition and presently I am a consulting dietitian in many renowned corporate companies, hospitals. Being an avid reader I also have passion for writing.
In my family, all are in different professions like one is an engineer, other a charted accountant, business man etc but from childhood I always had an interest in medical field. I am a big foody. I love eating, experimenting with food, and cooking. Therefore the subject interests me a lot and that time I decided to take up a career as a dietitian and sports nutritionist. So now when I am at work, I really enjoy myself and never get tried as I love what I am doing, which is very important.

Q) What does your workout routine look like?
A) Being fit is very important for me, not just externally but also internally — that is being physically, mentally and socially fit. I make sure that there is some or the other physical activity in my daily routine. I don’st have fixed time or activity for my day. My mood decides my activity. I regularly change my activity routine to avoid exercise burnout and boredom. Like I go for a jog a couple of days, gym or yoga another and go for some sports activity like squash or badminton on the weekend. In fact, one should always seek out new activities every now and then.

Q) How do you keep your energy levels up during the day?
A) I take a conscious effort to eat small meals at regular intervals. I watch out for hidden fats. I make sure to have a seasonal fruit in my bag which I can grab whenever time permits. I always keep my body hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. For me, rest is an important factor to keep my metabolic rate high. Therefore I try to go to bed early, try to have at least 7 hrs of sound sleep per day. And last but not the least, my daily exercise (which I never miss) keeps me energized through out the day.

Q) When you conduct fitness workshops, what are the common problems employees come up with?
A) I mainly conduct workshops for corporate companies where employees are working at least 10 hours a day. Most common complains which I get to hear during my workshops are low energy levels, headaches, decreased concentration, irritability, hypertension, obesity, anxiety and sleep deprivation due to loads of stress. Many tend to skip their main meals due to lack of time and thus giving rise to stomach ailments like poor digestion, low immunity, acidity. People confined to the chair in their cubicle all day know how frequently they’sre forced to lean forward to examine the computer screen in front of them– leading to loss of flexibility, strained muscles, backache, neck pain, and frozen shoulders. In short, this in totality affects their efficiency towards work, thus affecting the productivity of a company or organization.

Q) Can you suggest a practical diet plan to stay healthy, which we can follow on a daily basis?
A) Healthy eating habits travel more easily than one thinks. Remember they make a fit body, thus helping us to not only live longer but to also lead a better quality of life. One must have at least 5 meals a day in which three can be the main meals i.e. breakfast, lunch and dinner, while other two meals can consist of foods which are handy and nutritious at the same time — like a fruit. Eating frequently prevents hunger pangs, provides consistent energy, and maintains metabolism efficiency. One should always start their day with few glasses of warm water. This can be followed by a healthy breakfast. Breakfast provides 20% – 25% of nutrition required by the body. Therefore never skip this meal and make it as healthy as possible. In breakfast one can have perfect combination of protein and carbohydrates like 2 egg white omelet with 3 – 4 slice of brown bread or a bowl of sprouts with snacks like pohe or upma or some whole wheat cereals. While in afternoon eat a whole some lunch comprising of full meal (chappati , rice , dal/non veg curries,bhaji,curds).But during dinner time try and have light dinner by saying no- no to starchy foods like rice , potato ,bananas etc. Make sure to have a bowl of salad or soup in dinner. Always eat grilled, baked, boiled or broiled food rather fried foods. Instead of cake or pastries, fresh fruits with yogurt and honey dressing or just a mix bowl of fresh fruits can be an ideal dessert.

Q) What do you think are the greatest misconceptions about weight loss and fitness?
A) Images and words in the media have changed the meaning of fitness – it tells people that being thin means they are beautiful and fit. I have observed many teens turn to dieting to try to change their bodies and feel better about them, and therefore opt for weight loss methods that are not healthy. Today our society seems to be less healthy and under more stress than ever. Some of the most common myths relating to weight loss I have heard is skipping meals or fasting is the best way to lose weight, Nuts are fattening in nature, Spending more hours in the gym leads to better results. While the fact is just the opposite. It’ss very important for people to understand that the quality of food or your workout matters more than quantity. Eat and train smarter, not harder.

Q) The tummy fat is often the most stubborn and difficult to get rid of. Can you give us some suggestions to deal with this problem?
A) The best way to lose abdominal fat is to eat right and exercise regularly. One should do 30 or 40 minutes of cardio (jogging, swimming, cycling etc) at least 3 – 4 times in a week accompanied with some crunches and sit – ups. In case of diet, get rid of carbonated drinks and processed or tinned foods as they are loaded with salt and saturated fats. Avoid pickles, papad ,soya sauce , chili sauce, salted nuts, salt in salads . Incorporate more fiber into the diet. Drinking lots of water, at least 10 large glasses per day is great to detox ones body and get optimum results.

Q) What do you think people who are obese should do to start their journey to become fit?
A) It’ss very important for the people to understand that body is the vehicle of all one’ss deeds. For the body to have any chance of keeping up with the schedule, it is very important to supply it with some energy. And it has to be in a good condition for whatever one wants to do – working, talking or thinking. After all ‘Health is wealth’ kind of proverbs were not made in a day. Eating healthy is not that difficult. It just requires a little planning. Just as you need to know where and when you are going, similarly you need to know what you will be eating. Always remembers that if one fails to plan, one plans to fail. Plan your meals before hand and eat small meals at regular intervals. Start thinking consciously before putting anything in your mouth. Start taking a conscious decision to eat healthy, let’ss drink coconut water instead of cola and eat a fruit instead of a samosa when the urge to binge strikes.

Q) How do you keep yourself motivated to stay fit and healthy?
A) Eat to live, don’t live to eat. Yes, this is the mantra of my life now. It’ss an important lesson to learn. The reason we eat certain foods or indulge in certain junk foods is often far from being hungry. Some people eat to comfort themselves, some people eat for the pleasure of eating, the taste, texture, etc, but one really have to ask himself or herself, what should be the function of food in his/her life. One should shift the focus of food as entertainment to food being what fuels the body because too much is bad and the body won’t function properly. Changing the attitude towards food is important if one wants to succeed in any diet. Always remember our nutrition determines how we look, act and feel – ‘You are what you eat’.

Q) Being a corporate dietitian, sports nutritionist, and a writer – you must be having a busy schedule. How do you balance your career and personal life?
A) I am a much disciplined person or you can say organized person. As I said before, planning is very important I myself also practice it and try to craft my schedule a week before so that I am well prepared to whatever is coming up. I have some deadlines which I follow like after a particular time I don’st work. I make sure to dedicate one day per week to my family completely. This practice is a good stress buster for me and I feel everybody should follow it. It helps to be mentally fit.

Q) Is there anything else you would like to add?
A) Nothing in particular. I would just like to say Eat smart and Stay healthy.

Thank you Ms. Deepshikha Agarwal.

6 responses to An Exclusive Interview with Ms.Deepshikha Agarwal – Corporate Dietician and Sports Nutritionist

  1. Keep it up deepshikha…..Thats really inspiring and very informative.

  2. learnt many things from dat interview……..

    Thnx

  3. hey excellent.the tips r quite helpful..i have already started practising ..very practical tips .thank u.

  4. VOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. hi
    being into same career(clinical nutritionist),really appreciate yor achievements…………keep it up

  6. I have done MLT & 2 Yrs diploma in Family Nutrition And Dietetics. Please advice me what to be done as I want to go under dietician practice in gyms.

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