When celebrity nutritionist Pooja Makhija first thought of writing a book, she thought it would be a piece of cake.
“I thought I’d just translate all I said during consultations into written words. But my sister took one look at the first chapter and said, it’s a textbook, no one is going to read it,” she recalls.
Having helped shape the bodies of stars as physically diverse as Deepika Padukone, Vidya Balan, Sonam Kapoor and Sushmita Sen, Makhija now wants to help every woman from Malabar Hill to Manipal.
“I wrote Eat.Delete using the same techniques that I use for client consultations. I ask the readers, are you ready to change the way you think about food?, are you ready to lose weight?” she says, adding, “I wanted to focus on nutrition, and how each element plays an important role in your daily life. The biggest challenge was to break existing myths. Mantras like carbs are bad are so deeply entrenched, that they’ve become the truth.”
Makhija lists the weight-loss myths she hates the most, and why you should never fall for these food farces.
You can lose weight by starving
The nutritionist says, “When I first prescribe a diet plan, clients look horrified, saying, how am I going to lose weight if I eat so much?”
She explains that feeding the body the right nutrients at regular intervals keeps your systems healthy and metabolism high, which in turn results in weight loss.
Avoid carbs like maida
Makhija can’t understand why maida has been slaughtered without a fair trial.
“I’m not saying it’s the best thing, but it’s part of so many food preparations from biscuits and bread to pasta, that we can’t afford to dread it. You need to have variety, because the body can’t live on roti-sabzi forever.”
Whole-wheat is better than white bread
Makhija feels this trend is over-glorified.
“Even brown bread has 90 per cent maida. What’s the point?” she asks, adding, “The research on which bread is better was sponsored by companies that manufacture whole-grain food. The amount of extra nutrients is so minuscule that there’s no point fighting for it.”
Vidya Balan approached Makhija to get fitter without losing her curves. So far, she’s had to lose weight, put it back on for The Dirty Picture (2011) and lose it again.
Problem: Severe acidity, weight gain caused by irregular eating habits, lack of sleep
Start the day with a proper amount of food.
Eat the right nutrients so that the diet helps tone the body.
Cut out caffeine and tea to control acidity.
Despite having one of the fittest bodies in Bollywood, Deepika Padukone wanted to look bikini ready for her role in Cocktail.
Problem: Irregular meals, fear of food
A rock-solid meal schedule to ensure eating every two hours, amounting to almost 10 meals a day.
Look for healthier alternatives to cravings.
Eat proper portions so that the body doesn’t remain hungry.