In today’s day & age, it’s all about being fit. Be it at weddings or parties, you’re almost always met with questions like ‘Have you put on weight?’ While that may infuriate you, there’s something you can do about it! This is where top nutritional consultant, Jaydeep Bhuta comes in. Bhuta is a celebrity nutritional consultant specializing in diet control and fat loss. Team Optimist spoke to Jaydeep Bhuta. Excerpts…
Team Optimist: How did you come to this profession? How’s it different from that of a fitness trainer or a doctor?
Jaydeep Bhuta: It wasn’t planned, at all. I was just curious and wanted to understand nutrition and be aware of the nutritional facts. I mentored under several interesting people to solve my own health and weight loss issues. It’s one of my passions and I kept studying about this subject to help me get a better body and lose all the extra fat. That’s how I ended up in this profession. It was just about correcting my health and, eventually, I got an opportunity to help others. I feel it was God’s will that I enter this field.
Everybody can self-educate and study nutrition. It’s not rocket science. It’s a very easy subject… the way a doctor studies in his or her respective field, or a body trainer learns about biomechanics, or exercise science. It’s basically the same. You just need to put in some time. And, if it’s your passion, you’ll probably dive deeper. And that’s how it is… they’re just different subjects.
Team Optimist: Is natural weight loss a myth? Can an obese individual undergo weight loss?
Jaydeep Bhuta: Talking about weight loss or fat loss — the first thing that needs to be addressed is how a person puts on fat. There can be multiple reasons for an individual’s fat gain. They can be genetic, medical, or lifestyle issues, such as a sedentary lifestyle or eating junk food. This is how a person usually harms his or her health. And even small changes, such as adding exercise or activity, eating correctly and not having junk food can surely make a person leaner and healthier. So, for a person to undergo weight loss, the first and the most important thing is to educate oneself about what exactly weight loss is and what fat loss is and how they can be achieved.
If one randomly follows different pieces of advice from different people, it eventually leads to a lot of confusion. And, these days, everyone talks of weight loss and sells various supplements and products in the name of weight loss just to make quick money. That’s when a person may lose his morale trying to lose weight due to all his confusion. And, yes, every obese individual out there can definitely correct his or her health. Some may lose fat slowly compared with others because it depends on a person’s genetics. It’s a very interesting part of science and, once you educate yourself and become aware, fat loss and weight loss will become easy.
Team Optimist: It’s often said that crash diets are effective. Is crash diet harmful in the long run?
Jaydeep Bhuta: Crash-dieting is a term used to describe not eating anything, or force-starving oneself. I strongly feel it’s not the correct way, simply because, if someone wants to lose a lot of weight and stops eating, it’ll lead to a lot of weight loss, but it has an expiry. Once that person starts eating again and, if he or she is eating wrong, it might put them in a position in which they’ll gain all the lost weight back again.
Moreover, with crash-dieting, or force-starving, a person may even end up losing a lot of muscle tissues. Muscle tissues are very important for a human body because they’re metabolically active tissues and the moment you lose muscles, your metabolism falls, too. After this, it becomes even easier to put on fat, because your metabolism has been compromised. So, crash-dieting, or force-starving isn’t the way one should lose weight. A lot of people may even confuse crash-dieting with fasting, but the two are totally different concepts. Fasting isn’t something that’s done for a long period of time. After fasting, it’s very important to eat right and not indulge in junk food. Fasting, or intermittent fasting (IF), as people call it these days, helps individuals in various ways because you’re not forcing yourself to be hungry for long. So, opt for fasting instead of a crash diet as it’s very harmful in the long run causing extreme loss of muscle tissues. Even vitamins, minerals, micronutrients, good fat and proteins get compromised during long periods of crash-dieting.
Team Optimist: What’s your experience while working with celebrity clients? Do they call for quicker transformations?
Jaydeep Bhuta: Every person focused and determined to lose fat and correct one’s health is a celebrity in his or her field. But, if you’re talking about the film industry, then yes, they do, sometimes, come with requirements of faster transformations which are only for one reason. The movie they’re preparing for requires them to look a certain way and shed more weight in a few days. For this, I have to design a more difficult diet and a fitness regime, because that’s the only way out and the only way they can reach their goals. Fortunately, most of my clients (actors) that I work with are very focused and extremely motivated, so they’re always willing to put in that extra bit of hard work to achieve the desired body. And don’t forget, actors are usually more disciplined than those who don’t have to be on screen or show their body.
Team Optimist: Your suggestions for the younger generation who prefer fast-food over home-cooked food?
Jaydeep Bhuta: We’ve seen in the past two decades what fast-food options have done to human health. Many youngsters are facing metabolic issues and syndromes caused by fat gain or weight gain, leading to even polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), diabetes and high blood pressure. We’ve seen people getting heart ailments even at a very young age. All these issues arise because of the fried and junk food they keep eating. Fast food is the primary reason for us falling ill. Home-cooked food is definitely a better choice than eating outside, which could be unhygienic.
At the same time, I don’t believe that, just because you’re eating home-cooked meals, you’re eating healthy. Yes, the food at home is more hygienic. But, if you’re eating fried food at home and opt for a grilled tikka or paneer, it’s surely healthier than the fried street food, although, not necessarily, a healthy meal. Instead, if you eat a clean meal outside, grilled, or stir-fried vegetables, it’s much healthier than homemade fried food. Just make sure the place you go to is hygienic and the cooking process and conditions are clean.
Team Optimist: Should restaurant and cafés include low-carb menus? What’s ideal?
Jaydeep Bhuta: Indian restaurants and cafés should definitely include a low-carb menu, because half the world and half of India are now seeing the importance of that. They’re now aware of the benefits of a low-carb diet — whether it’s to treat diabetes, fat loss, or some metabolic syndrome, or for women to correct PCOS. So, every restaurant and café should include low-carb menus and this should be done by experts. A lot of restaurants and cafés sell low-carb products, which, in reality, are not low in carbohydrates, just to make money. These menus mislead as most people don’t really understand what ‘low carb’ really means. Instead, they just buy the products off the shelves at eateries because they have a ‘low carb’ label on them. So, a good and effective menu should be curated only by an expert. For instance, many people now sell chocolate-based moussés and brownies that state that it’s dark chocolate. But, just because it’s dark chocolate, it doesn’t mean it’s low in carbohydrates. So, having an expert on board while curating such a menu is important.