Nutritionist Pooja Makhija is your ultimate diet saviour. Your unbeatable mentor and guide, for healthy eating, everyday. A published author (Eat Delete; Eat Delete Junior and the soon coming up N for Nourish for 10-15 year olds), an internationally feted speaker at TedX, conferences, health panels, Pooja is an absolute delight to speak with as she steers her own brand, Nourish, with the ease of a born trailblazer. Humble, happy, honest, she sets the tone for a candid chat, sharing lovable insights into how she is bringing up her daughters, Ahaana, 14, and Amaira, 11.

Excerpts from the conversation:

You’re a celebarted nutritionist. How do you manage everything – balancing home, clinic, sessions with clients?

I come to the clinic (a cobbled pathway, with a beatific Buddha statue, leads to her quaint cottage in Bandra) when my girls leave for school. I stop working at 4 pm when they return. Then I am with them till the time they sleep, at 8:30 pm. That is when I resume work, online. Through my website and app, people all over the world can consult me and get a personalised diet without actually coming to my clinic in Mumbai.

Nutritionist Pooja Makhija

Honestly, what is the worst thing people do to lose weight?

(Raises her eyebrows) They go on these crazy diets and the horrible impact is visible on their hair, skin, menstrual cycle…I always say, Eat with Thought. You are what you eat, so pay attention to what you put inside your gut. It shows on you.

What is your opinion on the various diets that are trending these days, such as intermittent fasting, Keto?

You need to eat four meals a day, eat every two hours, exercise daily for an hour. A diet needs to be nutritionally sound, sustainable. Short-term diets wreak more damage than good. Eat a balance of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals. You can consume pasta, white bread, noodles…but in the right quantity and at the right time. I would not recommend any fad diet, unless, in a very uncommon case a particular diet is needed first to bring the medical parameters under control.

What is the best indicator of weight loss?

The weighing scale always tells you the truth. Inch loss without weight loss means nothing. It simply means that the fat has rearranged itself from one area to another area of your body. The concept of having “heavy bones” is ridiculous. Adult bones do not add up to more than 3 kg of your total weight. The rest is fat, muscle, water. Yes, some people have a bigger body structure as compared to others who look petite. In that respect, the stockier built look bigger than others.

What is your comment on water intake?

Water is tasteless, odourless, colourless. Develop a taste for it. Drink 2-3 litres everyday. The temperature of the water does not matter.

Shilpi Madan for Indian Express

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