Want to know how to lose weight? ‘Practise intuitive eating,’ says nutritionist Janvi Chitalia
Healthy eating and exercise are interlinked if you want to lose weight, says Janvi Chitalia, a certified fitness and sports Nutritionist, and Founder and Wellness Director of Body Cocoon. “It is important to understand the principles of ‘intuitive eating’ and find the right exercise regimen that suits you,” she says.
Janvi, who is also a certified personal instructor from the American College of Sports Medicine, remembers how she had always struggled with her weight problems while growing up.
“As a child, I was quite overweight,” says Janvi. “Back then I didn’t really know much about healthy eating or portion control. My mother loved to do culinary experiments, and I didn’t think too much about what was going into my system.”
Janvi went to an all-girls school, and like children sometimes tend to be, her classmates were quite cruel at times. They would make nasty comments about her that vanquished her confidence, and eventually began to break her.
But Janvi was determined not to face the same problems in college. “I began doing intense workouts every day and went from being 60+ kg to about 39 kg,” she remembers. “Even at 39 kg, I felt like I was not thin enough and soon I developed anorexia.”
Though her weight had dropped, Janvi developed a great aversion towards most foods and had to deal with several severe hormonal issues too.
“When I finally went to the doctor, I was asked why I had created problems for myself,” says Janvi. “It was at that point that I started doing research on weight loss and nutrition in books, and began reading articles on the Internet too.”
Soon Janvi had developed a great passion for health and fitness, and decided to specialise in the field.
“My parents obviously freaked out,” laughs Janvi, reminiscing on her life-changing decision. “They wanted me to put on some weight first. But I began doing a few short internships and courses, and that was how I began my journey toward becoming the person I am today.”
Most adults have a weight problem that they are dealing with, adds Janvi and today, she designs a diet plan for them and helps them lose their fat gradually and systematically. She helps them understand the profound relationship between nutrition and exercise, which she says, is the key to effective ‘fat loss’.
“It’s ironic that some of the girls who bullied me once actually came back to me for fitness tips after I became a nutritionist,” says Janvi. “They had put on weight after their marriage and pregnancies and needed my help to get back in shape. I was happy to help them.”
By the end of 2015, she started Body Cocoon. “Now, we have features like personal training and nutrition consultation for medical conditions like diabetes, PCOD, hypothyroidism, and others. The diets do not dwell on calories but are a perfect balance of carbohydrates, fats and proteins,” she says.
Janvi also works with children who’ve been through similar situations as she has, and counsels them along with their parents. “We often see parents making fun of their overweight children and comparing them to their fitter kids,” she says. “Parents also need a complete training programme, so along with a nutritionist and a counsellor, we hold counselling sessions with the parents too. They need to be careful about how they deal with their children and the words they choosing while speaking to them.”
How to have a healthy 2019
Janvi has some tips for healthy living and maintaining the right weight. Here’s her advice…
*Practise ‘intuitive’ eating. Understand what your body needs and eat accordingly.
* Find an exercise regime that you enjoy doing.
* Get into portion control and find a balance between carbs, fats and proteins that works for you, according to your body type.
*Stay happy and positive.
So, what’s on the cards now? “This year, I plan to write a book on the mental aspects of getting fit,” she says. “I also hope to build a strong community to advocate these principles.”
Janvi wants to continually spread the message of healthy living and forming a widespread circle of helping hands who will help each other in the long journey of leading a healthy and balanced life.