Three in one

Ambika Shaligram
Sunday, 18 March 2018

Clinical and sports nutritionist Shwetha Bhatia and exercise trainer Abhay Kedari talk about their new venture, Mind Your Fitness

There are several gymnasiums in the city that assist you in achieving your fitness goals and nutritionists to help you eat right. But, as we all know, not many of us are able to stick to a regime for a longer period of time. The reason could be psychological, like stress for instance. 

Bridging these gaps in the nutrition-diet-exercise plan is Mind Your Fitness studio, which has opened in Koregaon Park. It combines physical, nutrition and psychological parameters. Giving us details, Shwetha Bhatia, the founder of the studio and also a clinical and sports nutritionist, says, “Mind Your Fitness studio offers a health package that integrates mind and body. We will be assessing every client on three parameters — nutritional, psychological and physical exercise. The physical evaluation will be done by the physiotherapist, nutritional review will be done by a nutritionist and so on. The data will be collated and then we will come up with a plan for the client, which will be in alignment with his goals.” 

THE PROGRAMME
Explaining the reason for combining all three disciplines under one roof, Bhatia says, “In my career as a nutritionist, I have experienced a few limitations. I prescribe a plan for the client, but I sense that he has a mental block and therefore ask him to see a psychologist. But in most cases, the client doesn’t do so. It’s vice versa when a psychologist advises his patient to visit a nutritionist. Here I would like to emphasise that mental health is an integral part of our fitness goal, and so we have made it a part of our programme. The client doesn’t have to go to three different doctors or three set-ups.” 

Bhatia adds that one doesn’t have to read deep in the psychological factor. It could be simply stress on the client’s part; or as an athlete he might be suffering from performance anxiety. “We are offering counselling, a support system. For instance, you stop going to a gym after a month. The gym owner might call you, remind you, but how can he bring you back to the gym? He doesn’t know what’s stopping you. At our set-up, we are plugging all the possible loopholes, so that a person can stay on track,” she adds. 

THE SET-UP
Bhatia, who is a former body builder, has a team of nutritionists working under her. The set-up also has sports physiotherapist and psychologist. Kedari looks after the exercise regime. He, alongwith the sports physiotherapist, works to find out why a sportsperson is not able to deliver on the d-day. “We have a general physical preparedness plan for the layman, who is looking to maintain his fitness levels. And, a specialised plan for athletes. We have a sports physiotherapist who will find out your shortcomings — muscle imbalance, previous injuries, or incorrect posture. Besides this we have a basic gym, where we will teach you the form and technique of doing exercises. Once you have learnt the hows of it, you can work out in the regular gym and come to us for follow-ups,” says Kedari.

The nutrition plan is in alignment with the fitness goals. “If we have a school athlete coming in, we have to make sure diet supports his growth and sports performance. It helps me to know his activity levels and psychological make-up,” adds Bhatia.  

Be it a diet or exercise regime, it takes at least three months or 12 weeks to show results. So Mind Your Fitness has formulated a 12-week plan. The plan will be extended depending on the client’s progress. 

“The end goal is to achieve an overall fitness of the client, and not a six packs body. If the client manages to achieve six packs, then great. But that’s not what we are pushing for,” adds Kedari. 

THE DIET FACTOR
Most clients, who have approached Bhatia in her clinic in Mumbai, are suffering from thyroid and PCOD, which are hormonally-driven conditions. Diet does play a role in treatment of such cases. “Those who have thyroid or PCOD see an increase in weight gain. If you have PCOD you might also become diabetic, because there is a chance that you might be insulin resistant. In both cases, diet is important,” she adds.

But there are many diet plans and programmes floating around. So which diet would she recommend for the India body type? 

Bhatia, who is a registered dietitian with Indian Diabetic Association, says, “Keto diet is what Indians should follow. We are the diabetes capital of the world, so it means that our carbohydrate consumption is very high. Keto diet is very low in carbs. But this diet plan is not everyone’s cup of tea; there are compliance issues and cost factor as well. So I would definitely recommend a low carb diet, in which you are consuming carbohydrate in the first part of the day. But in the later half of the day, when your body doesn’t need instant sources of energy, you shouldn’t eat carbs. If you do, the carbs will be stored as fats. The fat is the culprit here. Eventually, everything boils down to fat percentage and not so much about your body weight.”

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