Eat smart, move more...

Debarati Palit Singh
Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Holistic lifestyle coach - integrative medicine Luke Coutinho, who has authored a book — The Magic Weight Loss Pill, with Baahubali actress Anushka Shetty, says that losing flab is not just about diet and exercise, but also involves things that we often ignore

Each one of us wants to lead a healthy life but we don’t know how to go about it. Well-known holistic lifestyle coach - integrative medicine Luke Coutinho who has coauthored The Magic Weight Loss Pill with popular actress Anushka Shetty, says that certain lifestyle changes can help us lose weight and also control several lifestyle diseases. 

The book is filled with 62 easy and practisable changes that the authors claim, will leave the reader feeling healthier and happier. The duo suggests habits like drinking lemon water every day and doing five breathing exercises to fall asleep. 

Coutinho, who has a huge following on social media, has previously co-authored The Great Indian Diet with Shilpa Shetty Kundra. The co-founder of GOQii, a digital healthcare platform that provides personalised coaching, says that some of the most effective lifestyle changes to build health and wellness are practically free. In fact, his fitness mantra is, ‘Eat smart, move more, sleep right and breathe deep’. 


Can you tell us the thought behind writing The Magic Weight Loss Pill? 
We have had thousands of patients over the last few years and we derived commonalities amongst those who were able to lose weight and keep it off in a healthy and sustainable way. We realised that weight loss is not just about diets and exercise, but it also involves things that we often ignore like constipation, acidity, emotional health, sleep and so on. We also identified that each individual is as unique as their thumbprint and that fad diets don’t work. 

How did you and Anushka collaborate to write the book? How would you describe the collaboration?
I have known Anushka for a while. When I was helping her with her own lifestyle journey, she realised how making little lifestyle changes can create such a huge impact on health. So, we decided to share these messages with the masses by putting together our learnings and journeys through a book.  

The collaboration turned out very beautiful because it has got us very close in terms of thought process and emotional health. Today there are so many young girls having body image issues. Anushka has been very vocal about how life on screen is virtual and shouldn’t be compared to our real lives because that leads to comparison and depression. She wanted to bring the right message to the youth and women.
Till a few decades ago, lifestyle diseases were rare among Indians. What are the factors that have contributed to their rise, specially among the youth?
That’s true. A few decades back, diseases like diabetes, Alzheimer’s, dementia, hashimotos, cardiovascular, cancer were unheard of. What has changed is our lifestyle and the environment we live in. The key factors responsible for the rise in these diseases are lack of sleep, chronically stressed lives, lack of activity, nutritionally deprived diets, moving away from traditional foods and adopting junk, processed food and refined foods, low immunity, polluted environments and overexposure to chemicals.  

Many believe that maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a tedious and expensive process. Your take on this?
This is definitely a myth. Some of the most effective lifestyle changes to build health and wellness are inexpensive and practically free. People who think healthy living is expensive are the ones who have forgotten the basics of a healthy lifestyle and gone too far in search of that magic food or spice or supplement. 

Really, how much money does it cost to sleep better, exercise better, meditate, breathe deep, practise positive affirmations, offer prayer or visualise? How much money does a basic home-style khichdi cost? How much does a spice tea - for which the ingredients could be already lying in your kitchen, cost? 

As for the tediousness aspect of it — it’s the mindset that is to be blamed. Today humans want quick fixes, immediate results and no suffering. It does take time, effort and discipline to plan and prepare your own meals, but isn’t your health a priority at the end of the day? Success is not about what you achieve, success is about what you achieve while maintaining your health. We have so many clients holding top positions at work, handling a family, travelling and still doing things to maintain their health. 

What are some of the common mistakes that we Indians do in the name of healthy eating and workout?
Overdoing on fruits, like eating fruit platters or eating fruits with meals or right after a meal, drinking water in between meals in spite of the Indian culture advocating the opposite, adding a lot of ghee in meals in the name of eating healthy, overdoing on carbohydrates, eating rice as well as roti in the same meal, overdoing on honey and jaggery and consuming tea, coffee, lemon water even while fasting. If you look at our daily physical activity, it doesn’t match up to the intake of food.
As far as workouts are concerned, we work out close to bedtime, and work out more and eat less. We have inadequate rest and recovery, we do not align our nutrition with workouts, we compromise on warm up and cool down sessions and do not customise workouts according to our health conditions.

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