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Drishti Bodhraj Premprakashi

JWB Blogger

Dietitian Rahat Bano Feeds JWB With Healthy Workout Breakfast

  • JWB Post
  •  September 3, 2016


I made my way to Talwalkars Gym in Bani Park on account of Nutrition week that begun on September 1st. Well, even though I meet her at the gym daily, a part of me was excited to go talk to the dietician, Ms. Rahat Bano.

It turns out that Ms. Rahat has been practicing for ten years now and had once interned under Dr. Medhavi. Such a small world! *sigh*

We sat down with the well-acquainted dietician to break some myths and give you some tips for a healthy and fit body.

So how does one identify a healthy body? 
Ms. Rahat: You can tell a lot from their outer appearance. Healthy people have healthy looking skin. It has a natural glow when you’re well hydrated. They have shiny hair, their body is toned and have a good amount of muscle mass. You can also identify diseases like anemia from someone’s eyes.  

How can you enhance your beauty by modifying your diet?
Ms. Rahat:
Well, there’s a 100% connection between your diet and your looks. Vitamins A, E and C with water are meant to enhance beauty. If you want good hair, you can have nuts and Omega 3 rich fats and if you’re a non-vegetarian you can eat fish and take fish oil capsules. For good skin, you can eat amla , jamun and plum and can even apply fruit puree on your face depending on what suits your skin type. Applying lemon or tomatoes to your skin can help you get rid of a tan. Vitamin C in general is good for your face. You can drink lemon water with black salt. You can also eat flax seeds which is good for both hair and skin. As for your nails, they’re completely protein. You need to increase your protein intake to have healthy and strong nails. Fish and chicken can help. 

What is the most common problem you’ve observed in women?
Ms. Rahat:
Calcium and vitamin D deficiency is very common which is leading to having bone diseases like arthritis and osteoarthritis. Women tend to have calcium deficiency because of lack of balanced diets and processes like puberty, pregnancy and menopause. Women need to have strength training done in order to increase bone density.

And what about men?
Ms. Rahat:
Men these days have calcium deficiency too. That is usually because many are into drinking and smoking. Also, drinking tea is a huge craze in India. That prevents the body from absorbing calcium. Men also complain about having protein deficiency. You need 1.5 gram of protein per kg a day if you’re working out. If not, you need at least 1 gm of protein per kg a day

What problem did you find common in both genders?

There’s acidity occurring in both the genders. Its either because of impure food, drinking too much tea or having stress. You can get rid of it by drinking chilled milk or eating vanilla ice cream, that is, only if you’re not looking to lose weight. You can also drink water with fennel seeds (saunf).  

How does one develop the right diet according to their workout ?
Ms. Rahat:
First of all, it is important to have a balanced diet. People have this misconception that diet means to stop eating. Diet means to eat the right food in the right quantity at the right time. When you start working out, your first priority must be to have a balanced diet. You can follow a 6-meal pattern where you have three major meals that is, your breakfast, lunch and dinner. The other 3 meals will be mini meals which can include dry fruits, fresh fruits and nuts.

One must eat breakfast within half an hour of waking up. If you cannot cook on your own, there are many food joints that provide salads that you can include in your mini meals.


One energy boosting meal before the workout?
Ms. Rahat:
To eat an hour before workout, you need a handful of oats, half an apple and a glass of milk with cocoa powder without sugar.

And after the workout?

Ms. Rahat: You can eat a meal within half an hour of a workout. For vegetarians, you can have paneer or tofu with sprouts, fruit, moong dal or oats cheela with curd made out of skimmed milk.

For non-vegetarians, you can have 8-10 egg whites and one egg yolk, milk, and fruit.

Usually when people start working out, they do it out of discontent from their bodies. How can we make the process more positive?

Ms. Rahat: When we want to lose weight, our last choice is to do it through exercise. It’s a human tendency that we run away from anything that takes effort. We need to think about being fit first, not about losing weight. People tend to come to the gym for three reasons. One, to lose weight irrespective of losing muscle mass in the process. Two, losing weight for relatives or their own wedding and three, after being advised by a doctor.

You need to first concentrate on being fit. That comes from a balanced diet, exercise and rest. You need a good amount of everything to have a fit body.

Having the mindset that fitness comes first will help reduce thoughts of self-loathing.

Most common mistakes people make while trying to lose weight?
Ms. Rahat:
When we start exercising, we start making our own diet. You cannot make your own diet without an expert’s guidance. People stop eating carbs and start crash dieting. Carbs are a necessary source of energy. That will lead to your skin becoming loose once you start losing weight. If your skin becomes loose, toning it again is very difficult.

What is your idea of ideal healthy breakfast?
Ms. Rahat:
1 cereal product which can be wheatflakes, a chapatti or a cheela pancake, 1 fruit and one milk product. You can have chaach or lassi as a drink, but if you’re not having a drink, you should have fruit or vegetable juice with fibre. Vegetable juice is better than fruit juice.

Can you share with us some easy and healthy juices for weight loss?

Ms. Rahat: The easiest ones are:

  1. Tomato juice
  2. Tomato and carrot juice
  3. Amla and beetroot juice

All these juices need to be consumed with its fibre. You can also have amla juice with mint leaves, black salt, cumin powder and mix it with water.

So, we had a heavy meal today *hides face*. Anyway, after a heavy meal, how can we burn extra calories without exercise? 
Ms. Rahat:
 If you weigh okay for your age, your body will easily handle an extra 1 or 2 kgs. If you are overweight, only eating an extra roti can add more calories to your food which can lead you to consume more than 3500 calories which equal to one pound of fat. You need one week to just burn that one pound of fat. You need to either control your diet or exercise.

And what should old people eat to prevent weakening of the body?

Ms. Rahat: They should eat a lot of fruits and veggies rich in vitamin C like amla and berries like Jamun and plums. Post 40, people can start taking multivitamin supplements.

As foodies, we tend to eat a lot during wedding season. What is the smartest way to cheat? 
Ms. Rahat:
One, eat your salads from home. Two, go for fruits and soups at weddings first. Three, when it comes to dinner, eat paneer dishes without the gravy. Four, try eating dal and roti. Five, avoid colour based dessert and if you are really craving some, eat chenna desserts.

How should Indian kitchens evolve to become healthier? 
Ms. Rahat:
The consumption of oily food is very common in Indian households. I wouldn’t ask someone to stop using oil. I would suggest people to use healthier oils like rice bran oil and that too in the right quantity. Also, sugar is a huge problem in weight gain. You can use other alternatives like jaggery, honey or stevia. You can grow a stevia plant in your house.

One myth you want to break about Indian cuisine?

Ms. Rahat: I have many *laughs* First is, egg. People still think that egg is non-vegetarian. *stares at me* Aajkal egg bhi vegetarian ho gaya hai yaar! Although, this point of view differs from religion to religion and person to person.

Also, I have had people come up to me and tell that calcium makes bones heavy and protein makes people gain weight.
People also think that fat can be lost by stopping the use of oil. You just need to use a healthy alternative. And, people think that mustard oil is good to use for cooking. It is not. The United States Food and Drug Authority (USFDA) puts labels on mustard oil that read ‘For External Use Only’. 

One superfood that should be found in every Indian kitchen? 
Ms. Rahat:
Again, many. *laughs* In nuts, you have walnuts and almonds.You will also find cinnamon in every kitchen. In Salads you have broccoli, spinach and leafy veggies. Flaxseed and pomegranate have a lot of protein too. Although expensive, flaxseed is a good source of protein and omega 3 fats which is great for vegetarians and pomegranate is the only fruit that has protein in it.

This Nutrion week is dedicated to breastfeeding. When can breastfeeding women join the gym? And what kind of diet they should follow considering they have a baby to feed at home?

Ms. Rahat: In India, there’s the cultural factor where women are not allowed to go exercise for a few months. If we talk about women abroad who have had a regular delivery, they start exercising within weeks of giving birth.

And for women who the C-section performed, they usually have physiotherapists who give them light exercises like turning a little on the bed. It takes a little time for them to start working out.

As far as their diet is concerned, they need more energy than we do. They need to focus on having a healthy diet rather than focusing on weight loss first. They need to also consume Vitamin D, proteins and calcium.

Because women don’t take their supplements after pregnancy, malnutrition is found commonly among women.

And last, do your family members follow your diet advice?

Ms. Rahat: Yes, I force them to *laughs* I used to make my mom have flax seed oil. She was very much into exercise despite having arthritis.



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One thought on “Dietitian Rahat Bano Feeds JWB With Healthy Workout Breakfast

  1. 'neeraj kumar

    Its meaningfull information about health and food for every age group men and women.
    This blog always help for good Helth and improvements for good food habitat for everyone.
    Thanks Mrs rahat ….


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