Behind every successful man there is a woman. And behind every Miss World title winner, there is a nutritionist adept in the art of using the right foods for flawless fitness and beauty. As Manushi Chhillar, a medical student from Haryana made headlines after being crowned Miss World 2017, we got her nutritionist and dietitian Nmami Agarwal to spill the beans on healthy eating.
Please tell us about your diet and fitness plan for Manushi Chhillar.
When you prepare a diet plan for a client, you must always keep their lifestyle, habits and food preferences in your mind. Manushi is a vegetarian and had many travel commitments. So, I had to see what all she could easily eat in different countries with zero compromises. Every day the diet was different however the key features of the diet remained the same i.e.: control on sugar intake, processed food and keeping the body properly hydrated always.
What kind of food does it take to attain and maintain a perfect body?
There is no perfect body. The idea is to be fit and look healthy. I believe our body is greatly influenced by what we eat. Eating healthy foods provides us with nutrients that keep us full all day, preventing food cravings and weight gain.
What would Manushi eat on a typical day? Does she ever have cheat days?
It was a customised diet plan considering her daily engagements and commitments. We always tried to maintain a balance between her diet and workout sessions. There were no cheat days for her. It was always about maintaining the right balance for her and killing the cravings with healthy substitutes. She was also very disciplined throughout the process.
What is your opinion on fad diets?
I believe there are no shortcuts to fitness. Fad diets are gaining popularity these days but are not at all healthy. They might promise dramatic results but don’t result in long-term weight loss. In fact, some diets can be dangerous to your health.
Please give us your favourite healthy food recipe.
Banana Smoothie for sure. It’s the best way to kill those random sugar cravings. All you need is a banana, ½ to 1 cup of milk and 1 tablespoon (15gms) honey. Blend it well and it’s ready.
Indians have become more health conscious of late. Do you think every day Indian food can be healthy? Or does it always take exotic imports like quinoa and avocados to look and feel good?
It’s not about which food item it is. It’s about what you do with that. As I always say, it’s all about balancing between what you eat, how you eat and how much you eat. Even in my diet plans, I try to include dishes made from Indian ingredients which are easily available and not very expensive.
What are some diet and lifestyle mantras you follow for good looks and health?
Exercise and a proper diet is the key to looking great and being healthy. The mantra is simple - eat today for tomorrow. I prefer to eat wholesome foods to keep myself fit. I also make sure to sleep well, exercise regularly and don’t take much stress.
What are some foods that every fitness conscious person should stock?
There are so many options if you want to eat healthy. Bananas, makhanas, dark chocolate and oatmeal are some of them. But I always advise to consult a dietician and take a personalised diet as each body is different and has different requirements.
How can office goers avoid widening waistlines and eat healthy despite a hectic schedule?
Most of my clients ask the same question. The best way is to never skip a breakfast as skipping breakfast increases hunger pangs by the end of the day, prepare some healthy snacks in advance, don’t eat while working, don’t stay on an empty stomach, stay hydrated by drinking at least 5 litres of water and limit alcohol intake. Also, always take the staircase and avoid the elevator.
What are some healthy dishes you can whip up in 30 minutes or less?
If you have the right ingredients in your kitchen, cooking healthy food isn’t a task. Taco Salad, Scrambled Eggs, Kale Chicken Caesar salad, Grilled Fish Tacos and Gluten Free Protein Waffles are some of the healthy dishes you can cook in less time.