Celebrity nutritionist & Co-founder- Food Darzee
In a world rife with fad diets and trendy workout regimens, it can be overwhelming for the layman to make an educated choice towards a healthier lifestyle. There are, however, those who aim to decode diets and put an end to formulaic fitness. This is exactly where Dr. Siddhant Bhargava, Ketogenic diet specialist, celebrity nutritionist and co-founder at FoodDarzee gains an upper hand. He has shaken up conventional nutrition ideas and affirms that there is no one-size-fits-all policy when it comes to meeting fitness goals.
Dr. Siddhant functions in consultation with over 3,500 clients including some esteemed celebrities such as Alia Bhatt, Katrina Kaif, Sarah Ali Khan, Sonam Kapoor, Parineeti Chopra, Arjun Kapoor, Akanksha Ranjan Kapoor, Anita Hassanandani under his guidance.
Here, he answers some commonly asked questions about diet and nutrition.
You have trained celebs, how did celebrity fitness happen to you?
So, celebrity fitness happened when I started a company called Food Darzee. It was a pioneer when it came to a ketogenic diet. While helping them lose weight, training them also made sense because then I had full control with respect to getting them to their goal.
My fitness celebrity client whom I started training was Sara Ali Khan and that relationship nurtured. And now the journey continues.
How did you start?
I finished my MBBS in early 2017. During the course of my MBBS, I finished a couple certifications in Nutrition, Personal Training, Group Fitness and Pilates.
Nutrition came to me second as I started the ketogenic movement in Mumbai and of course started Food Darzee. And Celebrity fitness came to me last when I started working with Sara Ali Khan.
As a nutritionist, what are the usual recommendations to male and female stars?
With all stars, it’s about the brief given to them for a certain film. Whether they need to look lean, bulk up, athletic or extremely skinny. My job is to work towards that brief.
Recently, Amit Sadh needed the look for the role of a commando. Recommendations for him were all about eating more and training harder. Sara once had to look quite lean, so her recommendation was to be in a calorie deficit and take off extra water retention so she can look very lean on screen. So it’s always about the brief of the character they are playing.
Jacqueline for a certain film needed to look toned but not very muscular, so her diet and training pattern were decided in that manner.
For a week long plan, please suggest a fit-to-fab routine that is easily doable for women. (The idea is for anyone wanting to prep up for a big day that may come in six days and how they can get to a satisfactory level of fitness)
It is quiet natural that the actual diet needs to be planned looking at the persons specifications. The height, weight, age, gender, physical activity, and medical conditions etc need to be considered. Every single quantity and the portion sizes are based on these factors and bear in mind that one diet doesn’t suit another individual.
Tell us about two or three diets on stars/celebrities that have worked wonders for them.
– A ketogenic diet is my go to diet. It has worked extremely well for most of my clients.
– Clubbing intermittent fasting with it has also done wonders.
– Low Glycaemic Index Carb diets have also worked very well
– High fat high protein diets have worked very well for a lot of male celeb clients.
From Alia Bhatt to Sara Ali Khan, many celebrities are your clients. So, tell us about their diet. What do you suggest them?
Their diets vary as per their role and the brief given to them by the director. So it’s a very dynamic process making a diet. On an average, I tend to keep the protein content between moderate and high because it’s very important for their metabolism. Whether they are gaining or losing weight, their metabolism should always be kept on the rise so that changing shapes and sizes becomes much quicker. I also tend to put a lot of emphasis on the fat content because it improves absorption of nutrients, promotes satiety and of course is wonderful for the hair and skin.
What are the biggest myths about diet and nutrition?
Fat is bad (a myth) – People fear consuming fats. The benefits of fat are immense and the most common risk factor – A heart attack is used without any context to scare people!
Proteins are bad for the kidneys (a myth)– There is no research to prove that protein is bad for the kidney. This stems from the fact that a damaged kidney requires a low protein diet to reduce the creatinine levels but this got hyperbolated to the point where protein was supposedly causing kidney damage.
Calories don’t matter, quality of food does (a myth)– People believe that if you eat clean organic food you will automatically start losing weight. This concept of “healthy/clean” eating is flawed. Everything boils down to calories and nothing else does. To lose weight you must be in a calorie deficit and to gain weight, a calorie excess.
Suggest some diet mantras for this year.
Set short term goals and long terms goals and don’t mix the two. Also set realistic goals so that your goals don’t demotivate you. Long term goals can be getting a beach body in 6 months but don’t set that as your short-term goal. Your short-term goal should be holding a plank for 3 minutes in 6 weeks or on those lines.
Get your facts right – Don’t blindly follow diet gurus that ask you to do weird things. Make science your friend and ensure you know at least the basics. Keep in mind, anything that sounds weird or too good to be true, usually is.
Be consistent – Health can only be achieved when you are consistent in your thoughts and actions.
Team work makes the dream work – Have a partner for working out or someone who does the diet with you. That extra dose of motivation can go a long way
How do you suggest people to control their cravings?
Cravings are one of the major reasons why individuals have complications losing weight. Mentioned below are some of the easiest ways to lose weight-
Drink Water: Thirst is often muddled with food cravings or hunger. Drinking water before meals may reduce cravings and appetite, as well as help with weight loss.
Eat More Protein: Eating more protein may condense your need to eat and keep overeating to the bay. It also decreases cravings, and aids you satisfied for longer and feel full. Increase protein intake may lessen cravings by 60% and cut the yearning to snack during night by 50%.
Distance yourself from the Craving: It’s advisable to distance yourself from cravings, when you get the urge to binge. For instance, you can take a shower or brisk walk to divert your mind onto something else. A variation in thought and situation may curb your craving.
Plan Your Meals: Planning your meals for the day or upcoming week eradicates impulsiveness and uncertainty, both of which can cause cravings.
Avoid Getting Extremely Hungry: Hunger is a big reason for cravings. Avoid extreme hunger by always having a healthy snack ready.
Fight Stress: Stress induces food cravings and effect eating behaviour’s, especially for women .Try to minimalize stress in your environment by planning ahead, meditating and generally slowing down.