It's not hard to reason this one but you migh...
Tara Mahadevan is a Nutrition and Health psychologist. She is an authority on the nutritional and fitness aspects of weight and lifestyle management. She specializes in the psychological, social, emotional and cultural aspects of weight loss and has earned several international certifications in this field. She's also on Guylife’s expert panel, so feel free to ask her a question here.
Like us on Facebook to get Guylife's posts directly on your newsfeed!
Who We Are
Stressful, sedentary lifestyles and poor eating habits have made urban Indians fat, lazy and laden with diseases like diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and arthritis to name just a few. Something people may not take kindly upon hearing at first perhaps, but a truth nonetheless.
Simultaneously, size zero and six pack abs have become the new buzz words. While everyone can’t (and shouldn’t) aspire to have unrealistic (often unhealthy) Bollywood bodies, many would benefit from losing some weight and getting fit.
However even though nutritionists, fitness instructors and doctors work hard to advise people on what they should and should not do, most people just don’t seem to do it.
“It’s too hard”, “I don’t have the time”, “I don’t have the will power”, “I just love food too much”—we all have some excuse or another to put off or abandon a healthy eating plan. Yet, if we don’t take charge NOW and truly make the necessary changes to our lifestyles, one in three of us will end up obese, at risk for premature heart disease and/or a premature stroke. Not to mention a lot poorer from regularly having to buy new clothes to fit bigger bodies!
So what’s preventing us from getting out act together and more importantly, who do we turn to for help?
Why We Are That Way
Research shows we tend to eat for a variety of reasons other than hunger. These environmental, social, psychological and emotional cues/triggers can seriously hamper weight loss/maintenance efforts. The bottom line is that most people need to change the way they think about food, exercise, diet and health in order to change the way they behave. Nutrition psychologists are health professionals who specialize in just this.
Most people who want to lose weight already know what they have to do; after all, it’s not rocket science to know one should avoid fried foods and high-calorie items—they just don’t seem to do it or are unable to stick to any diet they undertake. That’s because though diets make you lose weight initially, they create a sense of deprivation because they cut out certain foods or sometimes even entire food groups completely.
Unfortunately once the human mind is told it can’t have something, that’s all it wants. So for a while we can resist (like deciding "I will not have chocolate till I lose some weight"), but when temptation strikes intensely enough, we falter and give in. And eventually our jeans give way!
How We Need to Be
So it’s not just about knowing what to eat or being on a diet “till we lose the weight”; it’s first about understanding why we eat and then strategizing on how to eat in a manner that best meets our weight loss/maintenance goals-- given the environments we live in. It’s also about believing that we can eat all the foods we enjoy, enjoy all the foods we eat and still maintain a healthy weight for life.
Only when you re-train the way you think about food, health, diet and exercise can you permanently tone your body! And that’s what nutrition psychologists help people do—they help clients change their faulty, negative, unrealistic approach to food, diet, weight loss, exercise and the like which then results in positive long lasting behaviour changes and healthy habits for life.
Nutrition psychologists apply the principles and techniques of cognitive-behavioural psychology to help people get--and stay--healthy.
Clients are taught to deal with relevant issues, such as
-Understanding one’s eating style and eating personality
-How to differentiate between the physical and non-physical
-How to deal with cravings
-How to stay motivated to a healthy eating and living plan
-How to practice mindfulness when it comes to food
-How to talk back to sabotaging thoughts that are detrimental to your weight loss efforts
-How to practice and develop the skill of moderation
-How to form a long-term wellbeing plan that deals with physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual health.
In the end, it really is about using your mind to make permanent changes to your body-- and entire life.
-Pictures courtesy Thinkstock-
you might also like
With Skyfall, director Sam Mendes mixes the old an...
If Bollywood ever went down the 007 agent route, w...