Ritika Agarwal is a nutritionist and currently pursuing a culinary nutrition programme, following her passion for food. To fuel her passion and penchant for doing something creative and different in the field of health and nutrition, she collaborated with her friend Pranita Kalyan, in writing a book titled Fit or Fiction. Through this book the authors have tried to convey that nutrition is not just about being thin or eating less or at a lesser frequency. The idea is to do right, whatever the goal is, so that nutrients are not compromised. Ritika Agarwal spoke to BE’s Varsha Singh about the book and how important a diet is in one’s life.
Q. You’ve talked about the right food, the balanced diet, weight loss, and other common problems in your book. What is the one message you would like to pass onto your readers before they start reading your book?
A. Go with an open mind and expect to read something that is not going to bog you down with very serious stuff but will rather talk to you about the different aspects of nutrition - sports, skin care, liquid nutrition through attractive imagery, etc. Of course, it is up to you whether you imbibe everything that’s written or not. After all it is just our perspective that we have shared but the reader must be be open enough to learn more about different diets and identify the myths associated with nutrition. The book might help rectify things we might be doing wrong in the health and fitness game.
Q. What would you say are some of the immediate benefits of incorporating a proper diet?
A. You will notice the difference in your appearance but most importantly you will feel it. You will feel good and fit from within. In fact, people think fitness is only about looking good and toned and having that perfect body but rather it’s about how you feel within which reflects on the outside as well.
Q. You have mentioned different kinds of diet in your book like the raw food diet, the paleo diet, the vegan diet, etc. Which is the best form of diet for the Indian climate and why?
A. I feel for any type of climate, one should aim for a balanced diet, focusing more on whole foods instead of the processed variety. Yes, the bodily needs may differ from person to person depending on a lot of factors and you have to make changes accordingly in your diet. But overall, I feel a balanced diet including your carbs, proteins and fats are very important if you are looking at staying healthy and fit in the long term.
Q. Do you think the younger generation is more casual when it comes to fitness? What can they do to lead a healthy lifestyle?
A. I think the younger generation is getting health conscious but the focus is primarily on getting that perfect body. They need to be aware of the fact that fitness is not just about a perfect body but a healthy mind too. You exercise- you feel good. You eat right - you feel good. One important thing the younger generation needs to do is limit their intake of junk food and shift to more balanced meals. They need to be aware that healthy food can be yummy too.
Q. People have become very sensitive when it comes to taking care of their skin. People in countries like South Korea, Hungary, etc. have the right food for a glowing skin. Where do you see India when it comes to eating right for skin care?
A. To be honest, I don’t think people here really believe that diet has a big role to play in keeping your skin happy. People unfortunately are more concerned about what they need to apply on their skin rather than what they need to eat for their skin. But beauty is skin deep; eat your daily dose of fruits, veggies, greens and stay hydrated. You skin will surely thank you.
Q. Where are people going wrong when it comes to taking care of their health? What are the important things that you would ask us to incorporate in our daily food habits?
A. The fast food culture is something that is taking a toll on our health. We are getting our calories surely but what about the source of those calories. Where are they coming from? That is the important question. Be conscious of that fact. Eat real food instead of the packaged or the processed variety. Incorporate a daily dose of good fats like coconut oil, ghee, olives, avocados, nuts and seeds in your daily regime. They are a powerhouse of nutrients. Don’t skip your breakfast, no matter how much rush you are in. Stick to a regular routine as much as possible and last but not the least, stay positive and stay grateful. A healthy mind is the key to a healthy body.