“Nutrition isn’t about eating; it is about learning to live.” – Patricia Compiton
Dietitian Vidhi Ratawal is a skilled healthcare professional having work experience at Max Hospital. She has worked as a clinical nutritionist with a strong focus on conducting in-depth nutritional assessments and devising personalized diet plans to meet the needs of each client. She has established an Online Diet Clinic in the name of @choose_goodcalories to cater to the need of patients all over the world. She has helped her clients lose weight, manage PCOS, manage thyroid, reduce hypertension, promote lactation, and control diabetes.
Her Professional experience includes off, she previously worked as Clinical Nutritionist at Max Super Specialty Hospital Shalimar Bagh. Speaking of her qualifications she holds a Bachelor’s degree in Home Science Hons. from Lady Irwin College, Delhi University, and a Post Graduation in Dietetics and Public Health Nutrition from Lady Irwin College, Delhi. Along with it, she has Life Membership at the Indian Dietetics Association, IDA Delhi Chapter, Indian Association of Enteral and Parenteral Nutrition, IAPEN, Pune and Nutritional Society of India, NSI, Hyderabad.
She is a firm believer in the idea of ‘Using Food as Medicine to Prevent & Treat Disease’.
She is a Delhi-based dietitian with a special interest in Maternal and Child Health Nutrition. She is also a certified lactation counsellor and has conducted various health talks in government schools and hospitals on the importance of ‘Balanced diet during pregnancy and lactation.
Ratawal’s journey as a dietitian began soon after she had completed her Post Graduate Diploma Course in Dietetics and Public Health Nutrition from Lady Irwin College. She was selected to do a 3-month internship at Max Smart Super Specialty Hospital, Saket (Max Smart) as a dietetics intern. This was her first exposure to patients inside the hospital.
“Every time you eat or drink, you are either feeding disease or fighting it.” Heather Morgan
There are so many dietitians, doctors and nutritionists that inspire her, to name only one that would be Ms. Ishi Khosla. She is a practicing clinical nutritionist, entrepreneur, and a great author. Her book “How to lose weight” has really helped Vidhi when she began her journey as a consulting dietitian.
As a Diabetes Educator, she is aware that people with diabetes often find it difficult to manage their blood sugars while on the go. Here are a few tips that can help.
- Consume fiber – rich foods e.g., Oats, Millets, Quinoa, and Whole wheat flours etc.
- Follow balanced diet eating principles i.e., 3 major meals – Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner paired with small snacking 2 – 3 times a day.
- Do not skip any meal/ snack – It could set you up for a bigger meal that can cause sugar spike.
- Consume foods that have lower glycemic index – mostly all whole cereals, pulses, nuts, fruit, and vegetables.
- Avoid table sugar, candies, ice creams, sodas, fried foods, and refined grains.
There are some basic principles to weight loss according to her which everyone should know. The first and foremost would be keeping it slow and steady. Ideal weight loss to take place per week is 0.5 to 2 kgs per week, anything higher would lead to a rebound. Secondly, follow an exercise routine that you can sustain such as a brisk walk, dance, or yoga. Listen to your body, don’t cheat, don’t starve, and don’t binge.
There are no specific foods or nutrients that could yield positive health outcomes. Her advice is, “consume all the foods that would stain your white shirt such as turmeric, pomegranate, jamun, carrots, spinach, tomatoes, dark chocolate etc. Nutrition is nothing without colors.”
Protein intake is dependent on various factors such as weight, age, physical activity etc. As per ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) RDA Report, 2020 a person’s protein requirement is 0.83 g/ kg body weight/ day. Simplifying it she mentions that, if you are a man weighing 60 kg then the calculation would be 60 X 0.83 = 50 g. Thus, he would need 50 g of protein per day to meet his needs.
“Take care of your body it is the only place you have to live.” – Jim Rohn
Her advice on how an unhealthy lifestyle affects our mind is that our brain is the control center of all things we do from moving to sleep to feeling good. During a negative emotional state, the brain releases cortisol – the stress hormone, which can lead to more serious health impacts that we know of. A period of chronic stress may lead to impaired memory, learning, and impaired cognitive function. This could damage relationships, increase loneliness, and chances of depression. The road to recovery would be by meditation, a healthy diet, and exercise.
Managing blood sugars during the festive season can be tricky and to avoid the constant battle between fun and fear, do this:
- Plan your food ahead of festivals, take help of a dietitian to help you figure out the right things.
- Prepare some healthy sweets you can enjoy such as Ragi Laddus, Walnut Halwa, Oats and Pomegranate/ Cranberry Cookies, Fruit custards with stevia might be some great options.
- Follow a balanced diet, do not skip meals, and consume adequate protein so that you crave less for sweets.
- Be regular with exercise routine.
We can keep our bodies healthy by following these quick tips.
- Consume a balanced diet – 3 major meals + 2 minor meals.
- Have 2 – 3 colorful fruits every day.
- Start your meal with a fiber i.e., salad, followed by protein i.e., dal/lentil/curd along with chapati and vegetable.
- Eat handful of nuts and seeds every day.
- Abstain from smoking and limit alcohol intake.