The official dietician for The Femina Miss India Pageant Tripti Gupta talks about her journey, macros and how to stay fit after 40! (Part 1 of 2)
I found Tripti Gupta and her team very causally looking to get to the mode of doing interviews for my blog a few months back. However, at the time, I had also come to a realization that my blood reports for triglycerides were very high and I needed to make a change in my life. As I read through Tripti and her team’s accomplishments and subsequently talked to a dietician on her team, Monica, I realized that I could use this myself to get myself motivated and on track. So my blog interview took a backseat and I started to get Tripti and her team to monitor me weekly. Compared to other dieticians, her price was very reasonable and what I loved was that she followed up herself every few days with me to see my progress and Moncia would whatsapp message me if she did not hear from me every other day to see how my progress was going. Just that helped me stay on track because I knew I would report to someone. For the first time in 3 years, I got back to a weight 10 lbs lower than what I was. Just what my doctor had ordered me to do. And the best thing is, i never ever felt like I was starving! And Tripti graciously said she would do an interview for my blog. So meet the magician herself in a very very frank interview on her journey of how she started and how she coaches the Miss India contestants to look their best for the big day! (Part 2 talks about how she coached Bollywood superstar Kangana Ranaut to look like a supermodel for the national award winning movie “Fashion”).
- Talk about your background and what motivated you to get into this profession and adopt the theories you promote for a healthy lifestyle?
I was born underweight, but as long as I remember, I was an overweight child most of my early years of life. Not being able to wear shorts and tees like my friends, getting teased for being fat and finding it difficult to fit into teenaged clothes became a routine battle and lowered my self confidence drastically which eventually made me into a very shy girl who didn’t want to be in the limelight. I wanted to hide or at least not be noticed. I didn’t know what body shaming was then but yes, I was teased and I was conscious…very conscious. I had accepted that I was fat and would envy those who were slim. Of course the same question, like any other young girl, would come to my mind of “why am I Fat and she thin?”
However, suddenly, things changed for me in 8th grade, just the year when a teenager gets conscious, I lost weight and tons of weight…… yes, I shrunk. I did nothing to lose it, nor did I suddenly drop baby fat. I developed Typhoid! Now that’s the most unhealthy weight loss in the form of muscle loss we know but at that point of time for a fat 12 yr old, it was a dream come true and I totally loved Typhoid! The new body I discovered, the way my clothes now looked on me & the compliments I received unfolded a new me. I was suddenly more confident, happier & I knew by now that I never wanna grow fat again. However, as destiny would have it, I did regain the weight once again, this time gradually but by the time I reached my 10th Grade I was fat again. I knew after my board exams this weight loss would be my sole mission. After all no teenager wants to begin college looking fat.
Soon after my 10th exams I started walking. Residing next to the beautiful Gateway Of India, I would walk down to Cuffe Parade and Colaba Woods a good distance, I would take 10 brisk rounds and walk back. To add further I also joined the then very popular Rama Bans Aerobics Classes to lose weight. I overdid the exercise & ate almost nothing. I could soon see the body shrinking, the inches were shedding but so was my hair. Age was on my side so whatever little I would eat / not eat / starve or even occasionally binge seemed to work. There were bouts of weakness, low immunity and constipation setting in. I would guzzle liters of water and eat nothing the whole day, then end up with a pack of farsan (indian snacks) / chips and a whole lot of crap gladly thinking I could afford to eat what I like since I hadn’t eaten anything the whole day. My issues became worse and by now I started feeling thin & OLD. It was a new me with a slimmer body but no strength. I knew something was terrible but didn’t know what?? This was the only way to get slim is what I believed.
It was now that time post boards that we were hunting for admissions and I applied for colleges at Jaihind , HR , Xaviers , KC and was extremely excited to a college life coming up like any teenage girl until my Father decided to take me to the College of Home Science Nirmala Niketan. It sounded like an institute with only cooking & stitching and I didn’t want to do simply cooking… I wanted to be working girl, maybe an Air hostess or even a model. However, the real light my Father showed me was in the difference of Subjects Nirmala Niketan offered as opposed to the Arts Commerce & Science of other Colleges. This surely had a great combination and the specializations looked very impressive. The subject of Nutrition took my attention and I thought inside maybe this is my calling so what if it’s a Girls College of Home Science, the syllabus looks great.
My journey to the world of Nutrition began here which gradually evolved into passion. At a time when nobody knew what a Dietician is to even choose to specialize in this subject for an ambitious young girl was daring, but the passion of learning was stronger. I entirely credit my Father for where and what I am today. I am so glad Dad that I listened and chose to go by your wise advice.
Theories for Healthy Lifestyle-
I have no fancy theories and names… In dealing with my clients to help achieve their health goals I simply believed in one thing “Feed Your Need & Listen to Your Body” All the rest is bookish and irrelevant. We all know that protein is good but if one gets bloated, gains weight or develops uneasiness then that is not the best diet for him. There have been so many of my clients including Indian politician & singer Babul Supriyo who was completely on a protein diet. Babul would eat only protein and workout extensively but his weight had plateaued. When I met him and analyzed his body type I prescribed him to eat Roti. At this, he first raised his eyebrows, “Are you sure you me to eat a carb??” he reacted. But his fat loss at that time was unbelievable & he got his best results with carbs rather than protein then.
The fact is, one healthy lifestyle may not be the same for all. We have to find what our body is happiest with, so my simple principle of working around any person’s diet plan is understanding & analyzing their current lifestyle, identifying their goal and simply making the corrections as per their body type & needs. Life is simple and so should be your food. Some Say Go Vegan, others say Go Veg while so many Fitness Professionals make Vegetarians turn to only Meat. So many theories to confuse us but the intelligent truth is…Eat what suits you and shows you results. If this kind of food makes me feel great, look great, I have fantastic medical & body composition reports then that is truly your Healthy Diet Plan, the rest has no meaning. After all we are all in search of just one kind of body and that is a “Happy Body”
Besides, let me warn you there are no shortcuts. No matter where science advances decades from today…. No pills, surgery, treatments and supplements can make you lose weight and keep it off forever without your natural diet & exercise simply because we all reside in a natural human body and not a machine or a piece of metal. Our body responds to everything, eating more, eat less, eating consistently or eating constantly. My motto is : “You are & will always be what you Eat”
- How and when did you become the official dietician for the Femina Miss India Contestants?
I was approached by The Times Group in 2014 to educate the young pageant contestants on the importance of eating right. These were young college going girls and having battled weight as a teenager myself, I truly thought I would be able to help them out with their eating pattern. However, there was one thing different I observed with the newer generation now. Most girls today suffer from too many skin ailments- acne, pigmentation, uneven skin tone, melisma which I realized are stemming from poor nutrition and also leading to hormonal imbalance. Hence, I customized a training program on Nutrition for Health & Beauty for these young contestants. A combination to eat right for great energy, flat abs, workout along with clear glowing skin, strong hair & nails through natural Nutrition which remains the need of every supermodel today. We had excellent results with our training sessions and ever since I have been an integral part of The Times Group training. I am glad to have gotten this opportunity of being the Official Nutrition Expert for Times since 2014 to Femina Miss India 2016.
- Tell us details on what you prescribe them in terms of diet and exercise to be fit and lose weight for the big day?
- Eating small frequent meals through the day
- Excellent electrolyte balance is the most essential technique for supermodels and pageants.
- Most of these girls really suffer from low blood pressure, dropping sugars, dizzy spells and irregular bowels due to dehydration hence hydration becomes another important criteria
- Pre & post workout meals again form an essential part of their routine, giving them the right guidance for ensuring there is no muscle loss and more fat loss is again extremely essential
- Suggesting antioxidant rich diets for glowing skin
- Frequent snacking options when they are in between shoots, ramp walks, performances or travelling in the car
- Late night binge options.
- Many readers in this blog are women approaching 40 or post 40 and have difficulties in losing weight no matter how much they workout. Tell us how the body changes and how to beat this plateau at this age and be able to see results?
As we age, it seems its more and more difficult for the needle on the scale to budge. We may restrict our diet, follow portion control, cut out desserts altogether, exercise and still the clothes don’t fit like we would wish them to. The metabolism, hormones, digestion and other bodily functions undergo a series of changes as we get near our 40s. Instead of fighting it we need to work around the issue. One of the most common factor and primary reason why woman over 40 can’t lose weight is because they have allowed their metabolism to slow down by not eating right and working out regularly in their 30s. In addition, estrogen levels begin to drop post 40 which is a huge reason for the body to lose more muscle and get weaker as a result.
Today crossing 35yrs itself is an alarm for one to start keeping a vigilant watch on your body. Get your medical reports done every 6 months. Check for your B12, D3 and Ferritin levels (which is a hormone of iron and it’s deficiency causes fatigue, low energy levels, excessive hair fall and increase to your weight). Surprisingly, this is not the same a hemoglobin hence a separate test for a 40+ is essential. Slow metabolism can further put you in the vicious cycle of gaining flab easily, bloating, water retention and in many cases become a hormonal imbalance. Remember! Our hormones are fat soluble hence the more fat we retain the more risk we endanger. Keeping weight and blood reports in check is the only way to keep your body fit & young, stay alert n active and look fab.
Stay tuned tomorrow for Part 2 where we talk about macros, training Kangana Ranaut and how to eat through many common diseases lke thyroid, PCOS, and diabetes.
Tripti Gupta Contact info:
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