HYDERABAD : It’s still the first month of the year and a lot of people are trying to finally follow the diet or exercise regime that they failed to do in the previous years. A new year makes you want turn a new leaf. Old health reports and dietary charts are dug out, and ways to tame those factors lying outside the ‘normal’ range sought. Doctors play a large role in shaping our health curve and keeping us on track. They are our most reliable partners in building health and the most sought-after. But are our doctors themselves able to follow what they preach? Express takes a peek into their diet diaries, their cheat days and their health goals.
Dr Anil Krishna cardiologist and MD, Maxcure Hospitals
When we asked Dr Anil Krishna, cardiologist and MD of Maxcure Hospitals, regarding this, he is refreshingly candid. “An year back, I was not following any diet or health rules. I never smoked or drank, but everything else was haphazard. As time goes, you realise that there are a few habits which are going to cause you health problems.
That moment of realisation is needed,” he says. Reflecting on the changing health challenges today, the doctor adds: “People generally think that they are immune to diseases. We think that diseases are things that happen to others. During our schooling years, we were taught about good habits, but we were never told about good exercises and good diet.
So we were never much aware of these issues. But as we are developing as a nation now and our income is increasing, food habits are changing. Obesity is rising and metabolic diseases are on the rise. The realisation has increased in the last decade. With increasing globalisation, more and more rich people has become susceptible to metabolic diseases. They started realising that just because they can afford it, it is not good to eat it.”
Talking about his own regime now, the cardiologist says: “Earlier, my diet used to consist of lot of sugar and carbohydrates, but I have now cut down on carbs. I never used to exercise, but now I go to the gym. Most importantly, I think before I eat.”
Dr Bhaskar Rao MD and CEO, KIMS
Dr Bhaskar Rao, MD and CEO of KIMS, however, says that due to their strict work schedule, doctors tend to stick to one routine which benefits them. He shares: “ Most doctors, since the time they join medical school, are very busy. They do not have time to look into other things like junk food. Since they have to spend long hours at work, they are also active. From a young age, they get habituated to a busy lifestyle which continues for a lifetime. This is not the case for every profession.
A lot of people nowadays start earning very high salaries at young age, and they have more money to spend on junk food and other things. They have irregular office and sleep timings. Their work is also very stressful. They indulge in harmful food habits during the weekends, which add on to our bodies without their knowledge. From the time medical professionals join the course at the age of 17-18 years, their habits are very streamlined. They do not have weekends to break their regular eating and sleeping patterns, thus not adding stress to their bodies.”
Speaking about his own healthy ways, he adds: “I eat only home-cooked and fresh food. I try not to use lifts. I also take walks in my home and practise yoga.” The biggest health challenge, a few top doctors are facing, seems to be the inability to have their food in time, specially lunch. They either have to attend to their patients or might be performing a surgery.
Dr AV Guruva Reddy MD and chief joint replacement surgeon, Sunshine Group of Hospitals
“I follow a strict diet and exercise regime, but am still unable to eat at the correct time. Since I spend a large portion of the day in Out Patient Department (OPD), my lunch gets delayed. Also, I have been trying to complete my dinner before 7 pm. I hope that I can do that soon. As far as exercise is concerned, my wife and I play tennis for an hour in the morning.”
Explaining how he balances healthy food with his love for sweets, he adds: “I have given up eating rice. Eating rice is just a childhood conditioning done in South Indian homes. I do not miss it at all and enjoy eating the curries, fruits and nuts. In fact, chapattis are as bad as rice. They are just starch and add to the fat in our body. I keep eating healthy foods like oats, porridge and Greek yoghurt. But I do have a sweet tooth, and I eat sweets at least once a week. I also use some time management hacks so that I have time to take all my meals. I eat my breakfast every day in my car on the way to the hospital, and that half-an-hour that I save helps me a lot.”
Dr Kasu Prasad Reddy founder and co-chairman of Maxivision Super Specialty Eye Hospitals
Dr Kasu Prasad Reddy, founder and co-chairman of Maxivision Super Specialty Eye Hospitals, however, does not believe in giving up any food item. “All food items are good in moderate quantities if food intake is proportional to the physical activity we are doing. If on any day I feel that I have not been physically active enough, I skip a meal that day,” he says. Doctor Reddy, who is also trying to streamline his lunch timings, says: “I do not think anyone except Mahatma Gandhi practised what they preached. However, for the past 12 years, I have been playing golf for two hours every day in the morning. So I have been practising what I preach as far as exercising goes.”
kakoli_mukherjee @newindianexpress.com @KakoliMukherje2