HYDERABAD: “Aunties can now be twenties”, “Let your skin shine like a diamond”, “Lose 10 kg in 30 days”. These are a few of the many posters you will see when you enter a certain fitness centre in the city.
Surrounded by these poster-filled walls are women seated on machines that are cleaning up toxins from their body, a few others are getting their scheduled massages done and some more taking instructions from a yoga instructor.
“There are around 20 sessions that include steam baths and massages along with a diet and prescribed exercise. While the steam bath helps in removing toxins from the body, massage, exercise and diet help in removing the fat,” explains a manager at one of the branches of the fitness centre.
Though a lot of women have taken up this programme to lose weight in a short while, experts suggest that it is dangerous.
Dr AN Malleswari, chief nutritionist at Global Hospitals says people get carried away when centres advertisements losing weight in big numbers. “Weight loss happens for sure. But one has to remember that it is not long standing,” she points. The initial weight loss only comprises loss of water. “Once you hydrate yourself, it comes back,” she explains.
Sara Nasir, obesity specialist who runs obesity clinic, Belleza, has been in the business of diet and healthy eating for close to 16 years now. She too agrees with Malleswari. “There is no way that a human being can lose 10 kg in one month. It is only possible among those people who weigh more than 120 or 140 kg, that too in exceptional cases – when their body is filled with excess fluids. Otherwise, it is impossible,” she says adding, the most anyone can lose in the first month is five to seven kg.
Sara gives us an example of one client who weighs 120 kg. “He lost seven kg in the first month with exercise and with a controlled diet. After that we gave him a breather week where we asked him to eat all that he wants to. Had he continued, the diet would have taken a toll on his body,” clarifies Sara.
The fitness centre also provides a strict diet chart to people. Malleswari shares that there are close to 300 different certified diet charts. “Every individual’s body type is different hence the diet chart too differs. People need to ensure that it is a balanced diet. The fundamental aspect is that it has to be high on protein and low on fat,” she advises.
Sara also adds that proper weight loss happens when the person is dedicated and consistent in their approach. “It is a brain game. Though we initially guide them, we ensure that the person understands what is going on with his body and then they begin to take responsibility. We then ask them how they would like to proceed,” she explains. Their conscience needs to be triggered, she adds.
Sara points that people cannot diet all their life and hence need to let their body adapt to cravings too. “Moreover, if one holds cravings, they are bound to get worse resulting in binge eating,” she explains.