Rujuta Diwekar is India’s leading fitness professional and a bestselling author.
Her books have sold more than a million copies and continue to define the discourse on food and exercise across the country.
In her two decade old career, she has worked with people from all walks of life, including celebs like Kareena Kapoor Khan, Anil Ambani, Alia Bhat, Varun Dhawan and Saif Ali Khan.
Her philosophy of ‘Eat local, think global’, with its emphasis on using common sense to make food uncomplicated, resonates with everyone.
Q: How did you get into this profession?
A: When you are not smart enough to do anything in your life, you land up having no other option but following your heart and that’s how I landed in the profession of fitness and health.
Q: How did you become India’s leading nutritionist and dietitian?
A: That’s purely by chance. It’s the time when India opened to smart phones, social media and other media channels. Also, the curiosity around Kareena’s diet and what she did to get in shape.
Q: What is your take on the mixture of Western fitness and Indian culture?
A: That we must make the best of both the worlds. The technology that the West offers and the wisdom of the east.
Q: How do you think food is treated differently in the West (UK, USA) than in India?
A: In India, it’s much more diverse and more matter of fact than what it is here. It takes more effort to eat Indian in the West and though a wide variety of vegetables are now available, you need a decent bit of creativity to cook up a good meal. And then let’s not forget that while working couples in India will have help to cook meals, a fresh, hot meal cooked at home is nothing short of a luxury here in the West.
Q: What are some of the Indian superfoods and why do you call them superfoods?
A: Super foods are the ones that are versatile and lend to individual health, local economy and global ecology. So there’s rice, cashews, ghee, in fact my book lists 10 of them. The West too is waking up to Moringa, haldi and other such foods of Indian origin.
Q: Which celebrities have you worked with?
A: Kareena Kapoor Khan, Karisma Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan, Saif Ali Khan, Anupam Kher, etc
Q: How often do you work with each celebrity and for how long?
A: Most of my relationships last a lifetime, including the one that I strike with my clients. It’s all about sustainable diets so that means that it is something that you should be able to do the rest of your life.
Q: When you work with these celebrities how do you help them maintain their diet and fitness regime?
A: By getting to know them, their work, their fitness goals and logistical challenges and including them in planning.
Q: You have written many books on weight loss and dieting, what provoked you to write your recent book: Pregnancy Notes?
A: The fact that Kareena was pregnant and that she felt that this is one area where there isn’t credible information about what to do during and post pregnancy to stay in good shape.
Q: Can you provide some tips to maintain a healthy diet?
A: – Start your day with a fruit
– Don’t drink coffee/ tea as first thing in morning, last thing in the night or in place of a meal
– Plan for a meal between 4-6pm every evening as that’s when most people crave junk and ditch their weight loss plans
Q: How about some fitness tips?
A: – For every 30 minutes of sitting, stand for 3 minutes
– Workout 150 minutes per week
– Maintain a regulated bedtime
Q: What piece of advice do you usually like to give to individuals who want to maintain a healthy lifestyle?
A: It’s about consistency, staying fit is an effort of a lifetime and it’s the small things that count.