Your family is academically inclined, why did you choose a career in fitness?
I always wanted a career in fitness. I wasn't sure how to go about it. I always exercised and liked staying fit. I worked as a part-time instructor -- someone who made people do the warm-ups before the main instructor came. I enjoyed this but I didn't know (if) I could actually take it up as a profession.
I was doing my BSc in industrial chemistry. We had these internships. I used to feel jailed in a nine to five environment. After I finished my graduation I realised there was a course called a PG in sport science and nutrition that I could do.
Because I come from such an academic background, there was always the pressure to study. I was like: how am I going to follow a career in fitness and at the same time keep up with what my family does? So when I found out about this course, I just lapped it up. I knew this was what I wanted to do but I was not sure how I would make a living out of it.
What inspired you to write Don't Lose Your Mind, Lose Your Weight?
The desperation and stupid things people will do to lose weight is what inspired me. Also, I'm not the most well-known nutritionist and neither do I have the backing to advertise widely. So people would mostly come to me when everything else had failed and you will read this in the book also -- when they come, they have abused their systems so much -- and for what? Just to lose weight.
I've met some people who were so angry with themselves that any diet programme that would punish them, they would just lap it up. Just because they are fat, they get angry with themselves and stop all food. Initially when I put people on a diet plan, they are shocked. They're like, "Is this a diet plan? This is much more food than I have ever eaten. How am I ever going to lose weight?" They don't realize that you start gaining fat only when you start depriving your body.
I've never worked with weight. My diet plans are all eating-centric. I've never once fooled my clients saying, "As long as you're on my plan, you don't need to exercise." I always encourage people to work out. The human body is designed for activity, not to sit and talk.
Video: Hitesh Harisinghani
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