Vishnu Saraf, Co-Founder and CEO of Truweight: Why does weight management in India needs a complete overhaul?
An honest comprehensive approach is the need of the hour
October 9th, 2015
As Kiran awoke one morning from uneasy dreams and stepped on the weighing scale, he was shocked to discover that he was several kilos heavier than his ideal weight. He also had not been his usual self, feeling lethargic and often fatigued. A visit to the doctor revealed that he had high blood pressure and cholesterol. But how could this happen to him? He was a regular at the neighbourhood gym. He purchased food products only from the healthy aisles of the supermarket. He counted his calories and used only artificial sweeteners. He subscribed to every cure that teleshopping networks had promised, from slimming pills to abdominal sauna belts. He even had a revolutionary new machine which enabled him to complete his morning walk while sleeping. How could a disciplined and meticulous man like Kiran not be fit?
The reference to Kafka may seem a bit overdone, but it’s not entirely out of place. The truth is that Kiran has been taken for a ride by the false promises that weight management companies in our country spread. These companies exploit the weakness of unaware consumers who desire a quick magic fix. The system then leads people from one false hope to another and finally results in a state of utter helplessness and defeat (which is in some ways the essence of a Kafkaesque experience).
My father has a blood pressure problem and had to undergo a heart operation because of poor lifestyle. The tragedy was that he never knew that he was eating unhealthy. The health food industry has made it more difficult to eat healthy because of the false claims that shout from advertisements and supermarket shelves. There is a need for an honest company to emerge, onw which cares about the client’s waistline and not just their own bottom-line.
Many myths abound and now it’s time to bust a few of those. Exercise is great for fitness, but not so much for weight loss. At best, it contributes 20-30% to your weight loss needs. Fat cannot be converted into muscle, their chemical compositions are totally different. Had I known this before starting a fitness club chain, I would have more hair on my head! Slimming centres and sauna belts make one lose water weight and people tend to think that they have lost actual weight. The mindless focus on calorie counting is also faulty. An apple has more calories than 200 ml of cola. Does that make an apple unhealthier than cola? And to add to this list of misconceptions, most of the so-called health food is only marginally different from regular food. Thus, raising awareness is critical for creating an effective weight loss program.
There’s also a shortage of good dieticians in the country. Contrary to what people may believe, being a good dietician is just as hard as being a good doctor. A dietician must understand several mental and physical attributes of the patient before designing a customized diet which involves choosing the right mix from thousands of food items. This is no walk in the park.
It is held that medicine is the only way to tackle the problems of diabetes, thyroid, cholesterol, etc. But it’s not the case. These are all lifestyle diseases and can be controlled largely by leading a more healthy life. But unfortunately, the focus seems to only be on the medicines. We are not claiming that medicines aren’t necessary to treat these diseases, but that diet has an equally important role to play, if not more. The primary focus should be on healthcare, not sick-care.
We have identified seven root causes of weight gain — internal inflammation, hormonal imbalances, nutritional deficiencies, stress, lack of sleep, gut bacteria imbalances, and toxicity. Unfortunately, no one attempts to provide a comprehensive solution. Unless there is a comprehensive approach towards weight loss, it is not going to be healthy and sustainable. Imagine a bucket with seven holes; if you repair one hole, will water stop leaking? Our weight management solution aims to address all of these causes to deliver lasting results.
At Truweight, we are extremely optimistic about bringing about a major change in the weight management industry. Truweight is not only a business. We are driven by the motivation to promote preventive healthcare and weight management with true dedication. Most of our clients report great improvement with their ongoing health issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure, hormonal imbalance and much more. And, almost everyone admits that they have gained a completely different perspective towards food and calories.
We have spent over three years researching nutrition and healthy food products globally. Our products combine the best of Super Foods from all over the world including spirulina, acacia gum, flaxseed, foxtail millet, etc.
But the biggest advantage in our offering is technology. With the help of technology, we are creating a personal digital dietician which can beat even the best dieticians in the world and would be available at your service 24×7. It will analyse more than twenty parameters ranging from food preferences to ethnicity and then choose from over ten thousand food items to prescribe the most optimal diet plan. It is powered by a food rating algorithm, which rates all food items based on how healthy they are. We believe that data is the key to solving the weight loss problem. And with the mobile app in place, our eyes are set on changing the global weight management industry.
We do not lay claim to overnight results simply because there are no shortcuts to success in weight loss. Burning fat takes time. At Truweight, we don’t define success by losing in inches and kilograms. Success for us is when our clients report marked improvement in their overall well-being.