This popular book on the stands for the last 4 years is written by Ms.Rujuta Diwekar, a young
celebrity fitness trainer or Guru, mostly popular as dietician to film celebreties like Kareena
Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan, Lisa Ray, Sonali Gupta and industrialist Anil Ambani. The book has a
foreword by Kareena Kapoor, and there are constant references in the book to the widely
discussed “Size Zero” ideal achieved by Kareena Kapoor. Rujuta is winner of the Best personal
Trainer Award 2005. The book motivates us to think differently about our body, food, and the
art of eating. The translation of this book is presently available in many of the regional
Rujutha, a Konkanastha Brahmin (Kobra as she calls herself in her typical self-deprecating
humor) started her career as nutritionist in 90s. She later turned into a fitness trainer, managing
gyms in two different colleges at Mumbai. She has also specialised in sport science and yoga.
She also shares the beauty of her trekking and meditation experience in Himalyas, which she
visits once in a year taking a break from her hectic schedule in Mumbai.
She explains the food habits of typical, traditional middle class and argues, how they can
ideally fit into our fitness regime . Most of the examples are based on the experiences of typical
Mumbaikars and are given in such a simple and lucid manner , that readers can easily relate their
experiences with those given in the book.
Her popular prescription is that the diet taken should be directly proportionate to the activity. She
breaks so many myths which are prevailing in the mind of youngsters. The book is brillaintly
segregated into topic wise chapters with broad heads as below
1. What diet is not
2. How to eat : relearn
3. What to eat : rethink
4. The four principles of eating right
5. Inculcating awareness.
6. Crossing the bridge : from knowing to doing
7. Three articles as appendix
In the introduction itself she narrates, why she has given the off-beat title “Don’t lose your mind,
Lose your weight.” Most of us think that reducing the weight, waist size, tummy or hips etc., is
possible only by sacrificing so many things/joys in our life. That is why we are not venturing for
that. Rujutha, on the other hand, attacks this myth and lets us know her secret- we can eat
anything we want just as long as we follow her eating principles. She teaches us how to lose
weight without giving up all our favourite foods. No crash dieting, no carb deprivation, no
unbidden cravings, we will never go hungry again. The theme of the book revolves around
following ground rules.
- Eating a balanced diet will keep us healthy
- Eating correctly is to be a lifelong commitment, and the diet should be a reflection of this.
- What to eat should be planned according to our activity, lifestyle, fitness levels, likes, dislikes,
-Using common sense when it comes to eating correctly is the central theme of the book
What diet is not
-Diet is not starvation. Don’t ever go on an extreme diet. Modify our lifestyle.
Exercise and dieting are mutually inclusive. Exercise is non-negotiable. Unless we exercise, we
will never see enough of a result, despite all our good eating habits.
-All food is good. We should not make angels and demons out of different foods.
How to eat : Re-learn
- Eating the Indian way- that is sitting on a mat, on the floor, using the cross-legged or
sukhasan posture, saying our prayers where we offer our food to God and consume the rest as
Prasad or god’s blessing.
-Know our stomach: Loading the stomach when it has no capacity to digest is criminal. It’s
human rights violation!!!.
-Sense our overeating threshold – don’t cross by one mouthful, bite or spoonful. By eating slowly
and mindfully, we will naturally find our threshold. All we need to train yourself to do, is to be
attentive to our stomach.
-Eating is not the way to overcome boredom or entertainment
-Pick the food with our hands and take it towards our mouth and chew on it, and then take it
inwards into our stomach.
-We can digest the most amount of food between 7 am to 10 am
Stress can make us fat.
A few guidelines are provided for eating:
Before eating :
_ Switch off your phone, TV and computer.
_ Wash our hands (use soap)
_ Serve ourself half of what we usually eat, on nice clean plate
_ Preferably adopt the cross-legged posture or sit at our usual dining place
_ Drink a glass of water.
_ Start eating (preferably with our hands, not spoons) and eat slowly
_ Chew our food slowly and deliberately
_ Use the entire mouth and don’t just chew from one side of our jaw.
_ While we still have food in your mouth, we should not pick up the food from our plate for
_ Eat with all our senses and think about how the food is nourishing us from within.
_ Now if we want to eat some more, serve ourself a second helping from the other half
that’s left. But don’t eat it all.
_ Don’t be in a rush to get up and get going. Stay where we are for a few minutes.
_ If we are clearing up yourself, pick up our plate and clean it with water before leaving it in
The five basic rules to increase nutrient intake are
1. Eat food that is prepared fresh and consume it within 3 hours of cooking.
2. The smaller the number of people the food is prepared for, the better its nutrient level.
3. Eat our vegetables and fruits whole instead of cutting them into pieces. So eat a full
apple, pear or plum, etc and don’t chop it into pieces.
4. Remain loyal to our genes and eat what we have been eating since childhood.
5. As much as possible, eat local produce and seasonal food. Climate, altitude, humidity,
wind, soil quality etc., influence our digestive system and foods that grow locally.
6. A calm state of mind actually helps us to absorb all nutrients from the food we eat.
Here, the author explains the difference between nutrients and calories by breaking our
commonly held beliefs. She strongly advocates that every calorie we consume should be loaded
with nutrients. The food we eat should not be empty and processed; it should be natural and full
of goodness like paneer, cheese, peanuts, nuts, milk, yogurt and whole grains. By this formulae
or logic, paneer parantha is better than 2 to 3 slices of pizza. So, she says enjoy our paranthas
without any feeling of guilt. When it comes to food think nutrients, not calories.
What to eat : rethink
In this chapter, the author explains about the qualities of food we have to eat ie., Carbohydrates,
Proteins, fats (saturated and unsaturated), Vitamins, Minerals, Water and other supplements.
She explains all these important aspects of food in language that’s not technical at all. This helps
us to understand food better and use the information in our day-to-day food intake. (This is one
big important feature of this book, as it’s not technical at all, we can take the advice then and
there, and start implementing it immediately).
Here too she helps us understand things like whether we are drinking enough water or not… If our
urine is always crystal clear (& not light yellow, dark yellow or reddish), we are drinking right
quantity of water.
Simple tests & rules like the following help us to start using the advice given in the book in the
right manner. .
Carbs : Avoid Biscuits, Cakes&Pastries, Pizza, Sugar, Alcohol, Deep fried food like samosas,
pakoras,vada,bhujiya and kachori, Mithais and all deserts(chocolates etc), (drink) syrups, cold
drinks etc. . as all these these are high GI and zero on nutrients)
Proteins : Use them for fat burning by consuming good quality protein like fish, eggs, milk
products and soya.
There is no need of avoiding fats, make it as integral part of diet along with carbs and proteins.
The four principles of eating right
Principle 1 :Never wake up to tea or coffee : Instead eat real food within 10 to 15 minutes of
Principle 2 : Eat every 2 hrs.
Principle 3 : Eat more when we are more active and less when we are less active. Eating
(quantity of food) should be directly proportionate to our activity levels.
Principle 4 : Finish our last meal at least 2 hours prior to sleeping
In this chapter, the author illustrates the real life examples on actual diet habits of people &
analyses what’s wrong with them (vis-à-vis working solutions of diet by following the above four
principles). Then. she goes ahead & shows with minimal changes in lifestyle, how these people
have shifted to healthy eating habits and are experiencing better results. The idea is to make
one aware about one’s eating habits and then bring in a conscious change for better.
Crossing the bridge from knowing to doing
Just knowing or talking about things like eating right and exercising regularly has never helped
anybody. Just talking is not enough. The fundamental steps towards adopting a healthier
lifestyle is below:
Step 1 : Wake up a little before sunrise so that you can witness the peace that every dawn brings.
Step 2 : Eat within 19 minutes of waking up
Step 3 : Within an hour of meal 1, eat a nice, home cooked breakfast.
Step 4 : Eat every 2 hours after meal 2
Step 5 : Eat our dinner within 2 hours of sun set.
Step 6 : Sleep at a fixed time
Take care of the following 10 things that will pull you back :
01. Refusing to learn from experiences
02. Believing that there is indeed a ‘magical and quick’ way to burn fat
03. Not taking care of ourself. Depending on others to do this
04. Being critical of ourself. Losing fat is about making progress, not about achieving
05. Eating too much at one time
06. Eating after a long gap
07. Taking a ‘drink beer and laze around’ holiday
08. Expecting results in the first week
09. ‘Overdoing it and pushing ourself too far, to do whatever it takes.’
10. Not realizing that there is much more to life than how much we weigh.
10 things that can take us forward on the path to staying fit
01. Cook something for ourself once every week. If we can’t cook, learn to cook, even if it’s
simple rice and dal.
02. Maintain silence as a regular practice. It could be a fixed hour or a few minutes every
day, or an entire day once a month.
03. Go without salt once every month.
04. Wake up just a little earlier than we are used to. And sleep just a little earlier too.
05. Try and adopt the cross-legged posture while eating.
06. The squatting posture while cleaning our bowels like in the Indian type toilet is better than
the sitting posture in English Commode type of toilets.
07. Keep up our favorite hobby, whatever it is; cricket, sitar, painting, acting, dancing or
08. Take a Himalayan holiday and get off the touristy route – TREK.
09. Learn something new every year. Keep ourself young from within and it shows on the
10. Get our family and friends to support us on our journey to getting fitter and leading a
‘ Now’ is the best time to start
Stop waiting for the perfect time, just start now. It is the perfect time to start and get full of health,
fitness and peace.
In appendix one, she narrates how Kareena Kapoor ( film actress) adopted the above techniques
and metamorphised herself in achieving the “Size Zero”, though she wonders what this concept
of Size Zero is all about.
Second one, is about the importance of exercise. While stating it as a non-negotiable thing, the
author leaves the choice to individual for which type of exercise one wants to adopt or what we
prefer to do: Yoga, weight training, running, swimming, etc., in tune with our temperament. All the
forms of exercise lead us to the same path, that of health, vitality and peace. The benefits of
exercise go beyond losing weight or losing inches. It will improve muscle and bone density, heart
and lung function, lower blood pressure, stabilize blood sugar and make us agile, faster and
stronger. Before starting fitness program, we should measure our body composition, flexibility,
strength and endurance. A basic knowledge of these parameters is important before starting the
fitness plan. All exercises lead to the same goal: that of health, fitness and peace. And the author
explains some myths and realities about weight training, Yoga, walking etc.,
The book attempts to empower us with crucial yet overlooked information about how our body
works and why we need to feed it the right food at the right time. It puts the responsibility of eating
right on the shoulders of the reader and encourages you to come with your own 'eating plan'.The
book is also written in a conversational “Mumbai Local Train chatting style” and is loaded with wit
and humour. One never gets bored reading the book. Some, subsidiary themes of the main
topics are also discussed within boxes, and these “reading of boxes on a stand alone basis itself
will be a pleasure. At the end of each chapter, there is a good summary too.
I strongly recommend the book for one and all who want to be fit, healthy and peaceful. The book
is reasonably priced at Rs.199/-. It is a “must read” for health conscious people and a “must
have” in your reading shelf of the drawing room for references. Another good news is that one
can also go to www.flipkart.com where the book is available with a discount of Rs.30 or Rs.40/-
so, and what more they courier at your given address without any additional charges. There is
another book Rujuta has written exclusively for women on Weight Loss tamasha- More of it later
on. For the time being, read this book.
Table of contents
Foreword by Kareena Kapoor
· Simplicity is profound
· About this book
· How to use this book
1. What diet is not
· Diet as punishment: the compensation diet
· Extreme diets just don’t work: the detox diet
· Exercise and dieting are mutually exclusive—no they aren’t
· Measuring body composition
· One size doesn’t fit all
· The truth about low fat and sugar free alternatives
· All food is good
· What is the solution?
2. How to eat: relearn
· Know thy stomach
· Overeating and overeating threshold
· The 5 basic rules to increase nutrient intake
· And the 6th rule—a calm state of mind
3. What to eat: rethink
· All about carbs
· All about proteins
· All about fats
· All about vitamins and minerals
4. The 4 principles of eating right
5. Inculcating awareness
· Information without awareness is useless
· Sample diet and activity recalls for specific profiles
6. Crossing the bridge: from knowing to doing
· Fundamental steps towards adopting a healthier lifestyle
· ‘Now’ is the best time to start
1. Kareena ka Tashan
2. It’s non-negotiable: exercise as a part of your life
3. DIY diet recall.