Why don’t Western diets work for Indians?
Everyone’s story is different, but the results are usually the same when it comes to weight-loss.
Does this sound like you? You’re unhappy with your weight, and want to “cut down” a few pounds. You search the internet and click on the first diet that seems interesting. This week, it’s the “Whole Foods Diet”. You read everything you possibly can about this interesting diet. Then, you might clear your kitchen cabinet, and go out and buy whatever groceries are needed. You start with enthusiasm, dreaming of your future self and all the clothes you’ll fit back into and the compliments you’ll receive. A week goes by. The weight has started dropping, but you’re hungry, fatigued, and trying your best not to quit. A few weeks in, you’re absolutely miserable! The strange foods you’ve been buying are unpalatable, and to top it off, at some point, the weight loss stops. And then…a few months later, you’re right back where you started.
What’s going wrong?
Well, the problem originates in the US. The US has led the world in obesity research. But that research was done FOR Americans (naturally- they live here). When Indians – in India, the US, or worldwide – try most diets, they are really trying American diets. No wonder it doesn’t work!
And there is a serious cost to a diet not working. Excess weight has been shown to be associated with diabetes, heart disease, cancer, arthritis, and many other conditions. And this is the worse news: if you are of Indian (or Pakistani, Sri Lankan, Bangladeshi) origin, you have a much higher risk of getting these diseases at a much lower weight than you American counterpart. So, for example, an American male who is 68 inches tall and weighs 70kg is at a perfectly healthy weight. However, an Indian male who is 68 inches tall and weighs 70kg has a MUCH higher risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, and many other complications that arise from having too much weight. Of course, the same is true for Indian women.
What’s the answer?
So far, here are some examples of American diets that our clients have – unsuccessfully – tried before working with us. See if you can spot the problem.
Ornish diet: Eat anything you want, except no fats, no meat, no eggs, and reduced dairy.
Atkins diet: Primarily focused on eating animal protein every meal, reducing rice, milk, sugar, bread consumption
Paleo diet: No grains (rice, wheat, corn, etc.)
Why is it unlikely that these diets would work for the majority of Indians?
They don’t work for Indians because they are not sustainable for us to follow. This is a very important concept. If you are non-veg, could you technically follow the Paleo diet? Yes, you could of course. But what kind of a life would you have if you could never eat rice or rotis or dosas ever again? If you are veg, and you decide to follow the Ornish diet…how many days in a row can you go without adding oil or ghee to your sabzi? How long can you avoid curds (yogurt), milk, and paneer? Not very long! Food is pleasurable to eat. And a life completely devoid of delicious, basic, nourishing foods is unlikely to be a very happy one.
There is another complication.
Not knowing any other options, many Indians decide to follow one of these diets, but decide to make them primarily vegetarian. Here’s the problem: attempting to follow primarily vegetarian versions of popular diets can DAMAGE your health. Many popular American diets are low in vegetable proteins, which is how most Indians get these essential nutrients. So while you might be losing weight, you are also essentially giving up health.
What if you get the right diet, the diet that is ideal for Indians, and lose weight? There are amazing benefits to weight loss:
Finding it a lot easier to climb stairs or enjoy the recreational activities you used to.
If you are overweight or obese, even losing as little as 5% of your body weight can dramatically reduce your risk of: Diabetes, Heart disease, Cancer, Arthritisi and many other diseases.
If you are Indian, and want to successfully lose and maintain weight, you need to follow a diet that adheres to specific principles. These are the principles we have used to help lakhs of people. Defined by Dr. Vinod Dhurandhar – India’s 1st Doctor to practice obesity – in 1962. He is a man well ahead of his time. Fifty years of research continue to corroborate Dr. Vinod’s techniques and discoveries.
Based on these steadfast principles, we have discovered that the most effective diets for Indians:
Tastes good, so that you can keep it going for a long time.
Allows you to eat home food, so you don’t have the complexity of cooking several types of food.
Adjusts for religious fasting, so that you don’t have to choose between your health and your religion.
Is scientifically designed to have correct protein and nutrient ratios for Indians, so that you are receiving the nutrition that isn’t appropriate for you.
Is systematic, so you lose weight at a health pace.
Until next time, wishing you the best of health!
If you are ready for a completely different type of diet, see our 12 Week Online Diet Program