During the last few years, health has become one of the most discussed issues, thanks to the pandemic! A lot of people turned back to their roots and spent their time trying to stay fit. But, with talk of the pandemic losing steam, people have now returned to their pre-pandemic routines, and fitness has taken a back seat.
Integrative Nutrition and Lifestyle coach, Warun Mehta, who deals with a lot of people, explains how people can make small changes in their daily routines, without waiting for another lockdown.
Mehta was also the winner of Success Gyan's Super Speaker Season 1 and was selected as India's latest motivational speaker among 40,000 contestants. He shares his life experiences and how he was able to deal with illness, while also studying, and lists ways through which people can deal with common lifestyle disorders.
You deal with a lot of patients on a daily basis. Based on your observations, what are some of the most common patterns related to ailments?
There are some unexpected ones; patterns like …
Past traumas, especially childhood and relationship traumas, when left unhealed, often show up as ailments in the body. Past injuries can flare up later in life, causing much physical pain. A carbohydrate (that, too, simple carbs) -based diet and a sedentary lifestyle, leading to metabolic disorders, have become rampant today. Magic pill mentality is popping pills for everything, without knowing the immense harm they do over time. Running after the next diet fad, fancy therapies and tall promises, instead of focusing on the basics.
In Goa, too, you have a lot of patients. What are the health issues that you have noticed, and what is the main cause of this, in your opinion?
Pollen allergies – the primary factor being poor gut health. Rising obesity – due to over abundance of food choices, and people not exercising self-restraint. And also, lack of activity.
Why did you choose fitness and nutrition as your area of expertise?
Actually, my area of expertise is everything that a doctor does not do. That is because, during my own healing journey, I explored the curriculum taught to medical students. It became apparent to me that that was meant to save lives, and not treat lifestyle disorders (which is 90% of ailments today, that eventually spiral out of control), get fit, achieve peak health and even live longer. Hence, the focus on studying health, coaching, nutrition, fitness, body transformation, and longevity science.
You have dealt with several life-threatening ailments. Can you tell us how this became a turning point in your life?
At an early age, of 4 years, I was diagnosed with some life-threatening illnesses. And, the doctors nearly gave up on me at one point. But, I miraculously survived. Later, at the age of 30, I was once again in the hospital, and this time, I got a stroke and was diagnosed as pre-diabetic, IBD, Candida and PTSD, a mental disorder. It is at this time that I did a lot of research and studies on health and fitness, and how to stay fit; and I am still here today.
What was the treatment like and how long did recovery take?
Since these were lifestyle disorders, medication was not the solution. It was a concerted effort over many years to learn the science of Peak Health, to understand my body, to nourish it based on body rhythms and my bio-individuality, keeping my diet mostly alkaline. It also included optimizing my sleep and movement, detoxifying my body of accumulated toxins and to get my Primary Food (my core relationships, spirituality, meaningful work, creativity and play) in order.
When it comes to personal health, what are some of the areas that people often neglect?
In my experience, they are:
Not heeding the body’s low level signals, and addressing them right away. Instead, we tend to drag out our minor ailments until they become major, or an emergency, before we make lifestyle changes. Not get enough activity. Good quality and deep rest, and deactivation. Not understanding the impact of healthy relationships, play, meaningful work and spiritual connection on our health and well being. High quality supplementation when required. Getting adequate sunshine. Mobility and strength training. Well-rounded nutrition. Staying hydrated. Self-care.
Tell us some ‘don’ts’, when it comes to fitness and health.
What works for one, may not work for another, and one person’s food can be another person’s poison. So, don’t follow people’s advice on health, nutrition and fitness blindly because no two individuals are the same. Never compromise on sleep for more than 3 days in a row. Body builds a sleep backlog and if we keep pushing that, it begins to show up in the form of poor health, accelerated aging, low energy, terrible focus and an irritated mood. Don’t sit around for too long. As you know, sitting is the new smoking. Keep moving -- low level activity spread throughout the day (called NEAT -- non exercise activity thermogenesis) is more useful than exercising for an hour, and then not moving for the rest of the day.
How did you train to become a health, nutrition and fitness coach?
By studying health, nutrition and fitness comprehensively over a decade -- doing several courses, travelling to many countries, seeking out healers and masters, trying over 12 different diets, many fitness regimes and healing modalities.
You recently won the first season of Super Speaker by Success Gyan. Tell us how this happened.
It was a surprise, and a very pleasant one! It was also a very emotional moment as I really wanted it and worked very hard for it. They hosts of the event asked 8 out of the Super 10 to step forward, the assumption being that the runner up and finalist would be among them. Two of us were left behind. And, I thought, game over for me. At the same time, I was very happy for whoever was going to be crowned as the winner, since all of us in the Top 10 had become very good friends by then. But then, the jury turned it the other way, by saying that the two of us are the runners up and the winner! This is when I got very emotional.
Does self-esteem have a role to play when it comes to fitness?
It’s the other way round; the fitter you get, the more confident you are and, hence, higher self-esteem.
(Success Gyan has just announced Super Speaker Season 2 and invites interested individuals to register at https://superspeaker.com)