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The body beyond calories

Nutritionist Munmun Ganeriwal’s book, ‘Yuktahaar: The Belly and Brain Diet’, recently released as an audiobook, features actor Taapsee Pannu’s journey of physical transformation

September 20, 2022 08:52 am | Updated 06:31 pm IST

Taapsee Pannu and nutritionist Munmun Ganeriwal

Taapsee Pannu and nutritionist Munmun Ganeriwal | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

“What I eat triggers my mind. Good food makes me happy, but food not made well, even if it is my favourite chhole bhature, can throw me off,” says Taapsee Pannu, on the role food plays in a person’s sense of well-being. The actor-producer has written the foreword to nutritionist and lifestyle consultant Munmun Ganeriwal’s book, Yuktahaar : The Belly and Brain Diet, which was recently launched as an audiobook on Audible.

Taapsee has been working with Munmun and the book traces their journey towards physical transformation. Though she has not had to drastically alter her body for roles, the 2021-sports drama Rashmi Rocket required her to gain muscle. She played Rashmi Chibber, an Indian track and field athlete from Gujarat. “I had to appear athletic and gain muscle, but I did not want to do it with steroids. I had to do gain muscle in a natural way if I had to sustain a healthy body after the film. I was pushing myself for that role and it was important that I got back to my regular self. I have a life beyond films,” says Taapsee, over a Zoom call. 

The idea of fitness is also about enjoying the process and not just about focussing on the results, says Taapsee, who believes in the transformative power of food. “If you are able to figure out what works for you, there is no need to give up on the food you love,” she adds. 

So far, she has not had a role that demanded gaining weight, says Taapsee. “I am not sure how ready I am to do that. I need to feel healthy from within,” she says. 

Breaking myths

The paperback version of the book, which hit the stands in 2021, was the result of two decades of Munmun’s experience. She wanted to break “the myths perpetuating in the diet industry”. “I have been observing how people approach weight loss and wanted to put the facts out there. The aim is to educate people that it is possible to take care of one’s health in a simpler manner, without having to deprive oneself of any food group,” says Munmun, whose diet plans are focussed on nutrition.

“Avoiding food groups such as carbohydrates and fats or fasting for many hours in the name of weight loss is not sustainable. Carbohydrates, for instance, are the fuel for the brain. Even fruits are said to be unhealthy these days. Imagine being scared to eat fruits,” says Munmun.

Instead of chasing numbers and data, one has to look within and find what works for oneself, she says. “A balanced diet of quality food consumed mindfully can improve the quality of life. From better metabolism to regulating blood sugar levels, cholesterol, and mood swings, food can bring about a number of changes. The path to health is not through starvation,” says Munmun. She propounds a balanced lifestyle, which includes discipline in food, exercise, sleep and practises to calm the mind.

The audiobook is available on Audible.

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