Ever since coronavirus has been declared a pandemic by World Health Organisation (WHO), we are often bombarded with '10 hacks to stay healthy', 'Do's and Dont's during lockdown' and not to forget the colourful variety of concoctions that promise to keep the virus at bay. It goes unsaid, due to the coronavirus alarm, our health is currently the mission we all want to accomplish to save ourselves.

But, why not prioritise fitness and healthy diet for a lifetime?  In an exclusive conversation with International Business Times, India, Dietician and Nutritionist, Swati Bathwal talks about the importance of maintaining a healthy and fit lifestyle not just during the times of coronavirus but on a regular basis.

Swati Bathwal
Swati Bathwal

About Swati Bathwal

Having dealt with patients who ail from diabetes, cancer, cholesterol and lifestyle diseases, Swati is an accredited dietician and nutritionist with clients from various countries around the world mainly Australia and India. She is also a sports dietician, diabetes educator and a Yoga teacher.

When she is not chalking out a plan for her clients, she liveblogs on social media platforms on various trendy nutrition topics, tries her hands at DIY healthy recipes and is a fitness enthusiast.

Dr Swati Bathwal
Swati Bathwal

From being inspired by glossy health magazines at a very young age to bagging the highest rank in well-acclaimed universities, ever since her journey began in the field of nutrition and dietetics, Swati has always advocated, "The human body and the fuel that drives it" mechanism.

Your body is not an ornament.
It's a vehicle to your dream, so find a better version of you, everyday.

The nutritionist spoke to IBTimes, India about debunking diet myths, following the latest diet fads, incorporating lifestyle changes and battling coronavirus with immunity.

So scroll down if you are in a dilemma on how to eat right and stay fit because Swati Bathwal has just the right expert advice for you. 

On maintaining a healthy diet 

fibrous, protein, food, weight loss, diet, health,

You will find people with various lifestyle diseases like high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes caused due to stretching long hours at work and neglecting their health.

Due to lack of time, people tend to depend on quick fixes like ready to eat meals and instant food, that kind of food is a big no! It is definitely not nutritious and makes an individual sluggish. Healthy food might take a little effort but is helpful in the long run. 

If something isn't fresh on your kitchen bench, how can it be fresh on super market shelves? 

On weight loss myths

Dieting, Weighing Scale
Latest research on triple negative breast cancer found dietary restriction highly effective in preventing breast cancer metastasis.Alan Cleaver/Flickr

Lose 10-15kgs in just a month? Enrol for a diet crash-course and slim down in a week? What do you have, a magic wand? If you can not gain that much weight in a given period of time, how is it even possible to lose that much weight. I find these advertisements illogical.

To lose weight, you need to take one step at a time along with clinical supervision. If you are planning to start a diet, you need to understand what is the purpose of this diet and how long will it take to lose weight. 

On latest diet fads

mediterranean diet
Diet food [Representational image

A diet plan for every individual needs to be tailored according to their needs. Keto and other diets can be tried but only under medical supervision.

Especially, people who are ailing from blood pressure, diabetes, heart diseases should watch out, as the diet mainly comprises experimenting with fat and carbohydrates that might put one at a higher risk. If you want a lifestyle change, crash diets won't help you in the long run, you might lose weight but in no time you might regain it, too.

On boosting immunity during Coronavirus

Representational ImagePixabay

The first and the foremost rule to keep in mind is immunity. Yes, boosting your immunity should be the top priority during the times of coronavirus pandemic.

During this period, it is important to bring about changes and pick that single goal, hobby or activity you want to do and go at it every single day. It takes four weeks for a habit to develop and amid the lockdown we have that kind of time, utilising it is a key.

Here are other tips you should follow: 

  • Engage yourself in exercise and yoga.
  • Consume fruits, vegetables and plenty of Vitamin C. 
  • Soak up some sun for Vitamin D. 
  • Keep your gut strong. 
  • Reduce stress and anxiety.

On mantra for staying healthy

workout, exercise,

Apart from eating a lot of fruits, vegetable and natural food, what really works for me is that I fast once a week. I pick a day of the week when I want my body to take rest and heal it helps my digestive system and keeps me light.

I also distance myself from alcohol, smoking and make sure I'm always on my feet covering 10,000 steps a day. Also, I avoid food post-sunset. I feel, the lesser I eat, the fitter I am.