Ashima Achantani - Food We Eat Affects Our Behavior and Mood


Food affects our mood and state of mind. Specific foods such as sugar, alcohol, fried foods increase stress, cravings, uneasiness, lethargy in our body which affects our mental state. There are specific food categories which help decrease stress and help manage our emotions well


Tell us more about yourself and your profession.

I am Nutritionist Ashima Achantani, founder and head nutritionist at The Health Story. I am a gold medalist from VLCC and IGNOU. I have interned from Sir Gangaram Hospital, New Delhi. My forte is to reverse lifestyle disorders such as pcod, thyroid, diabetes type 2 and insulin resistance which I can do not just because of the nutritional background I have but also because I was able to cure myself from pcod. 

My career began with me losing 15 kgs post my delivery which brought me more closer to my passion. I believe in keeping my food simple and in its natural form. I do not recommend unnecessary supplements, meal replacers or protein powders. I strictly do not recommend starvation or fad diets. My motto is “create your story of health”, which comes with treating all the dimensions of health.



What is your fitness mantra?

My fitness mantra is focusing on all the aspects of health which includes physical, mental, spiritual, social and environmental. For instance, I take care of my daily diet and exercise routine along with making a morning routine which includes waking up at 5 am followed by meditation and exercise. 

I am a firm believer of a lifestyle change which includes sleeping on time, taking care of my thoughts and the company that surrounds me. I manifest and do affirmations daily to strike that balance efficiently.



What are some of the major misconceptions about diets and exercises?


Three major misconceptions about diet are:-

• To lose weight, you need to give up your favourite foods.

• Fat and carbohydrates are your enemy.

• Gluten free foods help you become healthier.


Three major misconceptions about exercise are:-

• Cardio is the only way to lose fat.

• Fat converts into muscle or muscle convert into fat.

• Lifting heavy weights bulk you up.




How can one maintain a healthy lifestyle?


For a healthy lifestyle keep these points into consideration:

1)Maintain a regular exercise routine –

No, you don’t have to punish yourself in the gym. Do what your body allows you to begin, for instance, 30 - 40 mins of a simple brisk walk or enjoying your favourite sport for 5 days a week.

2) Be conscious of what you put in your mouth-

To maintain a healthy lifestyle, you need to keep eating healthy. Add more seasonal and local fruits and vegetables and less of junk or packaged foods. Avoid skipping meals and fix a routine which you follow at least 5 -6 days a week. If binging in junk once in a while, try to make it healthier along with palatability.

3) Engage in activities you are passionate about –

Every now and then, to keep the stress and the demands of life from taking over, take a break and do something you love doing.

4) Surround yourself with positive energy–

To have a sound mental and emotional state, you must surround yourself with positive energy. yes, not all problems can be avoided. But it helps to face difficult situations with an optimistic outlook instead of dwelling in them. 

Surround yourself with encouraging company that will provide you with constructive criticism every once in a while to help you improve.



How can one build a successful career in your field?

To become a successful nutritionist/dietitian, gain your degree in nutrition. But just by gaining a degree you won’t become successful; you need to be passionate about what you do and the ground rule – NEVER STOP LEARNING. Nutrition is evolving every day, keeping yourself updated is the only way to success.



What is one piece of advice you would like to give someone who wishes to lose weight?

One advice for losing weight is “Do not focus on quick fixes, focus on losing weight which is sustainable. Your weight loss can be sustainable only if, you change your lifestyle and follow a diet closer to what you can maintain all your life.”



How do diets and exercise contribute to overall wellbeing and happiness?

Our food affects our mood and state of mind. Specific foods such as sugar, alcohol, fried foods increase stress, cravings, uneasiness, lethargy in our body which affects our mental state. There are specific food categories which help decrease stress and help manage our emotions well.

Exercising reduces our stress levels, release happy hormones, reduce anxiety, improve sleep quality which helps us improve our quality of life.

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Interviewed by - Muskan Gupta

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