VENITA GOMES| NT BUZZ
Many of us often complain about gaining weight or suffering from some illness or the other, and often turn to medicines, gym or other ways of staying fit in order to cure or get rid of the problems. But Mumbai-based holistic lifestyle coach – integrative and lifestyle medicine, Luke Coutinho through his consultations, books and online videos is constantly appealing to people to pay attention to their lifestyle in order to seek balance in their life.
He says that the secret to healthy living lies in maintaining a proper lifestyle and by doing away with all harmful elements like junk food, lack of sleep, and no exercise which in turn tends to hinder our strife of achieving good health. His experience and knowledge has not only been adopted by the youngsters in India but has found favour among celebrities and people from different corners of the world as well.
Luke along with his team of trained nutritionists design wellness plans with a holistic approach towards prevention, weight and disease management with expertise in cancer care. His programmes are personalised in accordance to an individual’s lifestyle, that revolves around quality sleep, balanced nutrition, emotional detox and adequate exercise.
Rewinding a bit, Luke tells us that as a youngster Luke he was just like the many who simply hated studies and wanted to enjoy life. Though he was studying in college he quit to join a course in hotel management. Again, he lost interest in studying, but, by then he discovered a liking for just one subject – food science and nutrition technology, which today has added meaning to his existence.
Recalling those good old days, Luke says: “Before, getting into nutrition and food I tried my hand at different things. Most of the time I would enjoy and during the rest of it, I would work part-time on weekends at a restaurant. I even got into the rave scene and there I found passion for music.” He reminisces sitting through parties with DJs, observing them, playing and travelling with them. He then worked in the hospitality sector for some time before moving to a multinational company with postings in Dubai, London and Qatar. While he worked, he kept studying about nutrition on the other side, as a hobby.
He along with Vishal Gondal co-founded GOQii – a California-based fitness technology venture that offers a wearable fitness band paired up to provide remote personalised coaching.
On making it to the Top 50 Most Influential Young Indians of 2018 of GQ (An Indian edition of the American monthly men’s magazine) along with other renowned personalities like Manika Batra, Ayushmann Khurrana, Parvathy Thiruvothu, Ananya Birla, Mithila Palkar and others, Luke says: “I am honoured to be selected to among the 50 most influential young Indians under 40 and this is what I want to use to go ahead with my vision of inspiring the country that lifestyle is inexpensive and literally free.”
He also says that people are unnecessarily complicating their lives by following strict diet regimes or by doing intense workout. “Let’s keep it simple. Rather than punishing ourself by not eating something or giving up on certain foods, we do harm to our bodies. Let’s not be harsh. We need to make the right choices and understand our health.”
He doesn’t want people to spend several hours in the gym, instead. he believes that walking, cycling or practicing yoga can be a much better solution.
Luke also opens up about why celebrities and other clients from across the world come to him for consultations. He says: “My only aim is to heal people and create awareness and education about how free lifestyle changes can prevent them or heal disease. People have everything, but health is something that is crucial to them and they don’t want to lose it, which is why they come to me.”
In Goa, two of the most common diseases one can find is cancer and diabetes. Shedding some light here, Luke says: “If you go 15 years back, diabetes and cancer were something that wasn’t heard of. Now alot has changed;people’s lifestyle; people are eating outside food, they are less active and the stress levels have shot up. Most of the patients who come to us from Goa do not have well balanced nutrition. Then we ask questions like where has the staple food which is fish, curry, rice, and vegetables gone? People are shifting to fast food and fancy food which is causing a serious problem for sure.”
Not denying the fact that work life balance also plays an important factor, he questions companies and people about neglecting health. “As people get promoted they move up to higher positions, and their work and stress also increases. And they have the pressure to perform at each level. So, people compromise on their sleep and food and end up eating wrong food at the wrong time. They compromise on their exercise because they don’t have time. They neglect their health just to fulfill the requirements of their new positions and therefore fall sick and impacts their health,” says Luke advising people to have nutritious food, exercise properly and get proper sleep.
Luke has authored ‘The Great Indian Diet’ book along with actress Shilpa Shetty. Recalling the endeavour he says that both of them were on a flight, return from New York and while having discussions and talks they ended up on a note to work on a book through which they could educate people about attaining balance in their Indian diet. This book became a bestseller within 24 hours just like his second book,‘The Dry Fasting Miracle’. “This book was on how the concept of fasting was practiced in every religion and society but we were never able to understand the power it had,” he says.
With his hands full, he tells us about his upcoming projects. Luke is currently working on two new books, one that will be based on cancer and the other one in collaboration with actress Anushka Shetty on weight loss.
“There is no magic to weight loss the only solution is having a good lifestyle,” he concludes.