Adopt a holistic lifestyle

By Gul Nasreen
Tue, 04, 23

This week You! talks to Hina regarding her skills as a nutritionist...

Adopt a holistic lifestyle


Ms Hina Anis is one of the best nutritionists in Karachi. She has earned her BS Hons, Diploma in Nutrition and is currently practicing in Karachi. Her area of expertise is in nutrition and medical aesthetics. She provides treatment plans to patients having different dietary requirements. Hina has co-founded a company H.N. Nutrition products that markets a complete range of wellness products. HN Alternative therapy are therapies that support nutrition management. She also works as a holistic wellness consultant at Karachi Medical Complex Hospital and the Institute of Regenerative Medicine in Islamabad. This week You! talks to Hina regarding her skills as a nutritionist...

You! Who is actually a nutritionist?

Hina Anis: A nutritionist is someone who understands the holistic approach to a nutritious life, who advises others on matters of food and nutrition and their impacts on health. Typically, anyone who completes a degree in nutrition can refer to themselves as a nutritionist.

You! Why must one go to a nutritionist?

HA: A nutritionist can provide specialised advice on nutrition-related issues such as weight management, digestive issues, food allergies, diabetes, hypertension, or high cholesterol, and other health concerns. Working with a nutritionist can help you develop a sustainable and healthy lifestyle that will benefit you in the long-term.

Adopt a holistic lifestyle

You! Is there a difference between a dietician and a nutritionist?

HA: While both dieticians and nutritionists can provide nutrition advice, the level of education, training, and regulation is different. Dieticians typically work in clinical settings, such as hospitals or healthcare facilities, while nutritionists may work in various settings, such as gyms, community centers, or private practice.

You! How many calories are required for a normal woman in her 30s? Do calories vary with age?

HA: Typically, a woman in her 30s requires about 1,800 to 2,000 calories per day to maintain her weight. As women age, their metabolism slows down, and their body composition changes, which may affect their calorie needs. Generally, women in their 40s and 50s require slightly fewer calories than women in their 30s, as their muscle mass tends to decrease, and their activity levels may decrease as well. However, the difference in calorie requirements is usually small and can be offset by making small adjustments to diet and physical activity.

You! What is healthier - three big meals or several small meals a day?

HA: One big meal and two small meals.

Adopt a holistic lifestyle

You! Is having breakfast important? What can be an ideal healthy breakfast?

HA: Breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day as it helps to kick start your metabolism, stabilise blood sugar levels, and provide the energy needed to start your day. Greek yoghurt, spinach, scrambled eggs, chia seeds, and oats are great breakfast options along with fresh fruits.

You! Will eating late at night make one fat?

HA: Late-night snacking can be problematic for several reasons. First, when you eat late at night, your body’s metabolism slows down, and the calories consumed may not be burned off as effectively as during the day. Additionally, eating before bed can interfere with sleep, which can disrupt hormones that regulate appetite and metabolism, making you more prone to overeating the following day. Furthermore, people who eat late at night may be more likely to choose less healthy options, such as snacks, sweets, and high-calorie foods, which can contribute to weight gain over time.

You! What are the absolute healthiest foods that you recommend eating daily?

HA: Leafy green vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds and fruits.

You! How much does diet really play into healthy hair, clear skin, and strong nails?

Adopt a holistic lifestyle

HA: The foods you eat provide the building blocks for your body and deficiencies and certain nutrients can lead to hair loss, skin problems, and brittle nails. For example, protein is an essential nutrient for healthy hair, skin, and nails. It provides the amino acids needed for the growth and repair of these tissues. Iron is another important nutrient, as it helps to carry oxygen to the hair follicles and skin cells. Zinc is also critical for healthy skin and nails, as it plays a role in cell growth.

You! What’s the best diet to follow - Atkins, Mediterranean or Keto?

HA: The Atkins diet is a low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet that focuses on limiting carbohydrate intake to induce weight loss. This diet may be effective for short-term weight loss, but may not be sustainable or healthy for long-term use, as it can lead to nutrient deficiencies.

The Mediterranean diet, on the other hand, is a balanced and varied diet that emphasises on minimally processed foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and olive oil. This diet has been shown to be associated with numerous health benefits, including improved heart health and reduced risk of chronic diseases.

The Keto diet is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that aims to put the body into a state of ketosis, where it burns fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates. While the Keto diet may be effective for short-term weight loss and has been shown to improve certain health conditions such as epilepsy and type-2 diabetes, it can be difficult to follow long-term and may lead to nutrient deficiencies.

You! What items does one have to have in one’s grocery trolley?

HA: Fresh fruits and vegetables; whole grain bread; low-fat dairy products; nuts, seeds, avocado, and olive oil. Use herbs and spices to flavour your food instead of relying on salt or high-calorie sauces and dressings. Be sure to stock up on plenty of water and limit sugary drinks.

You! What foods should one never buy?

HA: Highly processed foods (HPF) such as fast food, frozen items and packaged snacks. HPF are often high in calories, sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats, and may contain artificial additives and preservatives. Also, trans fats are often found in processed foods and can raise your LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.

You! What and when should one eat around one’s workouts?

HA: It’s recommended to eat a pre-workout meal or snack 30 minutes to 2 hours before exercising, depending on the size of the meal. Try to consume a small serving of Greek yoghurt or a protein shake. Moreover, staying hydrated is important during exercise, especially if you’re sweating heavily. Be sure to drink water or an electrolyte-rich sports drink to help replace lost fluids and minerals.

Consuming protein after exercise can help to repair and rebuild muscle tissue. Opt for lean sources of protein, such as chicken, fish, tofu, or home made smoothie. Also, eating carbohydrates after exercise can help to replenish your glycogen stores and aid in muscle recovery. A good option is a piece of fruit, whole grain pita bread, sweet potatoes or brown rice.

It’s recommended to eat a post-workout meal or snack within 30 minutes to an hour after exercising to help aid in muscle recovery and replenish your energy levels.

You! What’s the one thing you would tell your clients to stop taking?

HA: All artificial commercial oils. All claimed to be cholesterol free but actually tend to increase triglycerides.

You! What’s the one best piece of nutritional advice you can give?

HA: Invest in your health; your health is your wealth. If someone says wellness is expensive, I would say try illness.