Rachel Nekati has published a book titled “Just Eat” that will probably revolutionise the way many people look at diet and health. Far from being a gimmick lifestyle fad, the ideas presented in the book are scientifically proven and representative of the way our ancestors used to live.
The idea is simple: you can eat as much as you want as long as you give your body enough time to digest the food and rest, says Nekati. The professional banker once toppled the scale at 94 kg and wore a size 44. She also had diabetes and high blood pressure. All this has changed. Nekati is now a svelte size 34 and she could not be happier, as the lifestyle conditions she battled have also disappeared as she reclaimed her health.
She shares the lessons she has garnered throughout the 30 years she spent on diets and trying to find the “miracle” fix to good health. The book was launched this past weekend at Cresta Hotel and attracted a sizeable audience, with speakers including Dr. Baghat and Ruth Maphorisa.
Nekati, who is a professional banker, speaks passionately about being attuned to your body and working with it. In an interview, she points out that it might sound like an oxymoron that you can eat what you want and also be fit, healthy and lose weight. “But that is the truth. We don’t need to deprive ourselves or eat certain food and cut out others as commonly thought.
It is not even necessary to count calories or weigh food. The trick is to listen to your body and give it time to digest and rest,” she says. Nekati says that you can enjoy your treats such as burgers and ice cream but still look good and feel healthy and light. The author uses her own experiences as the backdrop for how she freed herself from the bondage of obesity by adopting a different perception of health, weight loss and stopped diets.
While the book focuses on health holistically, it zones predominantly on diet and lifestyle habits, and touches on emotional eating and intermittent fasting among others. Intermittent fasting seems to be a ‘thing’ nowadays. Nekati explains that we should have an open window when we can eat what we want in substantial portions and then have a closed window, where we rest the system and not eat.
“Say for example you choose to eat before 11AM when you break your fast, and have your last meal at 7PM, you will then have eight hours for digestion when the system is in a sed state and goes through the process of digestion and absorbing nutrients.” This she said gives the body minimum two sets of intermittent eight hours to rest. Intermittent fasting time changes to suit the person depends on someone’s fat storage and genetic make-up.
“The reason some people have big stomachs, thighs, legs, hands, necks and all that is because they have stored fat. Others go to gym from January to December but do not lose weight because they are always eating.” Nekati maintains that the idea that we should have frequent meals was a commercial plot to get people to spend on food.
“When you eat too often, the body cells become insensitive to insulin. We have to make bodies insulin sensitive.” Nekati says that since she changed her lifestyle and eating patterns, she has not only lost weight but feels and thinks better. “I burnt fat and my mind also improved. I am more sharp and alert, I have more clarity. Intermittent fasting also helps with signs of Alzheimer’s, heals inflammation and promotes inner calmness, helps the body detoxify and heal itself because of cell regeneration.”
Nekati says that appetite is automatically controlled when you learn to listen and work with your body. “You will reduce the amount of processed foods you eat because the body natural propels you to correct your eating habits and gravitate towards healthier and unrefined options. Intuitive eating becomes the norm in that case because you eat to nourish the body not do it harm.”
To carry on the lessons in this book and share advice with others, Nekati has created a Facebook page: Just Eat – Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle Book.