Ali Faraaz talks with You & I
Why did you become a nutritionist?
It wasn’t planned. Things just fell into place as I researched diets and workouts while reading up on the subject for my own transformation. I soon realised that I enjoyed it and was good at it. People always say that you should do what you love, so I thought this was the next logical step. I then got certified as a fitness nutrition coach by NESTA, and now provide my clients with specific diets and workout plans for body transformations.
If someone told me I would grow up to be a nutrition coach when I was still a teenager,
I would have scoffed at them. Growing up, I was an obese child. In fact, I stopped checking my weight when I reached 130 kg. On my 19th birthday, I decided it was time to do
something about my weight and started working out really hard, but I soon realised that
exercise alone couldn’t give me the results I sought. I began focusing on my diet, and that
triggered everything. I won my battle against obesity. The results are unbelievable.
Humans weren’t meant to live sedentary lifestyles. Exercise keeps you fit, but it also
alleviates stress and improves your mood. One hour a day of any activity is vital. Even inmates in maximum-security prisons get this! Though people are always complaining about a lack of time to exercise, one must always make time for it.
Your company Nutrition Freak has helped so many people get fit. How does that make you feel?
To be honest, it’s a bit surreal. It feels amazing knowing that I’ve made a difference to somebody’s world and helped him move a step closer to a longer, healthier life. However, this would not have happened without the dedication of my clients. I’m extremely proud that they have trusted my take on nutrition and follow all my instructions. You see, I can be quite a bully at times! (Laughs) But they really deserve all the credit; I’m just a catalyst.
What do people do wrong when trying to lose weight?
They don’t get enough exercise, they underestimate their caloric intakes, they don’t sleep and rest enough, they become impatient and expect results immediately, and they often depend on supplements.
Do you have any advice for them?
Stay calm. Most people worry so much about weight loss that their bodies start producing stress hormones that inhibit the process. Eat clean and work out – it’s that simple. The weight will automatically come off. If not, you can contact me! (Laughs)
What’s the ideal way to stay healthy?
Stay as natural as possible. In fact, the only supplement I recommend is green tea. Our bodies are not designed to eat processed foods, so natural is the best way to fuel and heal them. This method also keeps your skin healthy and glowing.
What are your future plans?
I want to start my own health food company. Though the trend of eating healthy has slowly caught on and several places offer healthier alternatives nowadays, I think I can do a better job of providing people with quality health food. I want to show people that you can eat healthy without sacrificing taste.
What are your other interests? How do you unwind?
Construction! I can relate to how a building is built – you can’t rush it. You have to give it time and let the process take its course. But it’s always beautiful to see something come out of nothing. And yes, cars! I’m your typical guy in that respect. My dream car has always been the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, a real beauty! However, the Tesla Model S sedan has been catching my eye lately.
Chamomile tea and a good book help me clear my mind after a long day at work. I also enjoy video games every now and then. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is one of my favourites. I also like going on long drives and listening to soft, mellow music that relaxes me.
..... as told to Niharika