Getting back to the subject of carbohydrates, everything I said so far should ideally scare you into not touching sugar ever again. Even if that does not actually happen, frankly, I’m relying on psychology to get you to a better place, health-wise. It is only when you get scared of the consequences of your actions that you will begin to reduce your sugar consumption in any impactful way. No matter what I tell you, or what you decide now in the josh of reading, let’s be real – you aren’t going to cut sugar completely out of your life. It just won’t happen.

You know why I believe it won’t happen? The success of the company I co-founded – Food Darzee. For those who don’t know what Food Darzee is about, the short answer is it is a food delivery service. The slightly longer answer is that it delivers meals that are tailor-made to whichever diet you want (shameless advertisement, I know). Ab wo diet chaahe keto ho ya vegan, wo tumhari marzi. Our job is to make sure you get the diet you want, with the calories and nutrition you need. Now, if staying away from sugars and simple carbs was truly so easy for people, Food Darzee would never have been the success it is today. We grew our brand as a company specialising in keto diets. We will talk about keto diets in detail later on, but basics sirf itna hain ki it is a diet that has almost no carbohydrates. Now, this kind of diet is so difficult to stick to on your own that without a delivery service company like Food Darzee, staying on the diet is virtually impossible. What more evidence could you need for the fact that lakh koshish karke bhi hum carbs se door nahi reh sakte? At least not without outside help.

Carbs ko cut-out karna impossible hain, we agree upon this much, I hope? Then the next best thing is to reach a stage where you are at least well aware of the s**t you put your body through by consuming too much sugar. Even if you cannot completely avoid it, as long as you know it isn’t good for you, you will subconsciously reduce indiscriminate consumption.

Let us not forget, carbs are important. You need them to survive. In what form you give them to your body is what is important. Do you want to treat your body well and feed it the carbs it needs from poshtik khana? Or do you want to abuse tf out of it by giving it rasgullas, gulab jamuns, halwa, cheesecake, and doughnuts dipped in so much melted chocolate that you can barely even make out which part is bread and which part is sugar? Do the latter, and you will get to a point in the evening of your life where you spend more money giving business to hospitals than on yourself. I may be reducing the income of my doctor colleagues, but medicine is the one industry in which we’d rather you not fall sick than make money off your sickness. We’d all be much, much happier if everyone stayed healthy and the only cases we had to attend to were stuff that happened by chance.

Seriously, bohot dukh hota hain when doctors see patients who have ruined their health with nothing but carelessness. Years and years of disregard and a don’t-care attitude add up to seriously extreme scenarios. If you are young and reading this, don’t take the gift of youth for granted. I’m sure you have a fair understanding of investments, compound interest and savings. Who in today’s world is not interested in these subjects? Finance content creators have seen a boom like never before. People are becoming more and more aware of investing instruments so that they can plan for their future. Agar paise ko itna importance de sakte ho, toh khud ke health ko kyun nahi? Treat your food habits like an investment. Each small action adds up over time; don’t you forget that.

Even if you aren’t young and haven’t treated your body the way you should have for all these years—it is indeed not ideal – but do not think that means it is too late. It is never too late to improve your health and focus on your well-being. You will be surprised at the difference a simple change you make today will have on your health only one year from now. Simply becoming 25 per cent more active and improving your food habits by 25 per cent will create an exponential impact on your health. After some time, you will feel so good about yourself and your body that you will shiver with disgust thinking about the way you lived earlier. These words may sound strong, but health ke maamle mein strong words hi zaroori hain.

Now, it may seem like I am almost equating sugar consumption to poor health. Well, you caught me. Sugar consumption is not the reason for every health issue in the world, I confess. But you know why I equated it with crappy health issues? Because it is the deep-rooted cause of 90 per cent of health problems in the world for normal people who don’t smoke or drink. Not only that. An attitude towards health where you keep eating sweets and desserts in large quantities points to a deeper problem in you. No matter what stress you have in life, the momentary happiness you get from a sugar rush is not the solution and will never be the solution. Trying to cope with life by seeking joy in food will only lead you to dig a deeper hole for yourself.

Sugar is bad. Studies carried out every year continue to prove just how bad it is. Until the 1970s, the sugar manufacturing industry actively fought the publication of any research that showed that sugar is not good for you. People back then did not have a clue of its dangers. Humaare older generation waale logon ki daad deni padegi, especially the ones who have managed to stay in good health until today. They didn’t have access to even 50 per cent of the information that we now do. If they went down the road of poor habits, you really cannot blame them. How were they supposed to know the extent of damage sugar does to you, especially when big corporations were actively trying to hide that fact from the public? Back then, the narrative was that “fat is the enemy”. Fat-free items were marketed like God’s gift to health. The only problem was ke ye products itne zyada sugar se overloaded the, ki health ke naam pe wo duniya ka sab se bada scam tha. But by sheer luck, at that time, people did not have access to the vast variety of processed foods that are available today. Agar hota toh we would be seeing a pandemic of diabetes and obesity, woh bhi of such severity that it would put COVID-19 to shame. Through nothing but chance and dumb good fortune, human beings lucked out.

Even though today’s supermarkets are filled with packaged and processed items, we as a society know better now. Science has progressed by leaps and bounds. The dissemination of information is much more efficient now than it was even twenty years ago. Also, it is almost impossible for a big corporation today to propagate its agenda by paying billions of dollars to the media.

This is a great time to be alive. Use it.

Make your body work to get the sugar it wants. Don’t give it for free.

Excerpted with permission from Dr Sid Says: Weight Loss. Seedhi Baat, No Bakwaas, Siddhant Bhargava and Azhar Bhaba, HarperCollins India.