Monday, August 12, 2013

Do not Fill your Stomach, just Kill your Hunger

Dr. Grinto Davy, of the Smart Escaso Club, guarantees weight loss, if food is eaten at two-hour intervals. Treatments, for film stars like Kavya Madhavan and Bhavna, include using products from the Dead Sea

Photo by Mithun Vinod

By Shevlin Sebastian

Dr. John Augustine, a Kochi-based orthopaedic surgeon, was in despair. For three years he had starved himself and had not lost even half a kilo. At 133 kgs, and at nearly 6 feet tall, he looked massive. However, he would frequently suffer from back pains, because of this excessive weight. 

“After a four-hour operation, I would feel very tired,” he says. It was at this moment of desperation that he came to the Smart Escaso [Spanish word for slim] Club run by Dr. Grinto Davy.

An affable and fluent speaker, Davy had a simple formula for John. “When you eat, you should aim to not fill your stomach, but to kill your hunger,” he says.

So, every morning, at 8.30 am, John had his breakfast, which consisted, sometimes, of idlis or uppuma. At 10.30 am, he had three cashew nuts. Then lunch at 12.30 pm, which was the usual meal of rice, sambhar and vegetables. But at 2.30 pm he was asked to eat a few cashew nuts or almonds. “The aim was to keep the energy levels up,” says Davy. At 5.30 pm, another small snack, followed by dinner at 7.30 pm. 

“There should be a three-hour interval before you go to sleep,” says Davy. “The problem of having rice or chicken late at night is that it does not get digested, and ends up getting stored around the stomach.”

In three months, John lost 25 kgs. And, after a further two months, his weight had gone down to 101 kgs. “In John's case, since the muscle weight is high, being 100 kgs is fine,” says Davy. Today John has a lot of energy even in the evenings, his back pain is gone, and so has the occasional migraine headache.

This is a scientific method,” says John, who has also tried the General Motors, as well as the Atkins High Protein Diet. “In the Escaso method, you can have different varieties of food. There is no dieting at all.  Many Hollywood actresses, after giving birth, have used the same plan. The best part is that there are no pills to swallow.”

Meanwhile, when patients are too heavy, they suffer from joint pains, and are unable to do any exercise. So Davy gives them a neuro-muscular stimulation. “When we exercise two things happen: muscle contraction and relaxation,” says Davy. “If you place an electrode on the muscle, and give an electrical stimulation, the same thing can be replicated.” This stimulation is done on the tummy, waist and hip areas, where there are large muscle groups. “Research has confirmed that this improves the functional capacity,” says Davy.

Many film stars, like Bhavna and Kavya Madhavan have come to the club. “For two years, I avoided rice and ate only oats, to lose weight, but nothing happened,” says Kavya. “But two months after I began on the Escaso method, I had lost 8 kilos. So this diet has worked really well for me.”

But Davy says that the stars, as well as his clients from the 19 to 35 year age group come for treatment, more, with the desire to look good, rather than for health reasons.

So Davy has got some unusual treatments like the Dead Sea mineral treatment. “I use the products from this river [located on the border between Israel and Jordan ],” says Davy. “It is a body pampering treatment. The Dead Sea minerals are very good for the skin.”

Sometimes, the mud from the sea is rubbed all over the body. You have to remain still for 40 minutes. Later, the dead cells on the skin are removed by using a good scrub. Then there is a steam bath. Thereafter, there is a massage with butter. The benefit is that the skin becomes soft and has a glow. Dead Sea minerals can also be used for those who also suffer from dry or allergic skin. “If you have itching and allergies, this treatment has a very good impact,” says Davy.

The doctor's most gratifying experience was when a 26-year-old girl, Sudha, weighing 91 kilos, came to the clinic. “She suffered from poor self-esteem because she had been teased a lot,” says Davy. “When I met her, she did not even look at me. Instead, she stood at one corner of the room.” Thanks to the treatment, Sudha went down to 56 kgs and is about to get married. “In fact, the other day, Sudha had come to invite me for her wedding,” says a smiling Davy. 

(Sunday Magazine, The New Indian Express, South India and Delhi)

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