It could have been the end of Rajiv Ambat’s entrepreneurial dreams when his ed-tech startup failed miserably before it even took off. A bout of depression hit him as the future seemed uncertain. But that was only the beginning of his story, as the events that unfolded afterward would reveal. Today, he is a successful entrepreneur who has found his own niche in the ever-emerging field of health technology. The transformation of the Kochi-based young engineer-turned-entrepreneur from an amateur educational technology experimenter to a professional health technology explorer has been phenomenal. Today, he is one of the most sought after lifestyle and fitness experts in town and beyond. His company NuvoVivo, which he founded in 2019 after an eight-year stint in IT and finance and an unsuccessful bid at ed-tech, offers an online platform where a team of experts helps their clients to manage or reverse various lifestyle-related illnesses.
Ambat, 37, immersed himself a few years ago in the hitherto unknown world of fitness and exercise in order to overcome his depression induced by his failed entrepreneurial offer. As he overcame his problems, he also realized the extent of combining his newly acquired health and fitness knowledge with technology and expertise to relaunch his business under a new form.
Ambat follows and propagates what it calls “medical fitness”. His recently launched book titled “Midriff Crisis”, which explains his approach, has been appreciated by a range of medical practitioners.
“There is no point in living every day for a tomorrow and never living a today. Eating healthy is not a punishment; it does not mean eating bland, tasteless foods or having no rice. you have to learn to indulge yourself once in a while while staying healthy,” says Ambat, 37, of his diet and life philosophy. The “tummy crisis” crisis goes into the details of this philosophy with practical examples explained in simple terms.
Medical fitness is a sustainable and science-based approach to becoming healthy. Her goal is to improve her blood parameters and possibly help that person reduce her medication, Ambat writes in her book.
He takes the example of a diabetic to illustrate his approach. Reducing carbohydrates, increasing protein and fiber in the diet, and getting plenty of exercise are simple approaches to fitness. This may work for someone in their 20s or 25s, but not for someone with diabetes in their 30s. In the ‘medical fitness’ approach, the amount of protein to be taken is decided after checking creatinine, urine albumin levels, kidney health and other necessary parameters. This is because chronic and uncontrolled diabetes can impact the kidneys and increasing protein intake in such a scenario can significantly worsen the health condition.
“We create an individualized diet plan based on the cultural eating habits, preferences, and medical conditions of our clients. In most cases, the diet plan will be no different from one’s current eating habits, keeping in mind sustainability and long-term adherence… The plan is usually given for a period of 1-2 weeks with substitutes mentioned for each meal. For example, a whole egg can be replaced with 25 grams of cottage or paneer cheese or a slice of cheese. It makes diets not boring and makes them easy, flexible and sustainable,” Ambat writes in her book. These diet plans are reviewed periodically based on parameters such as weight difference, waist circumference, and blood tests if necessary.
Ambat’s company offers three-month online programs for its clients who are supported by a team that includes doctors, dietitians, physical trainers and aftercare assistants.
Ambat’s book has been praised by experienced physicians for its simple presentation of facts without compromising scientific evidence.
“The highlight of the book is the painstaking attempt to disentangle the exact information and present it in such a simple and informal manner. Unlike many such books written in the past, the author has taken the utmost care to avoid making controversial and unsubstantiated statements just to grab headlines,” Dr. Arun S Menon, Consultant Endocrinologist, Lisie Hospital, Kochi, writes in his foreword to the book. of Excellence for Arthritis and Rheumatism, Kochi; Dr. Manu Mohandas, Renai Medicity, Kochi; Dr. Madhuja Gopishyam, City Hospital, Kochi; Dr. Vinod Thomas, Renai Medicity is among the experienced physicians who have praised from Ambat’s book.
Ambat is a Certified Nutrition Expert, Certified Diabetes Educator and a member of All India Association for Advancing Research in Obesity (AI-AARO). Besides his qualifications in engineering and business management (MBA), Ambat also holds a certificate in human physiology from Harvard Medical School. He ventured into health technology entrepreneurship after an eight-year stint in global IT and financial companies. His company NuvoVivo has branches in Kochi, Kuwait and Dubai.
He is a lifestyle and dietary consultant in several hospitals in Kochi. He was also the fitness and diet coach for the Kerala Police Team which competed in the recent Nehru Trophy Boat Race.
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