Lalit Kapoor is a 1971 graduate of IIT Kanpur. He finished his MBA from UCLAy in 1975 and worked in various management and sales positions for an Aerospace company, before starting his own company Group-Ipex Inc. in 1984, in IT Services field.
IPEX was sold to Hall Kinion, a Nasdaq company in 1998. His second company Group-Bigates was in the field of computer telephony software with operations in Pune and was acquired by AVAYA in 2004.
He retired from business life in 2005.
By 2012 lifestyle diseases had caught up with him and he was on medications for Hypertension, Diabetes, Hypothyroid, Gout, Osteo Arthritis and Sleep Apnea. To cure his diseases he developed interest in nutrition and educated himself in the field. Pursuing a Plant Based Whole Food dietary discipline, and various fasting regimes he was able to lose 50 pounds of weight, get off all medications and reinvent himself.
Few year ago he started a WhatsApp health group for his IITK batch-mates which achieved many successes. Since then he has started over 40 health groups with many Pan IIT alumni and others. His active members, numbering over 20,000 now, have been able to get off medications for many chronic conditions like Hypertension, Diabetes, Cholesterol, Heart Disease, Asthma, Arthritis and others. Here is his story in his own words.
Like most of us I used to think that my diet and lifestyle was healthy and my chronic illnesses were due to genes or shear bad luck. My dad and his brothers had heart attacks and hypertension and diabetes. Two of the brothers had died of heart attack in their forties and fifties.
I never smoked and alcohol consumption was only few margaritas on the weekend. We were practically vegetarians and ate meat and sea food only while eating out or in parties. I loved milk and eggs and I always thought they were good for me. My morning and evening cups of tea were made with mostly milk (2/3rd). I took pride in it, that I was consuming milk regularly that way. In summer I loved cold coffee, mango milk shake and Rooh Afza lassi. Most days I had two eggs fried over easy or avocado masala omelettes with aloo, gobhi or mooli parathas.
My BMI upon graduation from IITK in 1971 was 22.7 and I was a weight lifter and body builder having won third prizes in these categories. Over the years my BMI increased slowly but surely to 30.4 by the age of 62. At age 47, I started gout medication (Alopuronol). At 50 I started BP medication and at 51 started diabetes medication Metformine. Within three years, a second medication for diabetes was added; first Avendia and later replaced with Actos, because Avendia was found to cause cardiac problems and was banned. Later Actos was also banned as that also was found to cause Cardiac problems.
By age 54 a thyroid medication was added and at 58 I was diagnosed sleep apnea and was advised to sleep with a mask on. My snoring was so loud that no body could share a room with me at night and my wife had to use ear plugs.
Our food was mostly vegetarian but full of ghee. While growing up our house hold had a concept of Kachcha Khana and Pakka Khana. In the afternoon we ate daal, roti, subji, curd and rice and in the evening parathi, curried aloo subji, other vegetables and curd. In the evening we always had some snack with tea.
In March 2012 Swami Ishwarananda of Chinmay Mission West, an organization with which I was deeply involved, stayed with us overnight and asked us to prepare oatmeal for his breakfast. We gladly complied and from then on, that was the first conscious change we made to our diet. To my surprise I started loosing 1 1/2 pound per month without trying (I am sure I made other subtle changes also. That is the beauty of making any change consciously; the other changes follow unconsciously).
On January 1st 2013 we decided to put to use the Xmas gifts received from our daughters; an Apple TV device and an on-line subscription to Netflix. After watching the first documentary called Happy, which somebody had recommended, the bar at the bottom suggested four other movies including Forks Over Knives. Decided to watch that movie and the rest is history. Got hooked to watching documentaries on health. Watched Fat Sick and Nearly Dead and ordered the Angel juicer that very day. Became member of one of those cooperatives which deliver fresh organic produce to your homes twice a week. Went on juice fast for three days, became vegan and cut down on oil and sugar. My wife who is fond of cooking, started trying new oil free recipes. South Indian foods like Idli and Uttapam and Gujarati Dhokla, Handwa and Muthia, became hit at our home. Tadka (for daal) was replaced with chaunka (45 grams of ghee was replaced with 9 grams). Salad dressings Based on oil were replaced with balsamic vinegar or lemon/ginger/honey/mustard and many new soup recipes were developed. Three glasses of green juice 20 minutes before every meal became a standard practice at our home (later reduced to two glasses and then one).
I didn’t know about benefits of intermittent fasting or prolonged fasting at the time and it had to wait till 2016 Nobel prize for physiology was announced. The weekend party routine didn’t change for few more years so oil and sugar was still getting into body. Weight loss was immediate and noticeable and others started complimenting. I was slow to give up medications because my doctors insisted that I must continue with medications. It took me 6-8 months to give up BP medication, one year to give up gout medication and 2 years to give up diabetes medication (that was because my fasting glucose reading was always high in 150s). I had not learned about Dawn phenomenon by that time. Later gave up thyroid medication also. Soon all our friends had bought green juicers. They noticed changes also and my confidence level went up.
In September 2017 formed the first WhatsApp group of my IITK’71 batch mates who were curious but slow to follow. Most controversial was the issue of milk and curd but slowly some people bought the juicers and began to see the changes. Slowly other groups were formed and the experience base increased.
To keep myself motivated I started watching documentaries and YouTube videos by various doctors and medical Universities on health topics, on a daily basis. In 2015 started attending Weekend Study programs conducted by Dr. John McDougall in Santa Rosa about 60 miles from our house. Such Seminars provided opportunity to meet with doctors like McDougall, Dr. Collin Campbell, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Dr. Greger and others who were always helpful to clarify doubts.
In 2016 started experimenting with intermittent fasting and in 2019 with prolonged fasting.
Besides Seminar participation, documentaries and YouTube lectures, other sources of information are pubmed.gov site, books and of course Google. Pubmed site is the most useful as you get access to all research on any heath subject. Being retired for many years I had all the time available and I wanted to prove my doctors wrong and I succeeded. For the first three years I was spending 20-30 hours each week on this subject, now I spend more.
There are of course some disagreement among the various PBWF doctors and one has to make a decision who to prioritize. These decisions are mine only and are reinforced by personal experiences and feed back from many others who are following me. For example combining IF to PBWF was my personal decision. Dr. Jason Fung recommends Keto diet with his intermittent fasting therapy which PBWF doctors and I strongly oppose.
Dr. Greger supports nuts but Dr. Esselstyn is opposed to consumption of nuts, however his focus is on treating patients who are critically ill with heart diseases.
Dr. McDougall recommends fruits and vegetables only in moderation and focuses more on consuming starch, whereas Dr. Fuhrman focuses on vegetables and fruits.
Most of them do not focus on prolonged fasting accept Dr. Goldhammer and Dr. Clapper of True North Health Center in Santa Rosa, CA, which specializes in Fast Therapy, They however have not yet introduced dry fasting in their center which is recommended by Dr. Yoshinori (2016 Nobel Laureate) and Dr. Honzo (2018 Nobel Laureate).
I have found that the changes I achieved in one to two years are attainable in much shorter time frame if PBWF/IF/10K recommendations are followed to a T and combined with biweekly and once a year water fast of 9-10 days with a single 500 calorie meal of low protein diet. Many in my different groups have successfully confirmed that.
I want to emphasize to all and specially to those who are sitting on the sideline that nothing succeeds like success. If you make only minor changes, the results will also be minor and if you are a skeptic you will not connect the two and fall back. Try making some drastic changes at least for three weeks and you will be sold. Besides your friends will comment and pay compliments. All changes will be for the positive and you will feel great. 🙏