In a world rife with fad diets and trendy workout regimens, it can be overwhelming for a common person to make an educated choice towards a healthier lifestyle. However, there are people who aim to decode diets and put an end to formulaic fitness. This is exactly where Dr Siddhant Bhargava, ketogenic diet specialist, celebrity nutritionist and co-founder at Food Darzee, gains the upper hand. Dr Sid (as he is popularly known) is a disruptor in the truest sense. He has shaken up conventional nutrition ideas and affirms that there is no one-size-fits-all policy when it comes to meeting fitness goals. Till date, he has dealt with close to 4,500 clients leading them to shed around 20,000 kg of stubborn body fat, thus supporting their weight loss goals.
After completing his MBBS from Nair Hospital in Mumbai, Dr Bhargava co-founded Food Darzee, a health and nutrition company that prepares customised meals based on individual dietary requirements coupled with fitness goals.
Bhargava functions in consultation with esteemed celebrities such as Alia Bhatt, Katrina Kaif, Sarah Ali Khan, Sonam Kapoor, Parineeti Chopra, Arjun Kapoor, among others.
Bullied For His Looks
However, Dr Bhargava's journey has not been a cakewalk. He was once condemned to hide behind walls for his 'alien-like features'. Drawing inspiration from his own life, the celebrity nutritionist has never given up on his dreams even after being detected with a rare, incurable disease - lupus and cancer. Ridiculed as Voldemort, he has broken the taboo to emerge as a successful entrepreneur and is an inspiration for people facing similar circumstances.
Inspired by his father and grandfather, who are successful doctors, the 28-year-old set out to pursue his dreams to become a doctor in 2012. The first three years of his college were customary but eventful. Going out, meeting new people, visiting new places, and embracing each day with open arms was a routine affair. But all good things come to an end.
In January 2016, Bhargava woke up and found that a patch of hair had fallen off his head. "I rushed to my mother and informed her about it. I was worried. She consoled me and suggested that it could be linked with the stress that I was under while preparing for the final exams," Bhargava told The Logical Indian.
Bhargava's life, to everyone's disbelief, changed by leaps and bounds in the next fortnight. He lost every strand of hair on his body. His head, hands, legs, and face suddenly become hairless.
"Seeing my reflection in the mirror became painful and frightening for me. I also started losing my muscle power and could not breathe properly. I could not understand what was happening to me," he recalled.
He said that he felt he was cursed and sprinted back home the day a child at a railway station whispered to his mother, "Look it is an alien" after seeing him. Another went berserk, he said, and screamed, "Voldemort". "I completely stopped going outside and no longer had the confidence to face the world," he added.
Fight Against Lupus
Terrified and eager to know what was wrong with him, he gathered the little strength he had left within him to visit a doctor in April 2016. After a thorough examination, Bhargava was diagnosed with a rare, incurable autoimmune disorder called lupus, which affects multiple parts of the body. It also required him to take high doses of steroids to make him regain his muscle power. But doctors assured him that the effects of Lupus could be minimised through medicines used to treat cancer.
However, the steroids and medicines further damaged his immune system as the treatment progressed. This forced Bhargava to stay out of the college gates. His education came to a standstill and, disheartened, began to stay at home for days on end. Becoming a doctor now seemed a distant dream.
His family and friends suggested he take a gap year and resume college once he regained his strength. But Bhargava continued his college and managed to appear for his final exams and cleared them with a strong will.
Starting His Own Venture
However, owing to his health conditions, he was aware that he could not practice his profession. Being insecure about his obesity, he wanted to help others lose weight and turn them towards a healthy lifestyle. But he needed to do something in life as succumbing to his condition was never an option for him. This is when, with a stroke of fortune, he met three of his schoolmates. After knowing that they wanted to do something in the food and nutrition space, the idea of 'Food Darzee', a startup that has already helped more than 30,000 individuals to achieve their health goals through proper nutrition, popped in his head.
As Food Darzee started working towards improving people's lives, miraculously, the medication for the treatment of Lupus started showing results.
"Mh hair on my head, beard and eyelashes started regrowing. I regained my lost immunity too and looked like a normal human being once again. My whole life was back on track," he qipped
But then very soon his life was about to take another turn.
At the beginning of 2020, Bhargava noticed a lymph node on his neck, but he ignored it at first. He knew something was wrong when over the next three months, it grew larger.
"In March 2020, a week before the lockdown was announced, the lymph node turned out to be a Thyroid cancer. Before the situation could have gotten worse, I got admitted into the Tata Cancer Hospital for surgery. I could not believe it was happening all over again," he recalled.
In May 2021, after post-surgery complications, sessions of radiotherapy, and a complete bed rest of three months, an unwavering Bhargava defeated cancer. It was during this period that he realised that he wanted to do more with life. In August 2020, Bhargava became an Instagram content creator to motivate people to achieve their food, lifestyle, and wellness goals. Over time he has grown to become one of the largest content creators on social media with over 3,00, 000 followers.
Since then, there has been no stopping for him. In 2021, Bhargava came up with another idea to create an automated device to help people suffering from diabetes. This device aims to flag off diabetic-related complication before it arises. Siddhant believes it will improve the entire life of a diabetic person and change the way they approach treatment.
Through his extraordinary journey, after facing life-threatening obstacles, Siddhant Bhargava has taught us that no matter how many times life knocks you down, you have to keep getting right back up and be more determined than the last time.