SAS Fat to Slim: ‘Dangerous & gimmicky’ weight-loss startup gets slammed on Shark Tank India

SAS Fat to Slim: ‘Dangerous & gimmicky’ weight-loss startup gets slammed on Shark Tank India
  • SAS Fat to Slim is a startup that claims to provide diet plans for weight loss that require no exercise.
  • All the judges backed out from investing in the startup.
  • Sharks Namita Thapar and Anupam Mittal called it out for promoting unhealthy diets.
Of the many pitches featured on season 1 of Shark Tank India, Navel Fukai aka the Belly Button Shaper was one of the most bizarre products, which ended up being turned down by the entire panel. In Season 2, it was the turn of SAS Fat to Slim to be slammed by all the judges who variously called the startup’s no-exercise weight loss plan ‘dangerous’ and ‘gimmicky’.

Founded by Shikha Aggarwal Sharma, SAS Fat to Slim is a Delhi-based startup that promotes weight loss with diet plans, and no exercise. As per Sharma, in weight loss, diet makes 80% of the difference, and exercise only contributes 20%.

But shark Namita Thapar, executive director at Emcure Pharmaceuticals, called out the product for being nothing more than a gimmick.

“How can you say ‘no exercise’? I fundamentally don’t agree with your theory. Let’s spread the message that weight loss happens by changing one’s lifestyle. Our country is turning into a diabetes capital, and blood pressure capital because people are doing such ‘gimmicky’ activities, and messing with their health. I’m sorry but when I hear such claims, I’m angry. I think we need to stop misleading the country,” remarked Thapar.

Multiple reports echo Thapar’s sentiment. Doctors and other experts regularly recommend a combination of exercise and diet control to combat weight gain and other lifestyle-related ailments.


‘Your diet is akin to poison’

Sharma shared how she believed a diet dominated by soups and salads—which need extra preparation time—was a luxury. But SAS Fat to Slim focused on easily available products, created by her own weight loss experience and knowledge of diet and nutrition.

However, her claims were refuted by the sharks. founder Anupam Mittal shared that he had studied a little about diabetes and the impact of sugar on human bodies, and slammed the sample diet that Sharma shared for an individual with diabetes.

“According to macronutrients, you are recommending a diet of carbohydrates because you didn’t recommend protein till now. It’s akin to poison for a diabetic,” remarked Mittal.

As per reports, one in every six Indians has diabetes. Chhavi Kohli, chief diabetes educator and nutritionist at Medanta the Medicity, Gurgaon, also shared with Business Insider India that “there is no special diet for diabetes; the whole idea is to nourish the body by taking various nutrients in the right proportion and right time.”

Mittal also added that all bodies are different and while Sharma’s plan worked for her, it could prove to be dangerous for others. “You reduced weight with dedication and it’s remarkable. But now you’re packaging the same template that worked for you to other people. It could be dangerous,” shared Mittal.

‘An investment will make things worse’

Though Sharma defended her business by sharing that customers have benefitted from her products, the sharks were wary.

Mittal backed out stating that he disagreed with the founder and didn’t find her business investable. Vineeta Singh, co-founder of Sugar Cosmetics, also backed out adding that she didn’t align with Sharma’s core business proposition – of losing weight with no exercise

Lenskart co-founder Peyush Bansal, meanwhile, backed out stating that he didn’t believe the startup needed any investments.

“An investment will only make things worse. You’ll have the pressure of ROI (return on investment) after an investor invests, which will get you stuck in a vicious loop that could impact the diet’s authenticity,” said Bansal.

Gupta also backed out quoting his fellow shark Thapar’s catchphrase – that he has no expertise in the field.

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