Straight from the horses’ mouths: the tricks to svelte fig­ures and ma­cho bods from Bol­ly­wood’s fave train­ers.

Friday - - Editor’s Letter -

The Hindi film in­dus­try boasts some of the world’s best-look­ing ac­tors, but the road to at­tain­ing pic­ture-per­fect bods is no mean feat. Dav­ina Rais­ing­hani brings you the in­side track on their well-be­ing reg­i­mens de­signed by In­dia’s top nu­tri­tion­ists and train­ers

Noth­ing but spicy lemon­ade for 10 con­sec­u­tive days. A two-week juice cleanse ther­apy. Seven days of eat­ing 16 jars of baby food a day. Chew­ing a litre of ice daily.

What is it about quick-fix di­ets that turn even the most ra­tio­nal adults into pillpop­ping ninnies? What makes us even con­sider bizarre, out­landish reg­i­mens that would quite eas­ily rank in­fin­ity on the crazy scale (we re­fer here to the tape­worm diet which, hon­estly, is best left un­ex­plained)?

Celebri­ties are of­ten the poster boys and girls of weight-loss fads. Bol­ly­wood ac­tress Ka­jol, for ex­am­ple, ap­par­ently ate only al­monds in the lead-up to My Name is Khan. And while shoot­ing for Tees Maar Khan, Katrina Kaif re­port­edly sur­vived on a broc­co­l­ionly diet.

Hop­ing to have wash­board abs, Bi­pasha Basu ate noth­ing but or­anges for three days be­fore shoot­ing her bikini scene in Dhoom 2. Then, ac­tor Im­ran Khan didn’t drink wa­ter for two whole days be­fore shoot­ing a shirt­less scene in I Hate Luv Sto­ries to avoid the bloated look.

Some may la­bel it mad­ness. But the ugly, un­for­giv­ing pres­sure to look good on-screen can make most celebs do all this. And more.

Still, not all of Bol­ly­wood’s lead­ing men and women are fans (read: vic­tims) of fad di­ets. A few years ago, in 2009, ac­tress Ka­reena Kapoor Khan fa­mously went from weigh­ing 68kg to 49kg. She must be surely starv­ing her­self, guessed celeb watch­ers. But Ka­reena’s weight loss se­cret was quite sim­ple: ac­cord­ing to her nu­tri­tion­ist, Ru­juta Di­wekar, also author of three best­selling books on weight loss, she had been ‘eat­ing her­self thin’.

‘Dis­ci­pline, ded­i­ca­tion and a com­pletely holis­tic diet plan lay be­hind Ka­reena’s trans­for­ma­tion,’ says Ru­juta. ‘She came to me in 2007 and the first thing she told me was that she loved to eat and didn’t want to give up her piz­zas and pas­tas. I told her she wouldn’t have to, and that I won’t be putting her on a let­tuce-a-day sort of diet ei­ther.’

In­stead, the nu­tri­tion­ist in­tro­duced the star to four prin­ci­ples of eat­ing right: never wake up to tea or cof­fee, but eat fruits or nuts within 15 min­utes of ris­ing; eat small meals ev­ery two hours; meal sizes should de­pend on ac­tiv­ity lev­els; and eat your last meal at least two hours be­fore bed­time.

If Ka­reena ever ran into trou­ble, she could call, mes­sage or e-mail Ru­juta, who would guide her back to culi­nary safety. In fact, Ka­reena re­cently quipped that her hus­band – ac­tor Saif Ali Khan – has only one other woman on speed dial: Ru­juta.

‘The short-term side ef­fects of star­va­tion di­ets in­clude a plateaued-off weight loss, mus­cle loss and ir­ri­tabil­ity,’ says Ru­juta. ‘The long-term side ef­fects in­clude ac­cel­er­ated age­ing and in­creased risk to crit­i­cal or­gans. Eat­ing lo­cally sourced, nour­ish­ing foods and small, fre­quent meals is the only diet se­cret you need to know.’

This is not a rev­o­lu­tion­ary the­ory in the world of nu­tri­tion, but to carb-starved peo­ple who have strug­gled through a spate of fad di­ets to lose weight, it makes Ru­juta a saviour of sorts.

Fel­low celebrity nu­tri­tion­ist Pooja Makhija, who boasts her own bevy of hot­shot clients, in­clud­ing Deepika Padukone, Ran­bir Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor and Sush­mita Sen, also agrees that fad di­ets are lit­tle more than smoke and mir­rors that won’t do much to per­ma­nently haul you out of weight gain. ‘Star­va­tion di­ets are a sure-shot way to fail at los­ing weight,’ she says. ‘They’re just not sus­tain­able. And if a pro­gramme is not sus­tain­able, the re­sults will not be sus­tain­able ei­ther. Reg­u­lar eat­ing is the only path to a fit, healthy body.’

To il­lus­trate this point, she quotes the ex­am­ple of Sonam Kapoor, who lost a whop­ping 35kg be­fore mak­ing her de­but in

Saawariya. While the ac­tress man­aged to lose the ini­tial bulk on her own, she even­tu­ally hit a snag.

‘When Sonam came to me, she had two prob­lems,’ says Pooja. ‘One, she

The short-term EF­FECTS of star­va­tion di­ets in­clude MUS­CLE LOSS, while speedy AGE­ING and RISK to or­gans are seen in the long run

was hav­ing trou­ble shed­ding those last stub­born five to seven ki­los, and two, she had de­posits of fat she was un­happy with. At the time, some of her eat­ing habits were com­pletely wrong and we had to work on break­ing those.’

The di­eti­cian in­tro­duced Sonam to the same plan that not only helped her sus­tain­ably shed those last few ki­los, but also went on to help ac­tress Vidya Balan lose al­most 12kg be­fore she started shoot­ing for The Dirty Pic­ture.

‘Ex­cess sugar and ex­cess fat are the two cul­prits you need to stay away from,’ says Pooja. ‘Most peo­ple will eat a small cup­cake or a muf­fin and com­pen­sate by skip­ping carbs at lunch – they’ll opt for a soup or a salad in­stead.

‘But you need a diet bal­anced in es­sen­tial carbs, pro­teins and fat to lose weight. So keep the bread or rice in your lunch and skip the cup­cake or muf­fin in­stead. Eat bal­anced, rea­son­able por­tions and you’ll start see­ing re­sults in a few weeks.

‘Acne, pim­ples, body odour, dan­druff and hair fall are all tell-tale signs of eat­ing wrong. Eat­ing right may be hard work, but is worth it.’

Alia Bhatt is an­other ex­am­ple of a Bol­ly­wood star­let who has had ex­pe­ri­ence with weight loss. Af­ter her au­di­tion for the lead role in Stu­dent of the Year, di­rec­tor Karan Jo­har made it very clear – he would con­sider her for the part only if she dropped 20kg.

Of course, Alia suc­ceeded and Karan got his flaw­lessly toned fe­male lead. But how did she get there? In­ten­sive weight train­ing, sup­ple­mented by car­dio, says her trainer Prashant Sawant, who of­fers a 12-week high-in­ten­sity in­ter­val train­ing pro­gramme specif­i­cally de­signed to stim­u­late weight loss. He also trains Shah Rukh Khan and Ajay Devgn, and is re­spon­si­ble for mak­ing both ac­tors look fit­ter – at 50 and 47 re­spec­tively – than they did in their 20s.

‘I train my clients for a min­i­mum of four times a week through 45-minute ses­sions,’ Prashant says. ‘Dur­ing th­ese pe­ri­ods, we train non-stop and there are no dis­trac­tions. Shah Rukh and Ajay’s work­outs are gru­elling mixed work­outs in­clud­ing cir­cuit train­ing. They are also de­signed to boost their car­dio­vas­cu­lar sys­tems, since they’re both over 40.’

Prashant also care­fully maps out their diet plans to en­sure they get the max­i­mum nu­tri­tion from what they eat. Bal­anced meals pre­vent the body from break­ing down mus­cle to pro­duce the en­ergy re­quired for rig­or­ous work­outs. He also of­ten trav­els with Shah Rukh and Ajay dur­ing out-of-town shoots to en­sure their hec­tic sched­ules don’t stand in the way of their fit­ness. ‘I’m lucky be­cause

‘Acne, body ODOUR, dan­druff and HAIR FALL are all SIGNS of EAT­ING WRONG. Eat­ing right may be HARD WORK, but is WORTH it’

nei­ther is a foodie,’ says Prashant. But an­other client, Priyanka Cho­pra, is. ‘I worked with Priyanka to pre­pare her for

Mary Kom. She is a foodie, so I had to make sure every­thing she was eat­ing dur­ing those months was very nu­tri­tious.

‘In ad­di­tion, she fol­lowed a high-pro­tein high-carb diet to sup­ple­ment our daily one-hour train­ing ses­sions. I put her through in­ten­sive weight train­ing, boosted by car­dio, and in­cluded box­ing as well to give her the right tone.’

But in­ten­sive weight train­ing and car­dio is not ev­ery celebrity’s cup of tea. Some pre­fer to swap hours at the gym for time on the yoga mat. Celebrity yoga guru and author of From

Payal Gid­wani Ti­wari, to­gether with her hus­band Man­ish Ti­wari, has thinned down XL to XS a fair share of celebs such as Ka­reena, Saif, Sridevi, Boney Kapoor, Rani Muk­erji, Farhan Akhtar, Jac­que­line Fer­nan­dez and Malaika Arora Khan.

‘Yoga is the only form of work­ing out that can make you look younger,’ says Payal. ‘It ini­tially builds flex­i­bil­ity and stamina, and in time, weight loss fol­lows.

‘Asanas help in cor­rect­ing pos­ture, body ton­ing, reliev­ing stress and in­creas­ing en­ergy lev­els, while pranayams help im­prove breath­ing rate and get rid of ex­ces­sive fat. They are also the best cure for di­ges­tive prob­lems. Kriyas help in cleans­ing the body of un­wanted tox­ins.’

In ad­di­tion to Ru­juta’s eat­ing right tech­niques, Ka­reena has said that yoga is an­other rea­son for her weight loss.

‘Ka­reena typ­i­cally be­gins with warm-ups, fol­lowed by surya na­maskars – sun sa­lu­ta­tion regime – fol­lowed by a se­ries of pos­tures,’ Payal ex­plains. ‘She gen­er­ally does 50 surya na­maskars per ses­sion, and some­times 100 with variations.’

But, Payal warns, while 50 or 100 surya na­maskars may be great, you have to work your way up to them. Ac­cord­ing to her, it’s bet­ter to do five surya na­maskars per­fectly than to do 50 com­pletely wrong.

In fact, all of Bol­ly­wood’s favourite di­eti­cians and train­ers say that while weight loss can be ex­as­per­at­ing, you don’t have to shun an en­tire food group or brave ab­surd diet fron­tiers to suc­ceed. If you’re still won­der­ing, re­mem­ber where the ad­vice is com­ing from, and who it has unar­guably ben­e­fited.

The se­cret is eat­ing fre­quent rea­son­ably sized meals and work­ing out a few times a week. It may take a while to work, but the re­sults could be long-last­ing.

In the mean­time, if you chance upon the cot­ton ball diet, just walk away.

The SE­CRET is eat­ing fre­quent rea­son­ably sized meals and WORK­ING OUT a few times a week. The re­sults take time, but LAST longer

Train­ers and nu­tri­tion­ists like (clock­wise from above) Prashant Sawant, Payal Gid­wani Ti­wari, Pooja Makhija and Ru­juta Di­wekar are the stars who make look­ing good pos­si­ble in Tin­sel­town

As per stereo­types, ac­tors tend to lose their shine once they’re past their prime, but stars like Saif Ali Khan, Shah Rukh Khan and Ajay Devgn are fit­ter now

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