Do not try this at home

Impressive as it may seem, actors advise fans against going through extreme body makeovers in a bid to follow celebrity examples.

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Aamir Khan is no stranger to extreme body makeovers. The actor has made it to newspaper headlines multiple times for his ‘now fit, now fat’ transitions. Earlier this week, his makeover video went viral, giving audiences a glimpse of his dedicated, yet obnoxious efforts to fit into the mould of his Dangal character. While Aamir manages to create a buzz around him, there are others outside Bollywood who put themselves through as much of a drill — Priya Bapat for instance. The actress was seen in Marathi comedy drama Vazandar last month, a tale of two chubby girls and their battle to get to size zero. In the past, actor Atul Kulkarni lost oodles of weight and gained it back for the much acclaimed Marathi film Natarang. If there’s one takeaway that they have from the experience, it’s this — do not try this at home.

Celebrity fitness trainer Deanne Pandey concurs, “Stars adapt a scientific method; their food portions are controlled and they do it under expert supervision. One should never do it on their own,” she says adding, “It’s okay to rapidly lose and gain weight once in a while, but if you constantly keep yo-yoing then it can get dangerous.”

Atul Kulkarni

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My weight gain and loss was a two-part process. In the first half of Natrang, I played the role of a well-built labourer and in the second, I played a skinny tamasha actor. I first started with gaining weight — it took me about three and a half months to gain 15 to 16 kg. After that, for the second part, I lost 17 kg in just 42 days. The process definitely takes a toll on you. When I saw Aamir’s workout video for Dangal, I could actually feel the pain that he must have gone through. I was lucky to have a trainer like Sailesh Parulekar. I think the most important factor is the trainer. In my case, I had the best. In the 7-8 months of training that I went through, I didn’t have a single injury and I did not take any supplement. I had a very healthy protein diet. These days, people give a lot of wrong advice and I hope that people don’t fall prey to it. It is easy to want feel tempted to ape a celeb’s physique, but must understand that as actors, it’s part of our job to look like the characters. For those whose bread and butter doesn’t depend on it, I’d say just focus on general fitness. This trend of six-pack, for instance, is very unhealthy, since it reduces water and makes a lot of dietary compromises. Instead, one should focus on what is often called ‘functional fitness’. If someone is living on the fifth floor, he or she should be able to climb the flights of stairs, instead of taking the elevator. If one lives on the fifteenth floor, one should climb the first five storeys at least.

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