mid-day editorial: Not the right weigh to go

After beefing up for a role last year, a much leaner Aamir Khan invited the media to his Carter Road house for his 51st birthday on Monday. The actor said he had knocked off 18 kg over a month.

Some reports stated that he had spent the past few weeks at a spa overseas, exercising for close to six hours a day and doing little else.

While this may have help him shed the kilos, it’s hardly the best or the healthiest way to lose weight. More worryingly, it could give his young fan base the wrong idea about weight loss.

Star-struck laypersons, especially youngsters, tend to get swayed easily by celebrity fitness routines and the way actors look. The current craze for six-pack abs is fuelled largely by the young and the shirtless — and frankly, even the not so young and the shirtless — who prance across screens with carved physiques. While this has inspired many towards fitness, yo-yoing weight gain and loss regimens by stars like Aamir can be hugely counterproductive.

It is not possible to drop 18 kg in a month, unless one is doing something drastic and dangerous. People must remember that stars need to look a particular way for a certain role, and often do not have too much time to do that. Crash diets, rapid weight gain, beefed up muscles do not come about naturally. Substances are sometimes used and even otherwise, it is certainly not natural to change one’s body shape so rapidly in such a short time.

Highly-paid stars are closely monitored when they are on a body weight regimen. They have the advantage of getting the best fitness trainers, top class nutritionists, and good medical care too. They are usually looked after very well and can address any problems as a result of weight loss or gain programmes or muscle building regimes. That may not be the case with their followers, who may blindly try to ape them.

In this case, go by age-old wisdom — sensible diet and exercise is the way to good health. Quick fixes and strange mixes do not work.

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