Here's how these two artistes have emerged fitter and lighter from quarantine period
Navigating deterrents like readily available meals, the comfort of a couch, and absence of a trainer to egg them on to 'finish that last rep', these two artistes have emerged from the quarantine period, fitter and lighter.
Lost nine kilos
Atul Kasbekar during an exercise session a few months ago
Two factors play a decisive role in determining whether or not Atul Kasbekar will deviate from his diet. Having ascertained that a cheat-meal "should be absolutely worth it", he discusses being lured by a rasgulla from a lesser-known Kandivali outlet, and an Italian preparation from a posh Juhu venue. Over the past four months, he has also learnt the importance of portion-control. "You can't out-exercise a bad diet. I love to have a dessert after each meal, and will consume a sugar-free dark chocolate. A dessert is essentially meant to change the [taste] in your palate. So, two scoops [of a serving] or one piece, is enough. Having a larger quantity won't make you feel better. If I drink, I'll have one [serving]. I don't need to get hammered," says Kasbekar, who, having shaved off nine kilos since the lockdown was imposed, says our diet plays a major role in defending our health, especially after the age of 40.
Kasbekar has reduced his calorie intake to 2,000 a day — a 1,000 calories less than the amount he would usually consume — and has been complementing it with daily exercise routines that last no more than 60-70 minutes. "I train seven days a week, and alternate between yoga and strength training. While I have been able to at least retain the strength that I had before we went into lockdown, I have seen significant improvement in my flexibility. I can't believe the things my body is capable of doing," says Kasbekar, who has been tutoring himself virtually with the help of a trainer. A distaste for running has led him to explore other forms of cardiovascular activity like stair-climbing, or playing a sport like volleyball. "If I love someone, I'd always tell the person to get fitter. You'll see people posing for group photos by hiding a significant part of their body, or their double chin. Obviously, they are uncomfortable, and should do something about it, because they are basically fat-shaming themselves.
Atul Kasbekar during an exercise session done recently
But, I know one person who eats a lot, and is [big-built], but, he'll be right ahead when posing for a group photo. If you're happy, more power to you. But if you're not, you should [fix] it."
An achievement I am proud of
Given my career [as a photographer] for over 30 years, I was forced into postures that had me develop a chronic back ache. After consistently practicing yoga, I have to now look over my shoulder to analyse where the ache was, because, for the first time in my life, I have been pain-free. I can't tell you how joyous the feeling is.
Lost four kilos
Ileana D’Cruz following a workout session conducted recently
Referring to herself as a couch potato whose home is designed to be cosy and comfortable, Ileana D'Cruz struggles to motivate herself to exercise indoors. In fact, for the first 45 days since the lockdown was imposed, the actor did not pack any activity into her day, until she realised she needed to take charge of her health.
"I found a 21-day [challenge] online, and initially agreed to do it because it was only for three weeks. I did not think I could pull it off, and after the first week, was in a lot of pain. But, 21 days later, I felt great. It motivated me to then take up another intense 80-day challenge. I am on day 34 now, and realised that the more I [train], the more I enjoy it," says the actor, who has lost four kilos over the past few weeks.
Apart from the fact that she feels better, stronger even, and can seamlessly fit into clothes, D'Cruz has reaped several other benefits. "Exercising regularly has been good for [my] mental well-being and immunity. I would have a lot of sinus attacks, and other health issues, none of which has bothered me since [I got fitter]."
Even though she has constantly reiterated that a one-size-fits-all approach cannot be used to design nutrition plans for people, D'Cruz lists tips that have worked for her. "Sugar is among the most addictive things, and must be eliminated [from one's diet]. And, it's good to minimise the intake of carbohydrates. If you must have them, you should have complex carbohydrates, like oatmeal, in the morning. Also, while I love bread, and had been baking a lot when the lockdown began, it's not good for anyone. So I avoid bread. While I do indulge, I usually eat healthy meals six days a week. I know that if I am putting so much effort into training, I need to ensure I eat well too. You can't get the body [you want] by eating junk food."
An Instagram picture taken from Ileana D'Cruz’s feed from 2019
In usual circumstances, the actor would look forward to her pilates classes, but the high-intensity interval training routines that she has been taking, seem to have delivered promising results as well. "The routine involves cardiovascular work, and stretches as well. I was the kind of person who would look at exercise as something that I'd have to [reluctantly] do my entire life. It's not easy to take to it initially, but you feel great when it becomes a lifestyle."
An achievement I am proud of
There's a particular workout that's part of this programme. It is a 30-minute regimen involving cardiovascular exercises that need to be performed, with breaks lasting no more than 10 seconds. The first time that I did it, I had to pause the video 20 times, because it was hard. Now, I can pull it off.
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