Tanushree Dutta and Ishaan Khatter chronicle their struggle with weight management
An actor chronicles his struggle to work against his metabolic rate and gain six kilos for a film; an actress sheds light on her journey to losing 15 kilos to return to cinema.
I had to consume as much as 2,700 calories a day: Ishaan Khatter
Khaali Peeli actor Ishaan Khatter has such a high metabolic rate that he was once called on by the camera-person to notice how his frame had consistently depleted over a 23-hour long shooting schedule for a song sequence. "From the first shot to the last, the change was noticeable. I recall, I had to eat like a pig to gain six kilos for the film, and doing so with a high BMR was hard," says the actor, who had to acquire the bulky frame for his act of a taxi driver in the romantic drama starring Ananya Panday.
Khatter's fitness journey can be traced to his early teens when, like brother Shahid Kapoor, he too landed at the studio of Shiamak Davar. After a bunch of summer workshops, he completed a year-long dance intensive, involving sessions that ran 12 to 14 hours. When he was 16, he began tailing Kapoor into his gym, where the latter encouraged him to take to body-weight exercises to refine his skills.
"I essentially took to callisthenics and Parkour-based movements. I trained in various disciplines, and in outdoor spaces, like parks. The only time I incorporated weight-training into my routine was to add weight for this film," says the actor, who accompanied Kapoor to the Antigravity Club in Bandra to train under the guidance of trainers and brothers Yudi and Karan Jaising, and Siddhant Sidhwani.
If losing muscle mass was a concern, Khatter was advantaged in that he could seamlessly gain it back on as well. "We did compound [movements] like squats, shoulder presses, and weighted pulls-ups and dips. My muscles reacted quickly, and I broke PRs [personal records] fast. It was a great period of growth. The [team] monitored my nutrition, and for the first time, I emphasised on sleeping for long hours. Usually, I can't sleep [well], but I ensured that I got eight hours of rest, at least in the initial days. That helped with muscle-growth and weight-gain."
However, none of the toil that Khatter put in would bear fruit had it not been supplemented with the appropriate diet, which, in his case, meant eating abundantly, "often, three to four times the amount I would burn". "[The training had to be] supported by a caloric surplus. I had no supplements, barring one vegan, gut-healthy protein blend. I had to consume as much as 2,700 calories a day. Given that we would travel three hours a day to reach our location, which was followed by a 14-hour shoot, often involving intense physical sequences, I needed to train to maintain the gained weight. Almost each day, I had to eat a burger over and above my dinner [to meet the caloric requirement]."
Having subsequently taken to an ayurvedic detox diet, Khatter ended up losing nine kilos, instead of the six he sought to get rid of. "I need to look young for my next [film], hence a lean frame is needed."
Will now work on attaining chiselled frame: Dutta
Tanushree Dutta - Before and After
After a visit to the Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga temple towards the close of 2019 inspired Tanushree Dutta to take to day-long fasts on Mondays, the actor noticed how "resetting" the body on a weekly basis was helping her look, and feel different. Having harboured the desire to return to cinema, Dutta decided to leverage the development and continue to refine her eating habits to bring about a physical transformation.
"I subsequently took to weight-training with a fitness professional in Mumbai. I used to [lift] when I was working in Bollywood, and hence knew that weight-training brings about noticeable physical change. Apart from lifting, I also worked on enhancing my diet by cutting out sugar and limiting the intake of carbohydrates, and ended up losing seven kilos before I left for the US, a few months later," says the actor, who subsequently trained in the gym for a few weeks before the lockdown was imposed.
Unwilling to let her toil go to waste, Dutta decided to take to intermittent fasting, thereby reducing the window of consuming food to eight hours a day, while simultaneously eliminating all forms of carbohydrates, and sugars from her diet.
"During this period, I was living in the hills in the US. I had no access to Indian ingredients, and would hence eat European-style meals like soups, salads, and baked fish. For five months, I didn't even have sugar at home and did not consume milk. The place that I resided in allowed me to head for a walk, or go hiking in the hills, whenever I desired," says Dutta, who subsequently lost more weight over the five-month period.
Ask her how she continues to stick to her European diet, now that she is back in the country, and Dutta says she is now naturally drawn to healthy alternatives. "I still don't eat rice and roti, and have turned to eating quinoa, and sabudana khichdi instead. They are low in carbs, and gluten-free. Also, I make delicious soups. Anyone who consumes them will not crave for rice or roti. I still continue to head for my daily walks," says the actor, terming the weight-loss as only the beginning of what she has set out to achieve. "I will work on attaining definition and a chiselled frame."
Ishaan: Had to eat a burger after dinner each night
Tanushree: Nowadays, I end up salivating on foods eaten during fasts
Ishaan: I took to weight-lifting to gain muscle mass
Tanushree: I took to weight-lifting to lose weight
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