THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Christmas is undoubtedly the time for excessive eating, drinking and everything in between. There’s not much that can be done when one is bombarded with those moist and boozy plum cakes, crisp rose cookies and warm, addictive kalkals. Sooner or later, you’re going to tuck into those sugary treats, throwing your fitness plans into disarray.
For those looking to disprove statistics, there are ways to have your cake and eat it too. Celebrities from actors Arjun Kapoor to Kriti Sanon swear that finding the right balance is key, while others like Rakul Preet Singh say that doubling one’s hours at the gym works wonders. Read on to find out how to keep it tight and ripped through the party season.
Rakul Preet Singh Actor
Rakul, who owns a franchise of the F45 gym in Hyderabad, is armed with oodles of self-control and won’t be swayed by festivals. “Even if I cheat, I ensure I’m in control and work out a couple of hours extra. I do let go when the occasion demands it and recommend that everybody does so, as nothing happens if you cheat for a day,” says Rakul, adding that she has become fitness obsessed of late.
The one trick that keeps her in her svelte form? She doesn’t eat after 10 pm when she’s out partying. Rakul believes fitness is a way of life rather than a means to an end. “You have to take it up as a lifestyle change, not a 15- or 20-day challenge for the New Year,” says the actor.“I believe in the ‘three-bite’ rule — if I want to have an ice-cream and it’s not the right time of day, I just take one bite. This helps cut the cravings. You have the second bite as you like the taste, and by the time you have the third bite, you no longer crave it.
Every time you feel like indulging, think of the effort you have to put in later to burn it. Stick to small quantities.” When it comes to skincare, home remedies are her go-to. “I have a combination skin, which doesn’t get too dry. I use a face pack made with honey, curd, and papaya. Banana with curd is great for the winter,” she says.
Rajeev Pillai Actor
You are what you eat. This adage lies at the heart of Rajeev’s fitness philosophy. “Eighty per cent of my workout mantra is centred on diet. Between shoots, whenever I hit the gym, I focus on 45 minutes of weight training to keep my body fat content below 10 per cent,” shares Pillai, who received rave reviews for his performance in the recent blockbuster film Oru Muthassi Gadha.
The former dentist and model from Tiruvalla insists there are no shortcuts to ‘get fit quick’, and encourages enthusiasts to take up mixed martial arts (MMA).
“My regimen involves jiujitsu, capoeira, karate, boxing and CrossFit, under the watchful eye of city-based trainer Midhun Jith, a two-time kickboxing world champion and Guinness Record holder,” says the actor. For online pointers on workout routines (if only to renew those New Year resolutions), Rajeev suggests the YouTube channel UlissesWorld.
Roopesh Peethambaran Actor
Roopesh’s weight-loss journey is an inspiring one. The director-turned-actor went from 95 to 75 kilos in two months! The 36-year-old took the old-school route—gruelling hours at the gym coupled with a rigorous yet balanced diet plan that excludes dairy, sugar, rice and starch. “I play the antagonist in the upcoming movie Oru Mexican Aparatha, which is set in the ’70s, and deals with college politics.
While shooting a promo song, I first saw myself onscreen. That’s when the realisation hit home, hard. My transformation inspired actor Kunchacko Boban to hit the gym as well,” claims the director, who helmed popular flicks like You Too Brutus.
As he had 60 days before shooting resumed, he took his co-star Tovino Thomas’ advice and started working out with city-based fitness expert Shyjan Augustine, who also trains the actors Unni Mukundan and Nivin Pauly.
“I will try to stick to my original workout plan during the holiday season. It involves three hours of cardio — treadmill, ground exercises and cross-training — in the morning, followed by three hours of compound weight training in the evenings,” says the actor, adding that before heading out to parties, he munches on honey-infused hazelnut granola bars to stave off the hunger pangs. Hoping to shed a few kilos to fit into that NYE suit? Roopesh reveals his diet secrets — a cup of green tea and a robusta (pre-workout) followed by brown bread and egg whites for breakfast, two rotis, steamed broccoli and grilled fish for lunch, and oats for dinner. “Feel free to indulge during social gatherings, especially Christmas and New Year. But remember, moderation is key,” cautions Roopesh.
Arjun Kapoor Actor
The 31-year-old Arjun, last seen in Ki & Ka, is admired for his weight-loss before his debut with Ishaqzaade. The six-foot tall actor admits that going to the gym is like breathing. “Don’t you take a shower every day? Going to the gym is similar — it becomes a part of your lifestyle,” he says.
Arjun, who was last seen walking the ramp for Falguni and Shane Peacock at the recent Blenders Pride Fashion Tour 2016 in Bengaluru, shares a few personal pointers on how to stay fit this season. “Choose your parties wisely, don’t attend all, or else you will end up overeating. The second rule is to eat
dinner early. Eat whatever you want, but eat by 6 pm, and avoid bread and rice as much as you can. Plus, drink lots of water to stay hydrated.” The actor also insists on working out for a fixed duration of time every day, no matter what time of the day you choose.
Dipika Palikal Squash champion
The first Indian to break into the top 10 in the PSA world ranking and currently ranked 23, Dipika is one of India’s most loved sportswomen. An adrenaline junkie like her cricketer husband, Dinesh Karthik, the squash player says they work out together and love to try adventure sports. Dipika says the festive season has not changed her fitness schedule. “I train every day, except the Christmas weekend.” A self-confessed foodie, she has her cheat days too, but they come at a price. “I put in an extra hour to work out to strike that balance.” When it comes to skincare, Dipika believes in keeping it simple. “I don’t experiment with products. I stick to Clinique or Giorgio Armani moisturiser and Estee Lauder night repair face oil,” she shares.