Dhruva Sarja says he lost 18 kg in 23 days: Is this weight loss journey for you? – The Indian Express

Kannada actor Dhruva Sarja has created quite a stir on the internet by posting pictures of his body transformation and claiming to lose almost 18 kg for his film in just 23 days! He attributed his new look to a strict diet discipline and weight training.
But such transformation stories must come with riders. One, that such dramatic before and after look of stars is possible only with a multi-disciplinary approach, goal-setting and resources to make the body beautiful. It should then be the first priority. Even then a transformation cannot be so rapid. Two, an ordinary person cannot be expected to achieve this in as much time, without a scientific assessment of his capabilities and an understanding of whether he needs this in the first place. As celebrity health coach and functional medicine expert, Vijay Thakkar, explains, “What we need to understand is most celebrities already have a baseline fitness and a healthier body to work with. They build up from there and then show the transformation that they may undergo for the look of a film or achieving a personal milestone.”
So what about weight training for ordinary people who want to lose weight and stay fit? “We must remember that extreme measures are not sustainable. Choose a routine that you can sustain as that will have an exponential compounded effect over a long time… I would say even a 15-minute of workout begun today, as early as your 20s, and maintained as a regular routine can yield long-term results in keeping you in shape. If you aim to fight the flab early in life, your quality of life will be immense,” says Thakkar.
Also, he feels, the exercise routine has to be customised as per the individual. “A person with a super sedentary condition cannot be expected to take up weight training from the word go as his muscles will turn sore. I would put that person on a routine of walking every five minutes for every 30 minutes of sitting at the workstation. Then build up a rhythm of walking in his body. Subsequently, I would build up on that walking habit gradually before taking it to a jog and run and then look at initiating the person into workouts. Cardio-pulmonary functioning has to be built up over time. One must know one’s heart capacity and heart rate. To estimate your maximum age-related heart rate, subtract your age from 220. For example, for a 50-year-old person, the estimated maximum age-related heart rate would be calculated as 220 – 50 years = 170 beats per minute (bpm). One has to work within these limits.”
As far as the eating pattern is concerned, Thakkar says that 80 per cent of an individual’s calorie needs must come from the food that their body needs, not what they like. “ Only 20 per cent of your calories, what we call indulgence calories, can come from your tongue, or the food you want to taste. And while everybody knows the basic food groups to choose from — proteins, fibres, slow carbs, micronutrients and so on — a diet has to be customised meticulously after a full assessment of body needs and pre-existing conditions,” he adds.
Thakkar debunks a few myths about weight loss and weight training. “Weight loss involves loss of water weight, fat weight and muscle weight. Now water you can lose fast, which is why you can visually register the change in the body. But fat loss takes a longer time. Also we need to track fat loss or inch loss rather than obsessing about dropping kilos in totality. It is good to have lean mass or protein tissue that doesn’t carry fat. Basically, you are recomposing your body, taking off your inches, so that your belly fat goes away and your arms and thighs do not sag.”
A body composition analysis is important for any weight loss journey. There are many ways to do it but a cheaper method is the callipers which pinch your skin in certain areas, usually thighs, arms, belly, chest, to understand the extent of fat tissue. The waist to hip ratio is a good measure to begin with. “I often get asked why I do not insist on weight so much. That’s because lean mass has weight but there is no damaging fat left in your body because of it. For example, top notch athletes are usually 5 to 8 kg overweight but they have more functional lean tissue. This strengthens skeletal tissue and enhances their quality of life over time. Remember our major organs are in the torso area and it is important to keep that zone fat-free,” says Thakkar.
Whip up this quick ‘hormone balancing’ carrot salad today

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