Transforming himself completely to fit a character is not an alien concept for Aamir Khan. The PK actor is one of Bollywood’s most versatile actors, when it comes to the looks of his characters. But this time around, it’s been quite a feat for the perfectionist, as he had to play with his weight two times around.
First Aamir had to gain weight to play wrestler Mahavir Phogat in his upcoming movie Dangal, then he lost all those kilograms and more to play a younger version. And the superstar has done a fabulous job of losing around 25 kg for the second phase of shooting for Dangal. But how did he manage all that in such a short time? The 50-year-old actor said that he “still follows the old-fashioned calorie count system to stay fit”.
“People use new methods, different diets these days. I still stick to calorie count system. Fifty per cent is that of the diet when you reduce weight, 25 per cent depends on workout and the rest 25 per cent on taking rest. I had shortage of time, so had to go for drastic weight loss but one should go for slow and steady one,” said Aamir, in the backdrop of shooting for Dangal in Leel village, Ludhiana, Punjab.
“The key is a balanced diet. Take 20 per cent of your calorie intake from healthy fats, 30 per cent of calorie is from proteins and 50 per cent of the calories consumed should be from carbohydrates,” explained Aamir, negating the popular myth that carbohydrates should be avoided if someone wants to lose weight. He said it’s the carbohydrates that give the body energy and the brain glucose. Effectively, it’s about a balanced diet. “Now, if you want to lose weight, your calorie count should be lower. I used to consume around 2,500 kCal a day, but burnt a lot more,” said the actor.
He added that it was more than 6 hours of physical activity a day that helped him strike a balance between balanced diet and workout. “Cycling, trekking, tennis — I did all to make it happen. It was definitely not easy losing almost 30 kg but I had to do it,” he explained.
“I take 10-12 hours of sleep a day, which is the most important. People believe that fats and carbohydrates are least important and avoid them when loosing weight but, in fact, it is healthy oils and fats which are must. My diet had 50 per cent carbs, they make your brain work properly. I just ensured that I burnt more calories than what I took,” revealed the Ghajini actor. He used to lose 3-4 pounds (1 pound = 0.453592 kg) a week because of his time crunch, but advised others to limit that to just 1-2 pounds a week, since that is more healthy.
“There is simply no pill, no medicines or no shortcuts to lose weight,” said Aamir, adding that “in Bollywood, it is only Salman Khan who has perfect body”. “Mine is not as good as him. I admire him for this,” he said.