Growing up in Jammu, actor Mohit Raina was a “fat kid”. At his heaviest he was 107 kgs. Participating in a modeling contest in 2005, Raina says, had turned out to be a life-altering experience that put him on a “life-long” pursuit of fitness. After shedding 29 kilos to participate in the 2005 Grasim Mister India modelling contest, he finished among the top five contestants.
The 36-year-old, who is currently basking in the success of his digital debut Kaafir alongside actor Dia Mirza on ZEE5, talks to indianexpress.com about his fitness regimen, his guilty pleasures and why is it essential to opt for natural foods rather than market-based protein shakes.
From being a 107 kg teenager to a fit model, how would you describe your fitness journey?
It has been amazing and really fulfilling. When I look back, I think there is a point in everyone’s life when you don’t have a direction. I was also a fat kid, trying to go to college and just study and grow up with friends. At that time, fitness was not at its boom. We were not that much aware. And as far as I remember, there were not many fitness centers across cities.
Slowly, I realised that fitness is an integral part (of life) because I wanted to act. Being in front of the camera was very liberating for me. So, I realised that for the visual medium, I really needed to be fit and presentable. Then, slowly, I worked towards it.
I think, fitness is a journey. It is not a one-day process. Fitness is easy to achieve but very difficult to maintain. Therefore, it becomes a life-long process which you have to live with and need to be extremely disciplined.
What’s your fitness regimen like on a typical day?
It keeps changing according to weather conditions in Mumbai. When it rains, I do a lot of indoor exercises, when its pleasant, I play a lot of tennis and do swimming, and opt for outdoor sports and running. I make sure that I do a physical activity for at least 45 minutes a day.
People consume a lot of protein shakes these days for building muscle mass. What is your take on it? Does the body really need so much protein?
Anything in excess is harmful. You should not do that. It also depends on what kind of physique or body structure one is looking at or aiming for. So, if you are an actor and are looking to a play a particular part, I think then, probably, you can use these external proteins. However, I think muscle mass for strength can also be gained with natural food. It will help one to maintain it for a longer period.
These protein shakes have a limited life span and vanish after a certain point. But to have longevity, natural diet and products are recommended. It is also necessary to work hard and sleep well. Before training your body, it is important to train your mind. And you have to have control over your lifestyle. Its a mixture of everything including proper sleep, proper rest, proper nutrition, proper workout or physical activities. And I would advise every youngster to stay away from all these products in the market.
Are you a cardio person? Have you ever tried Pilates? What do you do for mobility?
Yes, I am a cardio person. I haven’t tried Pilates. I do a lot of outdoor sports including swimming, stretching and running. And running on the beach is something that I am really fond of.
What do you do if you overindulge in food?
I don’t stop myself. I give my sweet tooth its due. One day of running or one time protein shake isn’t going to make you fit. Neither is one sweet going to harm you. So, balance is the key.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Sweet Lassi. Also, its Kaju Katli.