How the fab Alia Bhat went from fat to fit
Her journey from chubby to the cover of Vogue India .
She looked sweet-n-pretty as a debutante in Student of the Year, heartbreakingly ethereal in Highway and impishly cute in Two States. But Alia Bhatt wasn’t always this way. The once pudgy and apple cheeked daughter of film maker Mahesh Bhatt lost a whopping 16 kilos in three months before starting shooting for her debutant film Student of the Year. As the pretty star and current youth icon says, “When I decided I wanted to act in films I had to lose weight and present myself in a way that I could be accepted.” And what better incentive than playing the role of Shanaya, the extrovert, lovable, energetic girl every guy wants to be with in SOTY? Alia’s journey from chubby to the cover of Vogue India started when she auditioned for her debut Karan Johar film. “When I auditioned for the role I was three times my current weight. I auditioned with 500 other girls but made it to the top ten. Karan told his team to implore me to lose weight. My character was a young, gorgeous college girl, and I looked anything but.”
So what did she do get her curves?
There were no quick fixes. It was a mix of exercise and sensible (and healthy) food choices. Alia got herself a personal fitness instructor who put her on a diet. “All I ate was vegetables and chicken,” Alia laughs. The dimpled actress rues the fact that she had to give up everything that she loved to eat. “I would wake up in the morning and tell everyone at home that I dreamt of cake. However, three months later I was 16 kilos lighter.” Having re-discovered her figure she posed for a photo shoot and was finalized for the role of the stylish Shanaya Singhania that flagged off her career.
This 5’ 5” actress follows a strict workout regime that sees her go to gym three to four times a week; she stays fit doing cardio and yoga no matter how busy her schedule. Her trainer created a special workout regime for her based on weight loss exercises. These include cardio and toning such as running on the treadmill, pushups and weight bearing exercises to tone and strengthen the upper and lower body.
But exercise is only one of the pillars of weight loss as any weight loss veteran will tell you. Following a sensible weight loss diet is the key to success. To put it in perspective, if you were to do an hour on the treadmill, you’d burn 500 calories. Eat two gulab jamuns and wham! You’ve eaten the same number of calories you just burned. And this isn’t even counting all the calories you’ll consume at mealtimes and snacks. During her weight loss regime, Alia ate plenty of fruit and veggies cooked with minimal oil. She drank lots of water and stayed away from all her favorites such as rabdi, kheer, pasta and dosas. She also ate dinner two hours before bed time.
Alia’s daily meal plan included:
- Breakfast: A cup of sugar free tea or coffee, a bowl of vegetable poha or an egg white sandwich.
- Mid-Morning: A glass of vegetable juice, a fruit, one idli with a bowl of sambar.
- Lunch: One roti without ghee with vegetable or one idli with a bowl of sambar, and one fruit.
- Teatime: A cup of sugar-free tea or coffee.
- Mid-evening: A fruit or one idli.
- Dinner: One roti without ghee or a bowl of rice with a bowl of vegetables and dal or a grilled chicken breast.
Move from calorie counting to food ratios
If you feverishly count calories in every morsel it’s time to take a step back. Notice how Alia eats her fill of carbs—idlis, poha, bread and roti—much to the horror of carb avoiding dieters. The fact is calorie counting doesn’t address the quality of foods you eat and how different food combinations affect the body’s ability to burn fat. For instance you could eat 500 calories worth of chocolate, beans or spaghetti, but what happens metabolically in your body after each food is a different matter. The latest research suggests that you shouldn’t be counting calories to promote weight loss and fat burning. Pay more attention to the “food ratio approach”. For ideal fat burning put together food amounts that fulﬁll a 1:1 of 2:1 ratio of carbohydrate to protein. Equally important, understand the importance of combining food groups that stabilize blood sugars (idli and sambar or roti and vegetable in Alia’s case). Stable blood sugars make it easy to lose weight. Similarly, combining protein with fiber (egg white and whole grain toast)—Alia’s fave breakfast—also stabilizes blood sugar. Stable blood sugar plays an important role in preventing binges, hence the importance of balancing food ratios.
Supplements to help you on your weight loss journey
While you’re on a weight loss plan, it’s advisable to take supplements that boost immunity and retain your skin and hair’s natural glow like Alia did even though she lost more than five kilos per month. It’s all too common for dieters to start looking sallow and pale, and the best antidote is skin and hair friendly vitamins and minerals. At the start of your weight loss journey, it’s helpful to take a natural supplement like Wow Garcinia Plant Extract Cambogia (90 capsules) because it stabilizes blood sugars and reduces your appetite. Over 80 published scientific studies support this natural, 100% safe supplement’s efficacy. Stock up on Nature’s Bounty Triple Strength Red Krill Oil 1000 mg (one of the richest sources of hair and skin nourishing Omega 3, 6 and 9), Nature’s Bounty Multi-Day Women’s (infused with 15 important vitamins and minerals), and Inlife All in One Antioxidant (60 Caps), a combination of essential vitamins and antioxidants that ensure healthy hair, nail growth and strong bones, prevent skin aging and promote a healthy digestion. No go beat Alia in the gorgeous sweepstakes!