There has been so much of admiration and talk about Aamir Khan and his dramatic body transformation. While filming for the movie, Dangal, Aamir put on 30 kilos for the role of a retired wrestler. The actor then went on to lose the pounds he had put on in less than 2 months. Now, we will dismiss it after a bit of oh and ah, saying that, "Of course, he did it so soon, he has an army of trainers to support him and has everything he needs because he is a star." But what if we told you anyone can do this. Yes, even you. Meet Akash Agarwal - a normal guy who runs a business. So why this mention about him? Read on to find out more about his dramatic body transformation.
Here is Agarwal's story on how he transformed himself from an obese person to some one who is super fit. We got talking to him and here is what he said, "I was always a fat kid. Being from a Marwari family, and with the amount of amazing and rich food that is made in our households, there was never any end to the eating. My family also had a way of emotionally blackmailing me to eat food".
"At the age of 10, I was obese. But I didn't care too much about it and kept eating without a care in the world. When I graduated from college, I was at my heaviest and was regularly made fun off. Although it hurt me, I had no idea on how to lose this weight. I lacked proper guidance. I turned to slimming pills, slimming centres and even detox juices." These yielded no results whatsoever. It is human tendency to take short cuts, but when it comes to your body, there are no short cuts.
You tell me you follow the Kris Gethin body transformation program. How were you introduced to it?
I never did think it would work out, truth be told. I only realized I was overweight when I was 16, when I started college. My friends would mock me, girls would avoid talking to me, and that made me uncomfortable and out of place. As I mentioned before, there was absolutely no guidance whatsoever. I didn't know what to do, whom to talk to. I was really insecure at that point. That's when I sort out other methods of losing weight. The only thing I lost in the process was a good amount of money when I would purchase slimming pills and visit slimming salons. I even restored to doing just crunches, hoping that my tummy would disappear.
In 2009, I started doing a little bit of aerobics. That didn't work either. I gained flexibility and agility, but that was about it. I didn't lose weight as my diet was terrible. I didn't eat in reduced portions or more frequent meals. I was forever eating rich, fatty food. I would workout really hard over the week, but during the weekend, I would binge eat. That was my biggest enemy.
He goes on to say, "In 2012, I saw an article about Hrithik Roshan, who is a huge Bollywood star, and my favourite. He claimed that he had gotten from Fat to Fit with the help of Kris Gethin, who was his trainer. I was quite shocked to know that Hrithik, who was known for his body, was fat at some point. That gave me the initial motivation to start working out. I got a copy of a book, Body by Design, written by Gethin. I respect and thoroughly follow him now. He is brilliant."
Describe your process of working out? Did you meet a hurdle that you thought you would never cross?
I started following Kris Gethin. I learnt that he worked with bodybuilding.com, through which he showed you how to adapt and transform. I started one of the programs, lost a little weight, and hit a plateau again. The main problem was I didn't realise that I had to adapt to this lifestyle. I would workout, lose weight, and feel happy about it. I would stop eating clean and start eating all that rich, oily food, telling myself that, I've lost weight already, so I can eat what I want. I failed to understand the repercussions of doing so. That was a vicious cycle. I had to follow it rigorously. That was one hurdle.
In 2013, I got married. So I was away from the working out for a bit. I put on a lot of weight in 3-4 months. I returned to gyming soon enough, but something else happened that made me lose my way. I had an accident when I was lifting and that resulted in injuring my back. I had a disc injury and had developed cracks in my L4 and L5. I even ignored the injury for a bit, but it got worse. The doctor said I can't workout again and that I should stop lifting weights. I was shattered. I blamed myself a lot for this. If I had been consistent and had not taken my body for granted, I could have easily avoided this. That was the biggest hurdle I faced.
How did you finally get out of the rut? How did you continue working out?
In 2015, when I met Kris at an expo in Mumbai, I told him about all that had happened. I told him that I had been yo-yoing with my weight a bit and that I had hurt myself. I was slowly recovering from the back injury. I was doing physio and I tried acupuncture, too. I said I would place myself accountable to him if I didn't transform. I took off my shirt in front of so many people and he posed with me for a picture. I was so ashamed at that point, that I vowed I would be back looking much better than I had. I went back home and started rehabbing and worked out. I took it one week at a time. And 18 months later, I was ready to face him again.
Considering you are a vegetarian, did you have to introduce any supplements to your diet?
Yes, I did use supplements like whey protein and others from Kaged Muscle. I had to supplement my diet in terms of protein. You need high doses of protein if you have to develop muscles. I started to eat a lot of paneer (cottage cheese) and tofu. As a vegetarian, I had to discover and learn about the different sources of protein that I could consume. I also ate soy, daal ( lentils) and chickpea. I had to inculcate these into my diet on a regular basis. I depended very little on my protein shakes. Just enough to fulfill my protein requirements. Supplements add to your diet and although they don't have to be used if you can't afford it, they make a lot of difference.
How long did you take to transform?
For me, it took about a year to transform. I couldn't lift heavy weights and I couldn't push myself too much. So it was slow and steady for me. I had to mobilise my body before gathering momentum. But towards the start of 2016, I started to push myself to achieve the body of my dreams. And I achieved the target by July 2016.
What was your diet like?
My diet was very simple. I ate home cooked food. I would wake up in the morning, eat one breakfast, go to the gym, come back and eat a second breakfast. I would pack my meals and take them with me everywhere I went. I didn't eat out or hardly ever did. If I didn't have a meal, I would make sure I had a meal replacement, in the form of a protein bar or protein shakes with oats in it.
I ate roti, sabzi, paneer, tofu, channa. This was all the protein. In terms of carbs, I would eat brown rice, oats, chapati or upma. I ate a lot of veggies too to make sure I got ample amount of fiber.
How do you manage your current weight and regime?
I've started another program that will help me gain muscle now. I don't feel like binging anymore. I eat clean and continue my workouts. Eating in moderation is the key.
Agarwal's weight was 85 kilos in 2015, with 35% body fat. He is currently 65 kilos with 7.5% body fat. That is really impressive, isn't it? He has also been made the Brand Ambassador for Kaged Muscle Products in India, becoming the first Indian to do so. His advice to everyone is:
-80% diet and 20% workout = a healthy body.
-Be ready mentally more than physically. Dream big and visualise it, visualise the body you aspire. Mind over body. You got to do what you got to do. No excuses.
-Respect your body. Eat clean. Pack your meals in advance.
-Plan your day. (Meals & workout). Be selfish, don't fall for temptations. If you fail to plan then you plan to fail.
-Don't hesitate to ask for help and be transparent about your goals. The more you share the more accountable you will have to be. So go ahead and set your goals. Eating healthy can cost you more. But eating healthy is an investment and not an expense.
What do you think about this transformation? Do tell us, in the comments below.