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In a world preoccupied with a desire to look like stars, here are a few fitness secrets of our celebs

Actor Surya is on a ‘no salt, no oil’ diet to shed extra fat for a new look in Vaaranam Aayiram. Pork, meat and beef are a strict no no, and it is only sea food for him to stay in shape. And, Aamir Khan is glowing thanks to plenty of water and a balanced diet. Sweating it out, dieting and meditating are nothing new for celebrities. Staying in shape and looking good are part of the job. In Hollywood, prunes, asparagus and parsley seem to be the staple diet. Did you know that Jennifer Lopez sniffs grapefruit oil and Cindy Crawford sips vinegar to kill hunger pangs?

Top secrets
A book, ‘The Black Book of Hollywood Diet Secrets’ exposes the unlikely foods and drinks that celebrities say can help them shed pounds. Their sculpted figures come after a lot of hard work and commitment. Can ordinary mortals give the celebrity way a shot?

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Says Shanker Basu, CEO of Maverick fitness Studio, who works with film stars: “One should not read too much into celeb diets. Diet plans have to be unique. So there is no point following anybody.” “An individual’s goals, metabolism, fitness level all come into play. We have to ascertain the metabolic typing first, whether somebody is a Carbs type, or a Protein type or a mixed type,” he explains.

Vivek Anand, managing director of Fitness One, whose clientele includes racer Narain Karthikeyan, cricketers and squash champions, says the fascination to look like stars is always there, especially among youngsters. “If they want to flex muscles like Vikram or sport the six pack abs of Shah Rukh Khan, they need to work on it,” he says.

Eat right, listen to your body, and follow a customised diet plan. Above all, the motivation and commitment to achieve your ‘fitness goal’ are important. Salman Khan is a shining example, he says. “So is Prithiviraj. They make sure to work out at our centre when shooting in Chennai. They follow a customised fitness regimen which includes prescribed nutrition, physical activity and exercise. They enjoy it,” Vivek reveals.

For film stars, the pressure to stay in shape is immense. Shanker says Dhanush and Vikram are highly disciplined and dedicated about fitness. What is required is a holistic lifestyle modification. “There is no magic involved. It is a balance of proper nutrition, sufficient physical activity, adequate sleep and reduce stress,” adds Vivek.

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Actor Priyamani’s mantra is simple. “I just make sure not to overeat.” Idlis for breakfast, chappathis and vegetables for lunch, soup and tandoor items for dinner, plenty of fruit juices in between meals and an hour-long workout is her routine. “I never touch fried foods. And, when it comes to chocolates, it is just a bite a day.”

Green tea magic
About her dashing looks in Malaikottai, she says “It’s all thanks to my co-star Vishal. I was introduced to green tea and it works wonders to detoxify your body.” Priya says looking good is important for artistes. “The desire among youngsters to look like Jennifer Aniston or Salma Hayek reveals the growing awareness about fitness. Even I draw inspiration from Kareena Kapoor, Sridevi and Priyanka Chopra. But, stick to a diet plan that suits you. Watch what you eat, and work out,” she advises.

Nutritionist Veena Sekhar, who has worked with Namitha and Surya, says that to achieve any goal, be it losing or gaining weight, or toning up, 50 per cent of the contribution is from diet, 20 per cent from rest and recuperation and 30 per cent from exercise. A balanced diet is the key. It should include cereals, pulses, legumes, fruits and vegetables, meat and milk products, fats, oils and sugar and jaggery. And, think about this balance while eating. “All you need to do is add a fruit along with idli or dosa. Go in for vegetable sambar and mint chutney instead of coconut chutney. And, round that off with a glass of milk,” she suggests.

Fitness freaks
She quotes Deepika Padukone, Vikram, Sibiraj, Vincent Ashokan and Shreya as examples of fitness. Summing up, Shanker Basu says: “In today’s world, less inorganic food, more fresh juices and vegetables, cardio and weight training are of paramount important. And, the fitness regimen has to be unique.”

Fitness mantra
  • Never skip meals. It leads to craving for high calorie foods.
  • Go in for fresh food and lean meat.
  • Include pulses and legumes.
  • Consume fruits and vegetables liberally.
  • Have milk products in moderation.
  • Use fats, oils and sugars sparingly.
  • Avoid oily foods.

    Source: The Hindu
    Date: Jan 31, 2008
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