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Rithvik Dhanjani Tasted Success With Dance and Weights to Beat 113 kg

The television actor who tried everything, including the ‘idli diet’ to beat 113 kg, tasted success with dance and weights

It’s not easy being fit while showing off groovy dance moves to win over judges and a teeming fan following. Ask actor Rithvik Dhanjani, a popular face on television. Ever since Dhanjani joined a dance reality show, his training regime has undergone a drastic change. “The only time I spend in the gym is for muscle training,” he says, candidly. The strenuous dance rehearsals take care of his cardio workouts, for now. The actor believes in striking a balance between his training schedule and, of course, sticking to a strict diet.

No smooth ride

For Rithvik Dhanjani, building a chiselled body was anything but a smooth ride. He remembers his days as a podgy youngster, bingeing on junk food, back in Dubai. "I have to be extra careful about what I eat because I put on weight very easily. I weighed 113 kg at one point of time," he says. Dhanjani tried every trick in the book to lose the weight. "I decided to lose weight when I was still in college and got in shape. But I reached my personal best in terms of physique during Pyar Ki Ye Ekk Kahani. I did everything possible from hardcore dieting to not eating anything but salad. I've tried the GM diet and even the idli diet, which, by the way, is the worst thing anyone can recommend." He also tried a whole gamut of workouts - Bikram yoga, swimming, playing squash. "I did everything I could to lose weight but nothing worked. Then I realised that the diet I was following was not right for me. I managed to go from 113 kg to 95 kg in three and a half years but it took me forever to get to 80 kg. I never gave up."

Pack in the proteins

Now that he's lost the extra weight, after a lot of hard work, Dhanjani is keen on keeping it off and ensures he has a meal every two hours. The tryst with weight loss begins first thing in the morning. He starts with a protein shake. "My diet has to be low on carbs and high on protein," he says. So, egg whites, baked potatoes, boiled eggs, a salad without dressing, apple or citrus fruits are his go-to foods. Bananas and dry fruits are a no-no. He also has his cheat days, but even then mayonnaise and the Thousand Island dressing stays away. "I'd rather go for mint sauce for a change in taste. If I'm eating out, I'll opt for grilled chicken with minimal oil or butter. Tandoori or Lebanese chicken is also a good option because the meat is grilled to perfection. Even then, I stay away from masala and keep it simple," the actor reveals.

Most dieticians and weight-watchers also recommend following a time schedule, especially when you plan to eat every two hours. But Dhanjani says he finds it difficult to keep track of the clock. "My trainer has drawn up a regimen, especially for me, and I follow that," he says.

Working it

While the dance rehearsals take care of his cardio workout, Dhanjani still needs to build his muscles, for which he hits the gym four days a week. "I work only on my muscles and focus on a different muscle group each day. If I'm not rehearsing regularly, I prefer functional training, which does not depend on external weights. It's about being able to lift your own body weight. There is no better workout," he claims. The advantage of functional training, says Dhanjani, is that it can fit into his crazy work schedule. "All I need is a clean floor and a wall to do box jumps, back extensions, air squats, lunges, push ups, etc. When a friend asked me to try it, I thought it would be easy since I hit the gym regularly. But I had to stop after the first 35-40 minutes. That's how I got addicted to it," he says. In a 1.5 hour-long training schedule, Dhanjani dedicates the first 25-30 minutes to functional training and the next hour towards muscle building.

My weakness

"I have a sweet tooth as big as Oshiwara!" Dhanjani declares. "And, if there is a chocolate muffin or plum cake around, it's even worse." The actor has given sweets a complete miss though and says there's no going back. Some nudging later, he admits that there are times when he does cheat. "Like when my sister got married in Hyderabad recently, I cheated a lot for three days."

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