Friday, November 21, 2008

Shruthi Agarwal

Shruthi Agarwal: “I craved for roti and milk”
When she was offered the chance to pose for the Kingfisher Calendar in 2006, model Shruti Agarwal wasn’t too thrilled with the idea. She wanted her parents’ permission to begin with, and she also wanted to know how aesthetic – as opposed to crass – the swimsuit shoot would actually be.

“On the day of the test shoot all the calendar girls were told about their weak areas – parts from where we had to lose weight and also tone up. We only had three months,” recalls Shruti. “I drastically needed to tone up my waist and thighs.” She didn’t need to lose weight, but with only three months to get in perfect shape, Shruti exercised twice a day, for 45 minutes in the morning and an hour every evening. And as for routines, she did everything, from yoga to the gym.

Since weight training doesn’t suit Shruti at all, she avoided it as far as possible though her trainer insisted on 15 minutes of basic weights every day to bulk out her too-thin arms. After that, she did 15 minutes of sit-ups, followed by a mix of yoga and pilates. And Shruti swears by the surya namaskar. “Two hundred and fifty repetitions of the surya namaskar were enough cardio for me,” she says. “I used to get all sweaty after it. Contrarily, I also felt refreshed.”

For the 2008 calendar shoot however, Shruti felt she’d done better. And that was because she was on a very, very strict diet. Following a diet chart created for her body type, Shruti was put on a protein-rich, carb-free routine for three months, during which she had one protein bar a day, grilled fish or chicken, salads and sprouts. No rice or roti, no dairy. Not even milk, which she loves.

“For breakfast, I had fruit, egg white and fruit juices. Sometimes I cheated and had the whole egg, but when I did that, I’d have to work out harder to compensate,” she says. Dinner was always a light meal, and always eaten before 9 pm. But though the diet was well planned and balanced, keeping Shruti feeling good and energetic, she missed the food she loves. “I craved roti, milk and chocolate,” the pretty model says.

It wasn’t enough to get in shape for the shoot. Shruti had to make sure she was picture perfect on the day of the shoot itself. “I avoided water,” she says, “Because it tends to bloat the stomach and that would show in the pictures. I also had a very light breakfast very early in the morning.”

Pia Trivedi

Pia Trivedi: “I lived on protein shakes”

The transition from model to bikini model goes like this. “The first time (for the Kingfisher calendar) I only got three months to prepare. So I worked out twice a day,” says Pia. “Since I needed to lose weight, I focused on cardio and restricted my diet, which was very tough on me. Giving up food was mental torture, because food is a very important part of my life. I had to live only on boiled vegetables, fruits and salads.”

In spite of that, Pia wasn’t satisfied with her body. “I thought I looked fat in the calendar. My stomach and thighs sucked! Also, since I was very new in modeling, I had no clue about camera angles, so I Atul Kasbekar, the photographer, fired me many times.”

The next time round therefore, for the Kingfisher Calendar 2005, Pia made her fitness regimen tougher. “I stopped eating for three months before the shoot, which is the worst thing to do,” she says. “I almost lived on protein shakes. And as a result, my ribs showed. I went to the extreme and I don’t recommend it to anyone.”

The first thing she did after the shoot was demand butter chicken and rumali rotis. But since then, she hasn’t been so extreme.

“I don’t follow any diet and it’s been really long since I last worked out,” she confesses. “I tend to let go and then, before an important shoot, go in for drastic measures to get fit. Otherwise, I gorge on anything that is Mughlai and Punjabi, tubs full of ice-cream and glasses of cold coffee.”

Sounds like sacrilege…

Mugdha Godse

Mugdha Godse: “I carry soya sticks”

This figure is the result of not a few months’ or a year’s worth of preparation, but a regimented, disciplined routine through much of her adult life. “I didn’t get the figure for a bikini overnight,” says Mugdha. “I have been looking after my body since I was 17.”

A summer job at a gym while Mugdha was in college gave her all the knowledge she needed to instill the tenets of fitness in her life. Also, her habit of swimming regularly – a habit instilled by her father – helped her maintain her body.

Since gymming gets dull after a time, Mugdha jazzes up her workouts with different types of workouts – 45 minutes of yoga or Kathak or gymming or jogging on the beach every day.

Power yoga she dismisses as a new age fad, so she prefers the standard yoga asanas and surya namaskar. In the gym, Mugdha divides her work-outs according to the three areas of her body – legs, back and biceps, chest and triceps, with intervals of cardio, including Kathak.

She has also been on a high-protein, regimented diet since she was 17. Mugdha doesn’t binge on unnecessary carbohydrates – rotis and bread are okay, croissants and chips are sins. Breakfast consists of poha, or egg white, upma or toast, and coffee with sugar is her only indulgence.

“I eat every two to three hours to keep my metabolism going,” says the actress. “I carry soya sticks in my car and the moment I feel as though I’m starving, I binge on them. I never let my body starve.”

Lunch comprises grilled chicken or fish or sabzi and one roti. And dinner consists of idli-sambhar or salad and grilled fish again. When she’s hungry, she pops a protein bar. And she never touches rice. If this sounds too grim for daily consumption, Mugdha doesn’t find it so. She’s been following this diet for so long that she’s used to the discipline, she says. “I don’t crave carbs anymore,” says she.

But you shouldn’t give up carbs altogether, she adds. “An intelligent addition of proteins in the diet constructively utilise carbs and doesn’t let them turn into fat,” says Mugdha.