Feroze Khan opens up about losing an incredible amount of weight and reinstating his self esteem in the process
Anyone who has seen Feroze Khan fighting shirtless in Zindagi Kitni Haseen Hai’s acting sequences will find it hard to believe that this young star used to be a tad bit overweight back in the day. The health conscious star has come a long way to achieve the fitness he has today. "I used to weigh 140 kilos," he proudly grins at my shock and disbelief. Okay, so he was more than a ‘tad bit’ overweight.
What motivated Khan to embark upon this journey? It all started back when he was a young teenager struggling through those difficult years. He moved to London for his studies when he was 16, which is where he faced a lot of rejection from girls. Finally, he set his heart on one classmate. "I went up to her and told her that I loved her and wanted to marry her. She was holding a glass of water which she flung at my face."
From that day, Khan realized that everything in this world is about acceptance which comes from superficial things. It took him two years to drop all the weight."It’s all about looks, and if that’s what the world wants, then okay, I can do it too" says Khan very casually, as he stirs the spoon in his coffee - not black, as you would imagine but a foamy frothy latte. Eventually, a small heap of truffle oil French fries arrives and he laughs as he helps himself to one. "I can’t resist French fries."
But Khan does miss the days where he could eat anything and everything. "I wish I could just dig into a plate of achaar ghosht with naan, and have a huge glass of some thandi lassi," he laments, reminding us how strict a diet plan one has to follow in order to have a stellar physique.
His diet regime includes a very strict control over portions and quantities, where he eats seven meals a day, lovingly made and packed by his mother, who has been a huge motivator and supporter of the young actor’s weight loss journey. Maintaining a healthy diet involves a lot of protein and fewer carbohydrates. "I don’t indulge in anything sweet," something that he later proved to us when he declined dessert.
But with a busy schedule of an actor, between all the travelling and shooting, how does one find the time to work out? "I get to work out for two hours every day if I’m lucky," he says. However, on days where he doesn’t have the time, his friends help him out by keeping the gym open after closing time. "My friend owns Kore, so he does me the favour."
Khan may have mastered control over his eating habits and fitness, but he has not been able to change the way he thinks about himself. "I honestly don’t think I’m good-looking. When I look at myself, I wonder why anyone would want to be with me." Khan feels comfortable opening up about all the challenges that have made him the man he is today, which is why he encourages everyone to work on their fitness.
"Anyone can go to a gym, even girls who want to lose weight," Khan wants to bust some gym myths that suggest that women gain muscle the way men do if they lift weights. "That’s not true at all. You are what you eat so your diet determines how your body will develop with your workout. Most men work out for gains so they eat accordingly. If you want to lose weight, you eat differently. Work out has nothing to do with that."
So when it comes to weight loss and discipline, if Khan can so can you; and that’s the message he wants to send out.