Ahmad Ali Butt shares his weight loss journey and explains how consistency is the key in achieving your weight goals.
Celebrities all around the globe have to maintain a certain look and stay in shape; it is a part of their job description. Though our favourite stars have all the resources when it comes to staying fit, one can’t argue that the entire weight loss journey can get a little challenging. They have to put extra effort to achieve their desired weight of dream body.
Actor, singer and host Ahmad Ali Butt is one such artist, who made the most of the pandemic and lockdown by working hard to lose weight, and transform himself through diet and exercise. We spoke to Ahmad Ali Butt to find out more about his fitness routine and what drives him to stay fit and healthy.
How it all began…
According to the popular comedy star, he started his weight loss journey because of his wife, to basically improve his health. “Due to coronavirus, I wasn’t working much and we were stuck at home for almost six months. During that time, my wife Fatima devised a diet plan and convinced me to eat healthy while staying at home. So I started with intermittent fasting,” shares Ahmad.
“I have always struggled with my weight but I never focused on it much. I tried losing weight in the past as well but it kept on fluctuating,” he adds. “However, my biggest inspiration was my son. I wanted to be healthier and more active. Hence I jumped on the fitness bandwagon and started this weight loss journey.”
“I started with 16:8 ratio of intermittent fasting. After that I did the OMAD (One Meal A Day) diet for almost three weeks, but I realised this is not healthy and went back to intermittent fasting (16:8). Then I switched to liquid diet and almost 70 to 80 per cent of my diet was based on liquids and around 25 per cent of my diet consisted of light food.”
He furthers, “I was consuming lots of water and liquids. I was having protein shakes as well as grilled food. I was having two meals a day and made sure to keep my calorie count in check.”
As for nutrients, Ahmad explains that the main idea was to eat everything. “After four or five months, I switched to a balanced, nutritious diet. I wasn’t doing high proteins. I was consuming 1600 to 1700 calories a day, making sure that I was eating moderate proteins with healthy carbs and fats.”
Talking about the exercises that helped him shed the weight, Ahmad Ali Butt shares, “To be honest, I recently started light weight training. Before that I was just doing cardio – cycling and walking. Now that I have lost almost 25 kgs, I have started building muscle.”
Since there was no access to gyms during the lockdown, the actor bought an exercise bike and worked out on that daily for 25 minutes daily. “With that I was doing some yoga stretches and breathing exercises as well,” he says, adding that he doesn’t have a personal trainer.
The actor reveals that the main challenge was consistency. “I think being consistent with anything is the hardest thing.” He continues, “It was tough for the first two months; I became cranky and had mood swings, but in the third month it became a little easier. After almost five months, it really changed the game.”
Ahmad Ali shares that in Ramazan he actually went back to square one, because it is exactly like intermittent fasting. “For sehri I only consume liquids and avoid eating solid stuff. However, at iftar I consume around 1000 to 1200 calories and that includes protein shakes, grilled chicken or fish and lots of veggies and greens,” he informs.
Reaching the desired weight
Ahmad Ali Butt has come a long way and the transformation is evident. We asked if he has achieved his desired weight goal. “Yes, you can say that,” he responds. “Now I’ve started building little muscle because when you lose a lot of weight you lose muscle as well. Having said that, no one is ever satisfied, but I think it is still work in progress and I have long way to go.”
Motivation to stay fit
“The motivation comes from yourself first and then your family. You want to look good, you want to feel better about yourself,” stresses Ahmad Butt.
“Because I have been overweight all my life, I know what the struggles are. A lot of times it’s depression eating and it’s a struggle that you fight with yourself. Due to excess weight, you are unable do a lot of things. I recently discovered that I am healthier, I have more stamina, I can walk better and do so many things that I couldn’t do before. I can’t stress more on the importance of family support; if you have that your job becomes 50 per cent easier.”
Stress management strategy
Speaking about how he deals with stress, Ahmad Butt says that the best and most important is namaz. “It really helps me and keeps me in a positive frame of mind. Remaining in a state of ablution (wuzu) helps a lot as well because you start avoiding a lot of things.”
He continues, “If you want to be stress free, you need to surround yourself with positive people; stay away from anything that causes negativity, it is not worth it. I also practice yoga that involves a lot of breathing exercises, which gets the right amount of oxygen your body requires. And most importantly, get at least eight hours of sleep every day to stay mentally and physically healthy,” he concludes.