5 celebs dish on how they lift, run, climb, box, and nibble to stay fit and fab throughout Ramazan and post Eid celebrations. Learn a few tricks, devise a new plan, kick the flab, and get the abs to match some of the industry’s fittest! Here’s some celebrity fitness for your inspiration
Anyone following her Insta stories must be familiar to her commitment to all things healthy. Sonya claims that after her parents and work, the only aspect of her life she is most concerned about is fitness. “I keep a strict check on what I eat and whether I’m training enough or not. I think a happy and healthy mind can only reside in a happy and healthy life.”
In order to keep herself energized during Ramadan, she makes sure to have a lot of water, yogurt with flaxseeds and seasonal fruits along with her workout regimen. “I usually work out after Iftar and before Sehri, since it’s important to keep yourself hydrated while working out. It is a misconception that you lose body mass while starving and working out; it’s actually unhealthy. This year, however, since I’m promoting my film, Azaadi all over Pakistan, that itself is a grueling exercise.”
She believes there is no alternate of water but “I love watermelon as well; it keeps the stomach full while keeping me energetic and alert during my working hours.”
The actress wondered how anyone could gain weight during Ramadan. “I feel Ramadan has the best health routine – having an early morning breakfast then the second meal after sunset. Two meals in a day can never result in weight gain unless one eats wrong food such as pakoras/ samosas.”
Sonya is a food lover who loves Biryani, but she doesn’t remember eating it in the last two years.
“One needs to have determination. I don’t like junk food and desserts, so it saves me from the struggle, but I can definitely have Death by Chocolate or Ferrero Rocher cake if you want me to, but I make sure to double my workout and burn it out,” she chuckles.
She is someone who cannot stick to the same workout plan on a daily basis as she gets bored easily. “I have a whole team of trainers. I need to have variety in my workout routine. Sports is the most effective workout if you are not a gym person. I swim once a week and play squash every Wednesday. Horse riding helps to burn out calories,” she asserts adding, “Although I have learned it but cannot follow it as they have classes in the morning and I have work.”
The stunning actress prefers high-intensity workouts which don’t consume hours. “It hardly takes 45 minutes, but you have to be really dedicated. There is no time for socializing, roaming around, or laziness as I have seen a lot of ladies doing just that. Once you get done with it, you will have 23 hours to socialize.”
Sonya was kind enough to share her workout and meal plan in detail for her avid followers.
15 minutes cardio (high intensity) 1-minute rest 1-minute fast running
15 minutes TRX / boot camp /boxing (alternate days)
10 minutes abs (floor workout)
5-minute stretch and you are done for the day
For her, variety is the spice in her meals.
Breakfast: 2 egg whites, an apple, kebab (low-fat), black coffee as milk coffee makes me feel bloated
Middle snack: Watermelon or any fruit (low sugar)
Lunch: Green salad (I love baby leaves), grilled chicken, daal soup
Snack: Cocktail juice (preferably a mix of ginger, cucumber, apple, papaya, beetroot)
Dinner: I skip dinner sometimes, but whenever I eat, it’s home-cooked food with a spoon, qeema with less oil or grilled fish. I have an amazing cook, but I also love cooking so whenever I reach home early I try to make it myself.
Drink 3 to 4 liters of water during this meal plan, and I bet you won’t feel low.
She considers that extremity in workout or diet plan is not well-advised. “I believe all food groups must be kept in mind and they are not by most dietitians. Moderation is the only way forward.”
Sonya advises everyone to stay happy. “Coordinate your brain and body to work for yourself and on yourself. While working hard in life, you need to enjoy life, look better, feel better and be better at the same time.”
Faysal Quraishi has turned out to be an exceptionally fit and fabulous father. He gives credit for it to his healthy lifestyle. “My whole life depends on fitness as I have a slow metabolism, so I need to think 10 times before eating anything.”
During Ramadan, he doesn’t train or diet a lot as he has a tough work schedule. “I go for a walk and avoid eating deep fried items, have at least 4 liters of water between Iftar and Sehri, and add yogurt and milk to my diet. I need to eat enough to stay active throughout the day,” he states adding,
“I always put on 2-3 kilos in Ramadan but I lose it within 15 days after Eid with the rigorous workout.”
A normal day in the life of this actor starts with a morning run + his time at the show + gym + shoot till 9:30 pm then he sleeps by 10:30 pm so that he can wake up early the next day. “I eat heavy breakfast at 7:30 am. It includes no parathas, mostly protein-rich items, such as beans and eggs + a slice of whole-wheat bread + any fruit. Lunch is comprised of any home-cooked gravy, usually eaten plain or with brown rice + fruits. In the evening I prefer chai with a granola bar. Dinner is mostly light like a salad around 7:30 pm and I don’t eat after it,” Faysal explains.
For the successful host, the key to a healthy body exists in knowing yourself. “I think that human body can mould itself for anything, but I strongly suggest consulting a proper trainer before you hit a gym. Find out about your body first as a lot of people blame running without realizing the condition of their knee joints, the kind of feet they have, the shoes they are wearing or the surface they are running on – all these technicalities are crucial. Also, exercise and food intake should be in balance.”
Apart from having a gorgeous smile and admirable acting chops, actress Mansha Pasha is also known for having a seriously svelte body. Interestingly enough she doesn’t follow any specific diet plan or workout regime.
“On a gauge of 1 to 10, I stand on 7 when it comes to being fitness conscious. I don’t follow any restrictive diet. After waking up in the morning, my day starts with a glass of water in the first half then a cup of tea followed by a nice breakfast. I keep a mixed platter for my lunch and dinner. What I religiously make sure is to not eat three to four hours before sleeping at night.” She thinks that late night eating is one of the reasons for weight gain, lethargy, and bloating.
“I was recently talking to Ahmad Ali Butt who has lost a great deal of weight, and he agrees with the fact that water works wonders for the human body. Along with it, exercise is important to get a lean physique, and it also gives you energy.”
She loves having yogurt and lassi during Ramadan and takes dates in both Sehri and Iftar to maintain her blood sugar levels.
Mansha matter-of-factly highlights the subject of mental health which is often neglected in our society. “This may sound cliché, but if you’re feeling down and depressed, you cannot even exercise. When I feel blue, I don’t want to get up from my bed. My emphasis is to stay active, healthy, hopeful, and positive,” she says.
“Everyone has a different body type. I used to have baby fat then I became thin and skinny, and now I have a normal healthy body. But people should not turn to extreme measures. I have seen people becoming bulimic or anorexic, and that is certainly not right. Don’t resort to extreme weight loss treatments, smoking, drugs, and alcohol to curb hunger. Have the patience to work at it slowly and in a more healthy way rather than look for shortcuts.”
The tall and handsome actor doesn’t just wake up looking like that; instead, he works hard to achieve that toned physique. “I have a skin disease known as psoriasis; so my body requires extra care, workout, and fitness routine every day,” Agha says.
Ramadan in our region brings with it all sorts of deep fried items, and he avoids them with resolve. “It is highly unhealthy to eat pakoray and samosay on an empty stomach. I have a little gym at home, so I work out before Sehri; both cardio and weight training.”
Agha’s daily regimen ensures he is in tip-top shape at all times, even between roles for this is a professional requirement as well.
“My workout and diet plans vary according to my characters. It depends if I need to gain more or shed a few kilos for a role. I am not someone who will deliberately stay away from food. I am a foodie who loves eating on his cheat days.”
The actor doesn’t prefer shooting in high temperatures while fasting. “In the summers, I plan my shootings accordingly. I don’t go outside in early hours before 3 in the noon. Try to drink plenty of liquids as soon as the fast opens till Sehri.”
Workout means serious business for Agha and his sure shot way to stay fit is never to skip a single session. “There is no excuse to skip a workout even after hectic work shifts. My advice to others is to eat well, eat right, and exercise throughout the year; and I follow it as well.”
As a celebrity, he thinks that it’s imperative to promote healthy ideals of fitness. “One should get a trainer and devise a proper plan because being your own teacher won’t help in this discipline,” Agha emphasizes.
Most of us remember her as the chirpy, high-spirited girl-next-door but she is also a mother of two boys. This scribe wonders aloud what she follows to keep herself in fine fettle, and she quickly quips, “I am a sporty person, and my interest lies in developing inner strength. My definition of fitness isn’t about getting so thin that you struggle to exercise. Post pregnancy, I was worried as I was not able to run on the treadmill for more than two minutes. Now I can carry Ibrahim in my arms and shop for 40 to 50 minutes easily. You can build muscle strength by whichever means possible – eating properly or exercising.”
She loves to enjoy the festivities of Ramadan to the fullest and eats all kinds of food in moderation. “I eat chicken pakoray, fruit chaat and take Stevia sugar but no sherbet at all. I extend my cardio and treadmill workout to burn it all out later.”
Watermelon is her lifeline to keep the body hydrated. Hira recommends home-cooked food for staying on the healthy spectrum; however, she also insists on having a tablespoon of desi ghee every day.
A mom of two school-going kids, the actress is an early riser.
“I have a tough schedule; from getting my kids ready for school to going for my shoots, it’s all neatly planned. I am punctual about dinner and sleep timings. I sleep by 9:30 to 10 at night,” she asserts.
The actress proudly states that she can do planks for six minutes. It strengthens her core. “I used to do yoga as well but not anymore. I go to the gym thrice a week. For me, it’s all about feeling strong.”