The 90s and early 2000s were an era most Indians would fondly remember as the golden period of Indi Pop music. The period saw an influx of artists who gave us one musical chartbuster after the other. One such artist who joined the Indi Pop scene in 2000 was Adnan Sami.
Known for a roster of hits including Lift Kara De, Kabhi To Nazar Milao, and many more, the singer and composer took the music industry – pop and Bollywood – and fans by storm. Sami rolled out a bevvy of super hits over the next few years, even appearing as the male lead in a number of his music videos. However, despite a stellar run at the charts, the viewers just could not get over his bulbous physique.
While the singer was well aware of his 220 kg self, he was “unapologetic” about it. In an interview to Faridoon Shahriyar of Bollywood Hungama, last year, the singer spoke about his obese self, saying, “If you are obese, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have a heart. It’s just that on screen not many had attempted it with the kind of size that I had. I was very unapologetic about my size because I felt that I had as much right to love someone as anybody else.”
The need to shed the fat dawned upon Sami, albeit after a lymphedema surgery in 2005 that left him bedridden for three months. Since Sami was overweight, the added push because of the fat in his body made it highly difficult for his lungs to function properly. It was at this point that his doctors told him that he would live only six more months unless he did something about his excess weight. The rest, as they say, is history. Here’s a quick look at the diet and workout regime that the Tera Chehra singer employed to turn his life around.
High Protein, No Oil, No Sugar Diet
An emotional eater, as concluded by a study done by Sami’s Houston-based nutritionist, the singer was caught in a cycle of binging on unhealthy comfort foods whenever he felt low. The nutritionist took Sami out of this vicious eating habit and put him on a low-calorie diet plan, where the singer gave up on white rice, bread, and unhealthy junk foods and was allowed to have only salads, fish and boiled dal instead.
Adnan’s day used to start with a cup of sugarless tea. For lunch, he would have a vegetable-based salad with just one teaspoon of fat-free salad dressing along with some fish. His dinners would include plain boiled dal or chicken without any rice or roti. He was allowed to consume diet ice lollies, diet fudge sticks and sugar-free drinks. His evening snacks included homemade popcorn without butter and salt.
For a man who weighed 220kg, hitting the gym was not the instantaneous options as the sudden strain of his body could even trigger a heart attack. So, it was only after Adnan lost 40 kg that his instructor put him on a light workout regime. A further few months down the journey, Sami’s trainer Prashant Sawant designed a full-fledged training routine for the singer, which included an hour-long session of strength training and cardio exercises for six days a week. The singer maintained a streak of shedding near to 10 kg each month, and with that, his stamina became better, he felt better, slept better, and could even walk and move more freely.
Today, after months and years of hard work, undeterred willpower, support, and following a meticulous diet and workout regime, Adnan Sami has lost a whopping 155 kg and weighs 65 kg. “From 220 kilos, I have reduced about 155 kg, that’s like shedding two individuals out of your body. It often happens, that people fail to recognize me now. But I am happy I did that, this has filled in me a lot of stamina and energy. And I am standing in front of my listeners and admirers after the entire journey. It’s very overwhelming”, the singer told the media during a public event in 2013.
Does he still crave for the occasional brownie and doughnut? Sure! But does he make up for it with a good workout afterwards? Heck, yes! And that’s the way it should be, whether or not you’re the poster child for weight loss.
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