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‘Have fun while you work out’

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Fitness is not a destination, but a journey, and journeys have to be enjoyable, believes Yasmin Karachiwala

Yasmin Karachiwala has two Body Image Studios in Mumbai at Bandra and Kemp’s Corner. This month she launched a new centre in Andheri; another studio, her largest, opens in Delhi this month as well. She will open her first studio in Dhaka next month.

The fitness routine you follow
My fitness routine is really simple. I do Pilates for an hour a day and then I do some form of cardio either, in the gym because we have different machines like the cross-trainer, the skill-mill, the treadmill, the tread-climber, so it's really interesting to try different machines, or I go for a walk. I try to alternate between the two so that my body doesn't get used to the cardio and I'm constantly challenging it. I try to include strength training at least once a week because the rest of the week I get it from my Pilates and I don't really need to do anything else. But I like to do strength training because it gives me a high and I really enjoy it.

Your diet
My diet is really clean, I don't eat anything from packages, refined sugar, gluten or dairy products, and try to avoid these as far as possible unless there is no choice. I eat a lot of vegetables, chicken and fish and a lot of nuts. I try to get my nutrition from food and don't take multivitamins and other supplements. For me, food is extremely important and I really enjoy eating clean.

How to avoid sweets
I don't prefer eating anything with sugar. I find substitutes such as 85% dark chocolate, dates, and prunes. If I have a major sugar craving I may have an apple; I also make peanut butter balls that I store in the fridge which are made of peanut butter, peanuts, and almond flour, to satiate any sugar cravings.

Your opinion on health bars
It's really important that you check the ingredients at the back of a health bar and check what kind of carbohydrates and sugar go into it. Just because it says a health bar, doesn't mean that it's low on calories and all the ingredients are healthy. Sometimes when a bar says a health bar, the calories might be really high because it's made of nuts and dates and if your goal is to lose weight the health bar is not ideal for you.
For me, I always check the percentage of sugar that goes into it and the proportion of carbohydrates that come out of it.
So, do check labels because labels don't lie!

Most fit celebrity according to you
There's actually not ‘a single most fit’ celebrity anymore. I think most celebrities are very conscientious about being fit and they're all at different levels and are striving to be fit.

For me, anybody who is looking after their fitness is most fit because it's unfair to judge by the number of hours they spend in the gym. A fit person is just someone who is committed to fitness.

Advice for gym newbies
My advice to gym newbies is to do a body composition first, to find out what your ratio of fat-to-muscle is. That will also guide you to the kind of workout you need to do, whether you need to do more strength training, or more cardiovascular or stretching and that's really important. Another thing I really like to tell newbies is, don't look at another person's workout and base your workout on it, because each of us has a very unique body and what our body requires is very different. So evaluate what your body needs and frame a workout around that. Don't forget to have fun while you work out, because it's not a punishment and ensure you're really enjoying it. Fitness is not a destination, it is a journey and a journey has to be enjoyable, only then can you go for the long run. Be fit because you deserve it!

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