While most people obsess over losing every extra inch of flab, Bollywood stars seem to be reversing the trend. Recently, Vidya Balan put on weight for her role as southern siren
, following in the footsteps of Hrithik Roshan, who lost his six-packs for
(2010). Priyanka Chopra too was forced to get curvier for her varied looks in
Saat Khoon Maaf
While the stars yo-yo between weight loss and gain, fitness and nutrition experts reveal that even regular Joes spend time and money trying to gain weight.
According to Namita Jain, clinical fitness expert at Bombay Hospital, teenage boys and older women come to her most often for advice on piling on some extra pounds. She says, “Many teenagers gain height quickly before they fill out, and boys worry about this the most because they want to look fit and well-built. Teenage girls, I think, are most happy to be thin no matter how skinny they look. But many older women become sickly thin because of excessive fasting.”
While most would believe that exercise aids weight loss, Jain pinpoints certain routines that will help you fill out. “Increase weight-training because gaining muscle definition gives the body a toned look, increases metabolism and improves the appetite,” she advises. Push-ups, crunches and squats also help tone the body. “Even thin people need to work out to improve blood circulation, but they should cut down on cardiovascular exercises that increase weight loss,” Jain says.
Vegan nutrition expert Nandita Shah offers cruelty-free (read vegan) methods to improve your diet. “Include seeds like sesame, which have a high calcium content, and nuts like almonds and cashews for healthy fat.” Nutritionist Naini Setalvad also advocates consumption of dal, beans and sprouts for protein. As far as processed foods go, Jain highlights danger signs, saying, “Avoid foods that list transfat, saturated fat, hydrogenated oils or high sodium and sugar.”