Why was Randeep Hooda’s transformation for Sarbjit supremely unhealthy?

brunch Updated: Apr 23, 2017 13:53 IST
Randeep Hooda,Paratha,Sarbjit

Randeep Hooda lost about 18 odd kilos that month, and the weight kept dropping even after that because by then, he couldn’t eat

My brother Randeep is a brilliant actor and prepares for all his roles with great intensity and sincerity. But when he told me he wanted to lose a lot of weight for a movie, it was a red flag. After all, he was not overweight to begin with.

I’m well-versed with obesity/medical weight loss, but Randeep’s weight loss for his film meant a greater challenge because he is a sportsman, and losing weight means losing muscle too. I didn’t want him to do this, but he told me that either I helped him lose weight as healthily as possible, or he’d do it anyway, unsupervised.

Of course, I couldn’t let him do that. I’m a doctor. I had to make sure he was not putting his body at risk.

So we started by getting basic blood tests done and decreasing his calories. Now his diet was limited to proteins with very low or no carbohydrates.

Randeep lost 18 kilos and the weight kept dropping even after that because by then, he couldn’t eat. He had to be forced

To ensure he did not end up with nutritional deficiencies, I put him on daily multivitamins.

Randeep is a man with a good appetite. Though he doesn’t like junk food, he does love hot chocolate fudge and paratha, so those were his treats for meeting his weight targets.

For one month, I stayed with him off and on, assessing his diet and the effect it had on him. Every morning, I’d assess his intake, calorie burn and weight loss. He insisted on riding his horses, which meant that he’d be expending extra calories – not possible on such a low-calorie diet. Every day, I had to adjust his routine like this, and scold him at times when he wouldn’t listen.

I advised him complete rest except at shoots. As days passed, his weight started dropping. He lost his appetite and increased his coffee intake. This was not good. Sometimes he’d skip a meal and just have coffee. I’m dead against skipping meals.

After 15 days, Randeep had dropped about eight kilos and was craving a chocolate fudge. So I allowed it. But it had to be eaten over half an hour, which was impossible for him as he gobbles his food. It was the same with his paratha: he had to eat one paratha over 30 minutes. And then he’d ride his horses despite my advice, and I would blow my fuse because he’d be dead tired.

Even the director told Randeep to take it easy, but he wanted to know how a tortured prisoner would feel. On non-shoot days, he shut himself in a room for hours and sometimes days, with no conversations to play the role correctly.

He lost about 18 odd kilos that month, and the weight kept dropping even after that because by then, he couldn’t eat. He had to be forced. I took off from work to be with him, got his blood tests done again and started introducing one food item into his diet at a time. Again, he wouldn’t listen. One day, he wanted to eat waffles. I refused, as too many carbs after a prolonged restriction can cause refeeding syndrome and electrolyte abnormality. It took him another month after the shoot to recover fully and return to his horses, favourite foods and workouts.

Dr Anjali Hooda Sanwan supervised Randeep’s jaw-dropping weight loss

The author specialises in obesity management and is a consultant at Fortis C-DOC Hospital, New Delhi. Her repertoire includes celebrities, politicians and industrialists.

From HT Brunch, April 23, 2017

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First Published: Apr 23, 2017 13:53 IST