Aamir Khan did it again, this time for his upcoming movie Dangal.
Recently, I have been getting some emails asking me whether its possible to do this kind of transformation and that too in only 5 months (20 weeks)?? Lets find out. Let me break it down for you, using evidence-based reasoning.
Lets punch in some numbers first:
Aamir Khan before the transformation: 97 kg at 38% body fat.
Lean muscle mass: 60kg, Fat mass: 36.86 kg
Aamir Khan after transformation: 68 kg at 9.6% body fat.
Lean muscle mass: 61.5 kg, Fat mass: 6.5 kg
So in 5 months, he lost approximately 30kg of body weight.
5 months is 20 weeks and therefore Aamir lost almost 3.3 lbs/week! At the same time, his lean muscle mass slightly increased by 1.5 kg.
Now, its hard to believe that anyone who lost 66 lbs (30kg) didn’t actually lose any muscle (let alone increase) during the whole process.
It’s a known fact, that when one tries to lose weight (naturally of course), chances are very high that they lose muscle mass too. (also consider the fact that he was 51 years old at the time he did this transformation)
There is lot of anecdotal evidence which suggests that there is usually a 50.50 spilt between body fat and muscle mass loss when one goes into a caloric deficit to lose weight (and that too in such a drastic manner). Its probably possible to reduce the loss of muscle mass to around 25 percent or so, by not letting your strength fall in the weights room, maintaining a high protein intake everyday, and it always helps to sleep more and have great genetics.
Aamir has been maintaining a body weight of 150–160 pounds (for almost a decade now; Ghajjani (2008) and PK (2014)—see pics below), and because of “muscle memory” and of course super genetics, he probably didn’t lose any muscle mass during his entire transformation. This is one plausible reasoning that can go in Aamir’s favour, of him not using any growth enhancing drugs.
Image source: Aamir Khan’s Twitter page
Also one’s insulin and leptin levels and their sensitivities determine’s one body fat and muscle mass and therefore their weight.
So if Person A who has been overweight for over 5 years, decides to do a transformation, when compared to Person B, who rapidly gained weight just a month back, there is no doubt Person B will be able to shed it faster and easier.
Losing weight is also a psychological game. Infact, I would say this: 80 percent of your results depends on one’s mindset–Intrinsic motivation to lose weight and daily habits.
Aamir Khan is a method actor. The amount of work he puts in every movie is colossal. I am huge fan:) So motivation is not lacking for him. Besides, he has an entourage of personal trainers, nutritionists to support him at every step.
And don’t forget, when millions of dollars are riding on you and there is pressure to perform, you simply get up everyday and ensure that it gets done.
At the same time, as I mentioned earlier that he have been maintaining a weight of 150–160 pounds at a relatively low body fat levels, so healthy habits—eating nutritious foods, going to the gym, is already deeply ingrained in him. This is not the first time he did a transformation.
Practical implications for you and me: Takeaways
“Be Inspired, but don’t be fooled” is what I will advise.
People around the world are getting inspired, and many are accusing him of steroid use.
I personally think its not a good thing to judge, be it Aamir or anyone who take steroids or any growth enhancing drugs. Its their bodies and their lives and they can do whatever they want with it.
But its our job to empower and educate ourselves and do the research and question everything and really understand what is realistic for US. Here is what Aamir said about his weight loss that not many experts are talking about on their social media channels:
“I had shortage of time, so had to go for drastic weight loss but one should go for slow and steady one,” said Aamir, in the backdrop of shooting for Dangal in Leel village, Ludhiana, Punjab.
So what is realistic for us?
Losing 1–2 pounds per week is realistic and not 3–4 pounds per week
Working out 3–6 hours a week is realistic and not 6 hours per day
Sleeping 5–8 hours per night and not 10–12 hour per night
Cooking our own food (most of us don’t count out calories, and usually under-estimate our caloric intake and wonder why we don’t lose weight) and not having a full team of nutritionists who prepare every meal based on our macros.
And lastly, not many people have the budget to hire the best trainers, dieticians, afford good quality supplements and organic whole foods.
So my advise is :
Be Inspired, but don’t be fooled.