How many of us struggle to keep up with our diets and workouts, especially with all the random cravings that kick in every now and then? I sure do! And I’m guessing many of you do too. Our Bollywood stars are no different than us. But for them, one missed gym day or an untimely cheat meal can cost them a lot! It could result in a shoot being cancelled or an outfit being wasted. Plus, a lot of actors go through major transformations for their on-screen roles in very short spans of time. Ranveer Singh, who’s known to play each of his characters to the T, leaves no stone unturned in getting it all right.
Right after completing his film, Simmba, the actor and his team had to start prepping for ’83. For those who don’t know, Ranveer will be essaying the role of Kapil Dev, the then captain of the Indian Cricket Team, who had lifted the first cricket world cup in 1983. And for that, he had to transform his a well-built muscular frame into a lean and athletic one. And to be able to do that in a very little time was no mean feat, especially considering he’s a big foodie. So how did he manage to make the unthinkable possible? To find out all about it, we got in touch with Mr. Singh himself and with the co-founder of POD Supply (Short for Personal Optimized Diet, a customized meal-plan service), Anmol Singhal.
PS: I also asked Ranveer, who’s perhaps world’s biggest Nutella lover, if he would ever give up on it?
What is that one thing that you miss eating the most when you’re on a diet?
Desserts! Refined sugar!
The most challenging part about getting a physique like Kapil Dev was…
The challenging part was the fact that I was approaching Kapil Dev on the back of Simmba. I was 86 kilos as Simmba, packing highly developed muscle mass. I had to lose about 12/14 kilos. To shed the muscle mass that you have so painstakingly built over months is a slow and difficult process, but Rajiv Sir (Rajiv Mehra at Jivfit) and the boys at POD Supply have worked together closely and diligently to help me in this endeavour. I’m happy with the results that I’ve seen. I’ve achieved my target, surpassed it, as a matter of fact.
For how many more days is the London schedule going to go on? And has your diet been the same throughout?
We will be shooting in various parts of the United Kingdom until the end of August. There are slight variations in the diet, but it largely remains the same on a particular project. It also depends on the local produce – what are the quality raw ingredients that the cook manages to procure in a particular location. In some places, you get very high-quality salmon. In other places, you get high-quality berries and so on. So new things are introduced into the diet depending on what’s available locally.
Your team of dietician and chefs including Anmol and Mohit (Savargoankar) have been with you for over 6 years now. How do you all go about getting the nuances of the character right?
I think our working relationship has evolved to a stage where I hardly give them any instructions at all. Once we start work on a new film, at the outset, we establish what kind of physique is required for the role, and subsequently, the diet is decided upon (by Mohit and Anmol without much input from me). What follows is a finely tuned daily plan to plate system that works brilliantly for me. Our ease of functionality is something that only comes with time. I trust their scientific knowledge, acumen and commitment blindly.
What does your cheat meal consist of? Which is your favourite cuisine? And which restaurant do you love?
My favourite cuisine is desi Chinese. My two favourite restaurants are Wasabi and Gajalee in Mumbai. For me, cheat meals are all about the desserts. I really go wild on the desserts. I eat more than one. I usually finish two to four dessert dishes just by myself.
If asked, will you ever give up Nutella?
Even if Anmol and Mohit come up with a substitute?
There is no substitute for Nutella in the world as we know it.
How long did it take for Ranveer to get into the perfect shape for the character?
Like Ranveer mentioned we hardly had any time between moving out of Simmba and getting into the Kapil prep. Ranveer was weighing about 86 kgs with some crazy amounts of muscle mass built in for Simmba’s character. We had worked very hard to get in those gains and then there was Kapil which was completely the opposite. Kapil back in the year 83 was a lean and lanky boy and Ranveer immediately had to lose about 12-14 kgs. We had about 3 weeks to pull down 5 kgs for the look tests etc, to begin with. Ranveer is super dedicated and puts in a lot of work. We immediately devised a meal plan which Ranveer followed to the T. We achieved a weight loss of 6 kgs in 19 days and then another 6 in the following 4 weeks. When we first looked at Ranveer we couldn’t believe he’s Ranveer. He looked exactly like Kapil! That was the happiest moment for all of us at POD.
What does his diet include? And in how many intervals does he eat?
Ranveer loves his Indian cuisine. Indian style Chinese dishes are his favourite! In our diets, we try and bring as much variety into his food to not make it boring and feel like a trudge. The most important thing is to maintain the balance of macros and nutrients. The amount of proteins/fats/carbs/fibre that are served to him are key. Few of his favourites are the Chinese style prawns we do, the jalapeño and crisp bacon omelette. Our signature mush that comprises of rolled oats, eggs, topped with mixed nuts and fresh berries. The complex carbs help him in energy and recovery at the same time the proteins from the eggs help him to cut the fat and increase the muscle mass. The berries are the best form of antioxidants! Ranveer has to avoid carbs currently as he’s on a cut. He currently eats 4 times a day. Meal timings vary depending upon shoot timings/travels, etc.
Can you also give us an idea about how much he works out every day?
Ranveer is super dedicated to his workouts. Even when he’s shooting long hours he makes sure he works out at least once in a day and sometimes even twice. Ranveer is a great swimmer and loves swimming whenever he gets time to do that.
Ranveer is a big foodie! He loves his home-cooked mutton dishes. He’s also a Nutella lover. How difficult was it for you to keep him away from his temptations?
Yes! Ranveer loves his deserts! Over the years Ranveer has overcome his weakness! We’ve cracked a healthy variant of Nutella just for Ranveer. Of course, it doesn’t exactly taste like Nutella but it makes sure his cravings are taken care of and there’s no damage at the same time. We also make something known as an avocado mousse which is made of 90% dark chocolate chips and avocados. We also make a hazelnut nut butter mixed with dark chocolate which again tastes quite similar to Nutella. This has been enough to keep him away from Nutella as of now! This way we keep the balance and never let him consume unnecessary sugars in the Nutella anymore. Yes! He loves his mutton with bones! I don’t think he misses that too much anymore as we serve him a lot of different variations of mutton recipes.
Have you come up with some special dishes which are substitutes for the food items he totally loves?
Apart from the desserts, as Ranveer is currently on a cut we don’t serve him too many carbs so we serve him almond flour rotis with his favourite mutton and chicken recipes. We’ve been serving him for almost 6 years now so there are just way too many things we’ve twisted and turned during this time to always keep him happy and satisfied and most importantly achieve the results we seek.
Do you accompany him on the ‘83 sets too?
Yes, we do accompany him initially on sets as we go and set up temporary kitchen facilities. Then our chef’s who travel with him take over and continue as per our directives from our nutrition team. We also make sure while we are around that there are no quality and logistics-related shortcomings.
If he’s had a bad or hectic day, do you give him the leeway to alter his diet a little?
Sometimes when he’s super exhausted he may ask us to make him a guilt-free dessert. But while he’s shooting he’s super committed and doesn’t ask for any kind of leeway as such.
If there’s one thing that is impossible to convince Ranveer about when it comes to food, what would that be?
Greens! He hates the sight of greens! We have to constantly convince him to eat his greens!