How do you not make workouts boring and monotonous?
Well, one way to reduce the monotony in your workout is definitely changing your workouts. For example, if you’re just doing shoulder presses constantly, just change that and you could do lateral raises. And what I do to reduce monotony is that I hate doing cardio so I replace my cardio which people do at the gym by doing some outdoor activity. It could be dancing, martial arts, it could be any thing. It could also be a game.

What is the one fitness myth you’d want to burst?
When people hear the word diet, there is a myth around it that means that you need to eat less, you need to skip your meals. That’s one myth that needs to end. It’s not correct, your diet does not mean that you have to eat less than your diet, it means that you have to eat correctly. If you eat less, it actually works against your body, your muscles don’t get enough protein and they start sagging, you don’t have enough energy to do anything else. You need to have enough energy to be able to stay fit, to be able to stay healthy.

Is having a heavy breakfast and a light dinner the key to fitness?
Having a heavy breakfast and light dinner is very important according to me. What I understand is that when you wake up in the morning you have an entire day’s work up ahead, it could be any sort of job that you go to. To kickstart your day, a heavy breakfast is very important. And as the day goes along, your work time is reducing so your meals could go slightly smaller. By the time you’re having dinner, it should be lighter, because when you’re sleeping, your body is still working. It’s still digesting the food that you’ve eaten, and you want your body to be more rested. You want your body to be at ease when you’re sleeping. So the lighter the food, the easier it’s digested.

How many meals should you ideally have in a day to stay healthy?
For somebody like me, I usually stick to five or six meals a day but I’d say five or six doesn’t mean meals that are lunch size or breakfast size. Those are smaller meals but I stick to five or six meals in a day.

What’s that one thing every person should include in their meals every day?
One thing a person needs to include in a meal is a lot of water. You need to have a lot of water. Whatever you put into your body, that needs to dissolve, that needs to go. The toxins need to get out of your body and for that, you need to have a lot of water. At least four litres is what I stick to. It’s very important.

What would you advise someone who’s having a hard time committing to working out & following a balanced diet?
This is something a lot of people struggle with, to stick to a routine and to have a good diet. It is something that I struggle with. But by trial and error, I have realised that the only way I can motivate myself is by giving myself a deadline. I give myself 30 days, 40 days, 50 days, 60 days. How many other days are needed to achieve what I have to achieve? And then I stick to it and it’s easier that way. Rather than thinking that okay,  for example, I have to reduce 10 kilos and if you don’t give yourself a deadline, you’ll be okay I will start from tomorrow which will never come and you will realise that one month has already passed. So, if you have a deadline and you know you have a month to achieve something, then you have to do it. That motivates me at least.

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What’s an ideal balanced diet?
A balanced diet, as the name suggests, is supposed to be a balanced diet.  You need to put everything into your body. People say that you’re not supposed to have fats if you want to reduce your weight, it’s not true. There are some things called good fats and something called bad fats. You have to put in good fats as well. It is required for your body to function. Similarly, fibres, protein, carbohydrates, you need to have all of them in limited quantities according to what your target is, but you have to have them every day. That’s what a balanced diet is.

Do you need to work out every day to stay fit?
This is another myth that you need to work out every day to stay fit. You’re not a robot, you’re a human at the end of it. You cannot work 24 hours seven days a week. Your muscles need repair, your muscles need recovery time. For that, you need to give your muscles rest, otherwise you will have a lot of injuries.

Does following intense diets like intermittent fasting or keto help in staying fit?
While intermittent fasting and keto have shown results, I am not a dietician. I cannot comment on this. If it has, I don’t know if it has long term results or not. I do not follow any of these. I go the simple way. I control what I eat, I eat right and yes, it definitely has shown a lot of results in a lot of people. But only research and time will say whether this is something that will help you in the long run or not.

How important is it to have rest days?
Rest days are as important as workout days, believe me, being somebody who learnt it the hard way. I would work out. If I didn’t work out in the gym, I would do some other activity every day and as a result, I would have a lot of injuries. And I’ve realised that this is not something that I can sustain for a very long time.

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What are the best foods to eat before and after a workout?
What I follow before a workout is I try to put in some carbohydrates. I’ll eat bananas or sweet potatoes, which is a form of carbohydrates. They help me because I do a lot of weights in the gym. They give me lot more energy to be able to lift those weights in the gym. And post my workout, I try to have my protein shake and any form of protein that I can get my hands on.

How true is 80% diet & 20% workout?
I don’t know about the percentage but it is true that what you put into your body is a lot more important than the kind of workout you do. Imagine your target is to lose weight, and you go to the gym and you keep running for an hour, but once you’re done with it, you have an entire bowl of ice cream. Your weight is going nowhere. Similarly, if you want to gain some muscles, if you keep working out and you do not put in some proteins or carbs, your muscles are never going to grow. So yes, your diet is way more important than your workout.