Art & Entertainment

Gulshan Devaiah Talks About His 20-Hour Daily Fasting Regimen, Past Physical Injuries, Diet And More

Gulshan Devaiah spoke at length about his new lifestyle of '20 hours of fasting', his past body injuries, his diet and more.

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Gulshan Devaiah Photo: Instagram
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Being an actor is not an easy job. Given their industry, they have to take care of their physical and mental health. Gulshan Devaiah realised the importance of good health when he was in his 30s. The past injuries in his body have made him a disciplinarian and follow a healthy lifestyle. Ahead of World Health Day, Outlook India had a freewheeling conversation with the actor where he spoke at length about his new lifestyle of '20 hours of fasting', his past body injuries, his diet and more.

Gulshan Devaiah on his 20-hour daily fasting regimen


I came across this idea of eating once a day around 2018 and I didn't know, I mean, it's technically intermittent fasting, but what I do is not intermittent fasting because I drink coffees and teas with milk and sugar. So, that's calories.

So, I just found it really difficult to sort of maintain a certain ideal weight for myself. I was really struggling with diet, either you can't eat this, you can't eat that or I tried all sorts of stuff like, you know, the ketogenic diet and all. At one point in time I was much heavier and had a lot more muscle on me, but it's just I was eating like six meals a day, six meals a day and all that.

But I just felt that I was not being able to be consistent with that and I wasn't really enjoying myself because I really like to eat food. So, when I came across this concept of eating once, so basically nearly 23 hours fast, but as I told you, mine is not actually technically a fast because I have like, you know, two cups of coffee, one cup of coffee and one cup of tea with milk and sugar, so that's calories.

But I can eat what I w in once a day because how much will you eat if you can eat just only one? How much will you eat? Even your favourite food, you can't really eat too much. And with experience, you also know how much you need and all of that. So, I found that I could be consistent with it.

So, it also helped me to be consistent with it. So, my weight and shape have not, although sometimes people feel that I've lost weight, I have not. My weight has bike around 71, 72, pretty much the last five years.

Gulshan Devaiah Photo: Instagram
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Gulshan Devaiah on fitness

I'm not the most fittest person. I have a surgically replaced knee and a facial surgery, a herniated disc in my back and all of the things. So, I would not pull the wool over anybody's eyes and say that I am the fit. I'm not as flexible as I used to be and not as quick and agile as I used to be with age.

You have to sort of make some confessions also with what you can do with your body. But overall, I would say that on a general level, I'm not super healthy, but I'm not unhealthy either. I'm an averagely healthy person. I don't have any ailments, any vitamin deficiencies any serious diseases, symptoms or anything like that.

Gulshan on what an actor's body should be like

A long time back when I used to do theatre, one of my theatre directors said that an actor's body should be neutral. You shouldn't be too thin, you shouldn't be too fat, you shouldn't be too muscular. You should be neutral. That way, you're more versatile because you can go up and down in weight whenever you need.

You should have a neutral body. I found that for my height, around 70-73, between 70-73 is an ideal physique for me.

Benefits of eating once a day

It's good for insulin resistance because your body is not releasing too much insulin and your digestive system improves. Energy levels become stable and all of those things. But I am not an expert. So, don't take anything that I'm saying as expert talk. I'm not. It's not for everybody. It suits me and is part of my lifestyle. But it doesn't mean that everybody should do this.

People should find whatever works for them and whatever they can be consistent with. A lot of my friends enjoy eating 5 or 6 small meals a day because they are able to do that and that works for them. 

Gulshan on his workout regime

I do moderate exercises about 3 or 4 times a week. I do exercises for top half an hour- both weight training and both functional. But no yoga for me. I just can't. Me and yoga don't vibe. I can't do it consistently. Maybe once in a while, I'll enjoy yoga but to do it regularly is just like it doesn't. I like boxing and lifting weights. So, I do all of this at home only now.

Gulshan on realising health is important

When I was 33-34, I had some disc damage in my neck and then in my lower spine which is when I realized that a lot of my lifestyle habits, my postures and things that I do, I have to make some adjustments and I have to change. My (ex) wife, when she came into my life in 2010, a lot of the nutrition ideas about having a balanced meal because she comes from a Mediterranean culture. They eat a lot of vegetables, whole grains and meat and all that. So, they have a good balance of protein and fiber and carbohydrates. She taught me a lot of these things as how to have a balanced meal, how much vegetables you should eat and all. I liked eating vegetables but they were not part of every meal for me. Then I started to feel better generally.

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Due to physical injuries that I carried, I realized that I need to strengthen my upper back, my shoulders, and my neck. Then I consulted some physiotherapists who taught me some stuff.

When you want to lose weight or put on weight or something, you have to be on certain diets which are very restrictive. I just couldn't do it for more than 2-3 months. So I just wanted to find something that I can do that can become part of my lifestyle.

It can't be absolutely rigid, but it's a good average. 80-85% of the time, if I'm restricting my meals to just one big meal a day, I'm very happy because that's a good average.

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