Mens Health Magazine

FIGHTING A DOUBLE WHAMMY

Article  By Purba Dutt

Published in Mens health Magazine India Today

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Karan Soni, at 27, is deeply suspicious of those who have made their money and name by offering weight-loss programmes, but who look like they need to heal themselves first. For someone who has made a name by supplying custom-made diet meals to his rapidly-expanding clientele, Karan is his brand Mojo's best ambassador. As he walks the talk with his six-pack abs and a lean body, it is hard to believe that not too long ago, this part-time model and full-time nutritionist weighed 110 kg with a 56-inch waist and "you could actually count four chins".

Hey fatty boom boom
Being the only Indian in his class at the American School in Dubai wasn't easy. His size and girth ensured that he was always the butt of everyone's jokes and none-too-friendly ribbing. Alone, depressed and low on self-esteem, Karan found his sole source of solace in such a "hostile environment" in food.

The only diversion during this feeding frenzy was golf, for which the "good-for-nothing boy" developed a passion. "Playing golf fed my need to be in isolation," he explains. By the time he finished school, all the calories had settled for good on his smallish frame and he looked "grotesque".

The gain from loss

At 16, the only girl in school who would give him the time of day died in an accident. Three months later, it hit Karan that now he had really nothing to live for anymore. "First, I bawled my lungs out and then decided existence was futile." So, it was time, Karan thought, to call it quits. Armed with a bottle of Jack Daniel's, he walked on the roof of his seaside house and yelled at God for the life he lived. In the madness of those few moments, Karan smashed the bottle, removed his clothes and contemplated drowning himself. "I guess it was then I must have passed out. The next thing I knew I was in my bedroom, all clothed and the only sign of the emotional ordeal I had gone through hours ago was the sand on my feet." Till this day, Karan has no idea who found him on the beach and took him home. "It must have been God," he says. "I had a new lease of life, and I knew it was time I took control of my life."

Reborn in the USA
By the time Karan was done with schooling and was in the US to check out colleges, he had resolved he needed to do something about his weight, which had ballooned out of control. "I have this extremely stubborn and determined streak in me wherein if I decide to do something, nothing can stop me." He went through all kinds of research on losing weight and then formulated his own diet plan. "I didn't want to go in for any professional programmes because I was sure I knew my body best." Using a combination of "common sense" and well-researched wisdom, he worked out a diet that helped him lose an incredible 45 kg in four months and reclaim his square jaw that once was.

Wisdom diet
"The one thing I learned and which I subscribe to this day is the necessity to nourish the body every three hours," he says. Karan's weight-loss diet comprised two pieces of brown bread, lettuce, tomato, mustard sandwich and Diet Coke three times a day. He polished off around 9-10 apples in a day and sometimes tossed up a no-oil garden salad with lots of lettuce and tomatoes. No fried foods and no "cheat days".