AvrRam reveals how mixed martial arts and dance keeps her in shape. She also talks about giving up heavy Indian food to maintain her weight.
When Elli AvrRam moved to India, she went all out feasting on popular desi food like butter chicken, naan and biryani. But the Swedish Greek actor soon realised she had to stop. She’s super careful about what she eats now, and works out with a lot of dedication. Here, the former Bigg Boss contestant and Mickey Virus actor reveals her work out and diet secrets:
“Dancing has helped me a lot in my fitness journey. I stretch a lot and do mixed martial arts (MMA). I work out for three hours every day, five to six days a week. My dancing routine involves a mix of ballet, modern dance, fusion and some Indian moves too. I used to be a figure skater back home, so learning jazz, ballet and contemporary dance was compulsory. We had to know all that in order to be able to jump and pirouette on ice!
I started learning to figure skate at the age of 7, and had to quit at 15, because of an injury. It was my life’s dream to be part of the Olympics. I was always athletic since my childhood. I was into gymnastics, sports, horse riding, American football, etc.
I work out even if I’m travelling or shooting for long hours. I use elastic bands to do squats and stretches. I also make sure I meditate every day.”
“What drives me is my passion of having a fit and healthy body. I have made it my lifestyle. I’ve always wanted to be strong, and I’ve always loved sports. For instance, MMA is hard because you work on each muscle. But I feel like achieving and learning more and more.
I used to feel the pressure to look a certain way before, when I was new to the entertainment industry. People ask you to lose weight. But now, I can’t listen to them. I believe in being comfortable. Also, the industry itself has also changed a lot. You don’t need to be super skinny. We have so many actors today with different bodies and it’s beautiful.”
“I absolutely love Indian food like naan and butter chicken. When I moved here, it was like paradise for me. I indulged myself and ended up putting on a lot of weight. Then I worked super hard to get rid of it. I had to make a choice between food and health. I still have biryani, dal makhani, etc, but only occasionally otherwise it you develop a taste or addiction for it.
Now, I stick to home-made food. I eat plain rice, sabzi, fish, potato, etc with little oil and no masala. I say no to roti, bread and heavy foods. If I have to eat bread, I make sure it’s buckwheat. I rarely eat out. Even when I’m in a restaurant, I order clean food like a smoothie or salad.”
“I’ve learnt to understand my body well. If I crave something, and I feel my body needs it, then I go ahead and eat it. It could be something like chocolate or some heavy foods. But I keep a balance.
I drink a lot of healthy tea throughout the day. I sip on silver needle white tea, which is better than green tea. I love chai – there’s no better tea – but it’s so unhealthy. I used to drink 3 cups of chai earlier but I’ve stopped that now.”
Advice to people:
“A common mistake people make is that they start off too hard and then get exhausted in two weeks. It’s easy to lose sight of your goals like that. Instead, start slow, and keep long-term goals. Also, have patience. You’ll need at least three months before you notice the difference in your body.”