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#VERDICT: Don’t Lose out, work out!

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Published in SHE Magazine ’14

front_dont lose out

Don’t lose out, work out!

By Rujuta Diwekar

Price: Rs.595

Publisher: Westland Ltd

Available at: Liberty Bookstores


With beads of sweat trickling down your face, you hesitantly step on the machine. You hold your breath, hoping maybe that would make a difference. It doesn’t. You wait for the red length pointer to stop. It does, eventually, but nowhere near had you wanted it to be. You take a deep breath, step aside and then step back on. Hoping maybe that would make a difference somehow. It doesn’t. The red length pointer stays still, too stubborn to drop a few pounds. Exasperated, you kick the weighing machine aside, wipe your forehead and cry.

Does this sound a bit dramatic but a wee-bit familiar? It’s the story of every other person trying to lose weight but is in the disillusionment at not getting the ‘results’. Rujuta Diwekar, a bestselling author of Don’t Lose Your Mind, Lose Your Weight! and Women and the Weight Loss Tamasha; now toys with the idea of weight loss and fads in her new book, Don’t lose out, work out!

Diwekar is renowned for being a personal fitness instructor for Kareen Kapoor whilst her ‘size zero’ phase. She has won the Best Trainer award in India and the Nutrition Award from the Asian Instituted of Gastroenterology. And with a Sports Science and Nutrition degree in hand, Diwekar has a 15 year experience of working and advising people from all walks of life.

Don’t lose out, work out, is the ultimate fitness handbook. In Diwekar’s words, “[Its time to] take that wheelchair away, aunty ji is now gonna walk ulta on the escalator.” She takes up an interesting spin by talking about death and subtlety connecting it to catabolism, anti-aging and working out.  She tackles with busting all the preconceived myths on exercise, using witty yet relevant examples for the reader’s comprehension.

Diwekar hooks the reader from the very beginning by using a conversational and bilingual sarcasm which makes the book fun, light and excessively delightful. She uses statistics and biological terminology in a brilliant way that doesn’t make the reader lose interest or even require a dictionary. She goes on to mention that in the game of losing weight, “technique matters more than the number of calories.” In her following chapter on Cardio, she emphasizes on the idea of doing whatever exercise you love, to ensure consistency. As a fitness instructor, she discusses the facts and preconceived notions about cardio exercises, including comprehensive tables, biological background and breakdown of exercises, ending with a chapter summary for a cohesive recap.

She spends, significant amount of time on discussing Strength Training that is, warm-ups and how they can be beneficial for stamina, flexibility and inevitable, weight loss.  She is possibly the only trainer who encourages eating rice and parathas, 4 hours post workout, with extensive talks on the pre and post exercise meals (including fats),  bolstering it with  biological benefits!

In a whimsical way, Diwekar notes the origin and history of Yoga. She provides an exhaustive list of Yoga books and schools one should follow if he/she is keen on joining it. She also answers the ‘frequently asked questions’ at the end of every chapter, giving the most honest advice possible.

Kareena Kapoor with the author at the launch of Don't lose out, work out.

Kareena Kapoor with the author at the launch of Don’t lose out, work out.

One may argue however that the book, Don’t lose out, Work out, complicates the whole “dumbbell, pec dec/fly or tricep push down” regimen for a layman sitting at home. Her narration sufficiently lacks description and step-by-step guides of the different exercises mentioned. But the author makes it crystal clear that the book is much more than that: “I can endlessly ‘breakdown’ weight training exercises, but this book cannot teach you what a session in the gym will.” She also believes that, “a well-rounded exercise plan employs all the energy systems in our body.” Ending with a cohesive discussion on the 4 principles: stimulate, adapt, and recover, regular. Followed by case studies, weekly plans and modified workout plan for different situations.

Throughout the book, she conjures up interesting scenarios like, “…she wanted to metamorphose like Deepika of Yeh Jawaani Hai Diwani, from chashmish to charming,” which livens up the narration and makes the book relatable. She also makes use of emoticons, which makes the book a bit informal but maybe that’s the purpose Diwekar’s hinting at. She presses onto the reader to develop a relationship of love with his/her body and fitness regimen.

Don’t lose out, Work out, inevitably makes the reader question the credibility of local fitness Mongols who repeatedly advice people to “close the fist and count till 10 for 20 kilo weight reduction” or “stand on one leg every morning for Salman-esque abs.” This book is informative, entertaining and downright hilarious. It is especially recommended to fitness freaks and couch potatoes.

Sum Up: Time to hunt down old trainers and dust off treadmills.