Hamza Firdous shot to fame as Tipu in last year’s O’Rangreza, followed by an unconventional character in period drama Ghughi in which he essayed the role of a Hindu man. Son of veteran actor Firdous Jamal, Hamza has made a conscious choice of opting for diverse roles; he is currently playing the protagonist in Seerat that features him as a man who is inclined towards religion.
Not many people know that back when Hamza was in Dublin, before he stepped into Pakistan’s entertainment industry, he weighed much more than he does today. He lost over 15kgs to be fit for the screen and now works hard to maintain it. “The journey of shedding extra pounds is always hard,” he says.
We got in touch with the actor to find out the path he followed to get to optimum weight and how he maintains a healthy lifestyle now. Here’s what he has to say…
You lost a considerable amount of weight; how difficult was it?
“When you don’t have the right guidance, it is painful, disappointing and frustrating. I was like everyone else, trying hacks online without going to a professional trainer who could have helped me out and I could have saved a lot of time.”
What eating routine did you follow and what kind of food dominated your diet?
“Eating right is the key. Before seeing results, I was working out for about three to four years, four to five times a week and I was frustrated because it didn’t have any effect on me. Then I stumbled upon a trainer who helped me with the right structure in which I should eat. He gave me a diet plan and it worked. I was eating six to seven times a day with small portions. Too much protein and very little carbs dominated my diet. For me, roti and sugar is the culprit. So, when I have to lose more weight, I stop consuming them as I gain pounds really fast when I have them. I would eat everything else.”
Did you work out as well? How often?
“Working out is essential. If you are overweight, you have to go to the gym. I am a bit lazy when it comes to working out; in my best week I would go four to five times and on other days I won’t go at all. I just don’t like the feeling. I try to eat healthy instead so that I don’t put on extra pounds when I am being lazy.”
How was your life routine back then? How did you manage time for your weight loss journey?
“Life was extremely hectic. I was in Ireland and back then I had a couple of jobs alongside looking after home chores and cooking for myself. It was the hardest thing to make meals for myself.”
What motivated you to lose weight? Does it have to do with your career?
“The biggest motivation was my career because when I was in Ireland I was working over there. It didn’t matter a lot if I was overweight. I used to eat a lot of kebabs and shawarma and it did a lot of damage. It is very hard for me to say no to food. No one really pointed it out but there are roles you won’t get so you know there is something wrong in how you look. So you have to take measures to fix those things. These things are in one’s control, I believe.”
How do you maintain a healthy lifestyle now?
“It is extremely hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle. My body is designed in such a way that I gain weight extremely fast; I have to be cautious. One of the things I was deprived of when I was in Ireland was that we never used to go out that much because a lot of good food places weren’t halal so we had an excuse.
We used to make food at home with not many options. Here I can order any and everything. I love all the desi food. But I have to control and have to stick to my routine, which is not fancy. I have organic, boiled chicken without any carbs, with some salad 5 times a day. I don’t eat bread or rice and when I do, I take brown rice. You have to maintain a healthy lifestyle to be fit for the screen.”