Celebrity fitness trainer Sucheta Pal aka the Zumba queen of India can be accredited for single-handedly swinging India to the beats of Zumba. From being an ex-IT professional to discovering her tryst with Zumba, Sucheta Pal’s journey is an inspiring one. As India’s first authorised Zumba instructor and the Global Brand Ambassador and Education Specialist for Zumba® Fitness LLC, Sucheta has stirred a health revolution with Zumba and inspired a new wave of fitness plans that has caught the fancy of health enthusiasts. She was also felicitated in 2018 by the President of India as the “First Lady” for women wellness.
The 37-year-old fitness enthusiast, who hails from small-town Ranchi, is now on the roster of Bollywood leading ladies such as Bipasha Basu, Neha Dhupia and Chitrangada Singh for achieving their fitness goals. Living Foodz gets the fitness and dance expert to reveal her daily regime and the secrets behind her hot bod.
Weekly workout routine
If not on a scheduled training session, she likes to mix things up by including the duration, variation, intensity, schedule and type of workout for optimum results. She sticks to this approach to kick out any complacency that steps in with a monotonous workout routine. She loves experimenting with everything from high-intensity interval training (HIIT), yoga, crossFit, working out in a gym and even strength and weight training.
“It depends whether I'm in training, who I’m training or what I’m getting trained for! Exercise has become my mind, body and soul therapy. The Zumba training covers my total body workout whenever I’m training. I like to work out alongside my clients not just to motivate them, but to also learn constantly and to build that camaraderie", says Sucheta.
Pre and post-work out snacks
Pal's day usually starts with one egg prepared with a yolk and three egg white omelets and some almonds soaked overnight. For lunch and dinner, she tries to alternate with 100 grams of fish or chicken. Any imbalance is covered with a good whey protein shake twice a day which takes care of her protein needs. For carbs, mashed sweet potatoes are her go-to option. She is almost addicted to it as it not only tastes good but is packed with energy.
Speaking about her eating habits, based on the workout intensity and schedule, she has a small meal comprising of toast with some butter or avocado and some eggs around 2-4 hours before her exercise routine. To kill her hunger pangs, she likes to throw in some dried fruits in her oatmeal or have a protein shake made with whey protein powder, almond or soy milk and a fruit. When crunched for time between her meal and workout routine, her go-to foods are fruits like apples or bananas or just a handful of dry fruits. “I hate listening to my stomach rumblings and I’m not someone who can work out on an empty stomach. I have a healthy mix of carbs, protein (there are mixed studies about protein intake before or after work out, but its best to listen to your own body) and stay hydrated. This is vital to maintain your energy levels, enhance your performance, preserve muscle mass and even for recovery while you exercise. "
She believes that protein and carbohydrates are equally necessary to fuel the body after an intense workout. This helps to provide a steady supply of nutrients to stimulate muscle protein synthesis, improve recovery, enhance performance and prepare your body for your next activity.
To keep her protein intake in check, she loves to indulge in some poached eggs or chicken with some baked veggies or mashed sweet potatoes for her post-workout meal. Fish curry with brown rice, yogurt with blended nuts and berries is another favorite meal of the self-proclaimed foodie.
Pal believes in staying hydrated with an adequate amount of water and some refreshing tender coconut water to keep your body functioning well.
Just like Popeye, she loves a spinach energy drink made with spinach, some avocado or whey protein with either apple or banana. She also sips on beetroot juice, carrot, ginger and cucumber smoothie and banana with yogurt, almond milk sometimes. She loves to try a variety of ingredients when it comes to preparing healthy smoothies.
Satiate the Sweet cravings
Pal admits that beating the sugar cravings is the toughest! To ward of these temptations when they strike, she diverts her mind by working on something that takes her mind away from the craving. Eating healthy fat and fiber or having healthy sugar fixes such as raisins and figs with yogurt is another way to satiate the craving. However, once in a while, she does give in to the cravings by indulging in bite-sized desserts. “My favourite cheat meal would be rosogollas, being a Bengali it’s a weakness I can’t resist,” she confesses.
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