Fawad Khan says his ‘kidneys shut down’ after trying to bulk up for a role like Aamir Khan; experts on physical transformations

Pakistani actor Fawad Khan, recently, revealed that he was hospitalised and his “kidneys shut down” following extreme physical transformation for his film The Legend of Maula Jatt, in which he plays a fierce prizefighter. Despite being a diabetic, the actor said he put on several kilos to bulk up and reach up to 100 kgs from his weight of 73-75 kilos.

“It is not the best thing I did to myself. I would never do that again. I just made some questionable choices, which negatively affected me. There is a dark underbelly to all of these physical transformations and people should know that when you make these decisions, it is taking a huge toll on your health. And it happened. Ten days into it, I was hospitalised. My kidneys shut down,” he said in an interview with Something Haute, a Pakistani content creating platform.

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He added that bulking up close on the heels of American actor Christian Bale, known to undertake extreme physical transformation for his movies like Batman, and Bollywood actor Aamir Khan, who did it for Ghajini and Dangal, affected his health negatively and took him three months to recover.

“I was putting in insane hours. It’s not the right way to do these things because the thing is, I had limited time. I had 1-1.5 months. Due to whatever circumstances, it happened the way it did. I am a bit insane in that way. I am not Christian Bale but I tried to do what he does, even Aamir Khan for that matter. If I had six months, maybe Maula Jatt would have looked very different. It is not a transformation that I would encourage for anyone. Absolutely never,” he further said in the interview.

What do experts say?

Such extreme diets, especially within a short period of time, should not be recommended in any circumstances, stressed Dr Sharwari Dabhade Dua, internal medicine, La femme/Fortis, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi. “Glucose metabolism in the liver, protein excretion through kidneys, and glucose uptake by muscles can make the body weak rather than healthier. Extreme diets like keto, and gluten-free can lead to low blood glucose levels and, in turn, hypoglycaemia, causing an inability to perform tasks, and decreased orientation. Not only that, temptations to bulk up the muscles and intake of high proteins (shakes and supplements) in diet can reduce kidney functioning and its ability to perform normally. Lot of body building trainers and individuals have end up with acute kidney injury or rhabdomylosis, which can be a life threatening condition,” Dr Dua told indianexpress.com.

Kishlay Sajwan, mentor and lead at Level Up fitness center, New Delhi, however shared that such episodes depend on “many factors”. “How you’re bulking, if it’s natural or not, time period, have you been working out regularly — all of it matter. Gaining muscle naturally and with a right plan in a short span (again, this is quite subjective) wouldn’t really bother your kidneys if you have been regularly working out and have a good stead,” he said.

However, he too agreed that taking supplements can “definitely have an affect on your kidneys“. According to Dr Dua, a monitored diet plan should be incorporated after consulting a doctor and nutrition expert.

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