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Aditya Jha works out with Kyle Ardill, the head trainer at Kim Gym in Mississauga on May 19, 2011.

JENNIFER ROBERTS FOR THE GLOBE AND MAIL/jennifer roberts The Globe and Mail

Aditya Jha


Five weeks ago, Aditya Jha, philanthropist, started a workout plan. The last time the 55-year-old shaped up was nine years ago. He lost 20 pounds in six weeks by shocking his body: He cut out eight cans of Coke and Thai food from his daily diet and played an hour of tennis every day. Then the Toronto-based entrepreneur, whose businesses have ranged from restaurants and software to confection, started a new venture and his results stopped. So when a friend asked for help to finalize an endowment by participating in a McMaster University's Faculty of Health Sciences research program, studying environmental and genetic effects on chronic disease, he became motivated him to trim his "Asian-guy tummy."

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My goal

"Keep my body toned and build muscle mass. I started at 170 pounds, I'm now 165 and would like to be 155."

My workout

"I have a trainer who has a black belt in martial arts and we work out four times a week at LA Fitness in Mississauga for an hour and a half, including the sauna.

"Today I'll do my stomach, shoulders, biceps curls and I cycle for 15 minutes to warm up. My program is working; on days I do it I feel better, I don't have that lazy feeling and I sleep well. Now I'm becoming more shaped in my biceps and chest. But there's no improvement on my pull-ups, and on the tummy side I haven't seen much change."

My lifestyle

"I've sold my business, Karma Candy, with 170 employees that I ran out of the former Allan Chocolate Factory owned by Cadbury, so I'm looking for a new business.

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"I wake up at 5. Some days I stay in my chair for six hours, and then attend meetings outside of my home driving 100 kilometres a day. I have something to eat an hour before exercise at 8 p.m. and when I come back I eat dinner at 11. I'm asleep at 12.

"Breakfast is yogurt and muesli, fresh strawberries, avocado and karela [bitter melon]juice mixed in a big mug, or three boiled egg whites and toast. Lunch at restaurants is salad with chicken, turkey or fish, but no steak and no fried anything. Dinner is kidney beans and lentils. The biggest [diet]culprit is South-Asian foods at Indian functions: I try to find the spicy option instead of the oily one and I try not to snack. I didn't put weight on from sweets or chocolate when I owned the candy company, in fact, you had a choice - sugar-free candy or Belgian dark chocolate."

My anthem

"Kenny G's instrumentals."

My challenge

"I am worried if I'm doing [my workout]right because I don't want to hurt myself - I haven't - and my stomach thing: I want to lose 20 pounds. But I don't want to feel I'm giving up Indian food because salads are like eating grass and I want to eat something tasty that's healthy."

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This interview has been condensed and edited.


Shin Ohtake, a Los Angeles-based strength conditioning and fat loss coach, offers his advice.

HIT every muscle, count carbs

"I would swap isolated exercises for full-body exercises performed in a short, High Intensity Training circuit, so Aditya can stimulate more muscles at once."

As a result of changing the protocol, Mr. Jha's body would trigger a better hormonal response to help enhance his fat burning and lean-muscle building process, Mr. Ohtake says.

"Aditya's diet seems improved from what he used to eat, especially cutting down sugar and other refined carbs; however, I suggest increasing protein and fat, keeping carb intake to 100 grams a day."

Sleep off belly fat

Lastly, Mr. Ohtake, who holds a bachelor of science degree in biochemistry from McMaster, says five hours of sleep a night is not enough.

"Sleep deprivation can cause the body to produce higher levels of cortisol, which also stimulates more insulin. This may be one of the biggest reasons why Mr. Jha hasn't been able to lose fat. My suggestion would be to get more sleep to help him get rid of the stubborn belly fat."

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