Players take up special diets to stay fit

Samiur Rahman | Published: 22:43, Jun 13,2020


Tamim Iqbal and Mohammad Saifuddin

During the forced sabbatical from cricket due to the coronavirus outbreak, many national cricketers were taking up special diets while following the board’s guidelines to maintain their fitness and not gain extra weight.

Bangladesh one-day international skipper Tamim Iqbal was following a special diet called ketogenic or keto in short, a method which has gained popularity among people who want to lose weight.

‘My diet now is kind of Keto I would say. There is a company named Lean Nation who sends my meals at home four times a day. The meal is less than 1,500 calories a day and I try to eat only that,’ Tamim told New Age.

In his measured meal plan; there were boiled eggs, grilled chicken, little pasta, small packets of biscuits, fruits like guava or apple etc which kept Tamim active but didn’t allow him to gain extra fat.

With outdoor activities restricted, Tamim was cautious about shedding off extra calories that could set in while staying indoors.

‘I train for one hour every day. Normally when we go out, we burn a lot of calories. I’m doing one hour of exercise on the treadmill but in normal time we walk a lot and burn a lot of calories.

‘But that’s not happening now as we are sitting in one place for a long time due to this pandemic,’ said the left-handed opener.

Bangladesh all-rounder Mohammad Saifuddin was not following as strict a diet as Tamim but was maintaining a healthy diet while also cutting back at carbohydrate and fat.

‘Honestly speaking, during the month of Ramadan I actually did not maintain the diet and work-out plan properly as I was fasting. But after the Ramadan, I am working hard every day,’ said the 23-year old.

In his meal plan, Saifuddin was taking home cooked food with lots of fruits and vegetables.

‘I eat two handmade ruti, egg and vegetables in the breakfast. As a mid-day meal before lunch, I eat fruits so I don’t crave for more rice which I used to have.

‘I also eat fruits as evening snack, avoid sweet and deep fried foods. At dinner, again I eat ruti. I always try to eat less portion of rice, more of vegetables and protein,’ Saifuddin said.

Bangladesh Cricket Board’s chief physician Debashis Chowdhury expected the nationally contracted players to maintain a proper diet and said that the board would soon instruct the players to take calcium and vitamin-D supplements.

‘I believe national cricketers are maintaining their meal plan properly. They all attended classes, workshops earlier about food, many of them are well experienced. BCB at the beginning of this crisis gave them some guidelines regarding food to boost immunity. Hopefully they are following it.

‘Sunlight is the biggest source of vitamin-D. As the cricketers are not going out, they might grow deficiency of vitamin-D. Therefore, they will be instructed to take calcium and vitamin-D supplements.’

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