Suryakumar Yadav’s remarkable transformation as he sheds 15kg post surgery to get in shape for T20 World Cup | Cricket News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Suryakumar Yadav, the world’s No. 1 T20 batter, has made a striking comeback to competitive cricket, looking leaner and fitter than ever. His impressive transformation is largely due to a regimented diet plan and rigorous strength training, which helped him shed at least 12-14 kg gained after his sports hernia surgery.
Suryakumar was out of action for nearly four months, recovering first from an ankle operation in December and then from sports hernia surgery.
For elite athletes, returning to peak fitness is always challenging, and a strict diet plan forms the foundation of this process.
“If you look at him, he is looking much leaner and stronger and little muscular, and diet was planned with supplementation to achieve that goal. Coordination between recovery rate and muscle gain rate, so we adjusted to achieve that in record time,” dietitian Shwetha Bhatia, founder of ‘Mind Your Fitness’, who has worked on Suryakumar’s nutrition for some time, told PTI during an interaction.
“Overall by now, 14-15 kg, there was slight increase in his weight after surgery, which is a natural medical reaction not because he was off diet,” Bhatia explained.
“Out of 15 kg that he shed, Dexa machine will confirm that 13kg will be fat,” she added.
At the National Cricket Academy (NCA), a Dexa machine is used to assess a player’s body composition. This advanced device provides detailed information on muscle mass gain, fat loss, and the amount of abdominal fat.
A strict diet plan in place
While rigorous strength and conditioning training is crucial, maintaining a proper diet is equally important. That’s where Bhatia’s expertise comes into play.
“Post his injury, we made his diet plan a bit stricter, because when there is no activity, you don’t increase food directly like that but there was more focus on his recovery with vitamin supplements,” she said.
“He was at National Cricket Academy, more strength training was incorporated so that he has a better comeback. We don’t get into his rehab programme but we need to co-ordinate with NCA in terms of his recovery rate because if it is going slow then it is falling short somewhere.
“Mutually it was agreed that strength training would be the focus and cricketers don’t get a lot of time for strength training when the season is on and usually get time when matches are not happening and mostly they practice their core skills.”
Beyond just counting calories, the focus is on calculating the specific amounts of protein, carbs, and fat an athlete needs. During the recovery phase, it’s essential to increase calorie intake, with a particular emphasis on matching protein levels to the heightened activity.
“The calories are increased keeping in mind that you don’t want fat gain to happen during that period, to make sure muscle mass is maintained,” Bhatia explained.
So, how was Suryakumar’s meal structure?
“Basically, he was on three-meal structure and three went on to became four, when activity resumed.
“All meals had good quality protein like eggs, meat or fish and he is not fond of dairy products and that was excluded. When activity was much lesser, we had reduced the amount of carbohydrates, grains, dals were lesser, it was low carb diet.
“He doesn’t eat rice and uses substitute flour (not atta) for his rotis. He eats nuts and seed based low carb flours. Vegetable and fluid intakes were high with soups and chaanch. Nuts and avocados based on availability was also in his plan.”
Recently, players like Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, and Rishabh Pant have started bringing personal chefs on tours. More athletes are becoming mindful of their meals and are consciously avoiding hotel food.
These elite athletes are investing considerable amounts of their own money to have their chefs accompany them, booking apartments where meals are prepared and then brought to the team hotel. This practice is especially common on long tours.
(With PTI inputs)

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