Omair Baig
Omair Baig before (left) and after Image Credit: Supplied

When Omair Baig lost his job in 2018, he saw an opportunity; a time to take care of himself, to lose some of his girth, to get healthy.

He had been working non-stop for six years when the blow came – and at this point he not only had a snoring problem but also would get winded easily. Now, finding a window for healing – where he had the time and some savings to buffer the transition - he charted his new course.

First he sent his family back home, to Pakistan. This was a practical decision – his two sons would have a more economical infrastructure – and the change would give Baig a little more time to take action. Next, he gave up a staple: Junk food (including carbonated drinks).

He pared down his menu, until it looked like this:

For breakfast

Paratha without oil and yogurt


Oats with honey and almond along with 500ml of skimmed milk


Two slices of bread with peanut butter

Mid-morning snack

A glass of orange or grapefruit juice


Chargrilled Chicken with humus


Plain roti (flatbread) with any cooked vegetables


A boiled egg with green tea and honey

After following this plan for about a month, Baig decided to join the gym, “to reshape my body,” he tells Gulf News. Fitness requires effort - and Baig refused to skimp on this: he spent about 3-4 hours a day on exercise.

Daily exercise routine
Morning: One-hour walk at 5.30am

Gym: 2 to 3 hours a day (50 per cent of the time is spent on cardio; 50 per cent on weights)

Evening: One hour walk at 7pm

It was tough in the beginning, he admits, “In the starting I was not able to focus 100 per cent on this [getting fit] because whenever you are going to change a part of your life, it’s going to take time. For the last three-four months [however] I’m strongly acting on all these activities.”

Since undergoing his dramatic transformation – where he lost 21kg in 6 months, the father-of-two says he’s been particular about adhering to his schedule. His new job has not made healthly habits an encumbrance; looking after diet and food is just “part of life.”

He’s also discovered a love for travel, hiking Sri Lanka’s Adam’s Peak - which stands at 2,243 metres - in July 2019.

Sri Lanka’s Adam’s Peak
Baig in Sri Lanka Image Credit: Supplied

Today, at 88kg, Baig’s life has undergone a transformation. When asked if he’d be able to continue on this road if his family returned to UAE, he says: “Yes, I will follow the same routine now as I don’t want to become [like old me] again.”

Change comes in the strangest of times, as Baig discovered, but what you make of it - that's really upto you.

Tips for those wanting to shed those kilos

1. Drink lots of water– minimum 4-6 litres of water a day.

2. Walk in the morning on an empty stomach as this will help rev up your metabolism.

3. No dinner at night – keep it light, says Baig; if you must eat dinner do it by 6.30pm