When we meet Shilpa Shetty at her gorgeous, sea-facing Mumbai residence, she's chirpy and excited; she's finally ready to talk about her passion project—one that has been two years in the making—with the world. The actor, who's long been the poster girl for fitness, has just launched a holistic wellness app, The Shilpa Shetty app, which features yoga routines, functional training, special regimes (for women who're pregnant, struggling with menstrual cramps and so on), and daily nutrition charts for each program. "I think lifestyle modifications are the need of the hour. There's something for everyone on the app. You can do the workouts within the comfort of your home, without any equipment," Shilpa says.
Shilpa shot for the videos showcased in the app for days on end, sometimes for as many as eight hours in one go. It was not easy, even if you happen to be Shilpa Shetty. "I started learning advanced yoga and have achieved my own fitness goals while working on the app. I remember shooting for the leg and butt program and suddenly I'd started feeling muscles I hadn't felt in 40 years," she laughs. Her point is simple: If she can do it, so can you.
What sets the Shilpa Shetty app apart from other fitness apps is the fact that you can browse videos even without data or WiFi. That, and access to expert advice from celebrity nutritionist Luke Coutinho, which are tailor-made to pair with all the different workouts. "Many people think that following a balanced meal plan is boring or repetitive, so we've made sure that the plans have enough variety—you won't have to eat the same food five days in a row. Food has to feed your soul," Shilpa says.
And if you're curious about what Shilpa's daily diet looks like, she makes it clear that she follows what's on the app. "I follow a wholesome, fibre-rich, protein-rich food plan interspersed with cheat meals on Sundays. I avoid all forms of refined sugar and flour. Also, my diet is carb-oriented. My days are packed and I have a seven-year-old to keep up with, so I need energy. I think people have made out carbs to be evil. I want to make people understand that there are good and bad carbs. It's a choice you have to make," she says. For instance, she says, it's better to snack on roasted sweet potatoes with ghee or butter, rather than a packet of fried potato chips.
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Shilpa's Sunday binge videos have achieved near-cult status on Instagram. Every weekend, she digs into a decadent desert without caring about calories. "Guilt is the bad carb," she laughs. "I don't think guilt should permeate into any aspect of your life. As a mother, many a times you feel guilty when you're away from your child. But that's not good for your mental health. The way I look at it, give your 100% to whatever you do—whether it's at work, when you're with your child, or enjoying a cheat meal."
By her own admission, Shilpa isn't exactly tech savvy, and so, she worked with the Apple Accelerator team to make sure that the user interface of the app is super simple to navigate. Currently, the app boasts of iPad and Apple Watch integration, and plans to integrate Siri for voice commands are underway.
Download now: The Shilpa Shetty app is available on the Apple app store. The Android version will be available on June 8.