How Bollywood stars from Alia Bhatt to Sonam Kapoor got into the fittest shape of their lives
Your daily dose of fitspo
Do it for the ‘gram may seem like the mantra that powers celebrities through their stringent fitness routines, but their real talent lies in keeping on going when they really, really don’t want to. Take a quick peek at the roster of young actors, and we’ll show you a success story for each day of the week. Bhumi Pednekar dropped 21 kilos in four months after piling on the weight for her debut movie, Dum Laga Ke Haisha. At the age of 19, Alia Bhatt swore that she’d never go to meet a director for an audition unless she was in good shape.
But let’s be clear: these body transformation success stories aren’t about complying with the industry’s cookie-cutter demands of being thin. Parineeti Chopra and Sonakshi Sinha can both attest to the life-affirming power of being fit, over slipping into a smaller size of jeans. To ensure that that burst of Monday Motivation lasts through the week, we rounded up all that Bollywood’s fittest names have done to get in the best shape of their lives.
Bollywood’s best fitness success stories
Piling on the kilos and dropping them again can ring the deathknell for your metabolism, but Bhumi was up for the challenge. The first step involved pruning carbohydrates out of her diet. She was partial to chapatis, but soon swapped them out for rajgira aata rotis, easy on the oil. Aloe vera juice, spinach and eggs are the other superstars of her diet.
Sonakshi dropped 30 kilos for her breakout role in Dabangg, but claims that she never charts her weight on a scale. “I don't know how many kilos I lost; I don't get on the scale. As long as I am feeling fit and I can feel myself toning up, looking thinner, then what the scale has to say doesn't really matter,” she explains. Her twice-a-day gym sessions involve hot yoga, spinning, functional and weight training.
Sonakshi also follows the 20-minute rule for her binges. For those days when she absolutely can’t resist the brownies in front of her, she compulsorily clocks in 20 minutes on the treadmill after.
Parineeti’s journey from a size 38 to size 30 required her to make the ultimate sacrifice: “I gave up pizza! It’s my first love. I can let go of anything but not pizza. But I didn’t have a choice. The kind of clothes that I’m able to wear today, that's not something that I could wear two years ago. Obviously, if you have a fitter body, you can pull off different silhouettes.”
Parineeti admits that she isn’t a gym bunny, so hitting the treadmill on lazy mornings mandates a pep talk in front of the mirror. Alongside a heavily monitored diet, (milk and eggs don’t agree with her system) she also practices Kalari Payyatu. The South Indian martial art builds core strength, muscles and flexibility with gratifying results.
Before training with pilates expert Radhika Karle, Huma ensured that she charted her goals clearly: “I want to lose weight well, by building strength and muscle.” She is a dab hand at Pilates now, and clocks in 15 minutes on the unforgiving ladderbarrel.
Alia still recalls the first time she discussed her Bollywood aspirations with director Karan Johar. “It was sheer pain. I felt as if I was an ugly duckling. At first, I was embarrassed, but later felt angry that I had gone to meet a director in the shape I was in. I decided to shed weight first, meet him and take the role. Only that would redeem my self-respect,” she reminisces.
Alia went on to drop 16 kilos in three months using a mix of ashtanga yoga, bicep curls and tricep push-downs. Retaining her bikini bod for Shaandaar required some upgrades though. Celebrity fitness trainer Yasmin Karachiwala made Alia hit the trapeze, arcus (picture a gigantic bow suspended in mid-air) and attempt the Bodhi, an advanced suspension system.
Getting all that weight off mandated a disciplined diet, but Alia makes sure to account for a few cheat meals. Her detox recipe after a binge? “A light meal consisting of doodhi juice, sprouts and lime water.”
Sonam Kapoor can hit you with a verbal zinger just as easily as she can make you bite her dust in the gym. The lady beefs up her 30 minutes of cardio routine with an intense kettlebell session. Unlike an ordinary dumbbell, a kettlebell significantly ups your aerobic capacity. The small cannonball also accompanies Sonam on the Bosu ball where she pulls off a mean goblet squat. The kettlebell workout results in enhanced upper body strength, and those toned arms.
Kangana was identified as an ectomorph (someone with a delicate build) when she first made her entry on the Bollywood glamour scene. Unrestrained binge-eating led to her putting on weight, but only around her stomach. In a bid to correct the balance, she struck out all forms of sugary and processed foods from her diet. If you were to bump into Kangana in the gym, she will typically be found kickboxing for 45 minutes and spending 20 minutes on an elliptical hill workout. She is also very strict about giving her body some downtime; Wednesdays are off-days.