Sonakshi Sinha banned this food from her diet and those abs are all the proof you need
Plus, the fashion trend she can't get enough of
Achieving your goals — whether for fitness, career or relationships — requires sheer will power and an indomitable belief in yourself. That’s the journey Sonakshi Sinha has undertaken, and like any other journey, the actor has learnt that sometimes taking two steps backwards is a sure shot way of moving forward. A self-proclaimed foodie, who detests salads and loves gorging on pizzas and pastas, Sonakshi has come a long way since she started her fitness journey. The Noor actor may have given up on her favourite foods, but it’s helped her get into the fittest shape of her life. We caught up with the star at Vero Moda’s 10th anniversary bash. Excerpts below:
ELLE: You’re the fittest version of yourself ever, but that’s impossible to achieve without the right diet. What are the foods you’ve banned from your diet?
Sonakshi Sinha (SS): I’ve completely banned bread from my diet, and I don’t even miss it now. If it came in the form of a pizza, that would be a different case. I love pizzas, though now it’s become really rare that I indulge. I’ve also given up white refined sugar; basically, all white foods as they stick to your intestines. Earlier, I used to eat everything, and think that since I’m going to the gym, it’s not going to stick to my body — which is not true. I was working out really hard, but until I made a conscious change in what I ate, the results didn’t show. Now, I’ve become restricted in what I eat, and I feel so much better from within.
ELLE: You mentioned your love for pizza — what are the other cheat meals you enjoy?
SS: I’ve taken a complete U-turn from my love for pizza and pasta — of late, I’ve been craving for Indian masaledar foods like chole kulche and samosas all of a sudden.
ELLE: Superfoods you ensure are a must in your diet?
SS: I occasionally like avocados in my salad.
ELLE: One fashion trend you never thought you could pull off, but you did eventually?
SS: Crop tops. I never thought I could wear them, but now my abs have started showing, so now I’m stocking up on crop tops.
ELLE: Your go-to fashion look right now?
SS: No points for guessing — a crop top, styled with high-waisted pants/palazzos/skinny jeans.
ELLE: Styling tips your stylist Mohit Rai has given you?
SS: Mohit has completely changed my style in the last few years. He understands my likes, my dislikes and my body structure so well. He’s taught me to wear straighter silhouettes that bring out my curves and the shape of my body.
ELLE: And your personal style is…
SS: Casual, classy, sophisticated and fresh.
ELLE: You’ve spoken about how you feel your forehead is wider than usual. What are some hairstyles you’ve experimented with that have helped you?
SS: Bangs work wonders. But sometimes, I also pull my hair back high into a ponytail.
ELLE: Your morning and nighttime beauty ritual?
SS: When I wake up in the morning, I wash my face with a mild face wash — I don’t like to use soap on my face. I also exfoliate twice a week to get rid of dead skin. Every now and then, I use fuller’s earth (multani mitti) to keep my skin woes at bay. Oh, and coconut oil — it’s really good for your skin. My nighttime ritual is one of the simplest and the most important one — taking off make-up before bed.
ELLE: Your self-care ritual?
SS: To keep myself hydrated.
Tracing Sonakshi’s stunning fitness evolution over the years:
The year was 2010, the debutant success stories ran along the lines of the leggy Deepika Padukone. Along came Sonakshi Sinha, having just dropped 30 kilos to bag a dream debut under the patronage of Salman Khan. She may have done her time in the gym, but the Dabangg actress was “very clear about what I wanted to project. I’ve always believed that women should look real and not like stick figures, so my aim was to look fit and healthy and not like a size zero model. I didn’t starve myself. I respect my body, love the shape I’m in and most importantly, I’m healthy.”
The blockbuster was followed closely on the heels by multiple 100-crore grossers, but through it all, Sonakshi ensured that she held on to who she was. “You won’t be able to lose weight if it’s for the wrong reason. I can't starve myself. I am curvaceous. I cannot be skinny. It is important to think what you want to be. Right now, I'm happy with the way I am,” she explained.
The release of Lootera washed up a fresh wave of online trolls determined to slot Sonakshi into the cookie cutter body standards of the industry. Her co-star Ranveer Singh stepped in to intervene on when the media pressure heated up during the movie’s release. It’s just as well though that Sonakshi had plenty of that body-positivity to pass around. “It's been four years, and yes, now I don't give a damn. My audience accepts me as I am. If my weight was really an issue, I would not be where I am today. People would not want to watch me onscreen, they would pay money for the tickets, as simple as that. And anyway who has an issue? Not the directors who are signing me, not the producers who are putting their money on me, not the audience, so who?” she dismissed.
The year 2014 had her gracing the cover of a health magazine, looking her fittest self yet. But before you get any ideas about Sonakshi buckling into societal pressure, she’d like to clarify: “I did want people to shut up, but that is not why I started working out; I did it for myself. I woke up one morning and thought let's not be lazy about it. When we do it for the right reason, the results show faster. After three weeks, my family told me I was looking thinner. My clothes went loose. People are using words like slim, sexy, and slender for me. Can you imagine? It feels good,” she beamed.
The internet, being the blackhole that it is, continued its free judgments until Sonakshi was goaded into clapping back the haters with an Instagram post:
To all those who keep commenting on my weight, whether it’s a full length picture, or a close up where you can’t see jack. Take a good look at this picture. Now get this:
1) This ain’t ever gonna be me.
2) Get over it.
3) I wish u could see which finger I hold up for shallow and idiotic people like yourself.
Tuning out all the critics’ chatter, she continued to focus her tunnel vision on reaching the goals she had set for herself before the shoot of Akira, that also happened to be her first film as the solo lead. Sonakshi cradled that responsibility with ease, while also delivering on the ass-kicking physique required of the titular character. “I had to do this for myself. Also, since I had one film, I had the time to maintain my physique. Fitness is not always about being thin or skinny. It’s about being fit, mentally and physically,” she asserted.
The 30-year-old has since gone to work being the fittest version of herself with an Instagram feed littered with enough high intensity workout videos to guilt you out of playing truant on your gym appointments. She simply explains, “When you see the results, you want them to last. You want to maintain that level.”
Come 2017, and Sonakshi brought in her 30th birthday with us, giving out major cool vibes to all her haters in all-black on the cover of ELLE June. How has her journey been thus far, clinging on to her sense of self-worth in an industry that could just as easily drown it out? “I was an overweight child, and I knew I’d never be an actor because I didn’t look the part. But it didn’t bother me, because I always felt I had so many other things to be confident about— I was well educated, I was good at sports and painting, and I could hold a conversation,” she smiles. Her parents, she says, are entirely to blame for her robust sense of self. “They were a really strong support system. I was never made to feel like I was less-than or that there was anything I could not do.”