Bollywood’s fitness fanatics: Sonakshi Sinha on making a lifestyle change once and for all

Sonakshi Sinha

Sonakshi Sinha says she allows herself to satisfy culinary cravings once a month — but only if she puts in an extra 20 minutes in the gym. Str/AFP/Getty Images



Ever wonder how Bollywood’s top stars stay in such great shape? Well, you can stop wondering because Shama Bhagat of the Hindustan Times was able to sweat out some fitness tips from four of the Indian entertainment industry’s favouite stars: Akshay KumarSonakshi SinhaAnil Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor. In this article, Sonakshi Sinha describes how she incorporated fitness into her daily routine.

Sonakshi Sinha was a bright chubby girl before she decided to storm Bollywood. But in no time, she successfully fought the battle of the bulge and proved to the country and the industry that fitness isn’t just about being thin — a misconception which even she believed.

“Since I love food, I wasn’t ready to give it up easily. My mom would often chide me into losing weight, but I turned a deaf ear.

“Dad was more concerned about my well-being. But my love for food made me come up with every possible excuse to avoid exercising or dieting.”

Sonakshi was motivated by Salman Khan.

“He was after me to lose weight and when I realized he was serious about signing me for Dabangg (2009), I decided to do it.”

But the process wasn’t easy.

“It involved giving up what I loved the most — good food,” she says. “But when I started training, I realized that fitness is actually a combination of physical and mental wellness. Fitness involves bringing about a change in your lifestyle, which includes choosing the right food, exercising regularly and thinking positive. And it leaves you feeling healthy from within.”

“Weight loss is not about shedding fat, it’s an emotional journey. You start feeling good not only on the outside, but on the inside, too. I would love to tell my fans this, and encourage them to stay fit and eat healthy.”

Sonakshi first hit the gym when she started preparing herself for her Bollywood debut.

“Since I had never been to the gym, my trainer chalked out a plan for me. It included a variety of exercises, cardio, weight training and spinning. I was also made to do squats and abdominal crunches. The initial days were extremely difficult. My body ached so much that I found it hard to even wake up in the morning,” says Sonakshi, who then started getting her body used to the workout.

Sonakshi Sinha

Sonakshi Sinha works out four to five times a week for an hour and a half each day. Str/AFP/Getty Images

“I began visiting the gym twice a day. As I started losing weight, staying fit was the foremost thing on my mind. Suddenly, the weighing machine was my best friend. I loved keeping track of how much I lost each day. And even a 500 gram increase in my weight would worry me and encourage me to put in more effort.”

The actor is currently training with Yasmin Karachiwala, who works out with her four to five times a week for an hour and a half each day.

“I am now focusing on losing a little more weight and toning my body further, my workout is high on cardio and functional training. I have recently incorporated cycling and swimming in my regimen as well. When I do not have the time for my routine, I go for a swim or a jog. I also play tennis,” she says.

In terms of her diet, giving up food was the most difficult thing for Sonakshi to do.

“But my trainer put me on a healthy diet, which didn’t make me hungry, though I had to give up junk food. I started with a high-protein diet and then cut down my carbohydrate intake. I lost almost four kilos the first month and I was super kicked. That motivated me further,” she says.

Luckily, she doesn’t feel the urge to binge.

“I am allowed to satisfy my cravings once a month, but only after spending an extra 20 minutes in the gym. I have lots of water and green tea to hydrate myself. That’s very important. I have dal, chicken, egg whites and fish for protein and lots of salads,” she says.

Sonakshi eats small meals every three hours to keep her energy levels high. She attends hot yoga classes three times a week and then hits the gym.

“Since I have a tendency to put on weight, I really can’t go easy on my workout. So no matter how busy I am, I have to make time for the gym and lead a disciplined life.”

“Good skin and hair are in my genes,” says Sonakshi. “But I drink lots of water to keep my skin fresh and religiously follow the cleansing, toning and moisturizing routine every day. I never leave home without an SPF 50 sunscreen and I remove makeup before I sleep.”

Continuous shoots mean she has to keep changing her hairstyles, so she pampers her hair with olive oil and coconut oil massages.

“I eat fish and fish oil supplements to keep my hair healthy,” she says.

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