Deciphering Shilpa Shetty Kundra's fitness secret is easy, as she has long been proclaiming fitness as her way of life. The actress has always been on top of her game from showing her dance moves on super hit Bollywood numbers to winning Celebrity Big Brother 5 in 2007. Her svelte body is enviable and what goes behind maintaining it is beyond laudable. She makes fitness sound fun and easy as opposed to those who paint a dreadful picture.
Fitness isn't always about following contemporary trends, but more about knowing your body and turning to your roots. That's exactly what Shilpa believes in. She loves her food and doesn't quite support the concept of dieting, "The word diet makes the mind believe that the body is being deprived, and this deprivation leads to cravings," she writes in her book, The Great Indian Diet.
Shilpa Shetty Kundra is a modern day propagator of all things Indian. In an interview with India Today she accepted having a "middle class Indian palate".She joyously indulges in her plate of rajma-chawal over and above her other loved treats, and when it comes to her favourite cuisine, the answer is plain and simple - Indian food, especially when cooked by her mum.
If Instagram is believed to be a window into her world, one can't help but call Shilpa a die-hard foodie. From redolent curries, to dosas, pani puri and desserts, you look at her happily digging into some lip-smacking delicacies. Then suddenly, you find her breaking into the yogic warrior pose - she nails the balancing act, beautifully!
When Shilpa Shetty Kundra came out with her book, The Great Indian Diet, Busting the Big Fat Myth, she took the fitness industry by storm. She and her health coach Luke Coutinho penned down fitness revelations that shattered some of the most popular beliefs. One of them demystified the importance of ghee or clarified butter in our regular diet. It came as a shock when the world - that denounces ghee - read about clarified butter being a regular component in Shilpa's daily diet. "I have a tablespoon of ghee every day for lunch. It is very important," she added. While many scratched their heads in bewilderment, most got the crux right - why run after the West when your own home has the best?
"I think we tend to complicate things and the way we live our lives," she noted in one of her interviews. According to her, a standard Indian meal is simple and constructed in a way to meet your entire nutritional requirement for the day. When the many components of this balanced diet start disappearing, health issues surface.
"Everybody is so weight-obsessed that they forget about focusing on health. That's what the book brings to focus," she said.
The actress loves her share of white butter and everything mouthwatering; it is her mantra of portion control and eating in small intervals that does the trick. She vouches for the power of substituting regular ingredients with their healthier counterparts. For example, her son Viaan usually gets a glass of lemon-honey water and almond cookies after he returns from playing outdoors. "It's only made of almond flour," she told India Today.
In an informal chat with a leading daily, Shilpa gave away few of her thumb rules to a healthy lifestyle. Good sleep and a disciplined life are paramount in her life. She also stressed the significance of choosing home-grown ingredients over the imported ones. "Replace all things white with brown when it comes to your meals," she noted. Shilpa prefers buffalo's milk over cow's owing to its rich iron content. She has warm water with lemon juice first thing in the morning, followed by her breakfast.
Her lunch is usually between 12-1 pm and she refrains from eating anything post 8 pm. "Make sure your dinner includes some soup. Do not eat anything raw post 6pm, not even fruits. Do not have anything post 8pm other than water. Avoid aerated drinks and junk food," she told HT. According to her, one shouldn't eat at least two-three hours before sleeping. Food should be chewed properly to facilitate digestion and breakfast should be the largest meal of the day, full of fibre and fruits.
Shilpa would probably be one of the first few celebrities associated with popularising yoga. With the release of her yoga DVDs, the age-old science of fitness and well-being reached the masses and made yoga 'cool'.
Just like any new mother, the actress had to deal with her postpartum weight gain. "It was not easy for me to lose it. I had my insecurities, that's why I decided to write this book. Every other person used to ask me how did you lose weight. I started doing yoga and started eating healthy and I lost 32 kg in four and half months. If you put your mind to it, it's not difficult," quoted IANS.
The more one reads about this stunner, the more one realises that Shilpa Shetty Kundra's lifestyle is a microscopic analysis of our ancestral wisdom, working it in tandem with the modern way of life. Her interviews don't suggest her speaking against any food group or supplementing diet with powders or capsules. Her fitness regime - a combination of yoga, cardio and weight training - rests heavily on increasing stamina rather than achieving a certain body type. It is noticeable that Shilpa's fitness mantra revolves around a harmonious marriage between a balanced diet and ample physical activity. In a world of cross-fit and HIIT (high intensity interval training), she turns to virbhadrasana and haldi doodh.
And, most importantly, she doesn't forget her cheat days of unbridled indulgence.
Top image via Shilpa Shetty Kundra/instagram