Stars and fitness junkies spill their secrets, reveal their mantras, and offer quick fixes on how to keep things in check during the indulgent party season.
By Team Indulge
Actor Raashi’s a stickler for fitness and eating right. And the holiday season doesn’t deter her from sticking to her strict routine. “The trick is to keep working out and avoid eating at parties as much as possible during the holiday season,” says the Tollywood actor. “I work out six days a week for 90 minutes each. I don’t have to modify it, because it is an intense mix of strength training and cardio,” she adds. For those who want their pan greased and the lard in the attic (for a variation of the cake idiom), Raashi says, “I eat the major part of my meal at home before I head to a party. That way, there is no chance of over-indulgence.” The actor has a word of caution for those planning to go on a crash diet. “Fad diets take away your glow and give you mood swings. I think balancing those sweet treats with regular workouts is the best way to stay in shape. If you detest working out, try taking a 60-minute walk at a park near you.” Sounds doable, right? For plum cake lovers, the star offers a handy tip. “Avoid eating anything sweet post-4 pm.” Winter also means cold dry air wreaking havoc on one’s skin. “My skin is cleansed, toned and moisturised daily. I swear by Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate. It works wonders, especially during this season.
Model Having won the title of Miss Chennai in 2009, this model made us sit up and take notice of her lean, fit body and flawless dusky skin. Sahithya, who was one of the top 25 Femina Miss India contestants in 2014, made her acting debut in Gautham Menon’s bilingual film Neethane En Ponvasantham (2012), going on to star in two more flicks. The 27-yearold says that though she’s a bit lazy when it comes to working out, she tries to make things fun. “I like mixing things up. Belly dancing is a great option. it works on your abs and isolates the muscles in that area, making them stronger,” says the Chennai-based model and emcee. Keeping the festive season in mind, Sahithya says, “Eating in small quantities is important.” Talking about her radiant skin, Sahithya prefers a home remedy of coconut, to keep the winter dryness at bay.
Actor Pelli Choopulu actor Ritu trains hard and doesn’t want to take a break from her routine, come Christmas or New Year. “I work out in the gym about three to four times a week with my personal trainer. Fitness is extremely important to me,” says the actor. Eating right is paramount, she adds. “I always make sure I’m well-hydrated. Also, if I’m at a party and eat what I shouldn’t, I make sure I work out really hard the next day instead of feeling guilty.” Ritu suggests you mix things up to make things interesting in the gym. “There are so many different regimens you can choose from. Opt for cardio or strength training, depending your requirements. Activities like Zumba and kickboxing are fun and effective,” she says.
Actor Rakul, who owns a franchise of the F45 gym in Hyderabad, is armed with oodles of self-control and won’t be swayed by festivals. “Even if I cheat, I ensure I’m in control and work out a couple of hours extra. I do let go when the occasion demands it and recommend that everybody does so, as nothing happens if you cheat for a day,” says Rakul, adding that she has become fitness obsessed of late. The one trick that keeps her in her svelte form? She doesn’t eat after 10 pm when she’s out partying. Rakul believes fitness is a way of life rather than a means to an end. “You have to take it up as a lifestyle change, not a 15- or 20-day challenge for the New Year,” says the actor, adding, “I believe in the ‘three-bite’ rule — if I want to have an ice-cream and it’s not the right time of day, I just take one bite. This helps cut the cravings. You have the second bite as you like the taste, and by the time you have the third bite, you no longer crave it. Every time you feel like indulging, think of the effort you have to put in later to burn it. Stick to small quantities.” When it comes to skincare, home remedies are her goto. “I have a combination skin, which doesn’t get too dry. I use a face pack made with honey, curd, and papaya. It makes the skin supple. Banana with curd is also great for the winter,” she says.
Actor Roopesh’s weight-loss journey is an inspiring one. The director-turned-actor went from 95 to 75 kilos in two months! The 36-year-old took the old-school route—gruelling hours at the gym coupled with a rigorous yet balanced diet plan that excludes dairy, sugar, rice and starch. “I play the antagonist in the upcoming movie Oru Mexican Aparatha, which is set in the ’70s, and deals with college politics. While shooting a promo song, I first saw myself onscreen. That’s when the realisation hit home, hard. My transformation inspired actor Kunchacko Boban to hit the gym as well,” claims the director, who helmed popular flicks like You Too Brutus. As he had 60 days before shooting resumed, he took his co-star Tovino Thomas’ advice and started working out with citybased fitness expert Shyjan Augustine, who also trains the actors Unni Mukundan and Nivin Pauly. “I will try to stick to my original workout plan during the holiday season. It involves three hours of cardio — treadmill, ground exercises and cross-training — in the morning, followed by three hours of compound weight training in the evenings,” says the actor, adding that before heading out to parties, he munches on honey-infused hazelnut granola bars to stave off the hunger pangs. Hoping to shed a few kilos to fit into that NYE suit? Roopesh reveals his diet secrets — a cup of green tea and a robusta (pre-workout) followed by brown bread and egg whites for breakfast, two rotis, steamed broccoli and grilled fish for lunch, and oats for dinner. “Feel free to indulge during social gatherings, especially Christmas and New Year. But remember, moderation is key,” cautions Roopesh.
You are what you eat. This adage lies at the heart of Rajeev’s fitness philosophy. “Eighty per cent of my workout mantra is centred on diet. Between shoots, whenever I hit the gym, I focus on 45 minutes of weight training to keep my body fat content below 10 per cent,” shares Pillai, who received rave reviews for his performance in the recent blockbuster film Oru Muthassi Gadha. The former dentist and model from Tiruvalla insists there are no shortcuts to ‘get fit quick’, and encourages enthusiasts to take up mixed martial arts (MMA). “My regimen involves jiujitsu, capoeira, karate, boxing and CrossFit, under the watchful eye of city-based trainer Midhun Jith, a two-time kickboxing world champion and Guinness Record holder,” says the buff actor, who will soon be seen in Kerala’s first yet-to-be-titled neo-noir thriller directed by Ajay Devaloka. For online pointers on workout routines (if only to renew those New Year resolutions), Rajeev suggests the YouTube channel UlissesWorld, run by two-time MuscleMania champ Ulisses Jr.
Squash champion The first Indian to break into the top 10 in the PSA world ranking and currently ranked 23, Dipika is one of India’s most loved sportswomen. An adrenaline junkie like her cricketer husband, Dinesh Karthik, the squash player says they work out together and love to try adventure sports. Dipika says the festive season has not changed her fitness schedule. “I train every day, except the Christmas weekend.” A self-confessed foodie, she has her cheat days too, but they come at a price. “I put in an extra hour to work out to strike that balance.” When it comes to skincare, Dipika believes in keeping it simple. “I don’t experiment with products. I stick to Clinique or Giorgio Armani moisturiser and Estee Lauder night repair face oil,” she shares.
The 31-year-old Arjun, last seen in Ki & Ka, is admired for his weight-loss before his debut with Ishaqzaade. The six-foot tall actor admits that going to the gym is like breathing. “Don’t you take a shower every day? Going to the gym is similar — it becomes a part of your lifestyle,” he says. Arjun, who walked the ramp for Falguni and Shane Peacock at the recent Blenders Pride Fashion Tour 2016 in Bengaluru, shares a few personal pointers on how to stay fit this season. “Choose your parties wisely, don’t attend all, or else you will end up overeating. The second rule is to eat dinner early. Eat whatever you want, but eat by 6 pm, and avoid bread and rice as much as you can. Plus, drink lots of water to stay hydrated.” The actor also insists on working out for a fixed duration of time every day, no matter what time of the day you choose.
She made her debut with the Telugu film 1: Nenokkadine, opposite Mahesh Babu. She was then introduced to Bollywood with Heropanti, opposite Tiger Shroff. Dilwale, backed by a cast including Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol and Varun Dhawan, took Kriti’s career to the next level. Through all her onand off-screen appearances, Kriti’s lean frame remains as striking as ever. She quips, “I love to eat, and that means I often cheat.” That’s why she works out every single day of the week. Kriti’s regimen includes weight training and Pilates with Yasmin Karachiwala. For the party season, she sticks to a few rituals to stay fit. “Five most important things to follow are — drink juices and lots of water, work out every day, eat light, ideally before 7 pm, and avoid carbs,” she says. Her secret potion: “A vegetable juice blend of beetroot, carrot, lemon, mint and cucumber. It fills me up and I get my share of veggies in the morning,” reveals the star.
Parul, who will soon be seen in the Sandalwood remake of Kangana Ranaut’s 2014 film Queen, says she prefers to eat before stepping out for a party. “Food at cocktail parties is generally unhealthy, so eat before you go – a salad, light meal, or a protein shake. You won’t arrive starving and be tempted to eat everything in sight!” As for updating her fitness regimen for the holidays, she says, “It is essential to know how each season affects the body and personalise your diet. Hydrate properly, drink three litres of water a day.” Breaking things down, she explains, “With entrées and mains, ensure that your plate is made of 25 per cent protein, 25 per cent low GI foods and/or wholegrain carbs, while the remaining 50 per cent should be salads (mind the dressing) or vegetables.” She also advises stepping up on work outs. “Don’t skip exercising. Even a stroll or a toning session should be enough.”