Filmfare July 09: Fitness with Sonam
On How To Keep That Flab At Bay
> Exercise regularly. It helps you stay fit, flexible and improves blood circulation. Do a combination of stretch exercises, along with cardiovascular and some strength training.
> Do a lot of deep breathing exercises. Most of us don't breathe right and that causes a lot of health problems.
> Don't starve yourself but try and eat as healthy as possible. Avoid red meat and trans fats which are found in cakes and biscuits. Everyone has a tendency to munch on biscuits when they are hungry. Switch to a healthier snack like soya chaklis or peanuts.
> Avoid white processed foods like sugar, salt, white bread and white rice.
> Supplement your diet with a good amount of proteins like soya, chicken, eggs, fish, paneer and tofu.
> Stay well hydrated by consuming lots of water, green tea and a variety of vegetable juices. I read somewhere that green tea washes out the oil in the body.
> Never sleep on a full stomach. Have your dinner at least two to three hours prior to your bedtime. Oily and heavy dishes are taboo at night.
> Get the necessary right hours of sleep. That helps your body regenerate cells. If your body is rested, it will work better towards staying healthy.
> Go for massages when you can. They help relax your stressed muscles. A deep tissue massage can do wonders to refresh and uplift you.
> Above all, always feel good about yourself no matter what size you are!
What Sonam Kapoor always carries in her purse!
Sonam: I always carry a SPF. My cell phone, I cannot do without it. My IPod, I love music. A hairbrush. I have a perfume; I’ve got the biggest collection of perfumes ever! Right now I’m carrying Silver Rain by La Prairie. I have my Blackberry, because I’m always online. Some blank paper and a pen because I’m always jotting down things. And I have to carry a camera too. I like taking pictures.
Sonam Kapoor once was over 80 kilograms (about 180 pounds) when offered Saawariya. After she returned from Singapore, she got into weight training with Shervir and Monisha as well as artistic yoga with Bharat Thakur. She sticked to a very healthy diet, took good care of her skin and eyebrows, took dance lessons, as well as acting and diction classes
Sonam Kapoor lost weight for Saawariya by eating five small meals a day, took to gymming and yoga, and stuck to a fixed calorie intake. She didn't really sacrifice much, she ate everything but in absolute moderation.
Being Sonam Kapoor
Sonam Kapoor makes most women I know want to be like her. Naturally beautiful, super-fit and radiating health and happiness! She burst into the scene after a major weight-loss programme and has not looked back since. She's the quintessential Prevention woman who took charge of her weight, health and came out looking fabulous! We caught up with Sonam during the shoot of her forthcoming film Aisha based on Jane Aausten's Emma.
Peshawaris love rich food, how do you deal with your genes?
We are from Peshawar-a city where rich food and eating with abandon are a way of life. I am very proud of my roots. But I realise it is neither healthy nor practical to live that way. Being an actor, I cannot afford to be sloppy. I need to be healthy all year round. Of course, having a health-conscious mother has been a blessing. She's always made sure we ate wholesome meals, and as a family, we avoid overeating.
So how did you end up putting on weight?
I was in a boarding school in Singapore for two years and somehow put on a lot of weight while I was there. Since I never planned on a film career, I neglected my diet and put on so much weight.
When did you decide to lose weight?
I would have continued being obese and unhealthy but for director Sanjay Leela Bhansali. I started assisting him on Black, and one day out of the blue he asked me to take up acting. Acting in films means having a fit body. So I started working on my weight. Eventually he offered me Saawariya. But to set the record straight, I had actually started losing weight before I was offered any film.
Tell us about your battle plan
In all fairness, it was my mother who helped me get rid of my excess weight. The first thing she did was to keep me off the stuff I was so fond of chocolates, ice creams, fried foods and sweets. My goal was to lose 35 kilos. I started weight training with trainers Shervir and Monisha; artistic yoga and Power Yoga with Bharat Thakur; Pilates with Yasmin Karachiwala and general fitness with trainer Zarine Watson. My training in Kathak helped me too. It's a vigorous form of classical dance and helps you get a toned body. In addition, Zarine put me on six small meals a day that are low on carbs and high on protein. My breakfast consisted of oatmeal and fruits. Post-workout, I had brown bread with egg whites. Afterwards, it was a protein shake with juice. Lunch comprised dal, sabzi, one ragi roti, salad and a piece of chicken or fish. The evening snack was high-fibre crackers with chicken cold cuts or egg whites. At dinner, it was soup, salad and a piece of chicken or fish. I followed this routine for a year and lost 35 kilos in all!
How do you keep healthy?
I never binge and eat everything in moderation. Also, I never ignore my cravings. I eat whenever a craving strikes, but in small portions. When I felt like chocolates three weeks ago, I didn't hold back, I took a small piece. When I'm travelling I carry an apple or sandwich or health bars to satisfy myself without piling on excess calories. My grandmother taught me to sip on warm water first thing in the morning. It flushes out toxins from the system. I follow it up with honey and lime water. Another must for me is a no smoking atmosphere, at home, work or in public places.
A lot of people still think starving can help you stay slim
Yeah, looking at my figure people often assume that I don't eat much. On the contrary, I eat every two hours. Since my day is packed with strenuous physical activity, shooting, swimming or dancing. I never allow myself to go hungry for too long. If I feel peckish I snack on nuts and dry fruits. Drinking plenty of fluids through the day is also a must for me. I drink coconut water every hour or two; it not only quenches my thirst but also helps me feel full. Other natural drinks such as cucumber juice and buttermilk also help me stay hydrated and keep my energy levels up. I am quite particular about avoiding fried foods and sweets. Salt and sugar are silent killers so I consume both in moderation by switching to natural sugars and seasoning in my food.
What is your fitness routine?
I was very sporty in school and played rugby, basketball and other games regularly. This has helped me develop flexibility to step in and out of different exercise routines with ease. I feel cardiovascular exercises work best for me in combination with weight training. Each day of the week I focus on a particular body part, such as the abdomen, arms, shoulders or waist. I do 30 minutes of cardio every day. Two days a week I follow it up with dance exercises learnt from Ashley Lobo. On other days I practise Bharat Thakur's Power Yoga. It is very strenuous but has immense health benefits. In summer, I like to swim as much as I can. Whenever I get the time, I play squash too, which requires a lot of strength. I try to do different workouts and balance them out in order to keep my motivation high; plus mixing exercises helps burn more calories.
What are your learnings from your weight-loss journey?
Erratic work schedules often make maintaining your weight difficult. But it's possible as long as you eat healthy every day and work out a bit daily. Also, it's important to undergo a medical check up to ensure that you haven't put on weight due to a medical condition.
What's next on your agenda?
I thought I had slimmed down enough but my father got me a fat-free, sugar-free cake on my birthday this year, just to remind me that I am in an industry full of female actors who are slimmer than me! I know I need to be on top of my weight. Not because I'm vain, because I have reached a stage when I cannot be anything but healthy!.
Sonam's food diary
Breakfast: An egg white omelette, a toast, a seasonal fruit, a glass of warm water. When bored with this, I try an idli, or poha.
Lunch: Chicken, rotis, a seasonal vegetable, curd and fruits. I try to avoid red meat. Once in a blue moon, I do have white rice too. My rotis are made of bajra, bran, or jowar, or any low grade protein-rich wheat. I also have a few cups of tea without sugar through the day.
Dinner: What time I eat dinner is more important than what I eat. I usually have it by 6:30 pm. On most days it is a veg/chicken sandwich, salad, and may be some crispy French fries (but not too many!). I also enjoy fish-grilled, or cooked in a spartan gravy. If I still feel hungry then I end my day with a glass of soya milk or a protein shake before going to bed. In addition, I take multi-vitamins.
- Prevention Magazine - October 2009
Her debut flick Saawariya might have bombed at the Box Office but Sonam Kapoor surely got noticed and was in contention to be called as the latest bombshell to hit B-town circuit. The sultry actress who has proved that she could carry off any role with panache, be it that of the girl next door or of a more glamorized look, is now awing everybody with her inspiring fashion ommph poses on the cover pages the desi issues of some of the leading international fashion magazines such as Grazia, Verve, Lofficiel.
Quite unlike other leading actresses who are going all out to fit into size zero and then fit into the cover page frame, Sonam is banking upon her toned body, something that caught the eye of the fashionistas ever since her debut.
Speaking to a news daily as to what fashion means to her, Sonam said: "I understand fashion and all these young girls working in these magazines are my age and I like to work with them as they are kicked about doing new things just like me! I have no particular agendas when I do a cover shoot for a magazine. I am open to different things and experimenting with my look. I am fine with a buffoon look, sober Indian look, boho, grunge... etc as I love to play around with my look."
Be it the somber Indian bridal dress-up or the classic cosmopolitan chick look, Sonam surely rocks them all. Good going for this Kapoor kid!
Sonam’s top 14 style must-haves:
My Bag: Make that ‘bags’. I love big bags. I have Prada’s skin bag and fringe bag, a few Chanels, three Marc Jacobs including the quilted Stam bag, a fabulous silver Gucci my mom gifted me and several Swarovski evening clutches.
In my bag: Two phones - one iPhone and one Nokia, a Conair hairbrush, a Valentino wallet, credit cards, cash, a club membership card, a Jill Thompson make-up case, Neutrogena sunscreen with SPF 45, a couple of perfumes - Daisy by Marc Jacobs, Silver Rain by La Prairie and Michael by Michael Kors, MAC lip balm, Creme de la Mer cream, moisturiser by Lancome, Chanel and MAC cheek tints, vitamins...
Flats or heels? Both. I love Christian Louboutin and Chanel shoes. Right now i’m loving my Jimmy Choo silver flats too. Sneakers by Stella McCartney for Adidas, and Nike. Embroidered mojris from Lucknow.
Best places to shop: The best place for fashion is New York. I pick up stuff from department stores, the Village, 5th Avenue and vintage stores. In fact, i picked up a vintage Chanel couture dress and some great pieces by Missoni, YSL and Diane von Furstenburg in vintage stores. It helps that I’m a size 4.
Favourtie designers: Chanel, YSL, John Galliano for Dior, Chloe, Balenciaga, John Paul Gaultier for his embroidered coats, Diane von Furstenburg, Prada for everything, Anamika Khanna, Anurada Vakil for her creative use of Indian textiles, Rajesh Pratap Singh for his sheath dresses, Manish Arora (who i can’t wear but still admire) and Abu Jani-Sandeep Khosla.
At airports I splurge on: Perfumes, creams and dvds.
Secret of my long healthy hair: I oil massage it regularly and plait it every night. I use Kerastase products.
Fashion icons i admire: Sienna Miller for her style, Charlize Theron and Nicole Kidman who look great on the red carpet, Keira Knightley sometimes, Dita von Teese for being so much fun, Beyonce who’s managed to make an unconventional body type seem hot, Shobhaa De for her saris, my sister Rhea Kapoor and my mom. Also Rita Dhody and Karisma Kapoor for looking great in jeans and no make-up.
What I’m wearing alot: Skinny jeans that make my legs look good, high-waisted and flared jeans by J&Company, and Wolford tights under everything when its cold.
Favourite jeans: J&Company, Diesel and True Religion, by Victoria Beckham.
What I’d buy next: For my mom, a diamond-encrusted Hermes Birkin; for my sister, a black Kelly and for my dad, an Armani suit and a diamond-encrusted Breguet watch.
Watches i own: Cartier, Breguet and Bvlgari. My dad spoils me rotten.
Fashion horror: I hate wedge heels. I think they look hideous.
Craziest fashion thing I’ve done: I was 14 and visiting my mom’s best friend in London. I bought black nail polish and lipstick. My parents were horrorified.
Sonam Kapoor's seven hair care tips:
1-Eat healthy, have multivitamin and cod liver oil capsules and use L’Oreal. It is the best hair treatment.
2-Almond hair oil is the best to use. Use Elvive shampoo and conditioner by L’Oreal according to your hair type. Comb only after drying.
3-Protect hair with sun block and if one has dry hair, then apply leave-in conditioner to the ends.
4-Keep in mind your face cut, thickness of hair, height and build, and of course, your style quotient while going for a haircut/hairstyle change.
5-Colouring/ straightening/ perming hair permanently is completely possible with the right products and hair care.
6-Accessorise your hair with hair bands, jewels, combs, braids or beads.
7-My secret: I always plait my hair before sleeping. That's the best way to avoid breaking the hair.