If you have seen the latest rom-com Tu Joothi Main Makkaar chances are that Shraddha Kapoor’s razor-sharp waistline and her toned bikini body has caught your attention. The actor has been training with Maahek Nair her fitness and nutrition coach for over a decade. “Shraddha was always a lean girl. Over the years we have been working together on building strength, endurance, mobility, flexibility and balance. She’s a much fitter version of herself now. For the movie Tu Joothi Main Makkaar, I put her on a specific workout regime and diet as she had to develop a body that is hot and toned and, at the same time, not too ripped,” says Nair. Kapoor who started her acting career with the Amitabh Bachchan and R Madhavan starrer Teen Patti (2010), headlines filmmaker Luv Ranjan's recently released movie Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar, co-starring Ranbir Kapoor.
Kapoor makes no excuse to miss getting in a quick and consistent workout, no matter how busy or swamped her schedule is. The actor trains for an hour three-five times a week. “We always begin with a five-minute meditation to set the mind for a great workout. This is followed by five minutes of foam-rolling, 10 minutes static stretching and 10 minutes of mobility drills. The last 25 minutes is a combination of Strength and Endurance workouts along with gymnastics. We close with a five-minute meditation to relax the body,” says the seasoned trainer who is also the co-founder of Body Pro Coach, a fitness organisation in Mumbai.
A firm believer in the power of shunya, the Baaghi 3 (2020) actor has been meditating on it. “Shunya, or zero, to me is the ultimate number and the ultimate achievement. Attaining a state of zero is returning to our original state where we are full of positivity, purity and goodness, zero worries, zero stress, just a feeling of calm. Zero is everything I want to be, that's the power of shunya," she said in an Instagram post recently.
Nair accompanied Kapoor on the international leg of the shooting in Spain and Mauritius. “The schedule was extremely tight with shootings and dance rehearsals. So, we would train as early as 5.30 in the morning. The extreme heat which makes you thirsty and breathless made things very challenging. But we pulled it off and stayed on our target,” says Nair. To keep things exciting, Nair uses various equipment, such as TRX (a form of suspension training that uses body-weight exercises to develop strength, balance, flexibility and core stability simultaneously) and ViPR (hollow, rubber, cylindrical weights used for resistance training). She also mixes things up with a combination of Bosu ball (a half dome-shaped ball used for balance), Pilates, etc. Athletic-based drills, such as short explosive sprints, side runs, burpees and lunge walks were also added.
Kapoor also ensures she makes dancing a part of her cardio workout. “I shut myself in a room, play loud music and dance for hours till my feet give up. I make sure I dance one or two hours a day even on a holiday. Yes, there are few days when you feel that you don't want to do anything but I still step up and do it,” she says.
Kapoor turned a vegetarian (though she eats eggs) a few years ago out of her love for animals and the planet. She starts her day with either poha, upma, kakdi chi bhakri, idli, dosa or daliya. Kapoor loves to indulge in seasonal fruits, mango being a favourite. “Shraddha is a huge foodie who loves ghar ka khana, especially dal, chawal and pickle. So, initially it was difficult to put her on a diet. But now she herself chooses healthy options and doesn’t binge on anything. She pre-plans her meals in such a way that a healthy option is always at hand.” For the movie schedule, Kapoor’s diet was split in two phases. "In phase one, where she had a lot of dancing and shooting in extreme heat for long hours, I put her on moderate carbs, protein and fat diet. Some of the dishes included tofu steak with lots of veggies, sprout salad, beetroot and paneer tikki, sprout and spinach tikki, gluten-free pasta with veggies, etc. She was on a lot of liquids as it was extremely hot. Vegetable juices, amla, ginger and turmeric juice, BCAA (branched-chain amino acids) powder supplements, lemon water with mint, etc., were added to tackle dehydration."
"For the second phase, which included a lot of beach scenes and where the abdomen had to look lean with no water retention, I incorporated meals high in fibre, moderate protein, less carbs and less fat. We also followed 14-16 hours intermittent fasting during this phase," says Nair. All the meals were macro counted and comprised more of leaf-based salad bowls, vegetable soups and protein Buddha bowls. Treats consisted of almond flour cheesecake with saffron and pistachios every 15 days. “Though she doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth, she would wait eagerly for the cake day. Vada pav with green chillies is her actual weakness!”
According to Nair, Kapoor dedicates a few hours each day for "self love". “She keeps this time for herself where she meditates and reads. Shraddha is a voracious reader and can gobble up a book in a day or two if she finds the time. Motivational books, books on loving, living and positivity are her thing,” says Nair.