Katrina Kaif in an exclusive chat with mid-day talks about how to maintain that chiselled physique as she turns ambassador for a fitness apparel brand

When Not Shooting

As of today, [while prepping for a role], I do high-intensity functional exercises, which include plyometric jumps, box jumps and other similar dynamic movements. These are difficult. So I don’t do them all the time. When I’m in between achieving a goal, I take it easy and give my body time to relax. I prefer pilates, which is gentler, and provides a wholesome [workout]. Also, I like classical weight-training; not one that increases the heart rate too much. I enjoy swimming and movement oriented workouts [that combine] yoga and functional training into a cardiovascular pattern. I literally decide the night before what I’m going to do the next day.

Training For Reel

[My routine is crafted] to achieve the required look for a film. In Tiger Zinda Hai, I wanted to look like someone who is capable of pulling off that kind of action, so, I needed the tone and definition. For Bharat, [where I played a] girl from the ’70s and ’90s, I could not look like someone who goes to the gym. So, I stopped functional training entirely for that period, and did only pilates and yoga. I enjoyed the break. For a film that demands a [heightened] level of fitness, a stage show or photo-shoot, I will tweak my routine to include high-intensity work, cardiovascular exercises, and swimming. I mix it up. I find it exciting to mould my physique based on the demand. Yet, I am always in touch with some fitness form.

Watching What I Eat

I realised early on that fad diets like Keto neither interest me nor work in my favour. I adopt [basic] principles like cutting out refined sugar, dairy, gluten, and oily foods. You follow these and you can have an enjoyable [meal plan]. I stay away from foods that are inflammatory, and eat a good amount of protein, vegetables, and carbs like rice and sweet potatoes. I keep my meals light after 7 pm. But, if I’m trying to achieve a target or prepare for a role, I follow a strict diet.

To Women Who Look Up To You As A Fitness Icon

I am not blessed with a high basal metabolic rate. In fact, when I started training, I was advised to increase my resting BMR. I’ve been lucky to get great advice. Each woman must decide what is right for her. Don’t make fitness about another person. It shouldn’t feel like a struggle. Women must understand that if there are targets, there are ways to achieve them. Choose something that suits you and makes you feel good.

How Action And Dance Training Affects Fitness

You increase your energy output with dance or action training. When you are training for an activity for three hours a day, you’re burning so many more calories. So, if I undergo that training, the body will respond. Also, the level of fitness achieved via such movements is hard to replicate in the gym, because dance and action employ natural movements from the body. They are hard to mimic in a gym [set-up]. So, one will be in better shape when doing such training.

Things I’ll never eat – Refined sugar, dairy and gluten

What works for me – A mix of pilates and cardio has always been great

On scheduling – I enjoy a mix of workouts, including swimming, HIIT, pilates and functional training. I literally decide the night before what I’ll do the next day