Charming actor & fitness enthusiast, Nikita Dutta is a finalist of Femina Miss India 2012. She rose to fame with Television Shows and later made her Bollywood debut. She comes from a defence background which has always kept her on her toes and led her to a healthy lifestyle. She is truly a powerhouse of energy as she loves to run and has been running the 21 km marathon in Mumbai for the past 4 years. Her flexible body speaks highly of her fitness levels. Be it yoga or weight training, she loves to keep up with her exercise routines.
Here is an exclusive conversation with her which provides an insight to her life and workouts!
-In conversation with Gitanjali Mangal
When and how did you step into acting?
Honestly, I did not really have a childhood dream of becoming an actor. The kind of family I belong to, a stable job is something which is always looked at positively. I have been an Economics Hons student, so my family thought I would choose the banking career or something like that, but it was during college that I happened to win a Navy pageant. So then right after that I took part in Miss India, and I still did not want to get into acting. So I started with anchoring a few shows and it is only then that I got to act very briefly which was what initiated my getting aboard this profession.
And what about your journey of fitness? Have you always been so passionate about it?
I have always been into sports since my father is in the Navy and I come from a background where there have been a lot of outdoor activities. I used to play basketball when I was in school. But at the same time, it was not that fitness was a priority. I never really gave it that much importance. I think since the time I started acting, I got a little serious about being fit and started looking at it as a part of life that is necessary and you have to make it a routine and not just do it when you feel like. Itâ€™s been seven years now that I participated in Miss India and that is when I had to lose a few kilos and from the very beginning, I was sure that I had to lose it the right way, so I slogged a lot. At that time, I did not have a lot of knowledge, I did not know the right way to exercise, and what all to do in the gym. So just like a common person I would simply go for a run because I thought it was the easiest way. Yes, I have been prone to injuries, as I have had setbacks because of not having enough knowledge. I think after that the more I got to know about fitness, the more I have grown.
How do you keep yourself motivated?
I think the biggest motivation is to look at your â€˜beforeâ€™ pictures, you should know that you donâ€™t want to go back there (laughs!). But jokes apart, I think more than the physical part it gives you a healthy state of mind. I think once you get into a routine, even when you are on a holiday or shooting, first focus is to find a gym nearby, and calculate the dates you can work out on. So once it gets into your system, however busy you are you will take time out for that.
And what about your diet? Do you count your calories obsessively?
Yes I do! A lot of times I have tried to get out of this habit and I think you should not look at food as calories but just as food. When you are eating wholesome and eating right, you donâ€™t really have to look at your macros and calories. I do have my cheat days but I make sure that I donâ€™t go back to the mistakes that I did in my earlier days. So one thing I follow is that I make sure to not eat from packets. I have lived in a hostel, I have had my share of having back to back nights of eating Maggi or hide n seek as my breakfast. But I donâ€™t do that now.
So now you think people are more aware of living a fit & healthy life? Even the kids, they are more conscious about what they are eating?
Yes, they are; which is really great! It has gotten better. Also, back then I think there wasnâ€™t much awareness. Now there are new kinds of super foods coming out every day. Like Quinoa and Kale. They keep coming out but then again I think there are a lot of fads too that come and disappear quickly.
Have you faced any issue because of these food fads?
Yes, that has happened! So initially when I started working out, I made a lot of mistakes because I did not have the right knowledge and I was also misguided by some well-meaning people.
What is the funniest myth you have ever heard?
I think funniest was that brown rice and white rice are the same. I feel that back then low fat diets were being bandied about and now suddenly there are these high fat diets. I think one trend starts and then everybody is just wanting to follow it, like the Keto Diet. Since I have been into a fit lifestyle, I have started reading many books about health & nutrition.
And what about new forms of exercises? What does your own workout routine look like?
I think when it comes to different kinds of workouts they serve the same purpose; depends on what your intensity is, but then again, every workout has its own importance. You canâ€™t just be running all day or doing weight training. So at the end of the day, itâ€™s a balance of everything. There are three key things that I say have to be in place: your strength, stamina and flexibility. This happens when you balance all your different kinds of workouts.
Who is your Idol when it comes to fitness?
I donâ€™t really follow anybody particularly as I feel that you know your body best. So you canâ€™t really look at somebody who is doing a keto diet and start following them. Itâ€™s about understanding your own body. I have this image in my mind that I want to look like and I chase that. I follow these fitness enthusiasts over social media but then it is again to keep myself updated with what is happening in the industry and for inspiration.
Any message to the readers?
I would just say that we all know our body type, so act according to that. Keep your knowledge updated, follow your diet or workout routine but do so religiously. Stay healthy and fit!
- Favorite Fragrance: Lavender
- Favorite Cheat Meal: Chaat
- Favorite Dessert: Anything which has chocolate!
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