Mandira Bedi’s workout and diet plan is what fitness goals are made of

Bedi sticks to her fitness regime even when she’s travelling.

One remembers Mandira Bedi for many things – for breaking new ground with the unconventional TV show, Shanti, on Doordarshan; for playing the demure Preeti in Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge; and for proving that women can host cricket matches too (and look great while doing it). In the recent years, we’ve also come to remember and admire Bedi for being an icon of fitness.

The fitness bug bit Bedi when she participated in Khatron ke Khiladi in 2008. “After the show was over, I wanted to make myself strong. At a press conference shortly after, I broke my foot, which resulted in a hairline fracture, and my first thought was, ‘How will I work out now?’”

So, what does it take to get a physique like her? “I work out five days a week, and make sure I include cardio every day. Apart from going to the gym, I also like to swim and run,” she says.

Here, she shares two workout schedules:

> Total work out time for each set: 10:30 min
> 30 second break between after a set of reps
> 6 set with a 2 minute break between sets.

Plan 1:
1 minute Jumping jacks (15 reps)
1 minute inch walk
1 minute jumping jack
15 reps shoulder raises
1 minute inch walk
15 side lateral raises
1 minute jumping jacks
Upright row with kettlebell (25 reps)
1 minute inch walk
15 push-ups

Plan 2:
1 minute jump squats
1 minute alternate toe touch with dumb bells
1 minute plank jacks
1 minute left shoulder dumb bell raises with squats
1 minute burpee with vertical step
1 minute right shoulder dumb bell raises with squats
1 minute alternate squats on step
1 minute sit-ups on a reclining bench
1 minute jumping jacks
1 minute calf raises on step

Bedi doesn’t let travelling disturb her exercise routine too much. If she doesn’t have access to a gym, she just sweats it out in her hotel room. “You can do a complete body weight work out without any equipment – right from squats to jumping jacks,” she says. “Plus, you can always pack in things like running shoes, resistance bands and skipping ropes, which are light and hardly take up space in your luggage.”

She’s also passionate about running, and is especially fond of running in the rain. It’s not an uncommon sight in Bandra to see Bedi run past you. “I usually run once every ten days but when it’s the monsoons, I run all through the season. So far, I have done two half marathons,” she says.

When it comes to her diet, Bedi sticks to simple, home cooked food. “I have a cold coffee in the mornings, and a banana before working out. Lunch is roti, dal and subzi. Dinner is my lightest meal, and it’s either a salad or whatever’s made at home (except roti). Also, I’m a vegetarian thought I eat eggs,” she says.

Upto this point, Bedi has sounded exactly like a person who takes their health very, very seriously. So we’re more than a little taken back when she admits she has a massive sweet craving, and that she even gives in to it. “Come Friday or Saturday, and my diet goes for a toss,” she chuckles. Have we heard her right? We have. She adds, “If I’m having wine on a Friday night, I have to have chocolates with it. In fact, I have a weakness for everything chocolate – be it desserts or ice cream. I also love binging on cakes. I mean, it’s somebody’s birthday, somewhere, right?”

Well, she can afford to indulge herself because she burns all those calories off on Monday morning. “I wake up at 6.45 am everyday, drop my son to school and hit the gym.”

For those who are taking nervous steps towards getting in shape, Bedi has some advice: “Give yourself small goals. Don’t think about losing 20kg at once. Focus on losing a kilo in one week, and so on. Also, eating clean is a way of life. Many people think that because they work out, they can eat anything. But your diet is 70% important, and exercising, only 30%. And on the other hand, there are people who starve themselves. Instead, find nourishing foods you like and eat more of those. Adopt a sustainable diet because you can’t beat what you eat.”