Kareena Kapoor Khan talks about celebrity nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar’s role in her fitness evolution, and how she is happy eating just dal, rice and sabzi

First she was criticised for being too chubby, and then for being too skinny. Ask Kareena Kapoor Khan how she sees herself now and she says, “super fit”. Thanks to celebrity nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar. Credited for Kareena’s size zero avatar in Tashan, Rujuta’s association with the actor began during Kareena’s pursuit of a flab-free body for the film.

Kareena and Rujuta recently came together to launch the latter’s third book, Don’t Lose Out, Work Out, which aims to bust the myths associated with exercise, and show the right the way to go about it.

When did the alarm bells go off about your health and fitness?

That would be way back in 2007. I was not fat but fairly well-rounded. When I met Rujuta, I was doing Tashan and was supposed to lose a lot of weight. I used to do all the things she cites in the book as examples of things to do away with, like walking on the treadmill for one hour with my knees practically on fire; one day looking thin and the third day going back to square one. That’s when I thought I should do something. Like Rujuta says, everyone wants to lose weight but it is not about losing weight; it’s about how you do it.

What’s your favourite workout?

My body reacts really well to yoga, provided it’s done the right way. I cannot spend an hour walking aimlessly especially since there’s no outdoor trekking here. I don’t like walking on the road. It’s not like walking in a hill station where there’s great weather, and a picturesque walk. There is nothing to look at. I have to suffer about 20-25 minutes on the treadmill but, thanks to Rujuta, it’s not more than that.

Are you always careful about what you eat?

I am as human as anybody else. I do falter. But my diet is not about not eating what I want, but about eating at the right time. Sometimes when you’re travelling it is difficult to constantly eat your meals at the right time. That’s the only time I am probably cheating. I don’t tell Rujuta that but I come back and get back on track with timings and food.

Do you miss the days when you could eat whatever, whenever?

Yeah, of course! I love red velvet cake! Sometimes I have it and don’t tell Rujuta. But I make it a point to not eat out of desperation. She’s never said no to anything but instead asks me to just enjoy and relish whatever I am eating. If I tell Rujuta that I am in Switzerland, she’ll say ‘eat the strawberries and whipped cream’. That’s the strangest part and nobody believes that.

Everybody seems to be running marathons these days. Has that bug bitten you yet?

No, not me. I don’t know much about it. But Rujuta talks about it in her book and how one needs a wholesome plan even to run the marathon. She doesn’t follow fads. That’s why we get along because as a person I don’t follow fads either.

Has your fitness levels improved over the years?

Completely. In fact, for both Saif (Ali Khan) and me. Wherever in the world I am, I could be walking 10 km a day but I don’t feel tired, my knees are fine and my back is fine. I’ve never ever had a problem. In fact, I used to have a lot of stomach issues before I met Rujuta in 2007. I don’t think I have ever had one since; maybe once in a year or may be not even that… I can’t remember the last time. Neither do I have that acidic feeling any more. Saif and I know what exactly to do, that’s the main thing.

As far as my fitness levels go, I am super fit. I may not be a size zero; that is because I don’t want to be a one. I’ve always been a weight that’s healthy and fit.

Looking back, do you feel your size zero body sparked off a negative uninformed trend among girls?

We tried to tell people that it was never one orange or one orange juice. If you see my body in Tashan, it’s extremely toned. You cannot have that kind of look without eating.

Are you fussy when it comes to food?

I follow a Satwik diet — nature based, simple and wholesome. My life is very wholesome because that’s what Saif and I believe in. Yes, we like to travel a lot. But wherever we are, we eat great food, which is fresh and local. There are never more than three things on our plate. Saif and I are happy to eat dal, rice and sabzi.

What is the one food that will make you cheat on your diet?

I am a foodie. I love pastas, pizzas and French fries. That would be it! French fries!