Actor Nimrat Kaur reveals the hard work and dedication that has gone into her body’s new avatar

Nimrat Kaur
Fitting into the role: Nimrat Kaur Special Arrangement

The transformation is astounding. Three months into her new fitness regimen, Nimrat Kaur walked the ramp for Sonam and Paras Modi’s SVA Couture at the Lakme Fashion Week last month, boasting to-die-for abs beneath her stunning red lehenga. Today, she’s even fitter, and reveals what it’s taken to get here.

Sadly, there isn’t a cheat sheet.

Nimrat started her body transformation in preparation for an upcoming web series on the soon-to-be-launched digital app ALT Balaji, where she plays the lead — that of India’s first female army officer in a combat role. “It’s based on a directive issued by the President last year,” she says. “Women are in fighter streams of many armies across the world, and soon in India too. This is the journey of this trailblazing fictional character, Captain Shikha Sharma.” It’s a show and part very close to her heart, being, as she is, the daughter of an army martyr.

Reaching the level of physical fitness demanded by the role has not been easy, she admits. Since December, she’s been working out with celebrity fitness trainer Cindy Jourdain, famous for her intense multidisciplinary programme, Cindy’s Bootcamp.

They’ve been training for three hours every alternate day, in two sessions, doing a variety of exercises, including high-intensity functional training, weight training, beach sprints and resistance, alongside working on her flexibility. She confesses to crying mid-session early on, “because it was just so tough!” On rest days, she gets massages to remove the lactic acid that causes muscle fatigue and post-exercise soreness.

The process — that Nimrat describes as “well-rounded and natural”, without supplements or artificial aids — started with her understanding her body.

“I know my body type and don’t intend to fight it,” she says. The aim was to achieve sustained endurance for physical hardship, like a marathon runner or an athlete.

In the beginning, managing her diet was difficult too. For the first couple of months, she was allowed no sugar, caffeine, alcohol, starch or bad carbs. Nimrat, who lives alone, had her meals catered by POD Supply(formerly 6 Pack Meals), and followed a balanced plan of “high-fibre, high-good carbs and high-good fats”, including fish and lamb.

For the past month-and-a-half, she’s followed the Mediterranean diet, with no pulses, mainly fats and proteins. And she allows herself a coffee treat once in a while.

Coffee?! Coffee’s a treat?

“Coffee’s a treat, a party, a rave for me at this point,” she laughs.

“We all have such an involved relationship with food, you know,” she continues. “When you’re low, you have coffee. When you’re happy, you have dessert; when you’re sad, you have dessert.” Breaking that cycle was a challenge. “Nothing stops you from popping a chocolate except that promise you’ve made to yourself,” she says. “No one’s checking.”

Fortunately for her, the rewards of this intense dedication have been very high — she’s fitter, stronger and healthier than ever before — making the resolve easier to keep.

“Once you cross the threshold where you’re 100% committed to an idea, there’s no turning back.”

Spoken like a true fighter.

Nimrat trained very hard and her secret weapon was her versatility. We worked together on getting her to kick like a martial artist, squat like a crossfitter, be light and agile like a dancer and zen like a yogi. Pull-up practice, squatting and working on getting her abs strong is something we did every week.

Cindy Jourdain

A typical day on the plan

  • Meal 1

    Devilled eggs with roasted sweet potato cubes

    Protein: 25 gm, Carbs: 20 gm, Fats: 20 gm, Calories: 450 Cal

  • Meal 2

    Herbed chicken in tomato sauce with veggies and roasted sweet potato fries

    Protein: 20 gm, Carbs: 15 gm, Fats: 20 gm, Calories: 375 Cal

  • Meal 3

    Baked or grilled salmon with sautéed green vegetables

    Protein: 20 gm, Carbs: 0, Fats: 20 gm, Calories: 300 Cal

  • Meal 4

    Light chicken salad

    Protein: 20 gm, Carbs: 0, Fats: 20 gm, Calories: 300 Cal

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