Mindy Kaling’s secret to her recent weight loss is that she eats whatever she wants in smaller amounts.
“I eat what I like to eat. If I do any kind of restrictive diet, it never really works for me. I just eat less of it,” the actress, 42, told “Entertainment Tonight” in an interview published Tuesday.
“I wish there was something more juicy or dynamic about the way that I’ve lost a little bit of weight, but that’s the way I’ve done it.”
Kaling, who appeared slimmer while attending Vanity Fair’s 2022 Oscars afterparty last month, has decided to become more conscious of what she consumes after giving birth to her second child in September 2020.
“I had my son in the first year of the pandemic. … It was this almost extended maternity leave. I wasn’t going to be on camera, the studios were shut down,” she recalled.
“After I had my daughter (in December 2017), I had to shoot a movie, like, two months later, so I was very much like, ‘Just give me grilled salmon and sautéed spinach. I’m going to eat that for three months.’”
When things returned to normal, Kaling realized that her COVID lifestyle was not sustainable.
“When the world started coming back a little bit, I thought, ‘This kind of eating what appears, not taking any consideration for what I’m eating, is probably not the way to go,’” She Added
The “Mindy Project” alum also stated that because she was not getting dressed up in quarantine, her children were taken aback when she went all out for recent events.
Fitness has been an important part of Kaling’s life since her early twenties, but she no longer views it as a form of self-inflicted torment.
“When I was younger, I had a very specific idea of how working out needed to be. It was like 45 minutes on the treadmill, seven-minute mile, it needed to be punishing, I needed to hate it.”
The actress calls herself a “complete hobbyist” when it comes to working out and being active by jogging, walking, doing yoga, pilates, strength training, tai chi, and other things.
The actress calls herself a “complete hobbyist” when it comes to working out and being active by jogging, walking, doing yoga, pilates, strength training, tai chi, and other things.”I don’t have to be like the expert at the thing to really enjoy it and to get a great workout,” Kaling explains. “Surprising the body with lots of different things I think is really good, particularly for my body … I’ve really been mixing it up and knowing that if a workout doesn’t necessarily make me soak my clothes with sweat, that it still was a good workout… It does not have to be punishing.”
“And I’m 42 now, right? So I have to do stuff like that for me, in order to be able to be active with my little kids,” She says this while talking about her 4-year-old daughter Katherine “Kit” Swati and her 19-month-old son Spencer Avu.
The star of “The Office” joined forces with Propel for the company’s “JOWO: Joy of Working Out” campaign and summer fitness tour, which highlights the good things about being active.
“The endorphins that I get from working out center me,” Kaling says. “I’m kind of an anxious person and it makes me feel centered and makes me more focused. And I have some of my best creative ideas when I’m working out.”
The comedian says that her family didn’t do a lot of exercises when she was growing up.
“I never felt that kind of confidence to be like, ‘Yeah, actually, I do work out four to five times a week. Can you believe it?’ I always felt like I had to be sheepish about it,” she tells PEOPLE.
A big part of what has aided Kaling’s weight reduction and fitness journey has been to witness how the younger actresses she has worked with in the past several years have embraced their bodies and confidence. The actress believes she “needs” to adopt this optimistic outlook in order to teach her children the same values.
Seeing the confidence and body positivity of the younger actresses Kaling has worked with in the past few years has helped her fitness and weight loss journey. The actress says she “needs” to have a positive attitude and hopes to teach her children the same thing.
“What’s really nice — and I feel so lucky — is I think I have this opportunity to set an example (for my kids) that it is normal to work out,” she says. “It’s normal to love movement and think about self-care.”
“And I love that my daughter — I’ll put out a yoga mat and be stretching or doing yoga poses and then put one out for her and she’ll do them with me. I really love that I can be that example for her and model that for her. It’s great,” Kaling says. “I can’t wait until she’s old enough that she can be like my workout buddy, and just really like normalize fitness in our house.”