Lose weight – Bollywood style

I’ve got something a little bit different for you this time:

You know, when you’re on a diet it gets a little boring after a while – and you’d like to spice things up a bit. Well – I am on Whole 30 right now and I wrote on my week 2 report about how I started Bollywood dance lessons this week and that got me thinking:

Is there a way that we could lose weight Bollywood style?

Lose weight bollywood style

So in this post I will write about Bollywood movies and also about how you can spice up your weight loss by bringing in some flavors from Indian lifestyle, diet and exercise.

What is a Bollywood movie?

Bollywood movies get their name from Hollywood obviously. Hollywood is the center of western movies – well, in India the center of all movie industry is in Mumbai which was previously known as Bombay. Hence the term Bollywood.

Bollywood movies

Bollywood movies come in all forms: comedies, dramas (even historical ones), crimes and thrillers – especially in the past one movie could contain all possible genres of entertainment. Bollywood movies are often very long and almost all of them have songs and dance numbers. Bollywood movies are usually spoken in Hindi, some of them have both Hindi and English. What’s great about them however, is that most of them have English subtitles.

Many dance numbers are today a mix of traditional Indian dancing and modern street/jazz/show dancing that you’d see in musicals or on MTV.

Here’s the dance (song Pinga from the movie Bajirao Mastani) we’re trying to learn right now in the Bollywood dance lessons I’m attending:

As you can see this dance is more traditional than modern. And we’re learning a much easier version it – in addition to that at least in my case the movement is less smooth and delicate 🙂

How to lose weight Bollywood style?

You might be thinking:

This is all very nice, but how will this help me in my weight loss

Here’s what you can do:

Bollywood style workouts

Bollywood dancing and workout videos

If you want to try Bollywood dancing you should check out your local dance studios in case they have lessons – it is very difficult to learn Bollywood dancing by watching online tutorials.

But if you just want to try a Bollywood themed workout then there are a couple of online videos you can try for free:

16-Minute Bollywood Cardio Workout by SparkPeople

Bombay Jam Bollywood Dance Workout by Popsugar


Yoga seems to be the number one choice for Bollywood actresses to keep fit. There’s been some scientific research on yoga and it proves that yoga does help lose weight, the ”problem” is that these scientists don’t really know why.

Many believe that yoga has quite a lot to do with mindfulness: yoga changes the way we think about ourselves, life – and food.

And then there are different forms of yoga. Power yoga for example is an aerobic workout which burns more calories as well.

If you’re interested in yoga, you can start by taking part in a beginners’ class or purchasing a yoga DVD. I’ve tried hot yoga as well – it’s nice especially in winter when it’s cold outside.

You can also have a look at:

A great library of all things related to yoga for beginners by Yoga Journal

5 Basic Yoga Poses To Make You Feel Fantastic In 15 Minutes by Mindbodygreen

Bollywood diet

Indian diet has usually quite a lot of carbohydrates: the food in the north of the country is often eaten with bread whereas in the south people eat a lot of rice. This might make losing weight challenging.

The great thing about food in India is that it contains a lot of vegetables, it’s made of fresh whole ingredients and it’s seasoned with a lot of spices and herbs.

Try adding these to your diet:


Lentils are a core ingredient in Indian cooking and they are a great source of protein and fiber. They also contain vitamins and other antioxidants, especially iron. Lentils have a low glycemic index so they don’t have a lot of impact on our blood sugar levels – that’s always a good thing when you want to lose weight.

I really like this red lentil curry recipe by All Recipes.


Coconut is an important part of Indian cooking in southern parts of India. Coconut has several health benefits and it can even help you lose weight.

You can use coconut oil for cooking, coconut flour for baking or just eat raw coconut meat.


Spinach is another Indian favorite. It is one of the healthiest green leafy vegetables and very versatile when it comes to cooking: you can add spinach to pretty much any food you’re making.

Spinach is obviously great for weight loss: it contains a lot of fiber and antioxidants with hardly any calories.


Garlic, ginger, cumin, turmeric and black pepper are essential spices in Indian cooking and they all have amazing health benefits. If you are concerned about your health, there are actually studies that show that turmeric together with black pepper are a powerful cancer fighting mixture. I was diagnosed with cancer a year ago and although I’m fine now I often add both turmeric and black pepper to foods that I’d season with pepper anyway.

Using spices cleverly will also help you use less salt.

Indian food overall

The great thing about Indian food is that the vegetarian diet is very popular in India. This means that there are a lot of recipes to choose from if you want to eat vegetables as your main or side dish.

The more vegetables you add to your diet, the easier it will be for you to lose weight.

Bollywood lifestyle

Bollywood weight battles

Bollywood is known for beautiful actresses and every now and then – just like in the west – the Indian press is focusing on their weight loss battles.

These Bollywood stars also have their food and fitness gurus, like Rujuta Witekar who wrote a weight loss book called Don’t Lose Your Mind, Lose Your Weight (affiliate link).


Ayurveda is thousands of years old Indian way to heal the entire body. It is based in the belief that our mind, spirit and body must all be in balance – if they are it will lead to health, and if they are not it will lead to sickness.

According to Ayurvedic theory there are five basic elements:

  • Earth
  • Water
  • Air
  • Fire
  • Ether / Space

These elements are combined in our body and form life energies, doshas:

  • Vata
  • Pitta
  • Kapha

Want to know what your dosha is? Take this test.

I got 15/25/4 so it seems I’m Pitta.

If you want to know what your dosha means, take a look at Dosha types for Beginners.

Ayurveda determines how you should eat, drink and sleep. There’s also other sorts of Ayurvedic treatments, for example Ayurvedic massage and Ayurvedic medicine.

Bollywood in general

I like India, and I really love Bollywood.

There are times when I forget about it but then something comes up and I remember that I absolutely love it.

Last summer that something was a film called Bajrangi Bhaijaan. To see a Bollywood film in the movies is a rare treat where I live so whenever I have a chance I grab it with both hands.

A chance came in the form of an international film festival so I went to see this movie. I smiled all the way through it – how refreshing it was compared to the films that I usually see. Take a look at the trailer if you haven’t seen this movie:

Bollywood is so much fun. Weight loss should be fun – or at least it would be much nicer if it was fun.

Have you tried Bollywood dancing or making Indian food yourself? How do you make losing weight more fun?




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