Actress and writer Mindy Kaling is definitely having a moment right now. She's not only starring in two of the year's most anticipated movies (February's "A Wrinkle in Time" and next month's "Ocean's Eight"), in addition to starring and writing a new TV show ("Champions") but she's also a new mom to daughter, Katherine "Kit" Kaling.
So how does the multi-hyphenate juggle it all while staying fit, healthy, and, well, sane? The star recently spilled her secrets to Shape magazine. New moms will definitely want to read this and take some notes.
She Worked Out While Pregnant
"Because I like to eat, and I'm not skinny to start with, I knew that if I gained a lot of weight during my pregnancy, things could just fly off the rails in a really bad way," Kaling shared. "That was something I definitely needed to watch out for. My doctor said that women who gain just 25 to 30 pounds usually have less trouble losing it after the baby is born. So I kept my weight gain to about 27 pounds. I also worked out whenever I could while I was pregnant."
Kaling said she did "a lot" of yoga and walking, and jogged "until I couldn't jog anymore."
For most pregnancies, exercising is safe and is usually recommended. According to American Pregnancy, exercising while pregnant -- at a low to moderate pace -- help reduce backaches, swelling, and bloating, decreases your risk for gestational diabetes, increases energy, and, as Kaling mentioned, is a good way to ensure you'll lose the baby weight easier.
She Mixes It Up
The "Mindy Project" star, who works out four to five times a week, says she likes to mix up her workouts, which means she's either hitting up a SoulCycle class, doing a strength training session with her trainer, or practicing yoga.
Changing up your workout routine is beneficial for a number of reasons. From breaking through a weight loss plateau to building new muscles to beating boredom, you won't regret switching up sweat session like Kaling.
She Loves to Eat (in Moderation)
"I like every food: sushi, Ethiopian, French, spicy, sweets," Kaling said. "Plus, I was raised to clean my plate, and I've had to come to terms with the fact that I don't have to eat everything on there."
The star understands that breakfast is the most important meal of the day which is why she starts with a "poached egg or two, have a third of an avocado and a piece of Ezekiel toast with butter. That fills me up for a really long time."
By fueling her body with essential nutrients, including fiber, fats, and protein, Kaling is keeping her energy levels up throughout the day.
She also treats herself to a cocktail. "I also love having a cocktail. I probably have two or three of them a week, which is such a joy," she says. "In New York, the cocktail menus in some of these restaurants are amazing. That enhances my entire dining experience."
Allowing yourself your favorite treat is important to a well-balanced diet because it allows you to satisfy cravings, while also giving you the opportunity to live a little. In fact, research has found that giving yourself an incentive or reward, like a glass of wine, can be an effective strategy for weight loss goals.
She Leads By Example
"I'm excited for my daughter to see me work out and to know that it's a normal part of my life," Kaling said. "I wasn't raised that way, and I think when you don't see that kind of thing as a kid, it's really hard to pick it up. I would love for her to learn at a young age that exercise is a great habit to have. I didn't learn that until I was 24."
Adding, "I also want her to be confident. I was not that way as a child, and I want my daughter to be really confident all the time."
Exercise has many benefits including increasing your confidence. When you start feeling good about what you have accomplished -- whether it's tackling a new exercise or losing weight -- your self-perception changes. You start to realize that you can not only go head-to-head with physical challenges but conquering them like Kaling did. We're sure she'll set a great example for Kit.
Balancing it all as a new mom is no easy task, especially when you're maintaining your fitness goals. But Kaling definitely proves it's possible by mixing up her regular workouts, eating healthy, and treating herself, which, undoubtedly, will positively influence her daughter.
Now if we can only have her tell us what it's like to have Oprah as a friend...
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