Fueled by a totally revamped workout and eating plan, singer-songwriter Rita Ora is stretching
out in new directions and achieving more than she ever thought possible. Here’s how she got to this healthy, happy and totally badass place.
<b>PHOTOS</b> ARTHUR BELEBEAU <b>STYLING</b> AMY BERLIN DUBIN <b>HAIR</b> BRENT LAWLER/STREETERS FOR JOHN FRIEDA <b>MAKEUP</b> KATHY JEUNG/FORWARD
Rita Ora, 26, is on a mission. Well, four of them, actually. There’s her highly anticipated new album, out later this year, which she’s been working on non-stop. And then there’s her hosting gig on America’s Next Top Model, which saw its ratings skyrocket for Rita’s debut. She also has her blossoming movie career, with 50 Shades Darker and the upcoming Wonderwell, in which she worked alongside the late Star Wars legend Carrie Fisher. And ﬁnally, there’s her job as a designer, which has included 15 collections with Adidas over the last several years, and now has Rita planning her very own line.
Good thing she’s got a whole new workout and eating routine to help her plough through it all. In January, Rita started seeing a doctor for weekly blood tests. Based on those results – and other factors, like how much sleep she’s getting and the amount of travelling she’s doing – he recommends what she should eat.
Rita also now goes to the gym every day, whether she’s home in London or on the road. “I have so much more energy, and I really feel better on this plan,” she tells us over her breakfast of two hard-boiled eggs. (Shape can attest that she takes her new eating style seriously: When the restaurant didn’t have the side of asparagus she requested, it gave her potatoes instead. Rita, with ironclad willpower, pushed them aside and didn’t give them another glance.)
Discipline is key. “I’ve been the girl on tour who eats when she can and goes along when the band wants to go out all the time. But you just can’t keep that up. You start thinking, ‘I miss feeling good! ’I’ve really been on my game by eating right and going to the gym. As a result, I’m focused now, and I get a lot more done.”
Rita reveals her six rules for achieving success on your own terms.
FIND YOUR WORKOUT RHYTHM.
“I do circuit training. I usually work out for one or two hours, depending on how much time I have. I do three circuits and repeat that three times. I mostly focus on my thighs and my bum, so I do a lot of squats and weightlifting. And I do one circuit of cardio.
“What I’ve learned is that you can take your time with training. You don’t have to beat yourself up as long as you get in the workouts that you need. I used to push myself until I felt sick. But I’m approaching it differently now. I enjoy working out. And I like the aftermath – that feeling of contentment.”
GIVE YOURSELF SOME FITSPO WHEN YOU NEED IT.
“Sometimes, it’s hard. I don’t just wake up and run to the gym. When I need to motivate myself to work out, I look at pictures of women like Jennifer Lopez and Kate Beckinsale. They look incredible! If they can look like that, I have no excuse.”
IT’S ABOUT BEING STRONG, NOT SKINNY.
“I’m not going to lie and say I was completely happy with my body before. I knew I could change a few things to improve my stamina, especially onstage. I didn’t start working out to get skinnier – I started working out to feel better. And I think it’s important for women to know that. Don’t be obsessed with being thin. You just have to be ﬁt, healthy and strong.”
EAT THE FOOD THAT’S RIGHT FOR YOUR BODY.
With the plan I’m on, you can eat quite a bit as long as you exercise. In the morning, I have two boiled eggs, asparagus, and half a cup of muesli with almond milk. For lunch, I have chicken or ﬁsh with vegetables, and for dinner, I have six to eight ounces of ﬁsh with vegetables and half a potato. Plus snacks. I don’t eat bread or sugar. But I’m not starving myself. I used to be like, ‘I’m not eating!’ Eating isn’t the problem, though. It’s about what your body needs, and everyone’s body is different.
BUT INDULGE A LITTLE TOO.
“I’m such a sucker for cheese and wine. I was just shooting a movie in Italy, and the pastas, the cheeses, the wine – ooh! Obviously I had to have all that good stuff. Now I indulge once a week. But I don’t go crazy.”
DON’T BE AFRAID TO TAKE RISKS.
“Of everything I’ve accomplished, I’m proudest of my new album. It’s going to shock people. It’ll be like, ‘Wow, I didn’t know she had those emotions.’ Because I don’t think they really know me. They see pictures and they watch me on TV, but I try to keep my personal life as private as possible. I don’t post pictures of anyone I’m seeing. On this album, though, I say things I think people have been wanting to know. But it’s done in a moving- forward way. It’s a positive, uplifting album.”