Rita Ora may be seriously committed to healthy eating and exercise, but that’s not because she’s trying to be thin. “I didn’t start working out to get skinnier—I started working out to feel better,” she told Shape. “And I think it’s important for women to know that.”
In January, Ora began seeing a doctor for weekly blood tests. The doctor looks at the results, alongside how much sleep she got that week and what kind of traveling she’s been doing, and tells her what to eat each week based on those factors. She also started hitting the gym daily.
“I have so much more energy, and I really feel better on this plan,” she said. “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!’” she said. “This past year, 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.”
Ora is a beast in the gym. “I do circuit training. I usually work out for one or two hours, depending on how much time I have,” she said. “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 weight lifting. 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.”
Though Ora may go hard, she reiterated that she really doesn’t work out with the intent to be thinner. That said, Ora admitted that she’s happier with her body now that she’s more fit. “I’m not going to lie and say I was completely happy with my body before,” she said. “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.”
Ora added that she loves her curves. “I love my shape because it’s curvy,” she said. “I have thighs. I’m a size 28 in jeans. And that’s an average, normal size. I’m proud that I’m normal.”
But lest you believe inspiration to workout comes naturally to Ora, she assured the publication that she has to work to find motivation now and then. “Sometimes it’s hard. I don’t just wake up and run to the gym,” Ora said. “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.”
Ora’s new eating habits are super healthy—but not restrictive. “With the plan I’m on, you can eat quite a bit as long as you exercise,” she said. “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.”
Though that all sounds incredibly disciplined to us, Ora added that she does indulge from time to time. “I’m such a sucker for cheese and wine,” she said. “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.” Everything in moderation!