Mindy Kaling on how she lost weight without restricting diet

Mindy Kaling’s secret to her recent weight loss is all about portion control and eating whatever.

“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 slimmed down while attending Vanity Fair’s 2022 Oscars afterparty last month, decided to start being more aware of what she consumes after welcoming 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.’”

Mindy Kaling posing in an orange shirt and green skirt.
Kaling, seen here in December 2021, said she lost weight by eating less.
Getty Images for Zelle

But once things started to return to normal, Kaling realized that her lifestyle in the COVID era 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 said.

The “Mindy Project” alum also said that because she was not getting dressed up in quarantine, her kids were shocked when she went full glam for events she recently attended.

Mindy Kaling posing in a lace black dress.
The actress said restricting her diet doesn’t work for her.
mindykaling/Instagram

“[My kids] normally think of their mom and, ‘Oh, the slob that writes on her computer all day.’ But when I had to get ready for all of these events, [to] my daughter I was like Elsa from ‘Frozen,’” she said. “I became completely transformed and she treated me completely differently. She was in awe.

“That’s really funny. I think, because of the pandemic, I hadn’t been getting dressed up as much. That was kind of fun, to wow her now and again. She is just at that age where that stuff is kind of interesting.”

Kaling announced her first pregnancy with daughter Katherine, now 4, but did not share the news of her second until after she gave birth to son Spencer, now 1. She has chosen not to reveal the identity of their biological father.

Mindy Kaling playing with her two kids in the snow.
Kaling shared in the past that she wants her children to value healthy living as well.
mindykaling/Instagram

The former “The Office” star has been vocal about the importance of living a healthy lifestyle and even opened up about wanting to pass on that same mindset to her kids.

“I’m excited for my daughter to see me work out and to know that it’s a normal part of my life,” she told Shape Magazine in an interview published in May 2018. “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.”