Maria Menounos covers the award shows and celebrity gossip, but her beauty easily makes her one to watch, too. The tall stunner decided at 19 to take her health in her own hands and lost 40 pounds. She's since kept it off, and she's also the lifestyle expert for the California Almonds’ Life Squad. The author and journalist sat down with Glow in New York City to let us in on her mission to eat healthy, stay fit and create willpower. No red-carpet diet “It’s really a lifestyle. When I lost the weight, I just continued to eat clean and healthy. For the most part, I stick to the 75-25 rule. So 75 per cent of the time I eat clean, from the ground and healthy foods, and the other 25 per cent I get to play, so I let myself have nachos and ice cream.” No red-carpet fitness “I don’t work out out as much in a way you would think, and that’s why I wrote The EveryGirl's Guide to Diet and Fitness: How I Lost 40 lbs and Kept It Off-And How You Can Too! People think I’m in the gym five days a week. That’s not the case, and that’s never been the case. For the most part, my workouts are throughout the day. I move like a rocket ship, getting 18,000 steps in a day just naturally. I have a Fitbit. I’ll do squats while I brush my teeth in the morning, or if I’ve got a little break and I’m on set and I’m bored so I’ll do lunges. I try to get my fitness throughout the day so I don’t have to be a slave to the gym. I like to hike, I like to play basketball, I like to do things that are fun where I can get my social time in with my workout time. But right now I am training and doing heavy weights to get strong. But that’s a specific goal for now.” Staying motivated “I do fall off the wagon, and I did recently for a few months. I was in a rut of not eating well. Then you just have that moment where you draw line and decide to flip the switch and go the other way now. Once you do, you get really excited because your energy comes back and you’re feeling better about yourself so it’s only going to yield you a good result. You just have to think that it’s going to be tough for a moment, then once you get over that hurdle, you’re going to feel better.” Avoiding diabetes “My dad has type 1 diabetes, and he suffers from low blood sugar attacks. We almost lost him. So it has affected me in that way, and it has affected me in positive ways too. I’ve learned that what we put in our bodies means something. Since I’m almost pre-diabetic, I am definitely thinking about my sugar intake.” A typical day “I start the morning with a smoothie recipe that my friend [and celebrity trainer] Harley Pasternak gave me. It has Greek yogurt, almonds, banana, apple and cinnamon. I actually like it when I get to the bottom and I can chew on the blended almonds. For lunch, it could be a salad, or a bean and cheese burrito. For dinner, it’s fish, sushi, pizza, salad and vegetables or lentils.” Finding willpower “I had to find ways to create my willpower. When you have a big mountain to climb, you think, ‘I’m never getting to the top.’ You need to take baby steps. Make one better decision today, another better decision tomorrow, and it has a domino effect. Just take it slow, be patient and get a high off of saying no. These little things helped me gain willpower.” Facing fears “In some sick, twisted way, I love being afraid and overcoming it, like being afraid of dancing on national television and then doing Dancing with the Stars. My body was in insane shape during that time. What a great workout! It was so much fun. I love that sink-or-swim feeling. That’s when you’re living.” Follow her on Twitter @mariamenounos and Instagram @mariamenounos.
Lisa Hannam is Glow's health editor and unofficial guinea pig for test-driving new workouts, fitness gear and nutrition trends. When not combing through food label claims and evaluating new vitamins and supplements, Lisa can be found at her desk most days, translating the medical journal jargon into understandable English. Follow her on Instagram @lisahannam, Twitter @lisahannam, as well as on Pinterest at pinterest.com/lisahannam and tumblr at lisahannam.tumblr.com.