Achieving abs is a science, which Olivia Culpo walked HollywoodLife through. The model spilled on what has played ‘a huge part’ in achieving her toned midsection, in addition to explaining her daily meals and favorite workout programs.
With three consecutive Sport’s Illustrated Swimsuit Issue photo shoots under her belt, Olivia Culpo is an expert on the subject of bikini bodies! The 27-year-old model and former Miss Universe winner is known for her rock-hard abs — among her many other talents — and HollywoodLife caught up with the beauty for an EXCLUSIVE interview on how you too can achieve such a toned midsection. “I try to maintain a healthy lifestyle that’s sustainable so I can avoid having to ‘crash diet’ or feel super sluggish [or] out of shape. For me, it’s all about feeling healthy from the inside out,” Olivia told us. “When you eat well and workout, you feel amazing, so ultimately that’s always my goal. What works for me is a low carb, high protein and fiber diet. For workouts I love strength training/circuit training, barre, pilates, cycling, and running. It’s really important for me to switch up my workouts.” That’s just a brief overview of the health regimen Olivia follows. She proceeded to dive into the specifics of her workouts and diet, so get ready to take notes!
Beginning with Olivia’s diet, the I Feel Pretty star laid out her go-to three meals of the day. For breakfast, she usually has half an avocado, two eggs and turkey bacon with either GG crackers or a coconut wrap. When lunch time rolls around, Olivia likes to opt for “a salad of some kind with chicken.” And for dinner, she’s most likely to have vegetables and a lean protein. Olivia also grazes throughout the day on snacks like a yogurt, apple, smoothie and almonds.
Olivia went even more in-depth into her workout routine, a regimen that she is particularly strict about. “I try to workout as many times a week as I can. Ideally, I workout five times a week but when I’m traveling for work or on set for 12+ hour days, it’s more difficult to carve out time,” she told HollywoodLife. While Olivia targets her whole body, she revealed what’s her No. 1 secret for abs. “Cardio is a huge part of getting abs! When I am running regularly, I can actually achieve abs comparable to when I am doing regular ab exercises,” Olivia dished. Getting into the science of cardiovascular activity, she added, “Cardio helps keep your BMI low and also stimulates your metabolism so it stays at a higher rate throughout the entire day. So your body is in fat burning mode for much longer, it’s like the gift that keeps on giving.”
Olivia was feeling generous. Outside of abs, the model also spilled on her three favorite workouts for achieving her long, lean legs and arms! “Barre, Pvolve and Pilates are great for getting long lean muscle,” Olivia told us. And if you’re into weight training, Olivia stressed the importance of stretching — and not only because of lurking cramps. “When I’m running a lot or strength training with heavier weight, I always make sure to stretch and foam roll a ton. This will keep your muscles from bulking up and becoming super dense,” Olivia explained, emphasizing that “stretching is SO important!”
From cardio to barre, how do you combine all these tips? Olivia walked us through that as well! “I really like to switch up my workouts and its important for me to incorporate some form of cardio. I would say an ideal workout combo for me would be Pilates/barre/Pvolve and running,” Olivia told us, revealing her favorite workout routine. She shies away from stressing out her joints, adding, “Low impact precision exercises are awesome for core, flexibility and long lean muscle, and running is my favorite form of cardio.”
With Thanksgiving, Christmas and Hanukkah approaching — and with that, stuffing, sugar cookies and more goods that don’t cater to a low BMI — Olivia admitted that she doesn’t only indulge during the holiday season! “I indulge regularly which I think is a really important part of creating a healthy lifestyle, as opposed to randomly binging for periods of time. I think if you find a system that works for you, you can still enjoy your favorite things on a somewhat regular basis as long as you get back to your healthy lifestyle after,” she explained. If you need something more concrete to follow, Olivia even provided percentages!
“The 80/20 rule is a good guideline. Eighty percent of the time be really good, and 20 percent of the time give yourself some room to splurge,” the model and actress told HollywoodLife. “Especially at the holidays…my mom is the best cook and she will make 10 different kind of holiday cookies. They are delicious.” So yes, you can munch on that gingerbread man and still sport a six-pack like Olivia’s!