With summer coming up we're all starting to get cold feet about the big reveal, which means diets are front of mind right now. Which got us thinking about our celeb health hacks and diet plans - including the Victoria's Secret models - those girls always look runway ready, but how do they do it?
We wanted to find out more about their diet secrets and discovered 8 truths which actually make us feel like we could learn a few good habits from the Angels. (They don't starve themselves you know!)
1. Models Have Food Cravings Too
Although you shouldn't expect Victoria's Secret models to rely on processed foods as a staple of their diets, they're not ones to shy away from treating themselves every once in a while. While Kloss is all about her mother's homemade pumpkin bread, Jourdan Dunn has said she'd be totally down to eat a bacon sandwich on the day of the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. You might be surprised, but models really are the same as you and I. According to Dietetic Health Counselor, Melanie Genssler, the models' balance of healthy eating and the occasional indulgence is important, and that having cravings — even for junk food — isn't something to be ashamed of.
"It simply all depends on if you find yourself overindulging or not," Genssler, says. "If you’re simply eating a few unhealthy meals here and there but making sure that you’re stopping when you’re satisfied, it will never actually negatively affect your weight loss."
Genssler doesn't believe in using the term "cheat days," nothing that she doesn't believe in good or bad food but good and bad behaviors with food.
"Labeling foods as good or bad can lead once again to disordered eating or eating disorders," Genssler says. "If you have this mind-set, 'cheat days' will never be getting in the way of you losing weight. You will have the few buffalo wings with fries or a sundae and not look at it as a 'cheat day' but simply deciding that, 'This is what I would like to be eating right now and when my body tells me I am satisfied I will stop, and I can have it in the next few days again as well.'"
This positive mind-set is exactly what many of the models follow, allowing them to just live their lives and feel free to eat what they want without feeling bad about it later.
"I am really bad at being on a diet," Elsa Hosk told Elle. "As soon as I tell myself, 'You have to eat this or that,' I am going to do the exact opposite, so I didn't tell myself anything. I just tried to say away from processed food. I feel like I have been working out so much I can eat what I want. I like to do it that way."
2. They Train Hard
Sadly, many people like to skinny shame these women, claiming they don't eat anything to obtain their look, but that's not true. In fact, along with their balanced meals, the models participate in cardio and strength training as often as possible, from Pilates, to jumping rope, to kickboxing. They work out and sweat just like the rest of us!
3. One Person's Diet Doesn't Work for Everyone
Unfortunately, we can't ignore the fact that some models do involve themselves in restrictive diets as they prepare for major events like the Victoria's Secret Fashion show. Lima for example has said that she only drinks liquids like protein shakes nine days before shows, but cuts out everything completely 12 hours beforehand. Similarly Lily Aldridge starts her not-so-extreme diet two months before the show. Aldridge cuts out wine during those two months and only eats lean protein, low-glycemic fruit, and vegetables according to the Daily Mail. Additionally, she stops eating salty foods altogether about a week before hitting the runway.
With all the Angels' regimens being drastically varied, it's important for women to know that even trying out a Victoria's Secret diet for a week might not necessarily be beneficial to their health. In fact, it's important for anyone who plans to go on a new diet (especially if it's going to be as restrictive as an all-liquid one) to consult a doctor first, as these diets need to be tailored to your specific body type and lifestyle.
"[The models] have stressful and mentally and physically intense days where they cannot afford to deprive their bodies of nutrients," Genssler says. "I don't recommend this diet to most people, but every body is different. Some bodies can still thrive on these diets while others are simply deprived. It once again goes back to the whole mind-body connection. If your body is demonstrating symptoms of deprivation, hair loss, fatigue, lightheadedness, rashes on skin, constipation, then listen to it."
Genssler says to acknowledge what type of nutrients or foods your body is craving and to allow yourself to eat those foods. Additionally, she notes that the "goal is not to feel full" but to get to that point when your body just feels satisfied.
4. Staying Hydrated Is Key
Along with eating balanced meals and working out frequently, many of the Victoria's Secret models attribute their healthy lives to staying hydrated, whether on water, fruit juices and the like, to keep up their energy. Likewise, many of the Angels chug water daily to make sure they're not dehydrated on the day of the big runway show. Not only is hydrating important for a person's body to function, but it's also helpful for weight loss.
"About two thirds of the human body is made up of water," Genssler says. "It performs and includes vital roles from removing waste to regulating body temperature to lubricating joints."
Genssler added that while drinking water can help as a "natural appetite suppressant," it's also plays an important part in metabolism.
"A dehydrated state can counter weight loss," Genssler says. "Exercise is also a key player, but research states that exercise only makes up for about 35 percent of weight loss. We are left with a huge role for what we actually consume and put into our bodies."
5. They Make Sure to Get Their Zzz's
Even when Victoria's Secret Angels are on the go, which is pretty much always, they always get their rest. And as we all know, a good night's sleep is important, especially considering the fact that too little sleep or oversleeping can actually result in weight gain.
"Sleep plays a big role with weight loss because this is the only time of the day our body gets full rest and shifts our energy to the digestive tract, and more importantly our the metabolism. This will in turn help support weight loss."
6. Doing a Liquid Diet Isn't Recommended
"The main purpose the Victoria Secret Angels go on an all-liquid diet is to lose water weight and tighten up their figure before their show," Genssler says. "A lot of people wanting to go on this type of cleanse or detox believe within one week that they will also be losing weight but realistically it's just water weight. One’s body will immediately adjust back to its original weight when restarting one's original diet."
Not only does an all-liquid diet simply take off water weight rather than shedding pounds, but it can also be harmful to a person's body. Believe it or not, Lima goes to a doctor who comes up with a specific weight loss plan for her to avoid any major harm her body. Unfortunately however, many people tend to do liquid diets incorrectly, which is a huge concern.
Genssler notes that if anyone does plan to try out this diet, they should do so with expert advice first, and to know that some side effects might include mood swings, energy loss, dizziness and hair loss.
"I would only recommend this type of diet for those who have the time to prepare properly, are physiologically rested, have a moment to give their bodies a rest and have the mind-set of wanting to detoxing rather than weight loss," Gennsler says.
7. Some Participate In Clean Eating
When it comes to the Victoria's Secret Angels and their diets, many of them are into clean eating as well, keeping themselves nourished with fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and protein. Rather than hitting up the processed boxed and canned foods out there, clean eating is actually a great way to go about weight loss and is a simple way to tweak your diet. Even if you're nervous about switching things up, replacing small things like the sugar you use or even the oil you cook with will go a long way.
8. The Average Body Fat of VS Angels Isn't the Average for Women
Unfortunately, getting rock hard abs just like the Angels isn't as simple as doing crunches for months on end. In fact, while you might be able to tone up your body, it's unlikely that you'll truly see any major definition unless you get your body fat down to a certain percentage (typically below 20 percent for women). However, Genssler says it's important to know that being above this is percentage is completely normal.
"On average the healthy percentage of body fat for women is between 25 to 31 percent," Genssler says. "I say the terms 'on average' because every human body is different. Some female bodies naturally have less fat while others naturally hold on to more fat. But if we look at the average female population, females naturally hold on to more fat at a healthy weight. The physiology of the female body naturally wants to hold on to fat for reproduction. It's the same reason why we females naturally have big hips, wide waists and a little more fat on our stomachs. It's all in preparation of for producing offspring!"
Because of this, it's unrealistic for most women to reach a percentage at or below 20 percent, similar to the Victoria's Secret models. Explaining how she suffered from an eating disorder, once fantasizing about obtaining a low percentage of body fat herself, Genssler reveals how important it is to acknowledge how different our bodies are and that we shouldn't strive to look like the Angels.
At the end of the day, the Victoria's Secret Angels are a rare breed and were lucky enough to win the genetic lottery (keeping in mind that they do work hard as well). However, just because the rest of us don't look like them doesn't mean we aren't equally beautiful; women are stunning in all shapes and sizes.
"Similar to clothes, there is not one size diet fits all," Genssler says. "We must listen to our mind-body connection in order to figure out the proper and healthy weight for us physically and mentally while permitting our bodies to flourish."
9. Attempting a Victoria's Secret Diet In a Healthy Way
For those of you who do want to try the Victoria's Secret diet, I would recommend something a little less radical like that of Candice Swanepoel. The model partakes in eating balanced meals and always makes sure to get in her protein shakes and veggies. Not to mention she's all about allowing herself to eat what she wants as long as it's in moderation. So if you want to live an overall healthy lifestyle, try adding organic fruits and vegetables and lean meats to your meals.
What do you think about the Victoria's Secret diet? Tweet us @wewomenUSA!
This article was written by Emma Goddard. Follow her on Twitter @egoddardhokie.
Check out Melanie Genssler's Instagram @thehealthyheartandsoul.
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