Vanessa Hudgens' Trick To Staying Fit (Yes, She Eats Carbs)
Ray Bass is the associate movement and wellness editor at mindbodygreen and a NASM-Certified Personal Trainer. She holds a degree in creative writing from the University of Pennsylvania, with honors in nonfiction.
You may have been introduced to Vanessa Hudgens in her early High School Musical years, but this actress and singer has come a long, long way since then. She snagged the coveted role of Rizzo in Fox's 2016 live production of Grease: Live, became a judge on So You Think You Can Dance, starred in Rent: Live as Maureen Johnson earlier this year, and most recently launched her own activewear collection with Avia.
Needless to say, her schedule can get jam-packed, but she makes her health a priority—she exercises six to seven times a week, follows a 10-step skin care routine, and sticks to a diet that keeps her energy up and her body in tiptop shape. What's her secret, you ask? Intermittent fasting, of course.
Over the years, Hudgens has tried every type and way of eating out there. "I have done so many things," she says. "I've tried all of the diets and trends." And for a while, she adhered to a ketogenic diet—meaning she ate a lot of fat, moderate amounts of protein, and very few carbohydrates. But when she stopped eating meat (woo-hoo, team plant-based!), the ketogenic diet felt unsustainable and just wasn't working for her anymore.
She hasn't fully abandoned keto—she still applies its principles, like eating lots of plants and healthy proteins—but nowadays, she's an intermittent fasting devotee. She tries to keep a six-hour eating window and fast for the other 18 hours of the day.
"Intermittent fasting is the one diet that kind of sticks for me because I love carbs," she says. "I love pasta and pizza, and cutting those out altogether feels like I'm depriving myself of the lifestyle I want to live."
Hudgens is not the only person to rave about the benefits of intermittent fasting—in fact, she's far from it. Many folks have praised its benefits, which includes everything from decreased sugar cravings to higher energy levels and weight loss. For Hudgens, it's about having the flexibility to eat what she wants while still staying, as she puts it, "pretty darn lean."
"With intermittent fasting, I feel more grounded and stronger in my workouts, and when I do eat, I make sure I get the nutrients that I need but also eat what I want," she says. "I've been able to stay pretty darn lean and in great conditioning shape."
Of course, her schedule can be unpredictable. So like every human being, she does her best to maintain her fasting routine. The result is that she ends up going back and forth between keto and intermittent fasting—whatever makes sense at the time. In her own words, "You have to be adaptable."
Want to learn more about intermittent fasting or give it a try? You've hit the mother lode. Check out our guide to intermittent fasting, read about the many benefits, and, if you're a morning workout person, here's how to make IF work for you.
Ray Bass is the associate movement and wellness editor at mindbodygreen and a NASM-Certified Personal Trainer. She holds a degree in creative writing from the University of Pennsylvania, with honors in nonfiction. A runner, yogi, boxer, and cycling devotee, Bass searches for the hardest workouts in New York (and the best ways to recover from them). She's debunked myths about protein, posture, and the plant-based diet, and has covered everything from the best yoga poses for chronic pain to the future of fitness, recovery, and America's obsession with the Whole30 diet.