Hilary Duff is always juggling: The 28-year-old is a single mum to her 4-year-old son Luca; she's one of the stars of Younger, which just started shooting its third season on location in NYC; she's a singer who put out another album last year and she's an icon of a lot of people's childhood.
All that keeps the star really busy, and it takes work to also squeeze in time to stay in shape — but she manages. She spoke to Cosmopolitan.com about the rules she keeps to keep healthy.
1. Try not to worry so much about looking perfect. "I don't put a ton of pressure on myself to be, like, perfect," Hilary said. "When I was younger, I felt a lot more pressures. I probably cared a lot more of what people said or thought about me."
"After having a kid, I don't come first anymore. I don't have as much time to worry about it. Obviously, I care about how I look, and I care about taking care of myself and being in a good mental place, and working out really helps that, but I also like to eat food and drink drinks and enjoy my life."
2. Prep meals in advance whenever possible. "I try to make stuff over the weekend, like a big thing of quinoa to throw in some salad," she said. "I cook for a 4-year-old all the time, so if I don't have stuff on hand that's healthy for me, I'll just clean up his plate, and that's not a good look."
3. Cut carbs and focus on eating protein, fruits, and veggies. "Definitely cutting alcohol is a good, quick fix, but it never lasts long for me," Hilary said. "I love a sandwich more than anything in life, but I don't get to eat them all the time as much as I want." She likes to make herself oatmeal for breakfast with a scoop of almond butter, or a shake made with fruits, vegetables, and egg white protein.
4. Fill up on healthy foods, but stop eating at 6 p.m. "Before I got to New York to start shooting for two weeks, I stopped eating after 6 p.m. It's impossible. It's so hard," Hilary said. "I would be in bed by, like, 8. I had to or else I would be like tempted to creep downstairs and be a little mouse."
5. Drink tea. Hilary likes dandelion root tea, a "natural diuretic," but she might be in the minority. "I have a weird taste in tea, so it's a bit bitter, and I like that. Obviously, you can't put a bunch of honey in it. You can't make it taste delicious."
6. Bookend workouts with cardio. Hilary's trainer has taught her to start and end her workouts with time on the treadmill. In between, "I do a lot of strength-training stuff," she said. "A lot of jumping, medicine balls, dead lifts, hip thrusts. I'm a pretty strong little gal."
7. You don't have to like it, you just have to do it. Hilary works out four to five times a week with a mix of strength training, cardio, and classes. She's been into taking a 30-minute climbing class in L.A. called Rise Nation. But it's not her favourite thing to do. "I don't really love to work out," she said. "I just do it because I have to."
8. Believe that it's possible. When Hilary became a mum, it took time for her to get back into shape, and that was tough to deal with. "It was so hard for me. It's such a bummer, honestly. You have this new baby. Or, in my case, he was 1, and I was like, 'I still have this body! What happened?'" Hilary is honest about the fact that it isn't easy. "It takes a lot of focus and dedication — knowing that it's possible to get back into shape. Talking to your friends about it. Just trying to motivate and reserve your energy to make sure you can get to the gym. Really cutting out things that are your vices for a little while." And it worked.
9. Have a drink sometimes. "If I have a night out, it's going to dinner with friends and having a few drinks and going home and watching a show," she said. "I'm definitely not as exciting as I used to be but I really enjoy that. That's my idea of a nice night out where I'm not brushing a 4-year-old's teeth and making sure he's going to bed."