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Hilary Duff’s trainer: ‘There’s a huge misconception that carbs are the devil’

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Hilary Duff looks amazing. She did a nude photo shoot earlier this year and you can tell she’s been working on her physical routine and working hard. She’s talked in interviews about using fitness as therapy as well. Hilary shed more light on that recently when she spoke to Women’s Health Australia about her “horrifying” eating disorder when she was 17 and trying to stay “actress thin.” Now Hilary has learned to love her body and found a way to keep fit that works for her. In the article, her trainer, Dominic Leeder, gave some tips on how to workout and eat more effectively. It’s pretty good advice, too, like focusing on resistance training over cardio and not cutting carbohydrates out of your diet. They’re fine… and delicious.

Make obtainable goals: The most common unrealistic goal people have is wanting to lose a significant amount of weight, fast. I feel that it’s exacerbated by a lot of famous people who have gone on, what I would call, a fad diet, and lost an incredible amount of weight. They take photos, you see it, but no one knows what happens after that. And often with fad diets, things deteriorate straight away afterwards.

Don’t focus so much on cardio: When I met Hilary, we decided to focus on resistance training, because we wanted to build lean muscle mass and up her metabolism. Her diet was also a huge factor and I wanted to make sure that she was eating the correct amount of macros for the goal that she needed. I know a lot of people like to avoid weights because they feel like they’re going to get big and bulky. But what I tell my clients is that if you only realised how hard it is to get big and bulky! You don’t just pick up a weight and then suddenly you build muscles.

Carbs are not the enemy: There’s a huge misconception that carbohydrates are the devil. Complex carbs, in my opinion, are imperative. If you don’t have carbs, your body will use other things for energy, like protein. And because of the way I work with resistance training, we want that protein to go to the lean muscle build to help their metabolism. We need carbs, and the right carbs are gonna one satiate you. For Hilary’s macro split, we did 50 per cent complex carbs, 30 per cent healthy fats, and 20 per cent protein.

Maintainess is hard:After reaching her initial goal, we had to find a new goal around [her priorities]. It was down to me to work out how best to maintain what we have [achieved], while she’s also enjoying her life and doing what she needs to do as a human being that has three children, a job, and so many other things. So I think it’s useful for people to know that it was a struggle.

Setting the new goal [with Hilary] was a struggle. What we ended up going with was, well, our goal right now is to maintain what we have while still having a fantastic life work/balance that’s important to her. She then went into filming for another show so it became even more difficult [to train together]. But because that was our goal, we more times than not managed to keep that going, so she can stay mentally happy. And then when she finishes that work, we’ll ramp back up again and we’ll find some new goals.

[From Women’s Health]

I want to talk about all of this, especially around the holidays, because that’s when food and body issues are especially difficult for some. I’m one of them, particularly this year. That’s why the goals portion of the article really jumped out at me. My trainer and I just had this conversation. She’s always been cautious of what counting calories can trigger with my eating disorder and constantly checks in with where I am mentally. I hit my weight goal and my trainer, like Dominic, wanted to know what was next for me. My goal is just to get through the holidays. Because it’s such a tricky time. I purposefully dropped below goal so I could add some back on and not feel bad. But guess what? I added and felt still bad because some demons just won’t get off our backs. That’s also why those fad diets Dominic addresses are so misleading. Because you feel great dropping all that weight, but you beat yourself up when you can’t maintain it – and you cannot maintain results.

But a trainer isn’t an option for everyone. I went through my budget and cut three things so I could afford one. But not everyone can do that. That’s why I like advice like Dominic’s above, it’s practical. You can find resistance training on YouTube and articles about complex carbohydrates online. I got a trainer because I need accountability. One thing that has helped immensely is the camaraderie. So let’s support each other, offer tips, be nice to ourselves, and just get through these holidays. Because from where I’m sitting, you all look fabulous.

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Photo credit: Women’s Health Australia and Instagram

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