Hot body secrets: Gemma Atkinson
Tuesday 16 October 2012
The former Hollyoaks actress discusses how hard work is the key to her figure, why she doesn’t believe in dieting and how her marital arts expert boyfriend helps her keep in shape.
Height: 5ft 9
Gemma believes her slim line figure is down to eating ‘little and often.’
‘I never diet,’ she says. ‘And I don’t do quick fix blasts either. It’s too much pressure, plus if you set yourself unrealistic goals you’re going to fail. I believe in a healthy lifestyle all year round. Everything in moderation.’
‘I eat a lot but I choose the right foods. Fish, chicken, vegetables, nuts, rice, potatoes, & fruit, for example. But I always allow myself one day a week to have my pizza and chunky chips, or mac and cheese.’
And although size 8 Gemma looks fantastic, she admits that she has to work extremely hard to get her body into shape…
‘I’m definitely not one of these women who are naturally thin. I have to work hard to maintain my figure’ says the 27 year old.
‘I carry most of my weight on my thighs. My mum and sister do too. My shape is very boyish in that my shoulders are broad, hips are straight and I build muscle quickly. But I’ve finally learnt to accept it. I’ll never be stick thin, but then again being 5ft 9 I wouldn’t want to be either. I love women who look strong not skinny.’
The actress doesn’t believe in punishing yourself either…
‘The common rule I have is to not have rules! They are made to be broken and they will be broken because it’s an unnecessary torture you put on yourself. I’ve seen many women cut out carbs and they get headaches, get lethargic and look terrible. We just need to eat sensibly. Everyone knows the difference between a fresh chicken salad and a deep-fried chicken burger, so use your common sense. Have the burger once in a while, not once a day.
‘A normal day for me is oats for breakfast with blueberries, flaxseeds, goji berries and honey and a cup of Green tea. I always have a banana mid-morning to keep my sugar up and for lunch I love eggs. I make omelettes with spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms and have them with a green salad and cous cous. Mid-afternoon I like a handful of cashews or almonds and for dinner I have salmon, vegetables and new potatoes or chicken stew with vegetables. I always carry a 2 litre bottle of water with me and drink it throughout the day.’
Despite keeping a healthy lifestyle, Gemma has her weaknesses too…
‘When it comes to cheat food my weaknesses are cheese and white chocolate. I love cheese on toast or mac and cheese and at Easter I always ask for white choc eggs from my family!
Gemma is a firm believer in keeping an active lifestyle as well as eating well.
‘When it comes to my appearance and physique of course I want to look my best, but the main reason I eat well and exercise is for my health. Mentally I feel so much better and I have lots of energy. I like feeling strong and flexible. I can always tell the difference between ‘skinny tight’ and ‘skinny soft’ skinny soft is through just diet alone. You have to combine the two [diet and exercise] to maintain a tight, toned, slim and healthy figure.
‘I train 6 days a week for around 50 minutes at a time. I love Interval training where I exercise at my peak but in short bursts. I also love a good challenge. I’m currently on day 28 of the INSANITY program. I’m loving it! It’s really hard but my fitness has improved so much already. Any exercise is a commitment but I just always make time for it in my day. It’s now naturally part of my daily routine.
And how does she get that envious washboard stomach?
‘To keep a flat stomach I do lots of core stability work and increase my cardio. I see people doing countless sit ups but what good is that if you’re building them under a layer of fat? Your cardio will burn fat while your core work will tighten the ab area. I don’t do sit ups as I don’t want a six pack. I want to look feminine but healthy.
'I do spin classes, cycling and even kick boxing, as my boyfriend [Liam Richards] runs an academy.'
‘When it comes to beauty tips water and sleep are always a must for me. I need 8hrs so if I’m up early for filming I’m the first to pass on the party the night before. I also avoid makeup when I’m not working to let my skin breath. Big sunglasses come in handy for no makeup days as no one would ever know’
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