My Healthy Eating Guide, by Julianne Hough

Updated 09/23/16

In her first column for Byrdie, our inspiring celebrity contributor, Julianne Hough, told us how she stays motivated and fit during the holidays (hint: dancing is involved). With the first month of a new year nearly under our belts, Hough is sharing her healthy-eating, happy-living secrets. From her favorite pre-workout nosh, to the one rule she abides by when it comes to indulging, she’s got a plenty of great advice...

Hi Byrdie readers! I hope your 2015 has been off to a great start. My resolution for the year was to focus on balance. In order to stay active and energetic, and with how often I travel, I need to make healthy choices—that fuel my life instead of slowing me down. That said, I love eating, so you won’t find me swearing off major food groups. It’s all about, well, balance! Keep reading for my simple guide to fueling a healthy life, while still having fun.  

Variety Is Key

I really like eggs, but I’m constantly switching up what I eat for breakfast so that I never get bored. Sometimes I’ll make an omelet with spinach and other veggies, or I’ll have a bowl of oatmeal, or a smoothie. I think variety is important, so I rotate amongst those things based on what I’m feeling that day. But my all-time favorite breakfast is a bagel with cream cheese, Nova lox salmon, capers, and onions. That’s my cheat when I want to splurge.

On mornings when I work out, I eat light beforehand. I can’t work out on a full stomach, so I have to have something small like half of a protein bar, or a shake with a scoop of protein powder. Afterwards, I’ll make the heartier meal like eggs or oatmeal. 

Keep It Fresh and Natural

Except for the occasional glass of red wine, it’s hard not to feel like alcohol is empty calories and needless sugar—unless you incorporate some fresh and natural elements into your drink of choice. My go-to alcoholic beverage if I feel like drinking is tequila + soda + lime. I’ll put fresh raspberries, fresh lime, and sometimes even some cucumber, and it feels light and refreshing. I also keep the sweetener natural, so if I’m feeling like I want a little more sugar in it, I’ll put in some agave.

It may seem summery, but I drink it year-round—it’s always fresh and the calories are low!

Reach for Raw

I’m really into vegetables so I’ll just cut up a bunch of cucumbers to nosh on. I really love making Greek salads, so I’ll do cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, onions, a little bit of goat cheese, and some Greek seasoning. I don’t have to have a lot of it—I just kind of prepare it and snack on it throughout the day. There’s nothing healthier than that, because it’s just raw vegetables.

Don’t Restrict Yourself

I have learned, from past experience, that restriction backfires. If you make something off-limits, you just obsess over it more. And then you binge, and feel really “naughty” and guilty. So I don’t ever say “no desserts,” or “no carbs.” I don’t cut out food groups.

It’s just good reverse psychology, because if you tell yourself you can have anything, you’re less inclined to want everything, the way you do when it’s “forbidden.” I have my pasta; I eat sour candies when I get a craving. I just try to focus on balance, fresh and natural ingredients, and getting those raw veggies and variety so that I stay healthy and happy!

What are your favorite healthy eating tips? How are you making healthy choices in 2015? I’d love to hear from you below, and can’t wait to connect again in February!

Xo,

Julianne

Related Stories