How Carbs Gave Julianne Hough Her Best Body Ever

Julianne Hough maintains that carbs are the secret to her fitness success.
Image Credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

So many people consider carbohydrates the devil of any diet, but Julianne Hough is bucking the trend.

Hough, who earned her name in Hollywood as a professional dancer on the hit show "Dancing with the Stars," recently revealed to Us Weekly that consuming healthy carbs "every single meal" is the secret to her fantastically fit physique.

"I think when you deprive yourself, that's when you crave pasta and pizza," she said. While the 28-year-old indulges in pasta, pizza, desserts and wine on her cheat days, she describes her ideal meal as consisting of chicken, veggie and sweet potatoes.

"Everybody is so afraid of carbs β€” they talk about them in a negative way, like, 'Carbs make me fat or bloated' β€” but just pick the right one and have a little bit."

Whole-wheat bread and starchy veggies are necessary "because they make my brain click on and everything else is able to function," she explains. "I thought they were my enemy, but they're actually my best friend."

Science agrees with Hough's carb philosophy. A 2015 diet and weight-loss trial executed by the National Institutes of Health found that high-carb, low-fat diets are more efficient for weight loss than high-fat, low-carb diets. But as she explains in her interview, not all carbs are created equal.

Good carbs like whole grains, starchy vegetables, fruit, beans and low-fat dairy are absorbed more slowly into the body. Meanwhile, highly processed carbohydrates like white bread, white pasta and baked goods made with refined flour tend to spike blood sugar.

It's a good thing she is fueling her body with carbohydrate goodness because, in addition to dancing, hiking and working out with her trainer, Hough loves to get her zen on at CorePower Yoga (a 130-pound person can expect to burn about 304 calories in 60 minutes at a power yoga class).

"It's all over the country, so sometimes before a show, we'll get a bunch of people together and do a class. Or if we have an outdoor show, we'll go onto the lawn and do a group workout."

But exercise isn't just about looking good for Hough. "For me, it's not necessarily about my physical shape that I'm in, it's more of an internal shape," she told Elle. "I'm just happier, I have more energy, I just feel better when I work out."

Thanks for the carbspiration, Ms. Hough!

What Do YOU Think?

Do you fill your diet with lots of good carbs? Have you ever tried a low-carb diet? Do you agree with Julianne's carbohydrate philosophy?