Charlize Theron continues to amaze us with her age-defying physique and beauty. Over the years, we've seen her gain and lose weight for movie roles — putting on a whopping 50 pounds for her role in Tully and quickly shedding it for her next big role in Long Shot.
Unlike some other celebrities who rely on trendy and restrictive diets and insanely rigorous workouts, Theron has a more laid-back approach to eating and exercise, focusing on maintaining a lifestyle that makes her feel her very best. Here are the Academy Award winner's best tips to living her healthiest life.
1. She's Found Workouts She Loves
For the actress, that means doing as much as she can outside. "I love anything outdoorsy," she said. "My mum recently got me to play tennis, which I wasn't good at, but really enjoyed. If you do exercise you enjoy you're keeping yourself fit without even realizing it."
When it comes to indoor workout, she also enjoys yoga, indoor cycling classes (she's been spotted at a few different SoulCycle locations across the country) and Pilates. The star revealed to Red that she does two 90-minute sessions of power yoga every week in addition to indoor cycling classes "three to four times a week." As for Pilates, she told Harper's Bazaar the core-focused workout "totally changed" her body.
2. She Tracks Her Food and Exercise
While Theron is devoted to exercise, she does allow herself to skip workouts. However, when she does, she adjusts her eating accordingly and has devised a formula to maintain balance.
"I'm always calculating my activity," she told Harper's Bazaar. "If I haven't been moving a lot, I can't eat a lot. Or maybe it's a cheat day. But I'm honest with myself." If you want to follow Theron's lead, LIVESTRONG.COM's free calorie-tracking app, MyPlate, is a great way to track your food intake as well as caloric expenditure from exercise.
3. She Eats and Drink Her Greens
Theron isn't all-out anything when it comes to her diet, but she does favor plant-based, raw foods and believes that her biggest beauty secret is going green. "I have juices and kale and green salads every single day," she told Red.
While going totally meat-free isn't for everyone (Charlize herself doesn't identify as a vegetarian), eating more plant-based foods can have a variety of health benefits. Vegetables — particularly non-starchy ones — and fruits are the most vitamin- and mineral-dense and provide disease-fighting antioxidants. Plant-based foods also have tons of fiber, which is crucial for regulating digestion.
4. She Cheats a Little
However, she admits her ultimate "cheat day" craving is potato chips. In order to pack on 50 pounds for her critically acclaimed role in Tully, the actress bought the salty snack in bulk and munched on them them nonstop.
"I ate a lot of everything, but my drug of choice is potato chips," she said during an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. "Everywhere. I had a bag in the car, a bag in the bathroom, a bag in the kitchen, a bag on the couch, a bag in my trailer. Everywhere I went, there was just a bag."
5. She Make Her Mental Health a Priority
Theron's biggest motivating factor of sustaining a healthy lifestyle has more to do with maintaining her mental health than anything else. She revealed to DeGeneres that all of the unhealthy eating she did for Tully made her "lethargic and tired all the time," and even resulted in a depressive episode.
"The hardest thing for me was I wasn't prepared for how that amount of processed food will affect your mood, and I dealt with depression for the first time," she said. "What they say about, you know, what you eat is kind of who you are is so true. I ate like a person who just didn't move, and I felt like that. That was a hard thing to break, because it's more mental than it is almost physical."
While she does drink on occasion, Theron admits that she feels her best when she sleeps more and drinks less. "When I'm eating healthily, getting enough sleep and not drinking alcohol, that's when I look my best," she told Red. "That's when I'm happiest and I think it shows." And we'd have to agree!