Vanessa Hudgens is all about staying fit and healthy. But keeping up with her routine isn’t always easy. The High School Musical star is often on location for work or on an all-day film shoot, thus making it to the gym doesn’t happen as often as she’d like. She has found a way to work around this, however, and has made changes to her diet in order to keep herself in camera-ready shape, regardless of if she can make it to a Pilates class or not.
Aside from looking and feeling good, Hudgens exercises to cater to her mental health. “I love working out because I go into it feeling however I feel that day and after doing the workout, I feel like I can accomplish whatever I set my mind to. It’s a great confidence boost. And I always feel best in my skin when I’m fit. I feel more powerful, I feel sexier, I feel like I can conquer the world,” she tells Parade.
We caught up with the star of Grease Live and Rent Live, who walked us through her personal fitness routine:
Pilates, Cycling, & Yoga
My fitness routine is hard to maintain while I’m filming because when you’re working 15-hour days, there isn’t much time for anything else. But when I’m not filming, I normally do a cross of Pilates, Soul Cycle and yoga. And some days when I have the time, I love doing Pilates first and then going over to Soul Cycle. I love a double up! I always feel so accomplished when I double up. I’ve been going to this Pilates studio called WundaBar for years and it’s just a great deep muscle-training workout. It’s not super high intensity but I always feel it the next day.
My body builds muscle very quickly and I don’t love the way it looks on my body. So I find the way that I achieve the body that I want for myself is to lengthen, to lean and to tone. And I get that all with yoga, Pilates, and Soul. I love Modo Yoga. I love a heated yoga class. I love to sweat. I love having to change my clothes after a workout. I think that there’s no better feeling than when you really sweat during a workout.
All about the classes
I try to take one of these classes whenever I can, whenever my schedule allows it. Normally, that doesn’t allow for seven days. I would do seven days if I had time. I love starting my day off that way because sometimes I’ll have a less productive days and if I’ve gotten a workout in, then I feel like I’m accomplished no matter what.
For me, it’s just all about classes. If there is a class that is open, if there’s a spot available, and I’m around them, I just sign myself up. I normally sign up for a class the night before so I don’t even have time to think about it and just wake up to having to go to workout. If I don’t do it first thing in the morning it normally does not happen.
I’m a big fan of Propel Vitamin Boost water, because it has electrolytes and it has vitamins in it. So I feel replenished after sweating, as I love to do. I love the peach mango flavor. It’s the best! It just gives me like a little boost of energy and rehydrates me because I’m also the worst at drinking water. So this way I’m gonna make sure I get my electrolytes. I drink it during my workout and after my workout.
I work out on an empty stomach usually. Diet wise, I kind of to go between intermittent fasting and Keto and so it’s normally just black coffee and a lot of water first thing in the AM.
When the time comes to break the fast, then I do it. I kind of do an 18-hour fast and eat for 6. I try to get in all my nutritional needs so greens and fats and omegas. I don’t eat meat; I do eat fish. But outside of that I am in a place where I am allowing myself to enjoy the foods that I love. So there’s a lot of pizza and pasta involved.
I’ve been doing it on and off for a few months. I started because one of my friends who is actually a nurse started doing it and I hadn’t seen him in about a year. And I was like, “What are you doing?” He literally looked like he’s aging backwards. His skin looked amazing. And he said, “Intermittent fasting. It’s the future.” So I looked into it and read up on the science behind it, what happens to your body while you’re fasting, the autophagy, and realized it’s actually good for you on a cellular level. So I tried it out and within like the first week I lost seven pounds and then kept it off and I’m now at my standard fit weight. And I don’t have time right now to work out every day, as I normally would. So it’s a really great way to stay in shape, feel good, and still look great.
Dabbling in Keto
When I have long work hours, I try to switch over into Keto because it’s hard when you’re working at 16-hour day and trying to only eat for six. So I try to space it out a little better with a Ketogenic diet and try to nix the carbs and go for high fats and proteins.
My go-to breakfast is this crispy rice that has vegetables and avocado and eggs on it. It’s at a restaurant that I always go to, which I’m not revealing because that’s my secret local spot (laughs). And I just douse it with hot sauce because I could live off of hot sauce. And then for dinner it’s either pasta or pizza or sushi. I’ll admit that I’m not the biggest cook.
With the fasting, I typically have two big meals with some snacks and little things in between. But primarily it’s just two big meals.
The intermittent fasting allows me to not restrict what I eat as much, which is so nice. I don’t know if it’s the right way or the wrong way, but regardless, it’s working for me and I’m enjoying it. And also the whole snacking every three hours thing, it just always had me thinking about food. And with this, it’s like I eat in my six hour window and then I completely put eating out of my mind because I know that I’m not going to eat anything else for the rest of the night. And also it actually cut back on my wine intake because usually you drink wine right before bed and with this, I’m not doing any of that.
There was definitely an adjustment period. The first week was rough as well as in my workouts. I just kind of felt a bit more lethargic and tired. But after that week, it started to pick up and I started to feel better.
A little self-care
For me, that self-love time is the time I give myself that is dedicated to skincare. I want to hold out on doing anything to my face for as long as possible so I’m making sure I’m taking really good care of it while I’m still young. I do my wash and my serums and my moisturizers and my lights and all the things that I have, which I just love. I use a light called LightStim. I use the combination light, which is for acne and wrinkles because my skin, I break out. I thought that as I got older I wouldn’t, but I have oily skin, so it’s just something that happens and whenever something new pops up, I use my light and it reduces the time that it will be on my face by at least half. So I swear by it.
I start my day with my skincare routine and I end my day like that. I give myself a good amount of time to not feel rushed because I also think that’s a big part of mental health for me, giving myself the time I deserved because there’s nothing worse than starting out your day feeling rushed. And I feel like taking this time for myself, it’s a nice time for me to almost meditate just by loving on myself.