How Blake Lively Keeps Her Figure (& Maintains Realistic Body Standards)

Blakey Lively isn't just a good actor — she's also a pro at staying in stunning shape. As a mom of four, her body's been through many changes but that hasn't stopped her from looking amazing on the red carpet. She's one of the first to admit, though, that it takes work. In a "Live With Kelly" interview she talked about training for her movie, "The Shallows," saying, "I do not look like that in real life ... That was an eight-week period of my life. I'm lucky to have an amazing trainer, this guy Don Saladino, who just kicked my butt."

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Of course, while it may require effort and the help of trainers and nutritionists, a lot of Lively's strategies for staying in shape revolve around her life as a busy working mom and keeping her routines doable. Her trainer, Saladino, told People that he tries to keep her workouts to about an hour a day.  "Maybe a couple of special days it went over a little bit, but the reality is she has a baby, and she's a working woman," he said. "She's got to get in, hit it, and get out."

Whether you're looking to get back into your groove after having a baby or simply want a few pointers to manage your health and fitness in a way that makes sense for your lifestyle, Lively's approach to staying in shape while living her life is absolutely inspiring.

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Blake Lively starts her days off with protein

One thing Blake Lively knows how to do is start her days off with the right kind of breakfast. Thanks to a "73 Questions Interview" with Vogue, we know what would be on Lively's guide to hosting the ultimate brunch, as she quickly listed eggs Benedict as her go-to meal. Not only that, but in a Cosmopolitan interview, her trainer Don Saladino mentioned that eggs are a common breakfast food for Lively, saying "Blake might make herself a couple of eggs cooked in coconut oil, and she might throw some fresh vegetables in there. If she's really hungry, because the human body changes all the time, she may add some gluten-free oats with some fruit."

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Eating a good breakfast is important for a lot of different reasons. Not only does it help you set the right tone for the rest of the day, but it can also impact your mood and energy levels. "Starting your day with a nutritious breakfast kick-starts your metabolism and provides fuel for your body and brain," says Lena Beal, a therapeutic dietitian at Piedmont's Fuqua Heart Center (via Piedmont). Because of this, it can be ultra-important to make sure you're eating a nourishing and balanced breakfast, which should ideally include not only fresh fruits and vegetables but also some fiber and protein, too.

Blake Lively takes nutrition seriously

Balance isn't just important at breakfast. Eating balanced meals is important to think about while meal planning throughout the day, especially if you want to maintain good energy levels and support your workouts. Per Healthine, eating a balanced diet full of lean protein, fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, and legumes can not only support your activity levels, but it can also help prevent major diseases like heart attacks and strokes.

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Talking to People, trainer Don Saladino made sure to note that Blake Lively's meals were always well-rounded and nutritious. "We made sure that her meals were well-balanced. She had a protein, a vegetable, and a slow-burning carb," he said. "We tried to give her enough so that she wasn't stuffed, but she was comfortable."

He also opened up about the additional considerations that went into planning her meals when she was training for her movie, "The Shallows," as a new mom. "This is about feeding a woman who's got a child who's got to have certain nutrients in her body," he said. "She's got to take care of herself. She's got to eat healthy. The way that we did it was the right way, and it wasn't through starving her."

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Blake Lively celebrates her body and embraces motherhood

Even though staying in shape has been important to Blake Lively, being realistic about the physical changes and challenges that motherhood brings is important, too. In an interview with the Australian morning show "Sunrise," she got candid about the reality of how motherhood impacts your body, saying, "It's so unfair that it's so celebrated, like, 'This is what you could look like after having a baby!' And I think that a woman's body after having a baby is pretty amazing," she said (via The Herald-Times). "You don't need to be Victoria's Secret ready right away, because your body just did the most incredible miracle that life has to offer. You gave birth to a human being. [And] I would really like to see that celebrated."

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Not only has she talked about celebrating motherhood and what a body is capable of — she's also discussed the way that motherhood has impacted her body image in surprising ways. While talking to Forbes, she opened up about a newfound confidence motherhood gave her. "I never felt more myself or at ease in my own body or more confident — not to say that there aren't a bevy of insecurities coming at me a million times a day, but I just feel incredibly settled," she said.

Blake Lively prepares her own meals

Making meals at home can be a big deal for your health and have a significant impact on your fitness journey. Not only that, but cooking can help boost your mood and improve your mental health. Per Harvard Health, there's growing evidence that cooking at home and preparing your own meals can not only help you eat healthier meals and consume fewer calories, but can also aid in preventing major health concerns like diabetes. 

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Taking the time to prepare the majority of your meals at home can really help you take charge of your health journey, and in Blake Lively's case, this is a familiar strategy for staying in shape. "She cooks a lot of her own stuff," Lively's trainer, Don Saladino, told People. "She really enjoys the kitchen and didn't have a private chef. I would've obviously loved for her to have that — because it's one less stress — but she didn't need it."

Blake Lively doesn't restrict herself

While aiming to eat a healthy diet can be ultra-important on any kind of health or fitness journey, that doesn't mean you can't have fun sometimes, too. Despite eating plenty of balanced meals, Blake Lively lets herself cut loose once in a while. Anyone who follows her on Instagram is likely familiar with her love of baking. In a 2012 interview with Marie Claire, she gushed about her love of it. "To be around me, you must love food or I'm the most obnoxious person you've ever met. I'm in a big cooking phase," she said (via Us Weekly). "That's all I'll talk about. If you went to my house and didn't know who it belonged to, you would not think it belonged to an actress."

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Showcasing the importance of balance, Lively is sure to make space in her diet for baked goods, and while she's focused on quality nutrition, she's not a calorie counter. According to her trainer Don Saladino, who spoke with Cosmopolitan, things like crash diets are never a good idea, and being too restrictive can be a recipe for failure. "I don't think putting someone into a caloric deficit, meaning restricting their calories, is the right thing to do, and this is why a lot of coaches and a lot of people are unsuccessful," he said. 

Blake Lively is resourceful in the kitchen

In an interview with Stylist, Blake Lively broke down her favorite ingredients for a special meal but was also open about the fact that that isn't always the way she approaches making food. "For something special I love going to Mario Batali's market, Eataly in New York. You find the best produce there: homemade pasta, creamy truffle concoctions, and hand-stuffed ravioli," she said. "I love getting fresh meat, vegetables, and pasta and making a buffet out of it all at home. But I'll also do those 'MacGyver meals' using anything I have in the fridge, like a cheese pasta and vegetables."

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Eating well and making your own meals doesn't mean that you're always going to be crafting Instagram-worthy plates. Sometimes, especially when life is hectic, being able to pull something balanced together quickly is what's most important (even if it's a little messy). Staying stocked up on quality ingredients can be a simple way to make sure that you're prepared no matter what the day brings, but in the event that you don't have the perfect ingredients on hand, being flexible with your approach to cooking can be helpful, too.

Blake Lively hits the gym hard

Blake Lively has been open about the fact that she's not always in the same shape for everyday life that she's in when she's filming a movie. However, when she prepared for her role in the film, "The Shallows," she was hitting the gym hard. Speaking to People, Lively's trainer Don Saladino gave out the details about her intense workouts. "We would do an upper body workout Monday, lower body Tuesday. Wednesday was a playful pool workout where she would do laps," he said. "Thursday was upper body, Friday lower body, and Saturday we were focusing on the accessory movers: the arms, the shoulders."

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Although it's well known that exercise is good for you, how often and how long you work out is a very personal decision, and depends a lot on what your health needs and goals are. For example, if your goal is to lose fat, then you'll likely need a different approach to working out than someone who's trying to gain muscle. That said, there are some things to keep in mind when deciding just how much you do want to work out. Per Healthline, it's a good idea to start working out two or three days a week until you can comfortably work up to five. Additionally, an ideal workout plan should include exercises you can do every day, and a combination of cardio, strength training, stretching, and core work.

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Blake Lively makes time for quick spurts of exercise

Even though Blake Lively may stick to an intense workout routine most of the time, between traveling for work and caring for her four children, life can get in the way of her workouts — but Lively doesn't let a hectic schedule stop her from getting in some movement each day. While talking to Cosmopolitan, her trainer Don Saladino acknowledged this reality, saying, "Very rarely can someone get in day in and day out religiously and be perfect on a regimen. We're showing you right now that you don't have to be. Blake's being realistic."

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No matter how dedicated you are to a workout regimen, life can prove to be an obstacle sometimes, especially if you have a packed schedule. For the days when you can't get in a full workout, finding ways to adapt can be key. According to the American Heart Association, finding ways to stay active can make a big difference. Often, going for a walk or walking while you do something like talk on the phone or watch TV can be simple ways to move your body without carving out a big chunk of time for a full-on workout.

Blake Lively uses her friends (and fashion) for inspiration

While some might not feel too influenced by the outside world when it comes to their body image or health goals, the reality is that diet culture harms our body image, and societal pressures to look a certain way do exist. Even celebrities are not immune to them. Ever the down-to-earth icon, Blake Lively didn't shy away from discussing how she's been affected by these kinds of pressures, even though she's long been an advocate of celebrating motherhood and the post-partum body.

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Speaking to E! News at a Michael Kors fashion show in 2018, Lively opened up about using her friend and fellow mom Emily Blunt as inspiration. Referring to Blunt, who was standing next to her, she said, "She was like just this size two months after birth and I think that that's what's so hard is that like you compare yourself to other moms."

It wasn't just her friends that impacted her views on fitness, though. She also mentioned how her fashion goals factored in. "It took me 14 months, but I fit in PVC now," she said, (referring to the trench coat she wore to the show). "But, it's also OK if you don't. If that's not a priority or a goal of yours, then that's fine, too."

Blake Lively knows how to nix stress

According to Blake Lively's trainer Don Saladino, Lively knew how to maintain the right attitude to keep herself healthy, balanced, and on the right track. While speaking to Cosmopolitan, he said, "She enjoyed loving her baby, exercising, and eating healthy foods. It was something that she made part of her everyday life. Because she took a good attitude on that, she saw success." He continued to say a different attitude could have led to a different outcome, adding, "It would have added such a stress on her body and her life. The stress hormone can make you look different, it can cause you to gain weight. But she was relaxing, and having a lot of trust in me and the process."

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No one needs a health expert to tell them that stress can have a negative effect on your health. However, what some may not realize is just how much of an impact it can have on health in general — and on a fitness journey, too. Per the University of Utah Health, the amount of stress you're under can impact your waistline. This is because stress can up your cortisol levels, which can cause you to crave sugary foods and hold on to belly fat. While stress may not always be possible to avoid, learning to practice mindfulness and self-compassion can be great starting points for adopting a more relaxed mindset.

Blake Lively acknowledges the support and guidance she gets

Along with keeping up a balanced attitude, Blake Lively also knows the importance of practicing gratitude in her everyday life and acknowledging all of the support she has when it comes to maintaining her shape. On her Instagram, it's not uncommon to see posts giving a shoutout to her trainer for whipping Lively into shape. "Turns out you can't lose the 61 lbs you gained during pregnancy by just scrolling through instragram [sic] and wondering why you don't look like all the bikini models. Thanks @donsaladino for kickin my A double S into shape. 10 months to gain, 14 months to lose. Feeling very proud," she captioned one post.

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Along with expressing gratitude on her Insta, Lively has also talked about what goes into keeping her on track in interviews, too. While speaking with The Sun, she was candid not only about how much help she has maintaining her stunning figure, but also the fact that for her, staying in shape is a job, and not necessarily realistic for everyone. "It took two different trainers and a nutritionist to help me get into that sort of shape because it's not normal to look like that eight months after having a kid," she revealed. "Women put pressure on themselves to look like a Victoria's Secret model after having a baby. It's absolutely absurd. It was my job to look that way."

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