Former Selling Sunset reality TV star Vanessa Villela shares her secrets with Healthista on how to maintain a camera ready figure
Are you ready for season 6 of hit Netflix show Selling Sunset? We most certainly are.
Healthista loves nothing better than a Netflix binge, so when we had the opportunity to interview Vanessa Villela we knew we wanted to find out exactly how she looks that good.
From starring in soap operas to her most recent hit Netflix show Selling Sunset, Vanessa Villela has been in eye of the public since she was four years old.
The 45 year old Mexican-American actress turned real estate agent, has experienced everything from weight gain to hormone imbalance – despite trying every supplement, diet, and workout in the fitness world.
After many trails and errors, Vanessa says she has finally figured out the secrets to creating the perfect recipe for a healthy lifestyle and toned body.
Secret #1 Managing Stress and Hormones
When we are stressed, our bodies release cortisol which can lead to overeating, fatigue, and excess drinking. Even the stress of trying to lose weight can have the opposite effect.
‘I would look in the mirror and I wouldn’t recognise myself,’ says Vanessa Villela.
‘My face is the first thing that gains weight. I think that the stress of wanting to lose weight was not allowing me to lose weight and recover my health’.
Working in the TV industry, the hours are strenuous and a routine is difficult to maintain. Despite being on television, Vanessa says that it has not altered her body image perception.
Vanessa says that working out wasn’t something she would do regularly
From an early age, Vanessa says that working out wasn’t something she would do regularly due to 15 hour work days.
‘I was extremely tired with work and the energy with the [soap opera] character was so intense that my cortisol levels, the stress hormone, went super high and created a lot of problems with my hormones and the thyroid – everything,’ Vanessa reveals.
‘I gained I don’t know how many pounds, but a lot. Just so you can get an idea, I went from being a double 00 to probably like a size 3 or 4.’
After a year or more of trying spin classes to cross fit – Vanessa says she had yet to see any results. Wanting to heal her body in a natural way, Vanessa discovered kundalini, which is a type of meditation that includes a combination of mantras, movement, and breath work.
However, due to a hormone imbalance, Vanessa says she reluctantly agreed to start medication to counteract this. But the key was letting go of the pressure to lose weight.
‘I’m just going to accept what it is and I’m going to focus and release the stress and I started losing weight again,’ says Vanessa.
‘I think that sometimes we don’t prioritise ourselves. We all have very busy lifestyles and sometimes it’s hard to say ‘ok I’m going to wake up 30 minutes before’ but I think it’s important for any person to live a healthy life.’
READ MORE: 7 physical signs of stress you shouldn’t ignore – plus what can help
Secret #2 Intermittent Fasting
‘Intermittent fasting has been the key to everything, it helps with metabolism, skin, gut health, and my energy levels’ says Vanessa.
What does an intermittent fasting schedule look like you might ask?
‘I don’t follow anything too specific, so there’s no 11am to 8pm schedule. If I finish my last meal at 9pm lets say, then I just wait 14 or 15 hours to eat the next day.’
Now if you are anything like me and feel like waiting until lunch won’t cut it, Vanessa says that she starts her day with a celery juice or coffee until she has hit her 14 to 15 hours of fasting.
Vanessa also suggests hot water by itself rather than with lemon is one of the healthiest things you can drink
Vanessa also suggests hot water by itself rather than with lemon is one of the healthiest things you can drink throughout the day for your body.
Yet she emphasises that listening to your body is the most important part to curbing a craving.
‘Sometimes I will have a planet based protein shake that has superfoods with fruit and oat milk or if I feel like I want to have a burger I just have the burger without the bun – I follow what my body wants but do that in a healthy way,’ Vanessa explains.
READ MORE: How intermittent fasting helped this writer lose 4kg in four weeks and ALL her IBS cramps
Secret #3 Reformer Pilates
Not only is this Vanessa’s #1 favourite workout, but the one she recommends to people the most.
‘I do [reformer pilates] about five or six days a week,’ reveals Vanessa.
‘For me moderate is something my body tolerates better. It strengthens the body and muscles in a different way – it elongates the muscles and I was in very good shape because of that.’
Vanessa says that it is important to switch up your workouts, so you don’t get bored and feel motivated to get a workout in for the day.
‘I combine it with weights, boxing, running 3k and another workouts, sometimes in person and sometimes online, called Strong Confident Living or Karen Lord for if you don’t have much time because they are about 10-20 minutes long,’ says Vanessa.
‘Find a workout that you enjoy the most and use it as something fun that you enjoy doing for yourself. No one else is going to benefit from the workout but you and it will always make you feel good when you finish.’
No one else is going to benefit from the workout but you
But the reality TV star confesses that even she feels unmotivated from time to time. However, Vanessa stresses the importance of what working out in general can do.
‘Some days I don’t want to go and it happens to me even now, but when I finish my workout I’m like ‘yes I did it’ and it’s very rewarding and something you do for yourself,’ Vanessa explains.
‘For no one else but for yourself. For me working out gives me that stamina and I want to live a long healthy life.’
Vanessa Villela married her now-husband Nick Hardy in September last year, who she says is her biggest inspiration to live a healthier life.
‘If I don’t want to do it and he doesn’t want to do it then we inspire each other,’ Vanessa reveals.
‘I think if you don’t have a partner you can do it with then find a friend or do your workouts online so then you feel like you’re doing it with someone.’
READ MORE: 9 Pilates benefits you probably didn’t know about
Secret #4 A Gluten-Free Diet
Avoiding gluten is a key component to maintaining Vanessa’s healthy diet, as well as avoiding processed food, corn syrup, and foods that are high in sugar.
Grass-fed beef is also a food item that Vanessa says is always in her kitchen, because of the hormones in it, along with a variety of different fruits.
Grass-fed beef is also a food item that Vanessa says is always in her kitchen
‘I tried keto diets, and just about everything you can imagine,’ Vanessa says.
‘But now I don’t restrict myself anymore and that’s what stopped my cravings. When I was super strict with my diet I wasn’t even losing weight, and I could feel myself craving food all the time.
‘Like if I would be craving chocolate, I give myself permission to have a little chocolate every day if I want.’
Overall, Vanessa says that she doesn’t follow a strict routine with food.
‘I’m following a healthy plan of foods because I want to eat healthy – I want to put food in my body that is going to nourish my body and give my body vitamins that make me feel good,’ Vanessa reveals.
Season 6 of Selling Sunset is available to watch on Netflix from Friday 19th May
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