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8 Foods Shay Mitchell Eats to Melt Belly Flab

Shay Mitchell's diet is so relatable anyone can do it. 
FACT CHECKED BY Jeremy Horowitz

Shay Mitchell recently dropped a cheeky new Instagram photo and the only thing covering her super-toned body is a peach–not an emoji, but an actual piece of fruit (mega points for creativity). The 36-year-old has always been into health and fitness and her latest pic demonstrates the hard work she's put in to stay healthy and in shape. That said, the Pretty Little Liars star's regime is actually surprisingly relatable and doable. Mitchell's philosophy isn't about a strict and limiting diet, but rather everything in moderation. "Truly, I'm not one who believes in diets," she told Women's Health. Here are seven things the actress (and mother of two) eats to melt belly flab and what nutrition experts think the foods can do for you. 

She Eats an Egg Quesadilla Every Morning for Breakfast

Mexican tortilla quesadilla with scramble eggs, vegetables, ham and cheese, Mexican cuisine, Mexico and Latin America traditional restaurant menu dish, food cooking recipe book cover.

Every morning the mother of two starts her day with a 30-minute workout and then she has an egg quesadilla with spinach and mushrooms. "I make the same breakfast every day," she told Women's Health. "I'm the biggest fan of this egg quesadilla I saw on TikTok. I never get sick of it." 

What the Expert Says: "An egg quesadilla with spinach and mushrooms is a balanced meal, offering protein from the egg, fiber, and vitamins from the vegetables, and carbs from the tortilla," Nutrition Coach Paul Bailey says. "However, like any food, variety is essential. Eating this daily might deprive you of other essential nutrients available in different foods. Also, consider the type and amount of oil or butter used in cooking, as it can add unnecessary calories and fats."

RELATED: 20 Things Everyone Should Know About Eggs

She Loves Pizza with a Cauliflower or Broccoli Crust

Woman's hands sprinkling fresh basil leaves on the top of cauliflower pizza crust

For lunch, Mitchell makes pizza with cauliflower or broccoli crusts she buys frozen. "I'll dump some spinach and arugula on it, and then a little bit of ranch," she said. 

What the Expert Says: "Pizza with cauliflower or broccoli crusts is a lower-carb alternative to traditional pizza," Bailey states. "Adding spinach and arugula adds fiber, vitamins, and minerals. However, the nutritional value can be affected by the type and amount of cheese, any added processed meats, and the Ranch dressing's fat and calorie content. Overall, in moderation and with the right toppings, this can be a healthy lunch option. However, as always, balance and variety are essential."

She Snacks on Veggies and Hummus

Snacks bar. Healthy vegetables sticks and hummus

In between meals, Mitchell snacks on veggies and hummus. "I love hummus with anything; I mean everything with hummus just tastes better, you know?" she said. 

What the Expert Says: "Veggies with hummus is a nutritionally sound snack," Bailey states. "Vegetables provide essential vitamins, minerals, and fibers, while hummus, made from chickpeas, offers protein and healthy fats. This combination can be filling and offer sustained energy. Ensure the hummus doesn't have unnecessary additives or excessive sodium."

RELATED: The Best and Worst Hummus Brands—Ranked!

She Eats Beyond Meat Lettuce Wraps

Vegan detox spring rolls with quinoa, sprouts and Thai peanut sauce, view from above, flat lay

Mitchell enjoys food and doesn't avoid meals or snacks. "I also have, like, meals for snacks," she said. "I love Beyond Meat. I'll have a Beyond meat lettuce wrap with sweet potato fries for a snack."

What the Expert Says: Registered dietitian and certified personal trainer Jesse Feder with My Crohns and Colitis Team says, "While Beyond meat is plant-based, it is not really any healthier than red meat. In order to make Beyond meat taste so good, the company adds in a lot of plant-based fats. Additionally, sweet potato fries may provide more nutrients than regular fries, however, they tend to be just as high in calories and fats."

Bailey adds, "Beyond meat products, which are plant-based meat alternatives, have become popular for those avoiding meat. They provide protein but also come with added ingredients to mimic the taste and texture of meat. Using lettuce as a wrap reduces the carbs and calories. Sweet potato fries, when baked, can be a healthy side, rich in vitamin A and fiber. The overall healthiness of this meal depends on preparation methods (e.g., frying vs. baking) and portion sizes."

She Loves Fish and Salads for Dinner

grilled sea bass with sauteed tomatoes served with potatoes ball on white plate

For dinner Mitchell has a few go-to's like pasta or a sweet potato, but for the moment she likes sea bass. "It's something that's so easy, and then I'll accompany it with a salad," she shared. 

What the Expert Says: According to Feder, "Fish and a side salad is a very healthy, high protein, low-calorie meal. Fish is considered to be a lean protein that can provide you with a significant portion of protein while keeping your caloric intake low. Additionally, salads provide you with significant amounts of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, which can help keep your meal well rounded and keep you full."

Bailey tells us, "Fish, especially fatty varieties like salmon and mackerel, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have numerous health benefits, including supporting brain health and reducing inflammation. They're also a great source of lean protein. Accompanying fish with a side salad ensures you get a dose of veggies, providing fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Such a meal is balanced and nutrient-dense, promoting heart health, better digestion, and overall wellness."

RELATED: No-Mess Sea Bass Packet Recipe

She Eats Foods From the Farmers Market And is Conscious Of Where Foods Come From

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JULY 09: Shay Mitchell attends the World Premiere of "Barbie" at Shrine Auditorium and Expo Hall on July 09, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
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Mitchell wants to instill healthy habits in her daughter Atlas Noa and one way she's doing that is by getting her in the habit of being mindful of what she's eating. "I want her to be conscious about what she's eating and where she gets it from. We have been taking her to the farmers' market, and I like her knowing that this food came from a specific place," she said. 

What the Expert Says: "It is very important to be conscious about what we eat and where it comes from," Feder explains. "The food we eat can have both short-term and long-term effects on our health. We want to make sure our food comes from a place that is clean and practices safe food handling. This can help prevent food poisoning and other similar issues. Additionally, knowing what we put into our bodies can help us make healthier food choices and improve our overall health."

She Eats Chips, So As to Not Deprive Herself

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 12: Shay Mitchell attends the 2023 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on March 12, 2023 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Daniele Venturelli/Getty Images)
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Mitchell has a healthy lifestyle and makes good food choices, but that doesn't mean she isn't going to indulge. She loves stevia chocolate almonds and chips. "From somebody who is such a chip girl, I literally have like an entire bag in one sit down. It's my favorite thing," she said.

What the Expert Says: "Allowing yourself to indulge is very important when it comes to our health and life in general," Feder emphasizes. "One of the biggest reasons people fail in their diets is the fact they are too restrictive and do not allow opportunities to indulge in their favorite foods. Allowing yourself to indulge throughout your diet can help keep you on track and prevent burnout. Food is also a significant part and enjoyment of our life. By allowing ourselves to indulge we can boost our happiness and mood."

RELATED: 15 Healthy Chips You Can Eat When You're Trying To Lose Weight

She Eats and Drinks Products That Have No Added Sugars

Mitchell posed with the peach as part of a campaign for Onda Tequila Seltzer, a canned beverage made with tequila, juice, and no added sugars.

What the Expert Says: "Ever since we were little kids, packaged-goods manufacturers have been trying to get the edge on one another in the battle to win a coveted place on our tongues," says personal trailer and author of Eat This, Not That! for Abs Mark Langowski. "And because we evolved to seek out sweet tastes—because naturally sweet foods like fruits are packed with life-giving vitamins, minerals and fiber—the more sugar, or sugar alternatives, they can pack into a product, the better the chance that we'll come to think of them as old friends, and reliably take them home with us each time we visit the grocery store."

He continues: "In high doses, sugar is toxic, as the pancreas reacts by shooting out insulin, a hormone that helps pull the sugar out of our bloodstream and turn it into energy that we can burn. But unless we're skiing down a mountain or leaping to spike a volleyball, there's often more energy on hand than we can burn off, so it quickly gets stored as fat. Over and over again, I've seen tremendous results with my clients when I just have them understand the difference between bad carbs—those packed with sugar and refined grains—and good, whole-food carbs."

Heather Newgen
Heather Newgen has two decades of experience reporting and writing about health, fitness, entertainment and travel. Heather currently freelances for several publications. Read more about Heather