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5 Ways Hilary Duff Strips Away Belly Flab Fast

Hilary Duff details her fitness regime and experts weigh in.
FACT CHECKED BY Jeremy Horowitz

Hilary Duff became a staple in pop culture thanks to her stint as the title character Lizzie McGuire on the hit Disney show and solidified a permanent spot as a millennial teen queen of the 2000s. Duff went on to pursue other projects, as well as music, releasing multiple albums. The 35-year-old now stars in the lead role on Hulu's How I Met Your Father and maintains a busy schedule, but makes time to stay healthy. In a recent interview with Shape, the star revealed her diet and workout regime, and we asked experts what they think. Read on. 

She Eats a Variety of Vegetables Every Day

raw vegetables

The mother of three is mindful of what she consumes and eats veggies daily. "I love to roast vegetables like squash and broccoli," she shared. 

What the Expert Says: "Having a variety of veggies is important for staying healthy and losing weight," Jesse Feder, RDN, CPT, with My Crohns and Colitis Team says. "This is because by having a variety of veggies you are able to get a lot of different vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber in your diet. This is great for supporting your digestive health and allowing for a healthy metabolism which can aid in weight loss. Additionally, all of these nutrients support all other bodily functions and keep you healthy." ACE-certified personal trainer TJ Mentus, who is also a USA Weightlifting Level 1 Trainer, tells us, "Vegetables are great for health and weight loss because they are low in calories and high in the body's micronutrients for proper function and optimal health." He explains, "Different vegetables can be higher or lower in specific nutrients, so eating a variety will help you to prevent deficiencies in a specific nutrient. Even though they are low in calories, the fiber in vegetables will help fill you up and prevent eating less nutritious and more fattening foods."

RELATED: The 6 Best Vegetables You Should Be Eating Every Day, Say Dietitians

She Cooks at Home


Another way the actress stays slim is by eating at home often and learning to make new recipes. "My friend Gaby [Dalkin] is a chef and taught me how to reverse sear a steak — you cook it really slow in the oven first, and then once it's almost cooked, you throw it on a really hot grill — it's my favorite thing ever," Duff said.

What the Expert Says: "By cooking at home, you can know precisely what foods and ingredients are going into your meals," says Mentus. "You get to choose the quality of foods you're eating and stick to Whole Foods as much as possible. This will also make tracking calories and macronutrients easier for weight management."

She Plays Tennis

tennis racket and balls

Duff stays active in a few ways, including tennis once a week. "I'm really loving that escape and that little break," she said. "It's a really complex game, and it's hard to think about other things when you're playing. It kind of drowns out all the buzzing in my head." 

What the Expert Says: Mentus says, "Tennis is a highly aerobic activity that helps to strengthen the heart and lungs over time as they become more efficient at operating at higher respiratory and heart rates. As the heart and lungs get in better shape, it will become harder to raise those rates as high, and you will find your ability to recover your breath and heart rate easier. Tennis will also burn calories at a high heart rate due to these elevated heart rates, which will help with weight loss and management."

RELATED: These Tennis Outfits Will up Your Game on and off the Court

Her Trainer Holds Her Accountable


Duff is the first to admit she wouldn't have the motivation to work out if she didn't have a trainer and joked about not using the treadmill in her room. "I've only been on it two times," she quipped. "I would never work out on my own," Duff said. "I could go hike by myself or take a class by myself, but I would never run or do a circuit." 

What the Expert Says: Kent Probst, a personal trainer, kinesiotherapist and bodybuilder with Long Healthy Life says, "When you have a fitness professional in your corner, supporting your efforts, answering your questions, and holding you accountable, your exercise adherence will be greater. A personal trainer can design a workout and then check up on you periodically. You can keep consulting fees down by doing most of your workouts on your own." Mentus adds, "It can be challenging to be self-motivated all the time. Many people will find it easier to show up when they know someone is waiting for them and also give a better effort with someone else watching. A trainer will make sure what you're doing is helping you toward your goals; if it is not, then they can make adjustments and offer encouragement." 

RELATED: 5 Supplements That Trainers Actually Take

She Hits the Gym a Few Times a Week


The former Disney star squeezes in gym sessions three to four times a week with her trainer where they focus a lot on her upper body. "This is the first time I've really trained like that, and it makes such a huge difference, especially with my core and not getting hurt," Duff told the outlet. "I'll turn [to look] over my shoulder in the car to make sure I can change lanes and I'll put my neck out." She said the training also just makes her feel better, adding, "I walk differently. I hold myself differently. I eat better."

What the Expert Says: Mentus says, "At the gym, you can work on a variety of fitness goals. This could include losing weight, building strength and or endurance, improving mobility and joint health, or increasing muscle mass. These goals require a minimum amount of effort and consistency, and most of the time, just once or twice a week will not be enough stimulus for the body to make significant changes. 3 to 4 times a week would be going to the gym every other day, which is enough working out to stimulate improvements in fitness and allow enough time to recover between workouts." Probst adds, "Hitting the gym 3-4 times per week helps meet fitness goals because the American College of Sports Medicine recommends 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity cardiovascular exercise, or 75 minutes per week of vigorous cardiovascular exercise to reduce the risk of disease significantly."

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