food

Fact checking Gwyneth Paltrow's fitness routine

It’s essentially impossible to come across an interview with Gwyneth Paltrow in which she doesn’t discuss her diet or her exercise regimen. The 41-year-old actress is evangelical about her wellbeing and her body, including her butt, which is apparently “not so bad for a 22-year-old stripper!'” We decided to investigate a little further. We gathered Gwyneth’s quotes and took them to health and wellness expert Kirsty Welsh. Kirsty’s also a personal trainer and knows her stuff when it comes to the health and fitness world.

GWYNETH SAYS:

I’ve found what works for me. I know if I put in an hour and a half, five days a week, I’m good. If I’m on vacation and, like, “F— it, I’m not working out,” I know what to do when I get back. A lot of women think, “Oh, my God, I could never get there,” but I don’t think that’s true. It’s simply relative to how much you put into it.

KIRSTY SAYS:

An hour and a half is too much for a workout. 60 minutes is really the optimal time for a workout. There’s a quote that says – if you’re spending more than 60 minutes in the gym, you’re talking to too many people along the way! If you’re just walking, or doing low-impact stuff, it’s a bit different. But high-impact exercise is breaking down the body so anything over an hour is working the muscles too much and you’re not allowing yourself recovery.

GWYNETH SAYS:

I do 45 minutes of cardio five days a week, because I like to eat. I also try for 45 minutes of muscular structure work, which is toning, realigning and lengthening.

KIRSTY SAYS:

Gwyneth’s view on exercise is pretty extreme. It’s not really healthy for the average person and it’s not realistic. When you smash your body into the ground five days a week, you’re not giving yourself any down time – it’s not healthy long term. You’ve just smashed your body into the ground every day. I’m a big advocate for training five days a week, but you need to balance everything you’re doing. It’s good to balance yoga and flexibility, arm strength and cardio. So Gwyneth does EVERYTHING on one day – whereas I believe in doing strength training one day, yoga another day, and then you’re allowing your body to recover.

GWYNETH SAYS:

Keep up consistent exercise. I am dedicated to the Tracy Anderson Method and it has completely changed my body. Still, when I first started working with Tracy, finding motivation was hard. She advised me to think of exercise as an automatic routine, no different from brushing your teeth, to avoid getting distracted. Now it is part of my life – I exercise Monday to Friday at 10am and always stick with it.

KIRSTY SAYS: 

Tracey Anderson loves high reps. It’s very dance-inspired, there’s no weights – most of their arm work is just body weight. It kind of all goes against what we know about the benefits of lifting weights.

 GWYNETH SAYS:

A detox is a great place to start before a diet. My doctor, Alejandro Junger, recommends a detox once a year to rid organs of processed food and environmental toxins. His theory is that the gut (your system of digestive organs) is the root of good health. It contains about 80 per cent of your body’s serotonin – which regulates appetite – so you’re more likely to lose weight when it’s working properly. This year I chose the Elimination Diet, which meant no additives or processed foods for three weeks. I’ve done juice cleanses in the past, and in my twenties I did the Master Cleanse, which left me hallucinating after 10 days. Be aware: a juice detox can crash your metabolism and lead to future weight gain.

KIRSTY SAYS:

It IS a good idea to detox your gut once a year – if your gut has a lot of toxic stuff in it, that’s when you get bloating and that sort of thing. I’m not sure about juice cleanses but I do encourage a colonic to cleanse the gut, and then building up the good bacteria back up with probiotics.

GWYNETH SAYS:

Stay away from processed foods, though cutting them out completely is no fun and can ultimately lead to a binge. Allow yourself programmed treats – I often have a glass of red wine in the evening and smoke a cigarette on a Saturday. I love those moments because they are just the right amount of naughty. That balance keeps you vibrant. You have to live your life, after all.

KIRSTY SAYS:

I like how she allows herself a treat – I don’t agree with cigarettes because that’s never a good idea, but having a day where you allow yourself a cheat meal is a good idea. It’s just something you wouldn’t normally allow yourself.

GWYNETH SAYS:

“My philosophy is: eat good, fresh food that is totally delicious. It has to taste great and be fulfilling to all of the senses. We know so much now about how inextricably linked our food is to our overall health. The bottom line is, our bodies have a hard time with anything processed. That doesn’t only mean kool-aid and goldfish. White flour, white rice and soy milk are all heavily processed as well. I know from my own research that the more whole the diet, the better I feel.”

KIRSTY SAYS:

I like Gwyneth’s philosophy on good, fresh foods. I always say to just go for fresh foods – fruit and vegetables and lean cuts of meat are the way to go. Try and go organic wherever possible. You get so much energy from beautiful food that you don’t need to eat as much food. And once you can detach from the addictive need to look a certain way, it just becomes easy. You just eat for health and your body loves you.

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What do you think about Gwyneth’s ideas? 

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