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Julianne Hough Explains Why Carbs Are the Secret to Her Amazing Body
Ever since the Atkins and South Beach craze of the early 2000s, avoiding carbs has been preached as a way to stay fit. Read any celebrity interview, and most rarely eat pasta, pizza, or simple starches — unless it's a cheat day. But for dancer and actress Julianne Hough, they're a must-have.
"I'll have them at every single meal," she toldUs Weeklyin its "My Best Body" cover story.
At first, it makes total sense: As the lead dancer in her Move Beyond tour, she's doing nonstop cardio almost every night of the week. Carbs help give her the energy she needs for such an active life, but Hough insists it's more than that.
"I need carbs because they make my brain click on and then everything else is able to function," she explained. "I thought they were my enemy, but they're actually my best friend."
It's not like she's hitting up every In-N-Out, McDonald's, and Hungry Howie's her tour bus passes. Her ideal meal is pretty balanced: chicken, sweet potatoes and other vegetables on the side.
"Everybody is so afraid of carbs — they talk about them in a negative way, like, 'Carbs make me fat or bloated' — but just pick the right one and have a little bit," Hough said.
That's the key: Choosing complex carbs that take your body longer to digest, like Hough's fave, sweet potatoes, beans, and whole grains. Day to day, Hough's big on eating chicken wraps that are loaded with vegetables, and at dinner, she'll eat a brown rice or quinoa bowl, or chicken or fish with vegetables. Or, if she's feeling it, a pizza or pasta, like the penne arrabiata or margherita pizza at La Piazza in Los Angeles.
Between shows, she works on strengthening her body with CorePower Yoga classes. That, along with a mix of protein, carbs, and vegetables at every meal, power her through dance after dance. As long as she's getting in well-balanced meals, those Italian-night cheat days can be exactly that — a cheat-day treat, rather than a gotta-have-it-now craving.
"I think when you deprive yourself, that's when you crave pasta and pizza," she told the magazine.
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