Julianne Hough covers Shape: ‘Pizza is my favorite food. You can cheat’

Julianne Hough finishes a workout
Julianne Hough covers the September issue of Shape Magazine, I think to promote her line of athletic clothes, which she’s been papped out in seemingly once a week this entire summer. She’s in phenomenal shape with great abs and has been getting a lot of coverage for that reason particularly. In Shape, Hough talks about her approach to fitness, diet and leisure. She sounds very honest about her fitness routine and diet, which is healthy for the most part with some occasional indulgences. Hough reminds me of Kate Hudson in that way. Kate will also explain how she maintains a healthy lifestyle by putting the work in every day.

On reminding herself that strong is better than skinny:
“I love my shape because I feel strong and fit, and that makes me feel confident. When I look at pictures of myself when I was 19, my body was bangin’, but I was killing myself. I was working out two and a half hours a day and eating the bare minimum to survive. I was so miserable. I wasn’t healthy. To be honest, I looked like a kid. Now I’m embracing the fact that I’m a woman with curves.”

On discovering a routine that she loves:
“I exercise three to six times a week, but usually I do five days of hard-core training. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, I do Tracy Anderson or Body by Simone or I work out with my trainer, Astrid Swan. Tuesdays and Thursdays, I do Core Power Yoga, which I love. If I’m doing something special, like shooting the SHAPE cover, or when I want to tone up quickly, I’ll also take a SoulCycle class. Saturdays, I go on a really long hike with my friends or take another yoga class, depending on how I feel. Sunday is my reboot day. I try to eat healthy and do something outside like walk my dogs. I relax, enjoy the day and get mentally and spiritually prepared for the week. It gets me excited for what’s ahead.”

On finding ways to sweat with her friends:
“I love going to classes with my girlfriends [actresses Nina Dobrev and Sarah Hyland are two of her closest]. We’ll call each other or send a group text and organize. Sometimes we sign up for Spartan races and have a blast. Last fall we took a girls’ trip to Mexico. I had just finished a dancing tour with my brother, Derek, and was super motivated and working out like crazy. My friends asked me to teach a class one of the days we were on the trip, and I said, ‘One day? I’ll do it every day!’ So rather than drink tequila shots and get crazy, we turned it into a healthy trip. Every morning, we got up and I taught an hourlong mix of Tracy Anderson, Body by Simone, and yoga moves. Then we’d put on our swimsuits and go to the beach or the pool. Don’t get me wrong: We definitely enjoyed cocktails and chips and salsa while we were there, but after our daily workouts we always felt much better about ourselves.”

On making room for cheat days, too:
“E! News recently posted a picture of me coming out of the gym, and there were all these comments about the photo, like, ‘We could have abs like this, but we love pizza too much.’ I started laughing because pizza is my favorite food. I eat it a lot! I want everyone to know that I’m not Miss Perfect. You can cheat every once in a while, and that’s OK. You can still have a fit body as long as you work out regularly and eat relatively healthfully throughout your life.”

On her exercise inspiration
“If I have a really cute outfit on when I exercise, it inspires me to work harder. I want those clothes to look good on my body.”

On dressing for success:
“I started designing my athleisure line because I’m a believer in a fit lifestyle. I wanted to make clothes that are cute to work out in and that you can also go about your day in—picking up the kids, going to a meeting, getting groceries, whatever. The line makes you want to be active.”

[From Shape]

Shape also has a “behind the scenes” video and brief interview with Hough. She had some good things to say there as well about her health philosophy, which she says is “about your mind” as much as it is “about your body. When I have a clear head, that’s when I feel like I’m healthy.” She also said that she works out for her “future self” and that she wants to be healthy for the every phase of her life. It’s all quite practical and she gives decent advice for the most part.

As for her fitnesswear line, I never understood or embraced the trend of wearing your gym clothes the entire day. I prefer to shower and change after I work out, but a lot of women just dress for a workout all day and I get that this is socially acceptable in the US. (And in Australia, judging from this parody video.)

Julianne Hough Leaving The Gym In Studio City

Julianne Hough leads a fitness group

Julianne Hough finishes a workout

Photos credit: WENN, Fame and Shape

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46 Responses to “Julianne Hough covers Shape: ‘Pizza is my favorite food. You can cheat’”

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  1. HH says:

    I’m sorry, but if she considers herself to only be strong with curves, and not skinny, she needs to remove herself from HWood. Being a celebrity and in the dancing world has warped her perception. In NO WAY is she “not skinny.”

    • Jenn4037 says:

      I do believe her when she says she is “solid.” Many in Hollywood are skinny fat. They’re very small and very thin, but it isn’t muscle.

      So I give her points for being muscular and solid – but agree – in no universe would she be considered anything other than skinny.

      • HH says:

        Agreed. They may not have come across clear in my comment. I definitely think she’s got some muscle to her. But it’s not as though she looks like Xena, warrior princess. She just looks very toned.

    • littlemissnaughty says:

      She’s thin but she has muscles and looks really fit. Whether that’s considered skinny or not is up for debate. But she has curves, just not in the way we nowadays like to define the word (as in a euphemism for full-figured). To me she looks like she’s in excellent shape and maybe our perception of what is a healthy weight is warped because a lot of people aren’t there (I say that as a slightly overweight woman).

      • HH says:

        Funny you say that. One of my pet peeves is when people use “curvy” as a euphemism for being heavier, so that’s not what I meant. But I wouldn’t consider her to necessarily be curvy. But when I think of someone that is shapely, Halle Berry comes to mind. Personally, I don’t think curvy is a word to use just because a woman isn’t flat and shaped straight up and down.

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        Well if Halle Berry is your definition of curvy, maybe 2% of women can be considered curvy. Julianne has curves. She has hips and a waist and a curvy bum. She’s athletic and will never look like Gina Lollobrigida. THOSE are curves but that doesn’t mean that it always has to be a crazy hourglass shape. If a woman likes her “curves”, in whatever form they occur (small or J.Lo level), I say let her celebrate them. I don’t understand why we always have to define what a woman’s body can be called. “No, she’s not heavy, she’s obese.” “That’s not slim, that’s skinny.” If someone’s healthy, they can call themselves tractor-shaped for all I care.

      • Wren says:

        She’s quite slender, yes, but I don’t think she’s skinny. Skinny to me implies a lack of body fat as well as musculature. Think about how you would use the word to describe any other animal. A skinny dog, for instance. Not exactly the picture of health and strength, is it?

        As for the curvy thing, yeah, it might be quite un-PC to say this but I’m tired of the euphemism too. I’m curvy. I’m also a bit fat. They are separate descriptions. The first refers to the fact that my waist is quite small compared to my hips, no matter what size I am I will always go in and out with a decidedly curved outline. The second describes how I’m carrying some extra weight on that frame. But whatever.

    • JustVisiting says:

      She looks strong and lean. Those are the key words many replace with toned and skinny.

      Muscle is dense. And if she’s post workout here she’s not only dehydrated, but her muscles are swollen so everything’s pops. Otherwise known as the pump.

      Overall she looks healthy.

      And who wears their workout clothes all day? I can wring mine of sweat afyer a workout. To stay in those would be a bad move for my skin.

    • Ashley says:

      Having been a ballet dancer for years, I can relate to what she describes here – killing yourself to look waifish, vs embracing a strong body that (while still skinny by normal standards) isn’t a “ballet” body. She still has such a dancer’s body though. But I took from what she said that she’s not focusing on her size so much as her strength and how she feels now. If you’re working out 3-6x a week, you’re going to be skinny though.

    • Mae says:

      I think skinny means waifish (not much muscle or fat) to many people. She’s lean and curvy, so I wouldn’t call her skinny. You can really see it in her legs and bum in the 2nd last photo that she’s packing both muscle and (healthy) fat.

  2. Jenn4037 says:

    I haven’t purchased her line but based on what she is wearing, it may be hard to wear her line if your abs aren’t like hers.

    • We Are All Made Of Stars says:

      Hey now, I would love to go to a meeting where I could wear a midriff shirt!

  3. Esmom says:

    She looks phenomenal but on a practical note I don’t see how pants with such a low rise stay up while working out strenuously. I tend to wear mid or sometimes even high rise cuts for that reason.

    Count me in the camp of people who change asap after working out. My workout pants are not my casual or leisure pants. Occasionally I’ll run to the grocery store while still in my gym clothes and I always feel vaguely embarrassed.

  4. MsGoblin says:

    She looks fabulous.

  5. AlleyCat says:

    It’s frustrating listening to people like her because her job is literally to work out. She’s a dancer. She doesn’t go to the office all day, and she has the money to get a trainer. Like I get she’s trying to be relatable, but I think I could work out a lot too if I had a personal trainer and spent the majority of the year not really having a job.

    • Maire3 says:

      Same here. I got a bit of an “eyeroll” workout reading this. But in an attempt to be fair, the interview is for Shape Magazine.

    • Erinn says:

      Yeah – that always annoys me too. There seems to be some sort of disconnect when it comes to that with a lot of celebs. For her – that’s literally her life. Eat well. Train. Dance. Be pretty. Give dumb interviews. Eat well. Train. Dance. Repeat. She doesn’t have the life of an every day person – she doesn’t need to juggle an office job with preparing meals for her family, or making sure any kids are accounted for and getting to activities on time. It’s her job to focus on herself.

      I remember Giselle was basically dissing her sisters a while back- she was asked about her great body and she said ” Like I tell my five sisters, who don’t work at it very hard at all, whatever you put in, you get out. I’m not afraid of working hard at anything, whatever it is.”

      It’s like – great Giselle. That’s what you’re paid to do. You’re paid to focus on your appearance and be super skinny and fit and pretty. Personally – I’m paid to sit in an office and design or code websites. So understandably – I need to use a good 8-9 hours of my day just doing that – where should could spend those hours working out most days if she wanted to.

      • koparbadi says:

        but i don’t think most people have to spend 8-9 hours a day to stay fit. majority of it is diet and the remaining can be made up by 45 mins to an hour 3-4 times a week. Granted, not everyone’s gonna look like julianne hough but i think we’d come pretty close. I get this line of reasoning from so many people IRL too that “they have real jobs that require sitting at a desk for 8-10 hours a day + commute” and while I understand that, I question the notion that having a fit and muscular body requires that kind of time.

        More often than not, I’ve heard the loved ones in my life make that statement as they’re ordering unhealthy lunches or milkshakes or having bagels and croissants for breakfast. On the other hand, I also know people who work 14-15 hour days who make really careful dietary choices (watch their calories and count their macros) walk everywhere/as much as they can and really prioritize the gym or outdoor fitness/yoga at home because they know that if they don’t, the work life will not allow for exercise/working out.

        Nobody’s saying you have to quit your job in order to have a fit body but I think that viewpoint serves to take the onus off the individual by chalking up a fit, healthy, strong body as something that can only be achieved if we have access to their time, money, resources, personal trainer, and chef and I just don’t think that’s the case. I lost 76+ lbs in ~16 months from using free resources (MFP, reddit), meal prepping my food, learning how to be active on my own and I’m not muscular yet but I’ll be there in another year or two. I did this while in law school, full-time and now I’m starting work full-time in another couple of weeks. It is sometimes tiresome and boring to do meal prep and count out my calories, etc. but I always struggle with then notion (mostly on this site) that attaining abs and being muscular is something only achieved by dedicating a majority of our day towards. It’s not the case and many people can get there by making the workouts a small part of their day and directing their efforts to maintaining a consistent diet (with pizza thrown in every couple of weeks or so) as a cheat as well.

      • Artemis says:


        Yeah agreed. When I was a student, I used my busy life as an excuse for why I was eating unhealthy. I had 1 job, 1 volunteering job and then uni so I used to stuff myself during volunteering and studying because I was sitting at a desk.

        To lose a lot of weight, all I had to do was walk to work and eat healthier (salads and stir fry were quick, healthy and easy) and I worked out 3x a week with Youtube videos. The downside was getting up earlier or stepping away from the routines I was used to, basically changing habits. Like instead of playing on my Xbox in the evening because ‘relaxing’, I decided to use it for my workouts a few times a week.

        The amount of time one has every week to dedicate themselves to working out or cooking might me minimal but it is certainly not impossible. So many business people go to the gym at 5am or 9pm, they have the discipline (or lack of social life/family?) to keep their health in check. Discipline and sacrifice is key.

        And yup, you can take out a bagel for breakfast and pasta for lunch but you can also take out salads, soups and fruit boxes. There are healthy options everywhere nowadays!

    • littlemissnaughty says:

      I have to be honest here. I work full time but I don’t have kids. I could absolutely work out like that and I do have the time to eat really well and I don’t do it. Why? I don’t have the discipline and am now at a weight/fitness level that is healthy if not ideal. There’s room but I’m happy and I don’t want to wreck that by going overboard. But realistically, I could do it. No idea what the results would be. It’s different if you have kids, that’s not even a question. But it’s not completely unrealistic or crazy expensive to get really fit.

      • blue banana says:

        exactly – i hate when people say it’s ‘so easy for rich people’ because they can afford trainers, gym memberships, special classes, nannies, etc. NO- it takes motivation and discipline, and that is not related to money AT ALL. There are plenty of well off people that hate exercising too, don’t do it, and plenty of people who can’t afford gyms but have the motivation and find a way to get those abs.

    • chaine says:

      IKR? “I eat pizza a lot! It’s OK to cheat!” OK Ms. 20-something who has literally nothing to do but work out all day. Come back to me in two decades when you’ve had three kids and your dancing career is over and you have bad knees or a bum hip and you’re in perimenopause. Then tell me again you eat pizza a lot and it’s OK to cheat. Gah!

      • Lucy says:

        Wow, negative much? I mean, it’s fine if you don’t like her, but being a twenty-something who enjoys both pizza and workouts is no crime. And you don’t know whether she’ll have kids or not.

  6. Locke Lamora says:

    I can’t work out with friends. When I’m working out I like to be alone. Even for walks and bike rides, I prefer to do it alone. When I was living wih my best friend, everytime I went for a walk she wanted to come with me, and I felt so uncomfortable telling her not to. But after a month I couldnt take it anymore. She got really offended.
    So Julianne’s vacation sounds like a nightmare to me.

    I wear gym clothes around the house ( not the ones I use for working out), but wouldn’t really go anywhere in them.

    • Erinn says:

      I’m there with you. I have my ‘not working, bum around the house comfy clothes’ which will consist of yoga pants, or gym shorts and tanks usually. They’re separate from my work out clothes even though they’re pretty similar. But as soon as I get home most days, I’ll go change into something comfy, even if I have to change again within an hour to go somewhere.

      I don’t like working out with other people either – I always feel like I either have to go too fast to keep up, or slow down so others can keep up. I just want to be able to do my thing in peace.

    • Esmom says:

      LL, I like to work out alone, too. I will walk with a friend occasionally but I don’t consider that part of my regular workout routine. I like to stay focused for that hour and having to make small talk would kinda ruin that for me.

      I just joined a new gym and the owners keep pushing the “bring a friend” angle and I feel bad but I really don’t want to get my friends on board. Like I said, I like to do my thing and then get on with my day. I probably come off as pretty antisocial, lol. And not good for their business!

  7. Lala says:

    Those leggings are way too low cut. I don’t want my hip bones showing. Besides, I would never wear it on daily basis simply because that gym clothing is not comfortable!!! Stop lying! You sweat like a pig in it and it sucks you up and nips you and snatches you!

  8. Fiorella says:

    I don’t understand why people are interested in julienne! I mean if you think Taylor and Blake are vanilla oatmeal julienne is just like whole wheat flour in a bag or something . She is/was on a show that’s always mocked and dated someone people often say is in the closet. Did anyone catch the clip of Britney finding out Ryan is not an out gay man? That is one thing intriguing about JH

  9. Kylie says:

    She is such a jerk.

  10. tracking says:

    She has an amazing body, and clearly works hard for it, but I don’t get how anyone could be comfortable wearing those workout clothes.

    • JustVisiting says:

      To be honest, I would be 100% comfortable wearing that at the gym and outside. Not to show off, but because a workout can be so intense I want as much skin exposed to breath as possible. Sweat wicking only works so well and then the shirt is drenched and giving me hives.

      And in my experience if your workout clothes have that mesh… You’ll get the permastank. The material used is of lesser quality and will start to smell sooner than the rest.

      But, she’s clearly wearing stylish items that look fresh. I’m a colorbomb of patterns and hivis.

      • tracking says:

        But wouldn’t such lowcut pants feel like they’re going to fall down during strenuous exercise? Maybe okay for weight lifting, but I can’t imagine for cardio(?)

  11. Pedro45 says:

    Well, this was a bad story to read while eating cake for breakfast.

  12. Eva says:

    I REALLY wish we could stop talking about “cheating”, “cheat days” and “guilty pleasures”.

    There should be no guilt when it comes to eating, no matter what you eat.

    Eating pizza is not cheating and it doesn’t make you “bad”. Eating chicken and broccoli doesn’t make you “good”. This kind of thinking is so twisted yet so common that people don’t even notice.

    • HH says:

      That’s such a good point. I’ve never thought of it that way. it fosters an unhealthy relationship with food.

    • koparbadi says:

      i see “eating pizza” as bad because I know that if I don’t see a certain amount of pizza consumption as “bad” (aka anything more than once every couple of weeks) that I could easily eat it in excess. On the other hand, I consider eating broccoli a good dietary choice (not that it makes me “good”) because I can eat a lot of it, cook it mostly however, season it and the nutritional value I get from that is really beneficial to me in the gym and when I’m trying to be outdoors. I think that’s a pretty healthy way to view food.

      The whole concept of viewing things as cheat days or cheat foods is to encourage healthy moderation of items that aren’t meant for daily or even weekly consumption, IMO.

    • JustVisiting says:

      Mo,but eating chicken and broccoli is good for your body. The results you will get are good. And the way your body will process it will be good.
      In contrast how your body reacts to pizza is not good.
      When I eat pizza my next workout feels sluggish. I break out. And I don’t always feel good because it’s higher salt and oils than I’m acclimated to. But, I like it. And after I eat it much of me feels bad. Not guilty for the calories, but bad for those reasons.
      It’s all moderation, of course. But, like the saying goes, abs are made in the kitchen. And many gym goers watch their nutrition catefully. So when they have a misguided craving for something their mind wants vs their body it’s a deviation from their lifestyle and therefore a cheat.

    • We Are All Made Of Stars says:

      THIS. I wish we would just call not being able to eat junk every day “adulthood” or “the way life really is” instead of mentally relegating it to the naughty awful terrible closet of one’s mind. If you have this kind of psychological relationship towards your eating habits, your spending habits, or whatever, there is either something wrong with your behavior or your viewpoints. Either way, it’s unhealthy and not something to be aspired to.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Yes! Thanks for this. I cringe, too, when people inject a kind of moral component into eating healthy vs. unhealthy foods. Eating “clean” and working out regularly seem, these days, to be equated with personal virtue. Eating unhealthy foods might reflect a lack of discipline or an indifference to health and appearance, but this shouldn’t, in my opinion, be construed as a “sin” or moral transgression. Some of the most moral, decent people I’ve known have been overweight and inattentive to their diet and exercise program (if they even have one). On the other hand, some of the fittest people I’ve met in life seem like hopeless narcissists who don’t care a thing about anyone else or the world. But hoo-boy are their abs looking good, and that cleanse they’re on is doing super things for their skin.

  13. Harryg says:

    I’m tired of hearing how pizza is bad for you. Completely depends on the pizza! Some pizzas are almost salads. Burgers are not bad for you, unless you load them with crappy dressing. Butter is good! Dark chocolate is good.

    • We Are All Made Of Stars says:

      Very true. Especially if you make the darned thing yourself and know what went into it.

    • susiecue says:

      Hear hear! As a pizza LOVER I hate hearing my darling disparaged like this. I make my own at home too. There are foods that are purely unhealthy. Funnel cakes. Cinnabon. Fried bologna. BBQ Chips. But pizza doesn’t belong in that category. Leave pizza alone!!

  14. Beckysuz says:

    Her workout clothes are cute, but seriously so low cut. I feel like the pants wouldn’t stay up at all during a run. I do tend to wear workout clothes a lot during the day. But I do that so that Im reminded to actually work out. Even if I’m tired after the kids go to bed, I figure I’m already wearing them so I might as well run. But I would never wear sweaty workout clothes around after…off right away…so gross otherwise