Jeff Lipsky

In the satirical NBC comedy Powerless, Vanessa Hudgens plays a normal office worker just trying to lead a normal life, despite the fact that “normal” is a gang of DC Comics superheroes battling in midair, leaving death rays and random objects falling from the sky.

Vanessa’s life off-set presents a similar challenge, minus the electromagnetic weapons. In her beige-on-beige trailer, a deflated “happy birthday” balloon shriveled up in a corner, Vanessa is just trying to eat a healthy salad in a world that’s raining pizza and doughnuts.

“I did indulge [lately],” she says, nodding to the balloon and her 28th birthday. (Double whammy? It falls right around the holidays.) She ate more and exercised less, and the scale crept up. But rather than beat herself up, she returned to her usual eating plan. “High fats and no carbs,” she says, spearing a hunk of avocado in her lunchtime salad. (More on those avos here.)

Take a look behind the scenes of our cover shoot with Vanessa Hudgens:

“When I ate carbs, I would get that dip in the afternoon, where I felt really sluggish,” she says. “When I’m off them, my energy stays consistent throughout the day.” And though Vanessa insists this isn’t a diet—it’s “a lifestyle”—”since I got back to eating like this the last month or so, I’ve lost 10 pounds. That’s a lot for my height.” (She stands at a mere 5’1″.)

Working out, likewise, is now a crucial part of her world. “I don’t even have a choice anymore,” Vanessa says. “I work out to feel good, and eat right to feel energized. It’s my life.” (Torch fat, get fit, and look and feel great with Women’s Health’s All in 18 DVD!)

It wasn’t always this way. Once upon a time (back in 2006 when Vanessa was 17 and in High School Musical), junk food was the mainstay of her diet. Regular staples included Cold Stone Creamery chocolate ice cream with chopped Butterfingers; Hot Pockets; and Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. Of the latter, Vanessa says, “I ate so many when I was on tour [performing High School Musical live], my fingers were red.”

We can relate, girl.

For more on Vanessa Hudgen’s diet and workout plan, check out the May 2017 issue of Women’s Health on stands now!

Tags: how to lose weightMay 2017celebrity
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