What it’s like to eat like Julianne Hough for a week
Julianne Hough is unstoppable. She first made a name for herself in television as a pro on Dancing with the Stars in 2007 on the show’s fourth season (and has two mirror ball trophies to her name), then transitioned to the judges’ panel in 2014, all while branching out into singing and acting.
In 2009, she toured with Brad Paisley as a singer, then she hit the big screen, starring in the 2011 remake of Footloose. In 2014, she toured North America with her brother, Derek, in a dance show they produced and directed and, in 2015, she launched her own lifestyle website. In 2016, she played the iconic Sandy on the small screen in Fox’s Grease Live! — all before hitting 30.
Throughout her successful career, she has also served as a major fitness inspiration, regularly showing off her toned physique and openly sharing her tips for a healthy, fulfilling diet with her fans. Here’s what it’s really like to eat like Jules Hough for a week.
Clean ingredients are key
In 2016, Hough landed the cover of Shape magazine and revealed to interviewer Claire Connors that one of the major keys to keeping her physique is clean eating. “I try to stick with foods that don’t come in boxes,” she explained. “I don’t want a whole paragraph of ingredients in my body. Brooks and I generally eat protein and veggies,” she continued, giving readers a look inside her daily diet.
“For a boost of energy, I mix in quinoa or rice sometimes,” she continued before highlighting that clean doesn’t have to mean bland. “If [my husband] had his way, we’d have steamed chicken and broccoli every day — that’s too boring for me,” she revealed. “When I get bored, I tend to binge eat. Last night we made baked salmon with rosemary and lemon and broccoli, onions, and cherry tomatoes. It took only 20 minutes and was really delicious!”
Breakfast is all about green juices
“[My husband, Brooks Laich,] and I just bought a juicer, so we try to juice as much as we can,” Hough told Elle in 2016, breaking down her breakfast go-to, which she previously showed off on Instagram. “In the morning, I’ll have a green juice. Whatever’s in my fridge, I’ll just throw whatever’s in,” she revealed, adding, “I usually like it a little sweeter, less bitter, so I put in a green apple, some spinach, kale. Again, if I want it sweeter, I’ll put some carrots in. But I love ginger and lemon too, so I’ll put that in. Cucumber, celery, anything green, really. Sometimes I’ll add beets too, depending on my mood. And then I’ll go work out, it just depends.”
She indulges in post-workout snacks and treats
Following her super green start to the day, Hough tucks into a “healthy wrap with a salad-type concoction within the wrap” for lunch, then follows that up with “chicken or fish with some sort of vegetables” for dinner. That being said, the professional dancer admitted to being a snacker, telling Elle, I’ll come home [after exercising] and I usually have some sort of eggs. I like to steam my eggs, then have tomato and avocado.”
The occasional dessert is also on the menu — “I love ice cream [or] a sticky toffee pudding” — as is candy: “I like Milk Duds and Sour Patch Watermelons” — although she admits, “I’d rather have a glass of wine than dessert.”
Lunch and dinner are carefully planned
Teaming up with People in 2017, Hough shared a detailed food log with her fans, listing everything she regularly has for lunch and dinner, despite admitting, “I try to cut myself some slack if I’m being consistent with my nutrition and activity.” Taking in a total 1,526 calories on an average day, a typical lunch for the Dancing with the Stars pro usually includes “one boneless, skinless chicken breast, over mixed green salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, hearts of palm, almonds, edamame, banana peppers, and olive oil and squeezed lemon.”
Meanwhile, dinner is often a “6 oz. salmon baked with sliced lemon and rosemary, with olive oil and two cups sautéed spinach sprinkled with pink salt.” She also makes sure to pair her meals with plenty of hydration, drinking four to six glasses of water per day, as well as “one cup of English breakfast tea with skim milk and Stevia in the Raw” at breakfast and a LaCroix seltzer at dinner.
Carbs are still part of every meal
Chatting with Us magazine at a Fitbit cycling event in 2017, Hough was asked what she likes to eat to get energized before a workout or performance, and the answer might just surprise you. Believe it or not, it involves carbs! “It’s all about moderation, but I realized that carbs are often talked about in a negative context, like, ‘Carbs make me fat or bloated,'” she declared. “But I think, for me, I have to have some sort of carb, whether it’s rice or pasta or bread or whatever it is, and not big amounts, but I do need carbs because it makes my brain click on.”
She has a go-to salad (and it's easy to make)
Nutritious salads are a go-to for Hough, who has shared numerous salad recipes on her site. But it’s her super simple cucumber salad that she has dubbed “the best snack ever.” Made up of just a handful of ingredients, it’s “refreshing, zesty, and healthy, [and] there’s no shame in having multiple servings because it’s really good for you! Make it as a side to your main meal or copy me by keeping it on hand for a ready-made snack,” she wrote on her site, sharing the quick recipe with fans. All it requires is chopping up and mixing Persian cucumbers with cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives, a red onion, chickpeas, lemon and a bit of parsley. Delicious and nutritious!
Sunday is a cheat day
“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,'” Hough told Shape, revealing, “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,” she continued. “You can still have a fit body as long as you work out regularly and eat relatively healthfully throughout your life.”
She elaborated on her habit of having one day of indulgence per week to Elle, saying, “I do love my Italian food, and pasta, and pizza.” Especially when it comes from her favorite Italian restaurant, La Piazza in Los Angeles. “We go get our penne arrabiata, and our margherita pizza, and our half-bottle of chianti: that’s like our go-to,” she gushed.
Being on the road requires a stricter menu
While Hough enjoys her carbs and a weekly cheat day when she’s at home, she follows a stricter diet while working on the road. “Being on tour requires every last drop of energy I’ve got,” she wrote on her blog, explaining, “It’s important to keep my body properly fueled with efficient foods. My snacks and meals must be more than just delicious — they have to be effective,” she wrote.
“As much as I love my sweets, the up and down games sugar plays on my metabolism doesn’t do me any good. Keeping as close to this balanced schedule as possible keeps me on track,” she continued before breaking down her regimen, which starts off with green juice and “hard-boiled eggs for protein,” then rolls into “a hearty salad with lots of clean toppings and grilled chicken.”
Her pre-show snack includes a green apple with a scoop of almond butter or protein bar (“one that is low sugar, high fiber and protein”) and once she’s done performing, it’s all about a hearty dinner. “I’m usually ravenous after a performance,” she told her readers. “These meals call for something a little heartier than my daily regimen,” she explained, such as “chicken stir fry or grilled chicken with quinoa, sweet potatoes or a green salad or a cozy and delicious bowl of soup.”
She shares all her fave recipes online
Since launching her own lifestyle website in 2015, Hough has used her personal blog as a place to share details about all aspects of her personal life, including her diet. The dancer regularly shares recipes with fans to show that eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring.
She often writes about delicious, seemingly “guilty” snacks that she makes healthy, like grilled cheese sandwiches, peanut butter cookies (that are high in protein, gluten-free and completely organic) and even deep dish Chicago-style pizza, which she says makes “the seemingly impossible, possible” by using cauliflower instead of flour for the crust, a lite mozzarella for the filling and spinach to add “healthy benefits.” Now it’s easier than ever to eat just like Jules Hough!