Maria Menounos may now be famous for her enviable figure (those abs!), but the TV personality isn't afraid to admit that she struggled with her weight in her earlier years.
The 35-year-old beauty says that she lacked the time, money, energy and willpower to get in shape -- until she found a plan that worked for her.
Now, the brunette bombshell is sharing the ultimate no-time, no-money, no-willpower guide to losing weight, getting fit and gaining long-term health in her book, "The Everygirl's Guide to Diet and Fitness."
Maria talked to toofab's Rachel Hoffman about the book and also revealed how to get bikini-ready with her top three diet rules and fool-proof workout plan.
toofab: What's your fitness routine?
Maria: I don't have an official routine. Though I wish I did, I don't go to the gym often. Generally speaking, I find creative ways to squeeze in exercises during my daily living routine and I stay as active as I possible can. I walk instead of drive. I opt for stairs instead of escalators. I also have an inexpensive pedometer that measures my daily steps. I strive to do 10,000 a day and whether I accomplish that or not, its a reminder to try.
toofab: How do you fit in exercise with so much going on?
Maria: Much of my book is focused on that. It truly is a no time, no money, no willpower guide to losing weight, keeping it off and to living a healthier, longer, more productive life. The reason it's 'The EveryGirl's Guide to Diet and Fitness' is because I think every girl today, no matter who they are, lacks time and money to fit in exercise and fitness. As an author, I legitimately employed the steps and techniques outlined in the guide to successfully lose 40 pounds and keep it off. When I lost the weight I was broke, working two jobs and putting myself through college. I tried and failed for years before that, unable to muster the will power to stay on an official diet or exercise plan for more than a day. Though currently I have more money to my name, I have even less free time and am thus forced to employ the same techniques I did then. In general, I'm mindful to incorporate exercise into my daily activities knowing full well I have to because I don't have time to get to the gym.
toofab: How often do you work out?
Maria: Officially, maybe once every one to two weeks unless I have to prep for a magazine shoot or something like it. If I'm prepping for a shoot, then twice a week. I honestly would love to be in the gym three days a week.
toofab: Is there a workout you love to do?
Maria: Playing basketball and hiking are my favorites, but the few times I have taken classes for spinning and dance, I have loved them as well. I can't say enough about finding something fun to do and how much that will help keep you motivated. When I did 'Dancing with the Stars', I fell in love with dancing and it got me into the best shape of my life. There are ballroom competitions you can do, too. Or maybe it's volleyball. Or maybe it's a spin or dance class. Or maybe it's just walking with a friend or loved one where you can bond, vent and-or decompress. If a workout or exercise is pleasant or fun, I'm more likely to do it.
toofab: What's your best advice to slim down for bikini season?
Maria: Drink hot water throughout the day. Sounds simple but it works. Sometimes when you think you are hungry, you're really dehydrated. Besides having a calming effect, drinking the hot water can help suppress your appetite. Plus, drinking hot water after eating helps digestion. Think of it as melting the food in your stomach. You can add lemon, as some experts believe that can help burn calories, too. I drink it with lemons but often I drink it plain. Its the first thing I consume each morning and usually the last thing. Other than that, cut back on portions. You can work out all you want but for slimming down its more about the less you eat and less about the more you exercise.
toofab: What are your top 3 dieting rules?
1) Eat foods that come from the ground.
Strive for 75% of your diet to consist of foods that come from the ground (fruits, vegetables, legumes, etc).
2) Always be moving.
The less sedentary you are, the healthier you'll be. It doesn't mean being in a gym or running the treadmill everyday, it means what it says---as much as possible to move, move, move. Next time you hit the mall, park far away to get extra steps in. Walk to the local nearby restaurant. At the bar, if there's dancing then dance as much as you drink. Just always be moving!
3) Drink hot water throughout your day.
It will help you to eat less and it beats diet soda or coffee, health-wise.
toofab: What are your guilty pleasures? Do you have a favorite junk food?
Maria: I have so many. Potato skins, pizza, ice cream and beer. I just do my best to moderate my intake and balance my portions. Sometimes I do better than others. When I overindulge I just clean my diet up the next few days to balance it off.
We're ready for bikini season now!
Check out Maria's book, "The Everygirl's Guide to Diet and Fitness: How I Lost 40 Lbs and Kept It Off -- And How You Can Too!," on shelves Tuesday, June 3. You can pre-order now by clicking here!
Click "Launch Gallery" above to see more celebrity weight loss success stories.