When we think of Gwyneth Paltrow, a few defining thoughts immediately come to mind: her sprucing of a controversial raw food diet, ‘earthing’, some pretty intimate steaming rituals.
But as left-of-centre—and sometimes extreme—as Paltrow’s alternative wellness advice can be, her everyday diet and exercise routine is surprisingly balanced, and often flexible.
Paltrow owes her ripped physique to a balanced, clean diet, frequent workouts with long-time trainer Tracy Anderson, and a whole lot of self-care.
DIET: A (Mostly) Clean Diet
When skipping breakfast, her first meal of the day is typically lunch. She told with Porter that her lunches are typically “light on carbs.”
If Paltrow does allow herself to splurge, she typically reserves more indulgent foods for the evening.
Typically, Paltrow will only cleanse once a year, or if she’s road testing one for her website, Goop. “I’m basically never cleansing,” she told Instyle US. “Only if I’m guinea pigging something for the website. Or I try to do one good cleanse a year.”
Her once-a-year cleanse, which has been published on her website, lasts for 6 days, and still allows you to have breakfast, lunch, dinner and a snack each day. But in order to properly complete the cleanse, every single one of your meals must be totally free of the below ingredients:
- Nightshades (tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, potatoes)
- Refined Sugar
- White Rice
Aside from her once-yearly stint, one cleanse Paltrow is loving at the moment is the ‘Goat’s Milk Cleanse‘, which limits your diet to nothing more than goat’s milk and herbs for eight days to rid your body of parasites.
“At Goop they call me ‘GP the guinea pig’, because I’ll try anything,” she told Shape.
“I just tried a goat milk cleanse for eight days to rid my system of parasites. That was really interesting. It’s only goat’s milk and herbs. The theory is that we all have parasites, and they love the milk protein. So if you eat nothing else, they all come out of the intestinal wall and then you kill them with the herbs. I had to try it for Goop, but I felt so good after it.”
To support her (almost) clean diet, Paltrow ropes in the help of a few supplements to ensure her body is getting all the nutrients it needs.
“I’ve always experimented with supplements,” she told Women’s Health. “And I believe the combination of toxic load, the modern environment, and nutritional deficiency makes our bodies more vulnerable to breaking down. There are so many options for vitamins out there.”
“The idea is to boost a (most of the time) nutrient-dense diet with high-quality supplements. We’re low in so many nutrients. Even if we’re careful about going organic and nontoxic, because we’ve degraded our soil, the nutritional value of the food we do eat, however healthy, is less than it was 100 years ago.”
Talking to Shape, Paltrow said that her supplement intake typically consists of “a good multivitamin, and a fish oil, and then… other herbs for various things.” She’s even developed a line of vitamin supplements herself.
LIFESTYLE: Clean Sleeping
Not only does Paltrow hold clean eating in high regard, she’s also a big advocate for ‘clean sleeping’—a term she has coined for the healthy amount of sleep you need each night.
In a piece she wrote for Daily Mail UK, the actress said she gets “at least seven or eight hours of good, quality sleep—and ideally even ten.”
“Sleep plays such a powerful role in determining your appetite and energy levels that I believe it should be your first priority—even before you think about your diet,” she said. “Call it vanity, call it health, but I know there’s a huge correlation between how I feel and what I look like when I roll out of bed in the morning.”
Quoting her go-to nutrition expert, Dr Frank Lipman, Paltrow advised that “poor-quality sleep can be unsettling for the metabolism and hormones, which can lead to weight gain, bad moods, impaired memory and brain fog, as well as serious health concerns such as inflammation and reduced immunity (which can increase your risk of chronic disease).”
LIFESTYLE: A Tonne Of Self-Care
Aside from ‘clean sleeping’, Paltrow has adopted a very self-care approach to the way she leads her life, experimenting with a tonne of different treatments to give her body that little bit more support.
EXERCISE: Daily Workouts
EXERCISE: The Tracy Anderson Method
According to ELLE US, a typical Tracy Anderson class goes something like this. First, the trainer will begin the class with a dance-inspired warm-up, complete with integrated arm movements. Meanwhile, she heats the room so it’s temperate reached approximately 29 degrees, and 65 per cent humidity.
“The heat’s important because the muscles become more mouldable when it’s warm,” said Anderson. “It’s like warming up clay so that you can actually work with them more.” And wow, do they get a work out.”
The dance warm up is then follow-up by floor work, which is typically some sort of leg lift movement with ankle weights attached. The class is then concluded with a stretch.
EXERCISE: The Tracy Anderson Method
EXERCISE: Her Butt And Legs Workout
EXERCISE: Her Ab Workout
For rock-hard abs, Anderson has Paltrow complete three sets of the three below moves, three times a week.
Side Lift To Rolling Plank
“Lie on your right side, legs straight, your weight on your right elbow,” Anderson told Women’s Health. “Lift your left leg up to the ceiling (a), then rise onto your right foot and both forearms to roll into a low plank, keeping your left leg out to the side (option to lower it) (b). Reverse the movement to return to start. That’s one rep; do 30. Switch sides.”
“Start in a push-up position, hands under your shoulders and body in a straight line (a),” said Anderson. “Lower onto your right forearm (b), then your left forearm (c), keeping your hips as still as possible. Reverse the movement to return to start. That’s one rep; do 30, switching the order of your arms as you go.”
“Lie on your back with your legs extended and feet separated more than shoulder-width apart (a)” she said. “Place your hands behind your head, then lift your shoulder blades off the floor to curl into a crunch, keeping your lower back on the floor (b). Reverse the movement to return to start. That’s one rep; do 30.”
EXERCISE: Her Ab Workout
EXERCISE: Her Arm Workout
To whittle down her arms, Anderson told SELF that Paltrow never goes past these two toning moves.
Stand with feet just wider than hip-width apart, a 3-pound weight in each hand at hips. Punch right arm all the way up, with palm facing front, 4 times. Repeat with palm facing back. Complete sequence 3 times. Switch sides; repeat.
Start in a high plank. Imagine feet pointed to 6 on a clock face. Keep body straight as you rotate counterclockwise slowly until feet are at 3 o’clock. Step back to 6. Rotate clockwise to 9 and back for 1 rep. Do 3 to 5 reps. Take a short break; repeat.