Being a superhero is hard work— just ask Zoe Saldana. With two Guardians of the Galaxy films under her belt, the Marvel star is well-versed in how to save the world. It's an incredibly demanding job both physically and mentally, and even more so for Saldana, who gave birth to twins the year before reprising her role as Gamora in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
So how did she manage to get into such great shape after having two babies, and how does she stay on top of her health with such a hectic schedule and the birth of her third child? Let's take a look at exactly what Zoe Saldana does to stay fit, healthy and in fighting form to play Gamora:
Diet? What Diet?
Saldana posted the following statement to her Facebook, describing her personal approach to her body post-babies:
"So here is what I'm gonna start doing; I am going to remove the word 'diet' from my life. I am going to remind myself that it is not about losing weight, it is about being healthy, feeling healthy, for the rest of my life."
With this approach in mind, she focuses on making healthy choices, filling her plate with natural, clean foods. Saldana has Hashimoto's thyroiditis, an autoimmune disease that affects what she can and can't eat. This means that she eats a dairy and gluten-free diet, while still managing to eat a balanced diet.
She loves cooking for her family, and makes sure her meals include a good balance of vegetables, protein and complex carbohydrates— for example, chicken breast with quinoa and greens. She's also been photographed snacking on air-popped popcorn and green juices on the set of #GuardiansoftheGalaxy.
However, that doesn't mean that she eats clean 100% of the time. The actor told Shape that she's a big fan of the 80/20 rule, allowing herself to indulge in everything from donuts to pizza— on occasion, of course. Everything in moderation!
Staying Active Is Essential
As entertaining as it was to see Gamora running, jumping and fighting her way across the galaxy, it took a long time for Saldana to work up to that point. After the birth of her twins, she worked with a number of personal trainers to help structure her workout routine, including Ramona Braganza and Steve Moyer.
In another candid Facebook post, she detailed the slow and often frustrating process of finding her strength again:
"I started in January with Moyer. I was 160lbs (at the peak of my pregnancy I reached 185lbs). I had no flexibility, weak joints, and exercising was painful. We started with just walking, I think I only walked that first month."
Moyer told Pop Sugar that Saldana's typical "Moyer Method" workouts involve light weights and resistance bands, and strength exercises like planks, squats and push-ups.
According to Shape, the working mother of three works out around three times a week, and is incredibly dedicated to fitting in workouts whenever she can. She practices yoga and pilates to help sculpt her slender physique, and utilizes interval training to make sure her cardio isn't boring. She's also a former dancer and loves to move to music whenever she can.
Of course, having such an active job also helps. Saldana performs many of her own stunts in Guardians of the Galaxy, working closely with trained professionals— including Chloe Bruce, her stunt double from the first Guardians film. According to Women's Health, Bruce and Saldana would train for up to two hours a day.
She also maintains a very active lifestyle, making fitness her passion. She's been snapped taking hikes with her husband and walking her dog, ensuring exercise is an enjoyable part of everyday life.
Saldana also runs a YouTube channel with her sisters where she dishes out advice on healthy living. In their videos, she praises the benefits of being active wherever possible by doing things like taking the stairs and choosing to walk rather than drive.
Healthy Body, Healthy Mind
While Saldana prioritizes staying fit and healthy, she also knows that her mental wellbeing is just as important. On her YouTube channel, she often highlights the importance of questioning her own beliefs surrounding body image. She praises her "soft" body after having children, and encourages other women to celebrate their shape.
As hectic as her schedule is, she still makes time to unwind and treat herself in order to avoid getting burned out. After all, it takes a strong mind to take on the likes of Thanos!
What do you think about Zoe Saldana's approach to health and fitness?