Lea Michele in Stunning Shape: Scream Queens Star Follows Yoga and Pilates but Indulges in Cheat Days

Lea Michele
Photo credit: Credit: David Becker / Stringer /Getty

Scream Queens’ Lea Michele is passionate about working out, and her stunning shape is evidence of this, but the former Glee actress has no interest in getting on the scale. Her fit and toned body is thanks, in part, to following a vegan diet and doing SoulCycle spinning classes, regular hiking, swimming, yoga, and Pilates.

Regular yoga practice is an important part of her healthy lifestyle because it helps her clear her mind and stay grounded. The actress turned 30 in August and says she now knows to listen to her body to understand what she needs in the moment. This allows her to know whether her body needs a break from working out or she is actually being lazy. But it took her a long time to get to that point, she says.

The actress also knows that her body is always changing. Right now she has a lot of energy. She says her skin looks good and her backside is higher than it’s ever been, so she’s genuinely happy with where she is at physically and emotionally. “I’ve been skinnier and I’ve been a little bit bigger, and I’m never hard on myself one way or the other,” she shares in this month’s issue of Shape. “The fact that I’m active, eating well and taking care of myself is all that matters — not a number.”

Keeping activities varied prevents the chances of getting bored, and it’s a philosophy Michele adheres to herself. She says to find three exercises you enjoy so that you can choose what is needed on any given day.

Apart from outdoor activities such as biking, swimming, and hiking, Michele can dance for hours and simply loves to do this as a form of exercise. High-impact interval and weight training also add variety to her routine.

For her, exercise is mostly a daily activity; and if she’s not working out, then she’s hiking or swimming. She’s always moving in one way or another. According to Michele, workouts need to accomplish two things: make you look good and feel good. And feeling good, for Michele, means being in bed by 9 p.m. every night, because it is the number one thing that gives her energy.

Lea Michele’s Diet and, Yes, Cheat Days

When it comes to cheat days, Michele is all for it, and her go-to cheat foods are pizza, mac and cheese, and grilled cheese. Well, anything with cheese. And for dessert, she loves to have cheese— yet again—and will order a cheese plate rather than something sweet. She says she could eat an entire block of Wisconsin cheddar and would pick it over chocolate cake any day.

Michele often starts her days with a green smoothie. Her diet is vegan. Eating vegan has been shown to reduce inflammation in the body. Fad diets have never been appealing to Michele, although she doesn’t mind detox programs, occasionally, to eliminate toxins from the body and reboot her system.

Calderone, A., “How Lea Michele Got in the Best Shape of Her Life: ‘I’ve Never Loved My Body More’,” People web site; September 6, 2016; http://www.people.com/article/lea-michele-wellness-issue-diet-fitness, last accessed October 13, 2016.