Millie Mackintosh reveals how she went from unhealthy party girl to fitness icon in her new book 'Made'
Millie Mackintosh was once a self proclaimed gawky, flat-chested teenager with acne, glasses, badly dyed frizzy hair and braces.
You wouldn't think it, looking at her glossy lifestyle which she conveys every day to her one million Instagram followers.
However, the former Made in Chelsea star said that her coveted physique hasn't come easy, and she continually works to improve her health and wellbeing.
Her love of fitness was spurred in 2013, when she was preparing for her wedding to rapper Stephen Manderson, aka Professor Green.
Signing up with a personal trainer, Millie was shocked to learn that despite her slender frame she was still carrying too much fat.
"It was round my back, and inside,’" she told the MailOnline. "My lifestyle was unhealthy. I was drinking lots and binge-eating pizzas and fry-ups when I was hungover."
"My journey from unhealthy to healthy has been difficult," she says. "I haven’t got the perfect body, but I’m improving it all the time."
With the help of her friend, the nutritionist Madeleine Shaw, Millie went gung ho into a clean new lifestyle and went from 27 to 17 percent body fat in four months.
"We’ve been friends since I was 16. I like her way of eating because she makes healthy food interesting and delicious," Millie praised.
These days, the 26-year-old star is dedicated and committing to eating a clean diet five days a week, that means nothing processed or fried, no wheat, sugar, alcohol or dairy, and limited carbs.
It's all about balance, Millie maintains, as she indulges in her favourite foods such as wine, pasta and cheese on the weekends.
"‘I love eating. I grew up in a foodie family, where we ate at least two meals a day together."
The Wiltshire native added that a lot of the public's perception on her is probably wrong.
Despite the fact she is often labelled an heiress to the Quality Street fortune, she revealed that the company was actually sold before she was born.
Her parents actually ran a deli in Marlborough and she grew up in an old vicarage in the countryside.
Millie insists that she always worked hard, getting a job straight from school and was determined to carve her own career path and is happy of the opportunities that came from her stint on Made in Chelsea.
In her upcoming book, she reveals her top fashion, beauty, health and wellbeing tips.
Here are some of her nutrition and fitness tips:
*Wheat-free breads are delicious – I love 100 per cent rye loaves. If you make your own bread, add a few tablespoons of chia seeds (soaked overnight) for extra protein and fibre.
*I prefer to use a small amount of butter on bread and vegetables, rather than a low-fat spread: it tastes better and contains lots of fat-soluble vitamins, including A, E and K2.
*I love cheese but go for low-calorie or dairy-free options. Cheeses made with sheep’s or goat’s milk – such as feta and halloumi – are lower in fat and more easily digested if you have an intolerance to cow’s milk.
*Getting started can be hard if you’re unfit, so persevere. It helps to train with a friend and to set a goal (I had my wedding to focus on, but it could be a party or holiday). I like variety so I do a mix of different classes including -
Ballet Barres to tone the stomach, strengthen the spine and release tension in feet and ankles.
Pilates, which is good for beginners because it focuses on getting the correct posture to activate the right muscles.
Spinning, which is a great cardio workout that tones legs and bum, with sprint and hill-climb circuits designed to burn fat effectively.
Yoga, my favourites are hot yoga, where the studio is heated to help your muscles stretch; jivamukti with lots of chanting to help you let go of inhibitions, and yin yoga, which is slow and targets connective tissues in the pelvis, hips and lower spine.
Meditation is also important as it clears my mind and helps me cope with stress.
Millie’s book, Made, will be published by Ebury on 10 September.