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Brooke Burke Charvet wows at 42: Her bikini-body weight loss and diet tips

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Brooke Burke Charvet is in the best shape of her life at 42, thanks to her lifelong dedication to diet and exercise.

Burke Charvet, the former host of "Dancing With the Stars," teaches exercise classes in her hometown of Malibu, Calif., several days a week. The super-fit mom of four said if you want to look and feel great, you have to work out regularly.

"It's gotta happen year-round," said Brooke. "Everybody's trying to cram in the bikini quick fix, but I don't do things necessarily different in summer time. If you're not sweating, you're not working out hard enough. You have to work to fatigue, you have to work to sweat. You gotta get your heart rate up to blast fat."

Mediterranean Diet and Cross-Training Workouts

Burke Charvet, who quickly regained her sizzling bikini body after four pregnancies, follows a Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes healthy fats such as olive oil and avocados, lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, and seeds.

The Mediterranean diet, which was rated No. 3 on the list of Best Diets of 2014, is considered by many nutritionists as the best for enhancing weight loss, heart health and preventing diabetes.

"I believe in portion control," she said. "I eat a Mediterranean diet. I eat fish. I eat meat. I eat a lot of vegetables, try to keep it fresh and green. I don't really do raw, but I try to eat a lot of different colors, soups, salads. I eat a lot of sushi as well. I drink a lot of green tea and a lot of lemon water."

Burke Charvet said mixing up your exercise routine is the best way to prevent injury and work out your entire body. Brooke does SoulCycling spinning workouts, lifts light weights and does calisthenics. While Brooke looks the picture of good health, it was just two years ago that she underwent surgery for thyroid cancer.

'Exercise Is My Antidepressant'

While she has always been a positive, upbeat person, Burke Charvet said her unexpected cancer diagnosis shook her to the core. "It was a really scary time for my family," she said. "I felt like a piñata. Sometimes s—t happens in your life, and it's not about what's happening. It's about how you deal with it, how you survive it, how you overcome it."

Burke Charvet underwent thyroid surgery to remove a benign tumor in her throat in December 2012, and has since recovered fully. She said exercise is her antidepressant.

Over the years, Brooke has released a line of highly rated fitness videos. She revealed her diet, workout and weight-loss secrets in her best-selling DVD, Brooke Burke Body: 30-Day Slim Down.

As she has gotten older, Burke-Charvet has learned to exercise smarter, not longer. Her workouts never exceed an hour, but she gets great results by pumping up the intensity.

Ironically, Brooke said she has gotten in better shape over the years by exercising less and eating more dietary fat. "I was very strict and ate hardly any fat and very little carbs [when I was younger], whereas now I cook with oils and eat nuts and avocados," she said. "I'm 42 and I'm in better shape than I was in my 20s or my 30s."

Burke Charvet said her active, fitness-conscious lifestyle helps her navigate her hectic work and family life. "I make myself a priority," she said. "I really believe in putting pen to paper and scheduling your workouts and doing something you enjoy."

Brooke revealed how she juggles fitness, motherhood and a hectic career in her memoir, The Naked Mom.

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