Former "Dancing With the Stars" pro Julianne Hough feels great after gaining 20 pounds and cutting back on daily exercise.
"When I was dancing eight hours a day on 'DWTS,' I was 102 pounds and all muscle," Hough told the March 2013 issue of Self. "Once I stopped, I gained 20 pounds in a month!
"I want to be healthy, I want to have kids and I want to live a long time. So I'm eating well, working out and embracing my butt, curvy legs and hips. Besides, if you're too thin, you look older."
The 5-foot-4 blonde beauty, who's dating TV personality Ryan Seacrest, 38, "hates being in the gym," but works out four to five days a week doing a combination of cardio exercise and body sculpting with free weights.
Hough usually starts off by doing 30 minutes of cardio on the treadmill, elliptical trainer, or the stationary bike, followed by light weight-lifting. When she's not at the gym, Julianne runs outdoors 30 to 45 minutes on most days.
Despite her lean physique, Julianne, 24, says she has a tough time leaving food on her plate even when she's full.
"I have a hard time not finishing my plate," she says. "I got that from my grandma. When we'd be full, she'd say, 'You dished your plate. You gotta eat it all.' I'd say, 'Grandma, but I'm so full!' She'd say, 'Stand up and jump up and down.' We'd jump to get our food down quicker, so we could stuff more in there. Now, it literally looks like I've licked my plate after dinner."
Hough typically has her biggest meal of the day in the morning, and eats lightly the rest of the day. "If I'm going to splurge, it starts with breakfast: chilaquiles and, just because I want to taste them, pancakes on the side," she says.
"Lunch will come, and I'll get fish tacos, maybe guacamole and chips too. Dinner, I'll say, 'Let's share appetizers,' then we order them all. Now that we've started this whole thing, we have to have dessert. If Ryan gains weight, he'll gain five pounds and I'll gain 10. He'll lose his in eight days and it'll take me two months."
Julianne eventually wants to be a mom, but for now is focused on her career. "From day one, I've said that I'm here to accomplish my goals whether somebody is in my life or not," she says. "[But] I'm very family-oriented. I want to have three, maybe four, kids."