Kelly Ripa's trainer said the TV star's rippling abs are due to a low-carb, sugar-free diet and interval-training workouts. Anna Kaiser, director of ATK In Motion in New York, has been training Ripa for three years, doing a total-body workout that combines cardio exercise, circuit-training, dance and plyometrics.
"Interval training is the best way to work out, and when you pair it with dance, you make it even more fun and more efficient," Kaiser told Us. "You'll get results immediately, as soon as you commit to it."
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a proven way to shed body fat, enhance cardiovascular conditioning and improve stamina. Researchers say exercise intensity is more important than duration when it comes weight control. Studies show that even one-minute bursts of intense exercise can have a dramatic impact on weight control over time.
Bob Harper, author of Skinny Meals: Everything You Need to Lose Weight-Fast!, said high-intensity interval training melts body fat, targets trouble spots and gets you toned in less time than long, drawn-out exercise sessions.
Ripa, 43, is a longtime workout fanatic who also runs three to five miles several days a week and takes spinning classes. The mom of three said she needs to exercise a lot to calm her mind because she's a chronic worrier.
Ripa started training with Kaiser in 2010 to consolidate her various workouts into one session. "She’s much too busy to be running around doing a yoga class at one place and a barre or a spin class in the other," Anna told Shape. "So for her, it was mostly about combining all that and getting more cardio into her life, leaning herself out a little."
Ripa's low-carb diet focuses on organic vegetables, salads, omega-3-rich fatty fish, and eliminates sugar and processed foods. She's not vegetarian but calls herself a vegetarian who occasionally eats sushi.
"Kelly is very knowledgeable about nutrition," said Kaiser. "She knows what’s good for her and loves veggies and eating healthy. She will eat throughout the day but always in moderation."
Kaiser said the No. 1 secret for getting Ripa's amazing abs isn't through crunches, but by losing belly fat. "You’re not going to get abs by doing a bunch of crunches," she said. "If you want to see your abs, you have to lose fat."
Kelly, a longtime smoker who kicked the nicotine habit in 2007, became hooked on working out after noticing that regular exercise gave her increased stamina throughout the day.
"Before I started exercising, I was exhausted all the time," said Ripa. "My husband encouraged me and said, 'If you worked out, you'd feel so much better, and it would quiet your mind down.' And he was right."