Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi is a petite size zero after losing 50 pounds during the past year. The 4-foot-9 Snooki slimmed down from 146 pounds to 96 pounds by following a low-calorie diet and lifting weights five days a week.
“I lift very heavy weights, and I’m strong," Polizzi, 25, told Life & Style Oct. 3. "I used to hate going to the gym, but now I love it.”
Polizzi also cut back on alcohol and junk-food consumption and does CrossFit and cardio workouts such as running and spinning. But Monday through Friday, Snooki's workouts center around 90-minute weight-lifting sessions.
While many women are reluctant to strength-train because they fear they'll end huge like "The Rock," weight-loss experts say women who want to slim down need to lift weights because building and maintaining muscle mass increases metabolism and makes you a fat-burning beast.
Fitness trainer Tia Falcone helped Miss America 2013 Nina Davuluri lose 53 pounds by focusing on lifting weights in their workouts.
"All women need to gain as much muscle as humanly possible," said Falcone. "That’s what’s going to make you smaller, and it raises your base metabolism permanently. You’re not going to change the shape of your body [with cardio]."
Snooki, who's competing on season 17 of "Dancing With the Stars," has lost so much weight that she is now being criticized as too skinny.
But the former "Jersey Shore" star is thrilled with her weight loss, and says she will continue to eat well and work out every day to maintain her hard-won figure. "I’m a size zero and damn proud of it!” she gushed.