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How I lost my baby weight and got in shape for Resident Evil: The final chapter


October 12, 2015

This year has been full of more “ups” than I could ever hope for – the birth of my daughter, Vivienne, and my signing onto RESIDENT EVIL:  THE FINAL CHAPTER among them.  As a result of these two amazing life moments butting up against one another, this year has also contained a mandatory “down” – Weight.  

 

When I found out I’d be dying my hair red again to step into the character of ‘Claire Redfield,’ I knew I’d also need to shred the 50lb baby weight I’d packed on carrying my second child.

Ali grey shortAli WorkoutAli RE6 Costume

 

The way that my body looks is an essential part of my job.  What goes up while pregnant, must come down to believably play a woman struggling to survive in the desert of a zombie-infested, post-apocalyptic world where there just plain isn’t food!

 

Losing weight is hard, and it’s often difficult to make it all fit (pun intended).  The feeling of not wanting to take time for yourself is something all mothers face, which I especially experience when shooting.  But I LOVE to eat, so I have to make time for exercise.  I often work a 12-hour day only to return home, put my babies to sleep, and only then pay penance for the enormous cheeseburger I ate at lunch by spending 30 minutes in the gym.  It’s not my favorite thing at times, but it’s how I’ve chosen to manage my ever-intensifying addiction to eating things, and fortunately I’ve found the balance.  Those moments when I push myself to sweat remind me that this is (a part of) my job and that I love it enough to put in the extra hours.  I also believe that sweat keeps ones skin looking it’s best.

 

Whenever I find myself struggling to motivate (which is not infrequent) I stop thinking about it and start doing it.  Usually, if I can just start, I can make it to 40 minutes, and I’ve never once regretted working out.  How many things can you say that about?  Between the demands of my 2 kids and my crazy career, it’s the only thing other than sex that I sometimes resist getting into but am always – ALWAYS – happy I did.  That said, I take Sundays off…of exercising.  A mom deserves a treat and the end of her week!

 

I should say that the plan below only pertains to my life 5 months ago after giving birth, and I wouldn’t recommend employing it any sooner.  For the first 3 months after giving birth, I basically just ate healthy and breast-fed my daughter, adding in long walks and pilates at 8 weeks.  I cherished this time, and I’m glad I allowed myself to enjoy it.  Breast feeding is something I’ve loved in both my pregnancies, not only because it deepened my connection with my children but also because it helped me strip off the weight.  I never believe the weight will come off, but somehow it does.  Breast feeding is reported to burn 500 calories a day, and was a big part of how I shed those all-important first pounds.  If you can make it work, do it!

 

Tragically, breast feeding isn’t a total solution, so the months leading up to filming – when it was time to get serious about shredding those last, tough pounds – I adopted the plan below.  SO…

 

Here are some home-tested techniques for getting that bod back (or even for the 1st time!)  These rules work for me but keep in mind everyone’s different and your plan should suit you and your fitness level.  By all means, experiment and adjust as these are all just options which I hope inspire you to find your own path to your own goals.  Personally, I find most articles about actresses losing weight to be unbearably annoying, but I still read them and I wish I could do it like they do.  So, I bare myself here….

 

Now back to my current work/out:  Running from Zombies in South Africa!

 

xx,

A

 

EXERCISE PLAN

I worked with my friend Juliette at JKZen Fitness, who helped me with my 50lb loss.  We started with private pilates and then I added hot yoga and treadmill workouts to help me shred those last 20 vanity pounds.

Sample:

2x/week:  Pilates with Juliette, focusing on core, back and booty.  This part was essential to (re) teach my body how to be strong and aligned after giving birth.

1x/week:  60 minute hot yoga flow class

3x/week:  Treadmill as follows – Increase incline to 15% and set pace to 3.7 Miles Per Hour (MPH) then walk for 35 minutes.  Then, reduce incline to Zero and do 1 minute at 8.8 MPH followed by 2 minutes at 4.2 MPH and continue to repeat this cycle until the digital display indicates 500 calories burned – for me, this takes about 50 minutes overall.  When I don’t feel like the treadmill, I go for a long jog or uphill hike in the local mountains.

 

MEAL PLAN

First of all, I drink copious amounts of water all day long and I chug huge glasses to stay quenched. I’ve finally thrown in the towel on juice cleanses – the last time I tried, I drank all of my juice for the day by 1pm!  I’ve accepted it, if I’m eating a meal, I need solid food.  That said, I use green juices in my diet to fill the gaps in the day.

I try to cut down on all grains, even whole/alternative ones except for breakfast or a small amount at lunch and, while I don’t cut dairy, I do cut down on cheese.  Oh, and obviously, no processed anything. Ever!

Sample:

Breakfast:  1 cup cooked oatmeal with almond milk, sprinkled with gogi berries and drizzled with maple syrup OR my Apple Cinnamon Bran Muffins OR and ‘egg-in-the-hole’ OR whole milk yogurt with fresh berries, nuts, chia seeds… PLUS one large cup of coffee with Silk vanilla creamer.

Mid-Morning:  Green Juice – I’ve been drinking Suja’s of late.  I love their blends because they’re mostly all vegetable, which means less wasted calories.

Lunch:  A lentil salad with arugula OR roasted salmon with greens OR my Chicken Paillard with Bocconcini Salad (Great as leftovers!)

Mid-Afternoon:   Iced coffee and a banana slathered with almond butter OR  carrots, cucumbers and hummus.  Caffeine is a must for me to make it through life with 2 young kids and a busy career but if you are more disciplined than me, opt for antioxidant-rich roobios- or green- tea. This is my toughest time not to eat 14 brownies.

Dinner:  I try to eat around 5:30 because I’m starving by this time.  Occasionally I have one very, very, very large glass of wine (it’s really two glasses…)  Then half a NY Steak, sautéed spinach and ½ of a dark-chocolate bar.  (Dark-chocolate just doesn’t count, or at least that’s what I tell myself!)  Or I make a double batch of my Ricotta Meatballs (with just turkey), which I can then serve for a few nights.  Or my  nutritious, velvety Carrot Ginger soup.

 

  1. Jennifer Howell

    October 12, 2015

    Ah I needed to see this. I admit to being discouraged at how hard it is to work out and eat well when dealing with my 2 year old and working 40 hours a week. Thank you for this, it gives me inspiration and a bit of happiness that I'm not the only one struggling. Thankfully though, I'm never on camera so no one cares what I look like. :)

  2. Manuel Argüello

    October 13, 2015

    Thanks for the great and detailed post, its very inspiring and courage people that living healthy is possible with balance.

    Can't wait to see Resident Evil: The Final Chapter! Have a blast with Milla and all the crew, I hope Sienna makes a cameo, pretty big fan of you and Sienna I was hoping to see you RE gals meet in one of the RE movies.

    Great Recipes tho, I'm gonna try some by myself.

  3. Alyssa

    October 13, 2015

    This was a really great read! I really appreciate your honesty and am excited to try a few of the things I've read in here (the treadmill workout and breakfast options especially). I have always thought you were beautiful and radiant but from what I can see from your shares on this website and social media this is primarily due to you being a happy and positive person as a whole, not so much as how your "glam squad" can make you appear externally. Keep being yourself, you're a great example of leading a happy life!

  4. Xenia Tsiamanta

    October 13, 2015

    I admire you a lot Ali!! For the natural, beautiful and domestic woman you are, with an excellent career!! Thanx for sharing this article with us!! I am a food lover and a recipe addict (preparing a webside too) that makes it difficult for me to get disciplined as you do! But i will follow your advice, mostly on the first part which is more psychological and practical than on the diet itself. I am a greek cypriot woman and some of our nutritional customs are quite different from yours. So I will stick on our mediterranean and middle eastern diet, but having always in mind your own disciplined rules!! And if you need an authentic greek recipe, do not hesitate to ask it! It will be an honourable pleasure to give it to you! God bless you and your family and all the best for a lovely family and career life with enjoyable food ;-)

  5. Ann Melanie F. Gozo

    October 13, 2015

    I've made my own set of exercises/workouts at home via a P site, it really helps. Different workouts planned every other day which runs 20-30mins/day depending on the intensity. I just watch out what I eat though I can say I'm not dieting. I, too, make sure I eat before 6pm as am hungry by that time. After reading your blog, I am so inspired to stick to what I am doing now because you were able to shed those 50lbs, it ain't easy, but you did it, kudos to you! Will try you revipes too. Thanks much for sharing! Looking forward for the movie & good luck with that!

  6. Nicholas Bonato

    October 13, 2015

    Dearest Ali Larter,

    I currently weigh 120kgs, (264.5 pounds) and i am going to adapt to your weight loss schedule and every two weeks I will be updating on here and the people of instagram with progress to get into a fitter more healthier shape as you have inspired me to lose aajority of my weight. Thank you so much and I will be posting on the 28th of October.

    That is ok if you're alright with that. I will be giving you credit for everything.

    Kind Regards from Australia

    Nick Bonato

  7. Kimmy

    November 24, 2015

    Working out is something I always say I never have time for. And I know it is an excuse I tell myself to feel betfer. But making time is part of the work out, and I like what you said about not thinking and just doing. If a mother of 2 with a full time job can make time then so should I.

    Thanks for sharing!

  8. Mike Arsuaga

    November 28, 2015

    I've loved your work since Final Destination. I miss you in Heroes Reborn. Keep ahead of those zombies.

  9. Helen Lampinen

    February 12, 2016

    Can you please post the name of the food service that counts calories you used to lose the weight?

    1. Ali Larter

      March 7, 2016

      Unfortunately they don't seem to be in business still. Depending on where you live, if it's urban, a quick internet search should help you find one. They come and go these days. Wish I could be more helpful. xA

  10. Jamie

    March 14, 2016

    So I was reading some website today and it had one of your recipes on there. Something like 'Ali Larter's Whiskey Bacon Cheeseburgers' - or words to that effect. Anyway, your recipe states, "Pour the whiskey over the bacon. Cook over medium heat until the bacon is browned and crisp. Remove from pan and cover bacon to keep warm. Pour out excess grease." Do you mean that you get rid off all the bacon grease and then add the burgers to the skillet? Or do you mean to say that you should drain the bacon, but keep the grease to cook the burgers in? The reason I ask is because the recipe goes on to state: "Add the meat patties to the skillet with the bacon drippings." Hence my dilemma. How can I add the burgers to the skillet with the bacon drippings if I have poured out the excess grease? That's all for now. Keep up the good work. Cheers! Jamie

    1. Ali Larter

      March 14, 2016

      Hi!Thank you so much for taking the time to write. Ultimately, there needs to be some of the bacon 'grease' in the pan; what I meant by excess is, well, some bacon is fattier than others and give off a lot of grease. So, I would recommend, after removing the bacon, if, after you've removed the bacon and there's not that much grease left over, you can go ahead and skip pouring it out - I think 2 tablespoons in the pan is sufficient, otherwise drain off the leftover grease (strain it if you desire) into a bowl or measuring cup, and then re-add 2 tablespoons back into the pan before putting the patties in. Hope this clarifies. Enjoy xA

  11. Jamie

    March 15, 2016

    Yes indeed it does clarify! Sounds delicious. And thanks for the reply. I was not expecting that. Good luck in the movie biz. :) I was a fan of the Final Destination movies. The first two anyway..... Peace, Jamie

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