She’s young, beautiful, and has a body that can rock the skimpiest swimsuit—yet we can’t muster even a pinky toe’s worth of hatred for Victoria’s Secret and Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue model Nina Agdal. At just 20 years old, the Danish bombshell is already career-savvy and disciplined, yet totally down-to-earth.
We especially can’t hate her since she dished on how she maintains her wish-we-had-it figure, deals with burger cravings, and handles the pressure of being well on her way to becoming an “it” girl:
SHAPE: We’ve gotta know: What’s the fitness secret to your amazing bikini body?
Nina Agdal (NA): There’s not really any secret—it’s sweat and tears! A regular workout for me is 30 minutes of intense cardio followed by lifting weights. I try to hit the gym three or four times a week.
SHAPE: As a model, you’re always traveling. What are some of your workout tips for gals on the go?
NA: Bring a workout DVD with you everywhere. I always have one in my bag. You don’t even need exercise clothes since you can do it in your hotel room! Besides that, I try to walk as much as I can, so I’ll do things like walk to gates in the airport instead of taking the shuttle.
SHAPE: And what about your diet? How do you manage to keep it healthy?
NA: It’s all about self-control: I think about what I eat and when I eat it. I enjoy a big fat burger with bacon and cheddar cheese as much as everyone else, but I’m—usually—able to control myself and eat half instead of the whole thing. Overall, I try to have five small meals a day to keep my metabolism up.
SHAPE: It must be hard to eat well when you’re on a shoot or the road. What are your favorite snacks to keep on-hand?
NA: I always have either nuts, Luna bars, or fruit in my bag. A pack of instant oatmeal is also good to carry because it’s a quick, nutritious meal you can make almost anywhere.
SHAPE: What keeps you motivated to lead such a healthy lifestyle?
NA: I feel so great when I treat my body right. After a good workout and a healthy meal, I feel like I’m on top of everything. Of course, it’s a part of my job, but I believe everyone is happier when they’re living a healthy lifestyle, no matter what their line of work is.
SHAPE: Your job is also high-pressure, and you’re just starting to get some major success at a young age. How do you handle it all?
NA: Pressure is a part of the job. Honestly, I don’t feel a lot of it. I keep my feet on the ground and take it one day at a time. It works for me.