Adriana Lima's taken some heat recently for revealing the extreme workout and diet plan she undergoes every year before the annual Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. For nine days before the show, she consumes nothing but liquids, including protein shakes, and drinks a gallon of water per day. 12 hours before the show, she doesn't eat or drink anything, not even water. On top of all that, she recently told The Telegraph that she's been working out with a personal trainer, and then a month before the show, amped up her workouts (which include boxing, jumping rope, and weight lifting) to twice per day.
We talked to Dr. Mike Roussell, PhD, about her diet and got his feedback on whether or not it's healthy, but what about her workouts? We talked to Amy Hendel, a Registered Physician Assistant and author of The 4 Habits of Healthy Families, to get her perspective on working out twice per day. The verdict? It's healthy, if you do it right.
"I might not recommend that you work out twice a day every day," Hendel says. "That can be over the top. But it's reasonable for someone, especially someone who might be fairly sedentary for most of the day to put in two workouts per day, say a cardio workout in the morning, and a yoga session or a long walk later in the evening."
According to Hendel, the most important thing to remember about working out multiple times per day is that your body needs fuel. There's nothing inherently unhealthy about working out twice a day, if you're supporting it with the right amount of nutrients and calories.
"Protein and carbs become extremely important," she says. "Protein supports the building of muscle mass, and it also satiates you and keeps you full for a long time, whereas carbs give you the energy you need to work out."
In the case of Lima, without speaking to her or her nutritionist, it's impossible to say whether or not she was getting the most out of her workouts.
"Young people are very resilient," Hendel says. "But we do damage to our bodies over time, and if she is undertaking this diet year after year for as long as she models, cumulatively, she could do some damage."