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Maria Menounos' Surprising Stay-Fit Secrets

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Between hosting Extra, writing a new book, and shooting a reality show, Maria Menounos is certainly living life in the fast lane. The 35-year-old admits it can be tough to stay in shape with such an hectic schedule, but there's no question that the former SHAPE cover model looks as gorgeous and fit as ever. Here, she dishes on how being busy actually helps her stay slim sans the gym, the surprising sport you'd never guess she's into, and what she’s making for Thanksgiving.

SHAPE: How do you fit in exercise with so much going on?
Maria Menounos (MM): That's something I address in my new book, The Everygirl's Guide to Diet and Fitness: There will be times when you can't fit in exercise, so you have to figure out a way to make it work. One way I do it is something I've coined "convenience conditioning." I make sure I'm getting in my workout throughout the day. When I'm in the office, I'm not sauntering from spot to spot, I'm speed walking. I'm always moving, which is why I'm able to maintain my figure without being a gym rat.

The other thing I do is wear a pedometer. Maybe seven months ago, I noticed that weight was starting to stick to me. I was turning 35, and I thought maybe this is the point that everyone talks about when weight starts to stick on you a little more. But I realized I had gotten lazy. I was taking the golf cart to and from set and wasn't walking enough. So I got a pedometer and made it my goal to take 10,000 steps a day. Ninety-five percent of the time I get that, 5 percent of the time I don't, and sometimes I even exceed it wildly. I feel if you maintain your steps you can maintain your weight.

SHAPE: What workouts or classes have you been surprised to find that you enjoy?
MM: I loved spinning, even though I thought that I would hate it! If you take a great spin class with a motivational instructor, and the music is amazing and it's dark, it's really cool. I was on such a high after I tried it. Also, I love krav maga, an Isreali martial art. It's an amazing full-body workout, and you're also learning self-defense, which is great.

SHAPE: Another surprising workout: wrestling. How did you get involved in the WWE?
MM: I grew up wrestling with my cousins in the backyard, and I secretly always wanted to be on WWE because I was a big fan of the show. When they started having celebrity guest hosts for Monday Night Raw, I really wanted to do it. One day they called and asked me to host. I told them I'd do it on one condition: I needed to wrestle. So I took lessons, worked with an instructor who taught me all the moves, and trained really hard. And now I moonlight as a wrestler.

RELATED: What Maria Eats (Almost) Every Day

SHAPE: With the holidays approaching, what kind of recipes do you look forward to making?
MM: I cook for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. I make the moistest turkey on the planet—I challenge anyone to beat me! I also love making stuffing. I use Ocean Spray Craisins in a lot of my recipes, and I make my cranberry sauce right from the back of the cranberry package.

SHAPE: What's your best advice to avoid packing on pounds over the holidays?
MM: Everything in moderation. If you're struggling with your weight and you're afraid the holidays are going to put you over the edge, start cutting down on calories just a touch—10 percent less—in the weeks before. Do a little better each week leading up to the holidays so you can really enjoy yourself. I know a lot of people say to make healthy recipes, but really? I don't want a healthy recipe—I want to go all out, I want to enjoy it.

SHAPE: Who has been your most memorable interview?
MM: The first one that comes to mind is the Obama family interview. That was such an honor and I'm still the only person to have a sit-down with the entire family.

Check out the video below to see why Menounos wants to keep things "old-school" on her upcoming reality show.





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