If you’re looking for tips on how to get a killer figure, Nastia Liukin is your girl. This Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast has been named of the “11 greatest bodies on Earth” (in addition to other accolades, such as “Female Athlete of the Year” and “Individual Sportswoman of the Year.” You might know the 25-year-old athlete best from the 2008 Olympic Games, where she tied the U.S. gymnastics record of five medals at one Olympic Games set by Mary Lou Retton in 1984 and matched by Shannon Miller in 1992. Nastia’s Olympic medal haul includes one gold (all-around), three silver (team, balance beam and uneven bars) and one bronze (floor exercise). She garnered the most medals of any gymnast at the 2008 Olympic Games, and is one of only four American women to win the all-around Olympic gold. Though her professional career ended in 2012 while training for that year’s Olympic games, Nastia continues to support gymnasts across the country with her annual Nastia Liukin Cup which brings the best young gymnasts together in a national competition. To transcend her life beyond the gym, Nastia is focused on brand positioning centered around promoting healthy living for young women. Her message is about fighting teen obesity, getting kids active, and helping kids to set and achieve their own goals and dreams. Her sponsors include Subway, Visa, American Athletic Inc. and TIGI Bed Head. This spring, Nastia will launch the Nastia Liukin Line of sporting apparel by Ten Tree. She remains an Ambassador for the sport by serving as an athlete representative for both the Federation of International Gymnastics and USA Gymnastics along with work as a television analyst for NBC. In 2013, she also became a full-time student at New York University. The gold medalist sat down with Haute Living to talk fitness, philanthropy, and life after the Olympics.
What are your top 7 diet and fitness tips for an amazing body?
1. Eat as clean as possible… The more greens, the better.
2. Drink LOTS of water.
3. Do something active every single day, whether it’s an intense workout or just 20 minutes of exercises and stretches in your living room.
4. Start your day with a healthy breakfast… I love having egg whites with a piece of brown rice toast with a little almond butter.
5. Switch up your workouts… Your body gets used to the same thing after a while, therefore won’t make any changes or progress.
6. Be consistent with living a healthy lifestyle.
7. Don’t deprive yourself… If you want a cookie, have a cookie! Just maybe not everyday and not a dozen.
How do you stay in such great shape?
For me, staying in shape is all about consistency. You have to make it a life style, not a fad diet or a workout binge. It’s about making healthy decisions everyday and trying to workout consistently. I like to mix it up too. I love to run, do Pilates, yoga and occasionally a bootcamp like Barry’s Bootcamp or a spin class at SoulCycle.
How involved are you with gymnastics these days?
I am now commenting for NBC for all the gymnastics competitions as well as hosting my own competition called the Nastia Liukin Cup. The Cup includes a series called “Nastia Liukin Cup Series” which consists of around 20 qualifying events across the country, spanning over two months. The top two girls at each event qualify on the the final, which is live broadcasted on Universal Sports. I’ve partnered with GK Elite and I design all the leotards and warm up jackets for the girls which they all get to compete in at The Cup.
Tell us about your charity work.
I actually have my own foundation. The Nastia Liukin Cup Series is a part of the Nastia Liukin Fund. The NLF board makes a mutual decision on how this money is allocated in charitable efforts relating to gymnastics, which is led by me. I also love working with other organizations such as Cycle for Survival, Special Olympics, Women’s Sports Foundation.
What do you plan on doing with your degree when you graduate from NYU?
Although I’m not sure what my future holds, I have wanted to learn more of the business aspect to sports, as it has been a huge part of my life for the past six years or so. I wanted to be more hands-on with my own career as well.
We’ve heard you have big news coming up. Can you elaborate?
Fans will have to wait until the fall, but it is something that I have been working hard on and I am really excited about.
Who are your favorite new gymnasts and why?
One of my favorites coming up is Norah Flately. She is still very young, but has amazing potential. She’s talented but also works very hard and i really love watching her perform especially on beam.
Have you ever considered a career in acting? You’ve appeared in two shows thus far. Have you ever been approached to appear in a film?
I’ve never considered an acting career. The few shows that I’ve done have been fun and a great experience. I have gotten approached a few times, but they didn’t feel like the right fit. If I would get approached again I would definitely consider it, but its not something I’m actively pursuing.