Lesley-Ann Brandt, star of cult series Lucifer on Netflix, is 37 and mom to an adorable toddler. But you’d never guess that, looking at the May issue of Women’s Health. Lesley-Ann is naked on the cover, save for her signature Africa tattoo with the little heart over her homeland – Cape Town, SA. “To do this after a baby, at 37 years old, feels good,” Lesley-Ann says of the bare-all cover. “I know I’ll look back at this one day, happy to have it done it.” And honestly, who wouldn’t be, with such a sexy, sculpted bod? Here’s how she keeps it in shape.
A Plant-Based Diet
When Lesley-Ann first appeared on the cover of Women’s Health, shortly after her son was born, she already wasn’t a meat eater. Now she’s cut out other animal products as well. So to make sure she still gets all the nutrients her body needs, Lesley-Ann consulted a professional. “I’m fully aware there are are millions of vegans who aren’t always ensuring they’re getting everything they need nutritionally,” she says. “So I’m seeing a doctor in conjunction to ensure my body is healthy and I’m not deprived of anything.”
Why it’s a good idea: Going vegan may sound like a healthy shortcut to weight loss, but the reality is that most new vegans feel low on energy, hungry and unsatisfied in the beginning because they haven’t yet learnt how to get all their nutrients from plants. Whether you’re going vegan or or just wanting to lose weight, consulting a dietician will save you the frustration and potential health problems of trying to figure it out through trial and error.
READ MORE: How Lesley-Ann Brandt got in shape so soon after having a baby.
On location: Making of a magazine shoot…
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Rewards For Good Behaviour
Lesley-Ann enjoys exercise, but that doesn’t mean she never has days when she doesn’t feel like working out. When she’s working towards something, she buys herself cute workout gear that she can rock in the gym once she’s achieved her goal. “In fact, I bought clothes while I was pregnant, with the goal of getting into them post pregnancy,” she says. What she doesn’t do: stand on the scale. “That’s just a terrible way to play mind games with yourself,” she says.
Why it’s a good idea: Weight isn’t always a good indicator of progress, especially if, like Lesley-Ann, you already exercise regularly. Why? Because muscle weighs more than fat. So you could be losing fat, getting lean and strong, but still weigh the same. Clothing size is a much more effective way to judge how far you’ve come.
READ MORE: Have You Tried The Game Of Thrones Death-By-Burpees Challenge?
Slipping into my pre-baby jeans like…
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Mixing Up Her Workouts
Lesley-Ann works out with her personal trainer Paolo Mascitti four or five times a week, but she also works with a movement specialist and does yoga. Even her workouts with Paolo are varied, with each session including a mix of steady-state cardio, strength training and high-intensity interval training.
Why it’s a good idea: Your body gets used to exercise pretty quickly, so if you just do the same thing over and over again, you’re going to hit a plateau and stop seeing results. What’s more, fitness isn’t just about how heavy you can lift or how long or fast you can go – incorporating mobility work and stretching helps you move better overall, so you’re less susceptible to injury. And the greater your range of motion, the better you can perform the exercises in your workouts, so you’ll get better results.
An Active Lifestyle
It’s not just about the workouts. Lesley-Ann plays Mazikeen on Lucifer – a demon with a habit of finding herself in sticky situations and butt-kicking her way out of them. That means a lot of time spent with the stunt team. “Roundhouse kicks after a baby are very different,” she says. Ok, Lesley-Ann, if you say so.
Why it’s a good idea: Sitting disease is a real thing. Long periods of inactivity during the day have been linked with increased risk of a string of lifestyle diseases, including heart disease, diabetes and even cancer. Obesity is on that list too. Not ideal. But you don’t have to do roundhouse kicks routinely to keep it at bay. Sneak more movement into your day by taking the stairs, getting up to speak to colleagues instead of emailing them and walking instead of defaulting to the car.
Watch Lesley-Ann in action in Lucifer on Netflix. Season 4 starts 8 May.