Lauren Cohan graces the cover of Shape magazine and unveils the diet and fitness routine that’s given her such a chiseled physique. ‘The Walking Dead’ star also opens up about having been body shamed as a teen. Now, years later, calling herself ‘the queen of exercise variety’ she reveals how she stays so disciplined.

Lauren Cohan

Photo: Lauren Cohan
Credit: PR Photos

The 34-year-old British actress rose to fame with ‘The Walking Dead’ where, as Maggie Greene, her impressive physical prowess is put to the test. And, the cover photo, of Lauren Cohan in a bikini, revealing six-pack abs and amazingly toned legs, she could easily compete in fitness model competitions.

But, as she told Shape magazine, it’s not always been this way. She revealed that as a teenager she was body shamed. She says, “‘I was very skinny as a kid, but when I was swimming and playing field hockey and just having fun, I never worried about how I looked.” She continued, saying, “In my teens, though, I started to be more aware of my body, and I didn’t like being skinny. People made fun of me for it.”

She spoke of how that all changed during her college years. She said, “‘I ate a lot of junk and gained weight. I loved it because I didn’t stand out as a bony girl anymore! Eating became a way of not getting attention for looking too skinny, but it was also self-sabotage.”

She continued, saying, “In the last few years, I’ve gotten back on track with exercising for fun and eating right, and now I’m in a happy place with myself.”

She went on to say, “I am the queen of exercise variety.” And she went on to outline some of the specifics, saying, “This week I was in L.A. and I took a Pure Barre class, went to Burn 60 [an interval workout class] twice, ran the track at UCLA, made it to the gym, and took a yoga class. I also really love to dance. I dance through workouts that aren’t even about dancing! At home, all my furniture is pushed to the edges of my living room so that I can dance around the room.”

Yes, that’s quite a fitness routine! Another glimpse of the cover (below) and it’s clear that all the hard work is paying off. She explained that there’s more of a challenge when she’s on the set. She said, “We film in Georgia, and I can’t go to classes. So I do exercise DVDs that have a lot of leg lifts, kicks, arm lifts—things that don’t need equipment. And I move all the time. I take the stairs, I do press-ups between scenes, and I do sit-ups before I eat lunch.”

She also opened up about the diet tips and tricks that help her save time. She said, “On Sundays I chop up tons of vegetables and make three or four Mason jars’ worth of dressings, and I throw dishes together at random during the week. With my schedule, it makes it so much easier to have things ready to go in my fridge.”

It begs the question that we typically want to know. What about indulgences? Cohan said, “I eat healthy. But I splurge, too. My favorite is Justin’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups. I’m obsessed with them!”

You can see Lauren Cohan’s Shape Magazine cover below. See more of the interview plus the video here here and get the full scoop of the diet and fitness tips!