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Taylor Swift's Rules for Healthy Living

The chart-topping singer-songwriter talks about how diet, exercise, and writing help her stay happy and balanced.

How Taylor Swift Stays Healthy continued...

Because her life is so peripatetic, Swift knows that staying disciplined about how she eats is crucial to her well-being. While this lanky, 5-feet-11-inch star doesn't need to watch her weight, she says she still pays attention to what she puts in her body -- on weekdays. On weekends, all bets are off. 

"During the week, I try to eat healthily, so that means salads, yogurt, and sandwiches," she says. "No sugary drinks. I try to keep it lighter, but it's nothing too regimented or crazy. I don't like to create too many rules where I don't need them. We know what's good for us, thanks to common sense." On the weekends, "I allow myself to eat what I know from common sense is bad for me," she says with a giggle. "I like comfort foods. I love a burger and fries, I love ice cream so much, and I love baking cookies. Actually, I love baking anything."

One daily treat is a Starbucks run, where she opts for skinny vanilla lattes on weekdays and spiced pumpkin lattes on weekends. "The point," she says, "is I'm never cutting out what I love, which is Starbucks."

Healthy Approaches to Food and Fitness

Elisabetta Politi, RD, MPH, CDE, lauds Swift's simultaneously practical and celebratory approach to food, praising her for being a role model in an insanely dieting world. Swift also earns high marks for not depriving herself, although as Politi points out, "Taylor doesn't have to lose any weight, so maybe someone who does would have a treat once a week, and after exercise." 

Swift's philosophy is perfect, says Politi, who is the nutrition director of Duke University's Diet and Fitness Center. "Evidence shows that binge eating is connected to frequent dieting. Depriving ourselves leads to eating out of control. What's crucial is having a healthy relationship with food," Politi explains. "Food is not the enemy, and Taylor is really to be commended for enjoying what she eats. We should all be eating in a mindful way and enjoying every moment that we do." 

As for following common sense rather than calorie charts, Politi is all for it: "Our grandparents had so much less information than we have; they only listened to their common sense, and we were a leaner country then." For people who would rather rely on facts than intuition about what makes a healthy diet, Politi suggests going to the American Dietetic Association web site.

The Importance of Giving Back

To keep a balanced lifestyle, Swift is a homebody when she's not touring. She recently moved out of her parents' house and into her own apartment in Nashville, where she hangs out with friends and writes. "I'm not a party girl, because that's not where my interests are," she says. But she's also aware that in making the choice to stay away from the nightlife she's sending an important message to her fans. 

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