The Surprising Thing Kayla Itsines Says You Should Do If You Want Stronger Abs

If you use Instagram to source fitness inspo, you no doubt already follow Kayla Itsines for her challenging SWEAT workouts and totally inspiring posts about strength. Health recently had the chance to catch up with the influencer at PopSugar Playground and chatted with her about everything from eating well to having a healthy mindset.

Here, Itsines shares six ways she stays healthy.

On her number one tip for living a healthy lifestyle

“Start by adding healthy things into your life rather than subtracting things from your life,” says Itsines. It’s all about starting small by adding something simple to your daily routine, like going for a walk, she adds.

On her go-to healthy recipe

Choose homemade meals over eating out whenever you can, says Itsines. “I feel like I make everything healthy, so if I feel like a burger, I’ll make a homemade burger. If I feel like a burrito, I’ll make a homemade burrito,” says the fitness influencer.

“What makes it healthy is the ingredients you put in it,” she continues. “I think the fact that you’re making it yourself–you know what goes in it, you know what goes into the patty, you know what’s in the meat, and you know how much sugar or salt you’re putting in something–makes it so much better.”

On how she practices self-care

“In terms of self-care, I love getting a massage every week, having time for myself, going for a walk, and spending time with my friends.”

On what to do if you want stronger abs

It’s not one ab exercise but doing a collection of moves that benefit your core, too, says Itsines: “Things like deadlifts, things like chin-ups… things that really focus on the core.”

On the one thing you need to start doing for better mental health

Itsines has the perfect solution for anyone whose instinct is to respond to a compliment by pointing out a flaw: “When someone compliments you, say, ‘Thank you so much,'” she says. “Don’t try to find something that’s immediately wrong with you or something you don’t like about yourself—just say thank you and take it.”

On the words she lives by

“Stay humble, be kind, never forget where you came from.”

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