How a Model Preps for Fashion Week

​There are some of us who still can’t quite believe

that New York Fashion Week is upon us once

again, but for the models hitting the runways this

week, preparation is well underway—castings and

fittings, yes, but also doing everything to ensure

that their bodies are in top form to take the

catwalk. For this, many of the industry’s top faces

(including Karlie Kloss, Martha Hunt, Irina Shayk,

and Miranda Kerr) rely on modelFIT, the gym

opened last year by Justin Gelband and Vanessa

Packer in NYC.

We’ve done the modelFIT workout before ( and

loved it ), but of course, that’s just one part of the

fitness equation. So an important question

remained: What does a runway model eat when

she’s prepping for weeks of runway shows? That

would fall to Packer, who heads modelFIT’s

nutrition and wellness program. Here, she reveals

her insider tips to keeping her model clients slim

and energized. (Spoiler alert: There is chocolate.)

1. It’s not how many calories you eat, but how you

eat them.

“I never count calories. I base my meal plans

and system of eating on seasonality, alkalinity,

and food combining. The last is probably most

important, because it ensures proper digestion:

With food combining, it’s important not to mix

proteins and carbohydrates in the same meal

as it will impede proper digestion and cause

bloating, gas, and constipation.”

2. Your meals should start light, and get heavier

as the day goes on.

“Begin your day with warm water and lemon

followed by a juice or smoothie, which will

boost alkalinity [aka your body’s best natural

pH balance for cells to thrive], give you energy

with raw living vitamins and minerals, and will

hydrate you and prep you for the day ahead.

For lunch, I like to keep it light with a salad

with vegetables—if you want to include a bit of

protein, you can add grilled salmon or some

hard boiled eggs. Dinner is my heaviest meal. I

always begin with a leafy green salad before

my entree. I usually opt for either a hearty

grain bowl with lots of vegetables, or I’ll do

fish or lamb with roasted veggies on the side.

My go-to dessert is organic dark chocolate. ”


3. Stay hydrated—just not at mealtimes.

“It’s important to drink water throughout the

day, but not as much while eating so you don’t

flush away all the important enzymes in your

mouth and esophagus.”

4. Snack if you must—but make it count.

“I’m not a big snacker because I think it’s

important to sit down and enjoy a meal; your

body responds better to that. However, if you

are a gal on the go, try packing some crudité

with hummus or smashed avocado, or even

summer rolls are a great option.”

5. But avoid THIS snack at all costs. “Don’t reach

for nuts as a midday snack—it’s one thing I try

to steer people away from, and they are always

surprised. Yes, they have healthy fats and are

packed with protein, but they are very heavy

on the digestive system and very dehydrating.

Also, if you opt for roasted instead of raw, they

become very fattening because the oil found in

the nuts is compromised when heated.


If you absolutely need to have nuts, only have a

handful and make sure they are raw and

organic. And, make sure you hydrate

afterwards.” [Editor’s note: We recommend

pistachios over almonds .]

6. Make sure you steer clear of these bloat


“I recommend avoiding carbonated beverages.

They make you gassy and bloated, and some

say they can cause cellulite.  I also tell my

clients to stay away from dairy as it is very

mucus-producing, and can cause bloat and

constipation for the people who don’t digest it

properly. Fried foods are always a big no-no.

regardless of the date or season.

7. Maintaining high energy levels is actually

simpler than you think.

“Stay hydrated, eat light through the day, and

opt for sustainable caffeine options like green

tea. Also, make sure you are getting the proper

amount of sleep.”

8. NOW is the time to get on those healthy habits.

“Fashion Week is an important time to stay on

top of your game, especially with all the

parties and goings-on—but it’s also a time

when people usually break out of their healthy

routines. Before fashion week is a great time to

get your body on track by eating properly,

getting lots of sleep, and working out, so if you

don’t have time during the mayhem at least you

know you put in the work before.

9. And when the mayhem does commence, let this

superfood give you a boost.

“I am loving matcha these days. I feel like it

gives my metabolism (and energy levels) a nice



Vanessa’s pick: Panatea Ceremonial Matcha Green

Tea Bag, $99;

10. To go along with your improved diet, keep

mixing up your workout.

“I love yoga, Pilates, and running. A

combination is important so you create

dynamic muscles and work different parts of

your body. This will yield better results.”

11. And finally, keep that mood running high.

“Meditation is an incredible healer and all-

around mood balancer. I think hot baths are

really soothing and an easy way to give

yourself some pampering at home, and to get

some ‘me’ time.”


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