SI Swimsuit model Brooks Nader: 6 ways the star stays in shape

Brooks Nader swears that being a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit star is more than just having great genes.

The Baton Rouge, La., beauty made heads turn when she attended the magazine’s first-ever open casting call in Miami in 2018, earning a spot in the final six out of more than 10,000 applicants. The model went on to be named the 2019 model search winner.

However, success didn’t always come easy for her.

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“I’ve always liked my body,” Nader previously told Fox News. “I was bustier growing up. I thought that people would be receptive to that in New York, but it was obviously challenging at first. But now I’m in a really good place, mainly became a brand like Sports Illustrated noticed me.”

Nader stressed she doesn’t believe in no-nonsense diet regimens or even skipping on her favorite treats to stay in swimsuit-ready shape. So how does she do it? Below are six ways Nader keeps herself balanced while staying fit all year long:

It’s all about portion control

In February of this year, Nader told Fox News she doesn’t believe in dieting.

Instead, when it comes to being ready to don a swimsuit at any given moment, the model insisted on portion control, which prevents her from overindulging without compromising on her favorite treats. “I try to do everything in moderation and not limit myself too much,” she explained. “If I want a sweet I’ll just have portion control and have a little bit of a cupcake instead of four cupcakes.”

“I think that you can totally drive yourself crazy if you go on insane diets for long periods of time,” she shared. “You’re just going to crack. It’s taken me a while to just do everything in moderation — try to eat healthy as much as you can.”

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Go ahead, have a cheat day

Nader also told Fox News having a “cheat day” gives you something to look forward to during the week, especially on days when you could you use some motivation to keep your goals going. “This is so weird, but I love McDonald’s,” she admitted. “I eat cheeseburgers and french fries from McDonald’s on my cheat days, which people might find gross. But I love McDonald’s and I love pizza and I love wine. So that would probably be my meal, a very weird meal.”

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Punch it out in the boxing ring

In June 2019, Nader told U.K.’s Daily Mail she became passionate about boxing after moving to New York City from her native Louisiana in 2017.

“I love boxing!” she gushed at the time. “I’ve been training with Rob [Piela] at Gotham Gym since I moved to NYC and I’ve found it really helps strengthen, tone me and help keep my endorphins going which is my main goal. … I’ve gotten more into working out since I started modeling. It’s a great way to relieve stress. If I’ve had a long day, I just punch it out in the boxing ring.”

Be mindful of sugar and dairy

“I try and stay away from sugar and dairy but if I have a craving, I’ll definitely satisfy it,” she also told the Daily Mail. “Any ‘diet’ a person goes under should just consist of healthy eating, but don’t beat up yourself if you need to satisfy that fried chicken craving — I am Southern after all.”

Dance it out

According to Nader, on days when she wants to mix things up, you can find her taking “the occasional” hip-hop class at a local dance studio, similar to SI Swimsuit cover girl Camille Kostek.

Nader previously told Bare Necessities pairing up with a workout buddy not only encourages you to get moving, but it can also serve as a much-needed self-esteem boost.

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“I’m surrounded by extremely supportive, grounding people and I do let any of the frilly stuff get in the way or go my head,” she shared on how staying healthy helps keep her grounded. “Empowerment is feeling confident and able to do whatever your heart desires.”