You can always count on Belle Daza to keep it real. A couple weeks ago, Belle took to her YouTube channel to reveal the challenges of pregnancy and her journey towards weight loss. Thanks to clean eating and a rigorous physical regimen, it took Belle 10 months to lose 68 pounds after giving birth to her son, Baltie. And, as you can probably imagine, it wasn’t easy: “It took a lot of sacrifice,” she quips, “and that was very difficult.”

But now, Belle is reaping the rewards of her labor. The actress, in her own words, is “even lower than [her] pre-pregnancy weight.” If this isn’t proof hard works pays off, what is? After watching Belle’s video ourselves, here are 5 lessons we’re taking to heart. Keep reading!

Rather than restricting her calorie intake, Belle nourishes herself with healthy carbs like brown rice, kamote, and quinoa, protein-rich fish, and lots of healthy fats like avocados, nuts, and coconut oil. Oh, and let’s not leave out the veggies, too! This eating plan keeps Belle satisfied for longer periods, plus helped adjust her palate to crave tasty, clean eats—not junk laden with unhealthy, addictive ingredients.

PRODUCT RECOS: Green Silo Organic Quinoa (1kg), P650, Farm to Folk Organic Red Rice (1kg), P210, Unipak Mackerel in Natural Oil, P25, Gustazo Gourmet Tuyo in Olive Oil, P192, Hearth Nuts for Nuts Trail Mix, P130, Greenlife Home of Coconut Products Virgin Coconut Oil (10oz), on sale at P200 (limited time only)

Belle walks every morning before eating breakfast. Performing 30-45 minutes of fasted cardio on a treadmill, the activity supposedly helps burn more calories and jumpstarts the metabolism. When not using a treadmill, Belle enjoy other activities that keep her heart rate up: sprints, laps in the pool, yoga, and cycling at Ride Revolution. Simply put, it’s just a matter of moving a lot—and of course, taking pleasure in the process.

Although cardio’s a priority, Belle’s main form of exercise is weightlifting. Not only is weightlifting an effective way of maximizing calorie burn, it also increases lean muscle.

Belle alternates pumping iron with calisthenics, performing exercises like pull-ups using her own bodyweight. Her advice when it comes to newbies wanting to try calisthenics, too? Use resistance loop bands as you’re progressing (Trust her, it helps!).

PRODUCT RECOS: SKLZ Mini Bands, P919, Active Power Band (12-50 lbs.), P480, Perfect Fitness Perfect Ab-Strap, P1,899

Belle knows the importance of clean eating, yes. However, there’s nothing wrong about treating yourself to a cheat meal every once in a while. On a recent trip to Paris, she confesses to eat treats. She just makes sure not to overindulge. Allowing herself the occasional pizza slice or chocolate croissant made it easier to eat well the rest of the time. That, and Belle offsets her cheat meals with regular workouts.

What most people don’t know is rest is just as important as reps. As Belle says, it’s important to “listen to your body.” Look for signs that the body needs a break, like chronic muscle or joint soreness and impaired physical balance. On her off days, Belle takes time to catch up on sleep or uses meditation as a means to decompress. This doesn’t only help her perform better during her workouts, it also helps her cope with anxiety—something she struggled with post-pregnancy.

PRODUCT RECOS: TriggerPoint MB1 Massage Ball, P999, YogaLove Healing Cream Tub (100g), P375, Luv Cosmetics Magnesium Oil, P200, Kimochi Aroma Medium Herbal Pillow (6x8 Inches), P370

See? Slow and steady, healthy and happy, always wins the race.

Photos via YouTube and Instagram: @isabelledaza (1, 2, 3, 4)

To discover more about healthy living, visit our Wellness Tab.

For more cool stories and members-only perks, sign up for BeautyMNL!

Like us on Facebook.
Follow us on Instagram (@beautymnl).
Tweet us on Twitter (@beauty_MNL).
Watch us on YouTube.

The BeautyMNL App is also available for iOS and Android! For Apple devices, download it on mobile here. For Android devices, download it on mobile here. Stay tuned for updates and app exclusive promos!