The celebrity trainer applauds many former Disney stars for their healthy lifestyles

By Harley Pasternak
February 27, 2013 11:15 AM
Getty (2); Sipa

Disney has given us Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and countless talented young actors and actresses. While many of us remember most Disney stars when they were young, it’s interesting how many of them have become successful stars – even sex symbols – as adults.

Let’s take a look at some Disney child stars who have blossomed into hard bodies and how they stay in shape. I’ve included some exceptions who’ve opted to “fill out” rather than work out.

Ashley Tisdale

Ashley has really come in to her own in the eight years since she debuted in the hit series The Suite Life of Zack & Cody. She’s grown up to be a seasoned performer and smart businesswoman.

Ashley eats very well and follows the Body Reset Diet, mixing up two different smoothies (white, red or green) a day with one healthy solid meal (including salads, stir-frys and scrambles). A client of ours for a little over a year, Ashley has developed an incredibly toned midsection. We make a point to train her core from all four angles. Double crunches (front), side bends (obliques), trunk twists (corset), and superman (lower back).

Hilary Duff

Hilary burst on to the scene as a tween, starring in the Disney Channel hit Lizzie McGuire. Since then, Hilary has grown in to a successful renaissance woman. An actress, singer, producer and author Hilary, now also has the new title of mom.

A longtime client – and dear friend of my wife and I – Hilary is a natural athlete and loves to mix up her workouts. She counts pilates, yoga, and strength training among her favorites and occasionally convinces her husband, Mike Comrie, to join her for a workout at my studio.

We focus on exercises that “lengthen” her posture, pull her shoulders back (back rows and triceps extensions) and tighten and tone the back of her thighs and her butt (dead lifts and skater lunges).

Miley Cyrus

I met Miley when her mom, Tish, brought her in to my studio for workouts and healthy eating tips at a sprightly 15 years old. Since then, Miley has explored all sorts of fitness methods and has become a real fitness buff along the way.

Miley attributes a large part of her svelte figure to a gluten and dairy allergy. This disclosure prompted many of her fans to cut those items from their diets as well. I want to draw some attention to this fad, however, because if you don’t have an actual allergy like Miley (and only one in 133 Americans have an actual gluten allergy), you’re depriving yourself of entire categories of foods and therefore nutrients. Unless you’re truly allergic, I don’t recommend this “diet.”

Lindsay Lohan

Lindsay has taken an infamously different path than her fellow Disney alums and it shows. The once fresh-faced bright-eyed star has lost all of her youthful glow. Cigarettes, alcohol, and living hard have led her to look decades older than her 26 years.

She’s thin, yes, but thin doesn’t equal healthy! In fact, Lindsay has become something of a poster child for an unhealthy young woman.

Britney Spears

From Mickey Mouse Club darling to pop superstar to mom, Britney has had a roller coaster journey over the years. Fitness, however, has been a constant part of her life. At age 12, Britney says that she was the coordinator for the aerobics class at her dad’s gym, so she started exercising early on. Of course, when she rose to superstardom and was living on stage, she made staying in shape a top priority. On top of the dancing in rehearsals and performances, Britney did intense strength training and cardio every day.

Now in her early thirties with two young boys, Britney still definitely manages to stay fit and firm. While she’s not working out as much she once was, she still stays very active by dancing several hours a week in rehearsals and on stage.

Christina Aguilera

When “Genie in a Bottle” was released in 1999, Christina became a teen sensation. Three years later, when the video for “Dirrty” came out, her killer body stole headlines. Today, her body is making headlines again, but this time it’s because of her much fuller figure.

After the birth of her baby, Christina has gone on record saying she embraces her body. “I’ve always been one to make it very clear, love me or hate me, take it or leave it, this is who I am,” she told PEOPLE in October. “I embrace my body, and I embrace everything about myself.”

While I applaud her for embracing her body, I can’t help but be a little skeptical. While she’s definitely not grossly overweight, she doesn’t look comfortable in her own skin like she did once upon a time. When Christina was in prime shape, she commanded attention and exuded confidence. What do you think?

Vanessa Hudgens

Known for starring in High School Musical, dating Zac Efron, and partying with other young Hollywood-ers, Vanessa has always looked fit and feminine. I saw her performance in Sucker Punch, and was very impressed by her amazing body! Vanessa attributes her lean figure to Pilates and running.

Selena Gomez

As Justin Bieber‘s on again, off again girlfriend, Selena has appeared with him in countless photos cavorting on exotic beaches, picnicking, and generally being young and in love. It’s obvious Selena is blessed with great genetics and a fast metabolism.

A self-confessed junk food addict, Selena has made an attempt to changing her diet in an attempt to be healthier. She’s made an effort to eat more fruit and veggies, has added protein to every meal, and follows the 80-20 rule (healthy food 80 percent of the time, fun/cheat food 20 percent of the time).


The That’s So Raven star truly transformed her body over the years, shedding over 25 lbs. in process. Raven has a fantastic attitude about her body. “I’d stress how important it is to be happy with yourself for who you are, first and foremost,” she told Self. “Being healthy is more than just working out or eating right – it’s about stress management, too. If you get off your plan, don’t be too hard on yourself, because every minute is an opportunity to start again.”

Raven has also divulged her penchant for sweating up a storm with her Wii “Just Dance” video game.

Demi Lovato

After a couple Camp Rock films, her own TV show, and a stint in a treatment center for eating disorders and self-harm behaviors, Demi now seems to be in a better place. She’s living a healthier lifestyle and has scored a few hit songs along the way. Demi loves to run, works with a trainer a few times a week, and does Bikram Yoga when she can.

Kids who grow up in the spotlight are often exposed to extreme amounts of pressure early on. Whether you’re a Disney star or not, it’s always a good idea to make health a priority throughout your life.

Thoughts? Tweet me @harleypasternak

Check back every Wednesday for more insider tips from celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak on Hollywood’s hottest bodies – and learn how to get one yourself! Plus: Follow Harley on Twitter at @harleypasternak