Remember Alexandra Burke and her amazing vocals from her winning X Factor performance in 2008?
Well, she’s been a busy lady since then. Not only has she released several hit singles, she’s taken on the lead role of Rachel Marron in touring musical The Bodyguard, and will soon be going on to play the role of Sister Mary Clarence in an all-new production of Sister Act The Musical too.
So, with theatre roles taking up all of her time, how does Alexandra keep on top of her crazy schedule and still stay in shape? Here’s everything you need to know about the singer’s diet and exercise secrets (and how you can try them yourself!).
Wake up call
It was a performance dress that made Alexandra realise she wanted to live a healthier lifestyle. ‘It was August last year. I was performing in The Bodyguard and was just about to go on stage,’ she revealed to The Mirror. ‘My bum was so big that I had to force my dress over it and the zip broke. I was thinking, “Jesus Christ, what’s happened?” The seamstress told me it was a faulty zip but she was lying as I knew I had put on weight.
‘Then my boyfriend took a picture of me by the pool. As we got on the plane to go home, I looked at the photos and I thought “Why do I look like this?” He told me, “Yeah, you have put on a bit of weight, but so have I”.’
It was at this point Alexandra decided to overhaul her diet of late night takeaways, unhealthy snacks and too many protein shakes and take control of her wellbeing.
Alexandra lost 18lbs using the SlimFast plan, which combines meal replacements with healthy meals and snacks, and now feasts on lots of fruit, veggies and protein, with the occasional treat day, of course.
‘As well as using the SlimFast meal replacement shakes and bars, I eat sushi or sashimi for lunch – I love Japanese food – and I snack on bananas, fruit or SlimFast pretzels,’ she says.
‘Then, before I go onstage, I’ll have a wholesome 600-calorie meal which is usually lean meat with rice or sweet potatoes and lots of vegetables. Now, instead of snacking on anything, I have a camomile tea before I go to bed, and I will cook my dinner for the following night. Sunday is my treat day.’
‘Hitting’ the gym
During her weight loss, Alexandra hired a personal trainer, and has gradually increased her workouts from three times a week to five or six.
She’s a big fan of boxing, and often posts videos of herself throwing some punches in the gym – but she also supplements these sessions with treadmill training, HIIT circuits and weights. And as if that wasn’t enough cardio, she takes plenty of long walks with her dogs Milo and Alfie.
Alexandra says that although she’s lost weight, she’s never aiming for a particular size, and definitely doesn’t want to lose her trademark peachy bum! ‘I like my legs and I like my bum so, of course, wanted to keep these,’ she told The Mirror in 2016. ‘I just wanted to feel and look the best I could.’
‘I’m now 18lbs lighter, I’m loving life, I’m back to where my confidence levels should have been months ago.
‘I never want to go below a size eight. I always want to look healthy. I don’t want to go past a point where people question me and say I’m too skinny. I don’t like that. I’m a woman and I like to feel womanly. I like to have a bum and have curves. I always try to encourage young girls to understand that.’