Kaley Cuoco on Being Super Fit: ‘It Took Me Years to Figure Out What My Body Needs’

09/09/2015 at 02:06 PM ET

Nino Muñoz/SHAPE Magazine
Nino Muñoz/SHAPE Magazine

It may have taken Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting “years” to perfect her diet and exercise routine, but judging by her incredibly fit form on the cover of Shape, she’s really, really figured it out.

“I’ve never worked so hard to look good for something in my entire career,” Cuoco-Sweeting tells Shape of her recent fitness kick. “But I didn’t starve or kill myself with exercise. I went slowly, and it paid off.”

The Big Bang Theory actress, 29, says she’s gotten in the best shape ever — and lost 6 lbs. — over the last three months, crediting her new, stronger body to the powers of yoga and cutting out junk food.

“Doing yoga five times a week has transformed my body,” she says. “I love being toned and having muscle; it’s so sexy and beautiful.”

Cuoco says she’s always been “type of girl who’s always had to buy jeans in three sizes” because she never knew how her body would look on any given day. That is no longer a problem. “Everything, from the inside out, has completely changed for me,” she says.

Nino Muñoz/SHAPE Magazine
Nino Muñoz/SHAPE Magazine

Before revamping her lifestyle, Cuoco-Sweeting says she would consistently snack with her husband, Ryan Sweeting, a professional tennis player who has to eat voraciously for fuel.

“When we first got married, it was so much fun to eat like him. We got into this habit we called the bedtime snack. The drawers next to the bed were filled with candy. Eventually, I realized it was mindless eating,” she says. “So I cut that out. Our refrigerator and pantry have completely changed, because we don’t eat crap anymore. No more soda, chips, cereal; we had boxes of stuff that only a 4-year-old would eat.”

Even though she no longer treats herself to candy before bed, Cuoco-Sweeting still indulges.

Nino Muñoz/SHAPE Magazine
Nino Muñoz/SHAPE Magazine

“I know when I’m being good all week long that come Sunday, I’m going to lie by the pool, have a drink, and eat some pizza. Then I wake up on Monday morning and I’m all ready to start the week again” she says, of her scheduled cheat days. “I’m just going to be in a bad mood all the time if there’s no light at the end of the tunnel.”

And it sounds like Cuoco-Sweeting’s new lifestyle isn’t just a passing phase — she’s proud of her new body and motivated to keep it.

“Now, when I look into the mirror and see the positive changes, I don’t want to go back to what I was doing,” she says. “Especially when my husband is like, ‘You look amazing!'”

—Maria Yagoda

Share this story:

Your reaction:

Add A Comment

PEOPLE.com reserves the right to remove comments at their discretion.

Showing 48 comments

Kw on

Years?! That’s one dim bulb in that head of hers.

Sandi on

Shape’s pictures are so photoshopped, it’s disturbing and unrealistic.

jj on

@Kw, yes years. she’s 29. So easily over 10 years that’s she’s been figuring out what is best for her body. You might actually want to think things through before calling someone else dim.

guest on

Years? I learned growing up to eat right, exercise, and keep a positive
outlook on life. THAT’S the answer, always keep a smile on your face
and share it with everyone every day. Free advice!

Nanu21 on

Fabulous lady…..

Lisa on

It also helps to accentuate your smaller waist when you can afford to buy giant boobs.

Anonymous on

She is a smoker but comments about a healthy lifestyle.

Kathy on

A classy women doesn’t need to flash her breasts, cover ’em.

Anonymous on

‘It Took Me Years to Figure Out What My Body Needs’ … implants

Tara on

‘It Took Me Years to Figure Out What My Body Needs’ … implants.

Truthfinder on

Is it true that she is a smoker. I like Kelly but a “healthy lifestyle” is a bit disingenuous if true.

Arleen on

wait till your 50, have a couple C-sections and then come back and tell us what you think….

Anonymous on

I hope she gets to wear clothes that show off her great figure this season on the BBT, instead of the sloppy attire of past few years.

Bree on

Typical internet comments. You can’t just be happy for someone. Good for her. She’s always looked great!

WonderWoman1958 on

Treating oneself on Sunday is a good idea.
One doesn’t wish to feel deprived.
Good for her!

Kirsten on

I’m glad that she’s honest about how much work she puts in to stay in shape. Sure, she was definitely never fat, and she’s young, but at least she’s not like the celebrities lying to people by saying that she eats whatever she wants, etc. She sounds like she has a fairly strict diet and exercise routine, and it shows.

Lola on

Years – probably because as you grow and over time your body and metabolism changes. She had to find what works for her. Maybe she doesn’t want to drive herself crazy with two workouts for example so she’s found a routine that works for her. Gosh, people always complain about something.

Cass on

I don’t want to hear any health advice from a SMOKER. Smoking kills. If she quits smoking, she can get back to us in a few years with health tips. Until then, I don’t want to hear it.

Rick Isserman on

She is also a avid horsemen. Being an athlete and winning competitions is her next line of adventure. After the Big Bang Theory is over, we might lose her to children and Horse Competions. That would be a shame. An avid Fan

Sara on

I love her body but she is not very likeable.

uylsses on

Some nasty comments need to stop.also@sara she is very likeable okey.

Julia on

I cannot stand her but I love her message. It does take years to figure out what is best for you. The diet industry says you have to live on a certain food with a certain number of calories, but then it dawns on the dieter that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Once you have that right formula for yourself, don’t let anyone derail it with “eat this ‘healthy’ food” or “you must avoid this.” And it will change as your body changes and ages.

CC on

I wonder when people will get tired of being such hateful human beings? People can never just be happy. If she just ate crap and got over weight and said I love my body for what it is. Then you would call her unhealthy. But she healthy and working out not starving herself. Found a good balance in her life, your still hating. I can’t STAND people! Never happy! Always got crap to say. GET A LIFE!

Tigger Too on

I love, love, love Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting! (In fact, I’ll admit to having a girl-crush on her!) She really does seem down-to-earth, and she’s funny as hell in her role as “Penny” on “The Big Bang Theory.” It’s refreshing to hear a female celebrity admitting that she has to work hard to stay fit and healthy, instead of making the crapulous (and usually bogus) claim that her body is naturally that way, with no dieting or exercising required whatsoever. Kaley is an inspiration for all gals who want to stay in shape and are willing to do the work to get that kind of amazing physique.

As for all the extraneous garbage about whether or not Kaley smokes, who cares? The photos I’ve seen of her allegedly smoking either appear photoshopped or they don’t look like it’s her at all in the first place. If cigarettes are the secret to having a body like Kaley’s, then sign me up! (haha) Yeah, she’s smoking. SMOKING HOT!

People who are in great shape through diet and exercise and who include a “cheat” day in their weekly regimen have the right idea. Adhering to a routine for six days every week, just knowing that you can splurge on the seventh day, is a psychological boost that can keep you on track. Whatever Kaley’s doing, it’s definitely working!

happier on

Oh please, ick. Bleached hair and boob implants, so what? Nicotine and tobacco and the 50+ chemicals in commercial cigarettes, yay! Yoga? Oh please…..lift weight, do aerobics 4x a week, STAND/walk rather than sit, and don’t eat too much. Voila!

Anonymous on

“No more soda, chips, cereal; we had boxes of stuff that only a 4-year-old would eat.” Really?? Stuff only a 4-year-old would eat? NOT my 4-year-old!!

ImALadyToo on

Some of you………meow!

Jim Bob on

She looks smokin’. Wish my wife Michelle would take note.

JJ on

I love her but I have to say…celebs have a lot of encouragement from trainers and I am sure there tv/movie producers to be a certain size. I bet we would all be fit and perfect if we got a million dollars an episode! That being said….like I mentioned I do like her, I just think it’s easier for people who have money and can afford the healthier lifestyle and trainers and have someone that takes all the guess work out of the infamous question “what’s for dinner?”

max on

What her body needs is a brain. A thinking one. And an education. Looks only go so far. Hello… anybody home?

Rebeccah on

Yep and the fact that she’s only 29 and has breast implants has nothing to do with anything, I’m sure. Please, everybody looks good in their 20’s. Let’s see if she still has that same body at 40; then, I’ll be impressed.

Me on

Everyone on here saying negative things about her are the tubby canklers who blame their kids and everything else under the sun for being over-weight. You don’t need money or anything else but will-power to lose weight and be fit. The streets and parks are free to run/walk and don’t fill your pantries with CRAP. Done and done! Also, so what if she smokes? Everyone has a vice. Yes, it’s unhealthy but it can be changed. She’s making changes in her life to better her health and, as she said herself, it’s a slow process.

Chelsea McQuaid on

It can actually take a long time to figure out a diet that you can live with that maintains a healthy weight. In addition, people that haven’t been fitness-minded may have a hard time incorporating exercise into their schedule until they find something they enjoy doing.

Charlie Waffles on

Her body needs more hair on top of her head. And, a vaginal rejuvination…

Guest on

She looks good, especially if she’s letting her hair grow longer. That short haircut was horrible.

Denise on

“so what if she smokes?”…………are you serious? Smoking is one of the leading causes of death. A smoker with plastic boobs is not someone I want advice from.

Kramer on

I’m sick of her ugly mug. And what is with the weird pointed eyebrows?

Brandi on

Lol I love some of these comments…very revealing as to how truly bitter and unhappy the people posting them are! Nowhere in this article do I see Kaley giving people advice on how to life their lives or saying that people should follow in her footsteps. She’s just saying what steps she has taken to be healthy and what works for HER. She looks great. I also don’t understand why people are bringing up her breast implants as they really have nothing to do with this article or the subject of fitness. People are acting like she has these huge DD-sized implants when she went with a moderate size that fits her body frame. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but I personally think the people mentioning it sound really petty and jealous. Bottom line – Any idiot that would seek health advice from a celebrity out of a magazine instead of consulting with a doctor and healthcare professional probably shouldn’t be reading the magazine in the first place.

Brandi on

*live their lives

monkey d luffy on

test

monkey d luffy on

@Rebeccah shut up she turning 30 in two months god,also who cares if she had best impants.

asshole commnets should stop.

sammy on

Took her “years” to figure out her body needed breast implants and cigarettes? Sounds healthy to me….

vivaldi on

She should read the article 48 Reasons Not To Have Breast Implants if she is really serious about being healthy.

Dni on

Shape Magazine is a joke if they are promoting a smoker.

Comador on

Wow, she is one of those people who really needs long hair to be attractive. She looks pretty bad now, even with the photoshop!

Comment Maker on

“””I hope she gets to wear clothes that show off her great figure this season on the BBT, instead of the sloppy attire of past few years.”””

What show have you been watching? All Penny wears is clothes that accentuate her figure. Her closet the first couple of sessions was filled with nothing but short shorts and tanks. Now that she’s older, her wardrobe has gone from tween blonde California girl to an adult woman with a steady, good paying job.

If you think Penny’s attire is sloopy, I can’t imagine how you would describe Amy Farrah Fowler’s wardrobe. Now that is sloopy and dumpy.

Billie Urik on

generateur de code psn

http://www.AchPbgVb3t.com/AchPbgVb3t

Elmo Kohlmyer on

Sign up for our daily newsletter and other special offers.
    Choose your newsletters
Thank you for signing up! Your request may take up to one week to be processed.
    see all newsletters