Irina Shayk: My Bikini Body Secrets That Mean I Can Still Eat Chicken Nuggets - EXCLUSIVE

The Sport’s Illustrated model and girlfriend of footballer Cristiano Ronaldo reveals her diet plan, fitness regime and workout tips to get a bikini body like hers

She’s the Sport’s Illustrated cover girl and long-term girlfriend of footballer Cristiano Ronaldo.

But 28-year-old Russian supermodel Irina Shayk is more down-to-earth than you think – for someone who's worth an estimated $8 million.

She eats hamburgers and chicken nuggets, is happy to be photographed without make-up and prefers comfy clothes to sky-high stilettos.

We spoke to her as she promoted the film Hercules to find out how she maintains her bikini body, and she revealed her diet plan, fitness regime and workout tips to us exclusively…

Fitness fanatic

There’s no denying the supermodel has a stunning figure.

Perfectly encapsulating the strong not skinny mantra, the bikini model admitted good genes do play a part in her figure, but she has to work hard to stay in shape too.

“I have good genes but of course you have to push yourself to go to the gym,” she says.

“I’m 28. When I’m going to be 35, I still want to look good. My other problem is I love to eat, I love my food. I love hamburgers, I love chicken nuggets.

“If you decide that you want to eat all those crazy meals, you have to balance with working out, so you always have to motivate yourself.

“You cannot wake up and see yourself in the mirror and think ‘I look great so I can just relax’, you have to always push yourself to be better.”

Irina - stepmother to four-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo Jr - opened up about her fitness regime, telling us it’s a combination of cardio, boxing and work with a personal trainer.

“I’m this kind of girl that wants to be better every time, that’s why I push myself so much to go to the gym, I do a little bit of boxing, I do the Pilates machine, I work out with my personal trainer,” she says.

“Sometimes I wake up and I’m angry and I go and do boxing because it really helps take all your anger out.

“Usually I work out for only an hour, but sometimes when I’m in the mood I go for one hour at the gym and then I go for a run afterwards.

“Cardio’s always good. It makes you sweat, it’s the best. If you love to run, it’s the best, just to sweat it out.”

The Russian model is comfortable walking around New York is laid-back clothes and no make-up [Rex]
The Russian model is comfortable walking around New York is laid-back clothes and no make-up [Rex]

Irina tries to work out every day when she’s at home in New York – but she doesn’t waste time worrying if she can’t fit a workout in when she’s busy.

“When I travel, and if I’m going to be travelling for just two days, I try and relax, and then when I’m in New York I start my gym routine,” says Irina.

“To be honest I arrived [in Berlin] yesterday and I’ve had no time to go to the gym. I booked my flight for tonight so I’m going to be relaxing tonight, not working out.

“But tomorrow I’m going back to New York and that’s when I’ll go to the gym. It’s really hard when you’re on the road, it’s really hard to go to the gym when you have jet lag.”

She also revealed she doesn’t do any specific ab exercises to get that rock-hard core – and instead relies on working her best angles.

“You just have to know your best angles and you just have to know when you pull your stomach in,” she says.

Irina is stepmother to Ronaldo's four-year-old son, Cristiano Ronaldo Jr [Rex]
Irina is stepmother to Ronaldo's four-year-old son, Cristiano Ronaldo Jr [Rex]

Daily diet

Speaking to Irina, it’s clear she has a healthy attitude to her weight – she tries to fill her body with wholesome nutritious food, but doesn’t deprive herself of what she’s craving.

“I don’t believe in diets to be honest. I try to eat healthily, like fish and chicken, salads,” she says.

“Two times a week I have a cheat day. You have to remember that if you want to eat burgers, or chocolate or candy, you have to eat it for breakfast or at lunchtime, never in the evening.

“Probably twice a week I eat red meat and hamburgers. You have to balance between working out and eating.”

Drinks-wise, the supermodel swigs water and green tea throughout the day – but steers clear of caffeine unless she has to.

“You have to drink a lot of water and green tea. You have to remember that our bodies contain so much water and it’s great for your skin. You have to eat a lot of greens, and fresh green juices,” says Irina.

“Also, you have to stay away from the coffee! I don’t like it and I drink it like once a week maybe. Just drink a lot of water, it’s good for your body.”

On a daily basis when she’s at home in New York, she starts the day with hot water and lemon before having a salad for lunch and light dinner.

“I start with hot lemon water and then I would have oatmeal with water, or if I don’t have oatmeal, I will have a kefir, it’s a natural, yoghurt type drink,” she says.

“So I have a glass of that, then I go to the gym or do Pilates. I would take a snack with me like an apple. Then for lunchtime, I would have a green salad, either chicken or fish, then in the evening I try to not have dinner later than 8pm, and 8pm is pretty late so maybe like 7pm.

“I would have some lentils with chicken or fish, or a turkey breast or something like that.”

“[But] I don’t cook. I’d rather go out than cook. I can cook tea. I can cook a Russian soup, I’m really good at it, but I never do it because it takes time and I never have time. I prefer to go out to restaurants.”

Couple time

They’ve been together since 2010 but Irina Shayk and footballer Cristiano Ronaldo rarely make public appearances together – instead shying away from the spotlight.

But that changed this year when the famous couple appeared together on the cover of Spanish Vogue.

It had its fair share of headlines as the 29-year-old Portugese footballer appears naked on the cover – with only his girlfriend to cover his modesty.

So what was it like mixing business and personal for the day?

“Well I don’t look at it like that. It was a fashion shoot, it was with the man who basically discovered me and brought me into high fashion,” she says.

“It was a great idea and a great story. It was fun, Mario Testino is one of the best photographers in the world. It [only] took about two hours to shoot [because] Mario is very fast.

“It was beautiful. You can never go wrong with Mario Testino. Everyone loved it!”

Hercules is in cinemas now.

[Cristiano Ronaldo and Irina Shayk pose for naked Vogue cover]

[Cannes 2014: Sharon Stone And Irina Shayk Work The Cut-Out Trend At The amfAR Gala]