Kaitlyn Bristowe and Britt Nilsson are looking for love on the newest season of “The Bachelorette.” But amid all the late-night rose ceremonies, endless alcohol, and frequent traveling, how do you squeeze in healthy eating and exercise? (Photo: ABC)
Being a contestant on ABC’s The Bachelor and The Bachelorette has a lot of perks: cool trips, good-looking people, and a shot at finding love.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, not so much.
With rose ceremonies going until 2 a.m. and a seemingly endless supply of booze, the environment is not exactly conducive to eating well, exercising, or getting lots of rest.
Being on The Bachelor is “a dream,” since as a contestant, “you can have whatever you like,” Courtney Robertson, who was chosen by Bachelor Ben Flajnik as the winner of season 16, tells Yahoo Health. “But, it was hard being out of my normal routine."
With last-minute trips around the world and impromptu dates on top of skyscrapers, it seems near impossible for cast members to figure out a normal schedule throughout the duration of filming. "The most difficult part health-wise was the fact that you had to live a nomadic lifestyle for two-and-a-half months,” Ashley Hebert, who was the season 7 Bachelorette, tells Yahoo Health. “When you’re on the road, you’re thinking about satisfying your hunger and cravings as opposed to thinking about a healthy lifestyle."
Season 17 Bachelor, Sean Lowe, echoes Ashley’s sentiments. "The Bachelor is exhausting,” he tells Yahoo Health. “Sometimes the dates will begin at 7 a.m. and won’t finish until midnight. Those long, exhausting days didn’t exactly make me want to work out and eat healthy.”
Being on the road meant a lot of overnights in hotels, and “we would eat out or get room service for almost every meal,“ adds Ashley. "You know how you gain weight on vacation because of all the indulgences? It is the same. I gained a solid 5 to 10 pounds!”
Ashley Hebert and J.P. Rosenbaum on Ashley’s season of “The Bachelorette.” (Photo: Getty Images/Lou Rocco)
But being on the show also meant you could make specific requests to have healthy options around. “I was vegan at the time and would wake up to a buffet of vegan options,” says Courtney. "We would make grocery store lists or if we were at a hotel, request what we all felt like. We had a personal chef in Belize who was incredible.”
Sean admits he was treated “like royalty” and used his healthier meal options to balance out his lack of exercise on the show. “Before beginning my ‘journey,’ I told myself I was going to work out every morning before shooting,” he says. “Then reality set in as we began filming and I realized my body didn’t have the energy to work out. I tried to make up for the lack of exercise by choosing healthier meal options and working out on our few off days.”
Bachelor Sean Lowe while filming season 17. (Photo: Getty Images/Matt Brown)
And all that booze? While the contestants revealed there was plenty to be had, they personally made a conscious choice not to overindulge in order to avoid potentially disastrous on-air antics.
“I don’t drink hard alcohol, so that helped a lot,” says Courtney. Meanwhile, J.P Rosenbaum, who found love with Ashley on her season of The Bachelorette, tells Yahoo Health that his older age while on the show (at least, compared with the other contestants) was a big reason he didn’t go overboard. “I was 34 at the time and one of the older guys on the show,“ he says, “so I probably was a bit more under control when it came to alcohol consumption.”
But what about fitting in exercise? “My workout time was cut in half,” says Courtney, “so I would push myself more in the 30 minutes of time I had. Sometimes I would get more if someone else didn’t schedule their 'yard time.’ And I would try to squeeze in stretches and Pilates throughout the days.”
Ben Flajnik and Courtney Robertson during the finale of “The Bachelor.” (Photo: Getty Images/Nick Ray)
Ashley shares that she had a very strict workout routine prior to the show, but chose to relax during filming. “I had some free time to work out when I was The Bachelorette, but chose not to,” says Ashley. “I worked out daily prior to the show, but felt like I was on vacation during filming.”
J.P., on the other hand, said exercise was a big part of the guys’ day-to-day during his season. “There was a lot of down time in between dates and traveling, so finding time to get to a gym or get in a run was never a problem,” J.P says. “I probably worked out six to seven days each week.” And workout sessions actually helped the cast bond: “Some guys were in better shape than others,“ he says, "but working out formed more of a camaraderie between everyone."
Since ending their Bachelor and Bachelorette TV stints, Courtney, J.P., Sean, and Ashley have had different experiences in getting back to healthy routines. Courtney says she went back to her normal routine right after filming ended, though she has changed up some of her workout regimen. Sean says he actually lost weight on the show, but it didn’t take him long to bulk up again when filming ended. He did come to one realization about his routine: "My body needs sleep and regular exercise,” Sean says.
But for Ashley and J.P., who welcomed a baby less than a year ago, their lifestyles have changed dramatically. “After the two-and-a-half months of filming, I fell out of my routine and never really got back into it like I used to,” Ashley says, but she does stay in shape by eating well-balanced meals and running after her eight-month-old son. J.P., on the other hand — who says he was in “the best shape of my life” while on the show — is finding it a little hard to find the time to maintain a toned physique now that he’s watching over a baby. “Now that the baby is here, any free time has gone bye-bye."
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