Melissa Gorga is pretty damn fit—just check out her Instagram if you need proof. But will she be joining sister-in-law and fellow Real Housewives of New Jersey star Teresa Giudice in a bodybuilding competition any time soon?
That’s pretty much out of the question.
A refresher: Teresa signed up for her first-ever competition in June—and frankly, her ripped physique made jaws drop everywhere—including Melissa’s.
“At first, I was like ‘Really?’” Melissa says she told Teresa. “It takes a lot of obedience to do that, so I was pretty impressed. I thought that was great. It’s good for her to keep her mind busy and have a goal.”
Getty ImagesDave Kotinsky
But when asked if she would compete, Melissa gave a hard no. “I don’t like a lot of muscle,” she adds. “I like to stay a little bit more feminine. I don’t know. I don’t think it would look right.”
(Is that the first burn of the new season, which debuts tonight at 9 p.m. EST on Bravo? I’ll let you decide.)
Check out this bodybuilder’s amazing journey:
TBH, Melissa’s weekly fitness routine isn’t exactly easy.
“It’s a lifestyle for me,” Melissa, 39, says. “I feel better when I eat healthy. If I don’t work out for a week or two, I feel miserable.”
In the mornings, Melissa says she’ll start out with a cup of coffee for a boost of energy. Then she hits the weights. “I do a lot of lifting,” she says. “I don’t do that much cardio, because I run around so much.”
Melissa says she works out at least four times a week for an hour at a time. She often targets “butts and guts” to help keep her booty and abs toned.
“I feel like even if you’re a little bit heavier, it’s all about toning your body,” she says. “Work with what you’re working with, but keep it tight.”
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She limits carbs—but she’s not going keto anytime soon.
After a gym session, Melissa will eat a grilled chicken salad or turkey sandwich for lunch. But in the afternoon, carbs are off limits.
“For dinner, it’s always a piece of meat and vegetables,” she says, adding that she cooks at least three times a week and practices portion control.
But on Sundays, her big Italian family usually gathers to eat pasta, pizza, and more delicious Italian food. The reality star explains why this makes regimented meal plans like the keto or paleo diets not a good fit for her.
“I never do fad diets,” she says. “I feel like I do a lot better with my own routine. It’s worked for me forever.”
That said, Melissa recently accepted a deal with an unnamed company to promote keto-friendly protein bars and supplements, which she tries to incorporate into her daily meals. So maybe she’ll hop on the full-keto bandwagon soon?
Her ill-fated restaurant business made it super-hard to eat healthy.
Melissa says maintaining a healthy lifestyle was particularly difficult when she and her husband, Joe, decided to open up their own restaurant, Gorga’s Homemade Pasta & Pizza.
Getty ImagesManny Carabel
“The food was so amazing there,” she says. “Instead of cooking, I would just say, ‘Let’s run over there and eat real quick.’”
However, the family restaurant shut down less than a year after it opened due to management issues. In January, Melissa told People the couple planned to reopen at a larger location, but now she reveals exclusively that a restaurant is completely off the table.
“That was Joe’s idea, and he realized once he got into the business that ‘Wow, This is no joke and you have to be here 24/7,'” Melissa says. “We didn’t have someone amazing [running it]. He’s not [pushing for it, either]. I have three kids, [my store] Envy, a reality show, and a couple of other side businesses. I have no time for a restaurant. I’m trying to just serve my children dinner. It was way too much work. I don’t want to mess around with food.”
She’s not afraid to try…creative new fitness methods.
“I just tried something called Emsculpt, which is the equivalent of doing 20,000 squats in 30 minutes,” she says. “You do it four times and each time is a half-hour session. You can do it on your butt or on your abs.” According to NewJerseyPlasticSurgery.com, doctors place the non-invasive device on patients’ buttocks, legs or abs, and the machine creates powerful pulses that contract the area’s muscles.
Melissa says the simulated exercise tricked her body into thinking it was really working out, and left her “sore the next day.” But because it take four sessions to see full results, she won’t know if it actually worked until about a month or so. So…stay tuned.
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