2019’s ‘SI Swimsuit’ Models Reveal How They Prepped for Their Shoots: No to Dairy, Yes to Tequila


It’s the job of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit models to look good in bikinis. And while the 2019 models follow some of the same diet and fitness tips as each other to get beach-ready, they also have differences.

Beach beauties Jasmine Sanders, Danielle Herrington, Barbara Palvin, Olivia Culpo and Kelsey Merritt stopped by the Us Weekly studios to debate the best diet techniques to get ready for a photoshoot. While all of them seemed to endorse getting focused and strict with eating in the two weeks before slipping into a bathing suit, they differed on what nutrients they should cut out and what food and drinks they could keep.

SI Swimsuit Models Reveal How They Prepped for Their Shoots
Sports Illustrated swimsuit models pose at the AMI studio on May 8, 2019 in New York City. Jeff Christensen

First up, there was a unanimous agreement on cutting carbs and sugar as much as possible in the two prior weeks. Then there was the great dairy debate! “For me, my main thing is cutting off dairy and sweets,” said Culpo. When Herrington said she could never cut dairy, Culpo, 27, doubled down. “It’s tough. It’s like the most I struggle with, but it’s also the most that I see effective,” she noted. Agreed Sanders, “Dairy is, like, a quick drop.”

Sanders, 27, swears by eliminating alcohol outright in the two prior weeks. On the other hand, Palvin, 25, and Culpo consider it OK to drink some booze. “I just drink a lot of water,” Palvin said. “And then you can also have, like, tequila — there’s not a lot of carbs in that.” Added Culpo, “That’s true. Tequila is the lowest.”

SI Swimsuit Models Reveal How They Prepped for Their Shoots
Danielle Herrington attends the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Celebrates 2019 Issue Launch at Myn-Tu on May 11, 2019 in Miami, Florida. Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images for Sports Illustrated

As for workouts, it goes without saying that the ladies step up their efforts! They always get in at least one long workout a day and sometimes two. Sanders even exercised in the middle of the night before her SI shoot! Because she’d been traveling in the two weeks leading up to the shoot, she called in a favor as soon as she landed. “[I] had my trainer Kirk at Dogpound open up the gym at 2 a.m.,” Sanders recalled of the celeb-approved NYC gym. “He was literally sleeping.”

SI Swimsuit Models Reveal How They Prepped for Their Shoots
Olivia Culpo attends the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Celebrates 2019 Issue Launch at Myn-Tu on May 11, 2019 in Miami, Florida. John Parra/Getty Images for Sports Illustrated

But besides the aesthetic benefits, the fitness regimen gives plenty of energy. “You feel so good, you feel so much better when you’re working out,” gushed Culpo. Sanders concurred. “You feel amazing, your skin looks amazing. Like, when you’re cutting out all that stuff, your skin, your eyes, everything, your teeth, everything, nails, hair, everything looks better, feel better,” said the model. “But you definitely are like, Dang, I want a drink with my friends. I want to have some pasta.”

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