Princess Kate’s 9 Secret Habits That Help Her Look So Fresh in Her 40s

Updated: Jan. 10, 2023

The Princess of Wales makes the royal lifestyle appear effortless, but we took a behind-the-scenes look at Kate Middleton's healthy-living discipline.

The Duke Of Cambridge And The Duke Of Sussex Take Part In The King Power Royal Charity Polo Day
Max Mumby/Getty Images

Kate Middleton—now formally Catherine, Princess of Wales, GCVO—is a busy mom of three and a public figure…either of which would make it challenging to maintain healthy habits. And now, after Queen Elizabeth II’s passing, as Prince William’s wife the new Princess of Wales is also preparing to be the next Queen Consort of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. No pressure, right?

With her fabulous fashion, lavish travel, and priceless jewels…Princess Kate, 40, certainly makes being a real-life princess appear effortless. But when it comes to staying healthy, it turns out Kate puts in a lot of discipline behind the scenes. She’s known to regularly fit in exercise, eating right, getting enough sleep and managing stress.

In keeping with royal protocol, Princess Kate has never gone on record about her diet, workout routine, or overall approach to health. However, we’ve researched years of her behaviors to see what we can learn from this classic example of beauty, lifestyle and wellness.

Get The Healthy @Reader’s Digest newsletter

The Duchess of Cambridge Visits The Olympic Park and plays field hockey
Chris Jackson/Getty Images

1. Kate Middleton loves playing sports

“Kate was always very sporty and there wasn’t a sport she couldn’t excel at,” recalled a former classmate of Kate at St. Andrew’s School. The now-princess was known to be an ace at field hockey and tennis, two sports she’s kept up with as an adult.

Playing sports like field hockey are a great way to activate the anaerobic system and cause the body to burn more calories overall, increasing metabolism. “When you push to the point of fatigue, the body will continue to burn fat for 24 hours after the workout, through a process called Exercise Post-Oxygen Consumption (EPOC),” says Dave Kyle, a British trainer, the national training team director and international master trainer for Les Mills United States.

Here’s How Much Exercise You Need to Keep Your Brain Sharp, a Recent Study Says

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge prepare soup as they visit Savannah House
Pool/Getty Images

2. Kate Middleton enjoys cooking her own food

One of Kate’s favorite hobbies is cooking, especially cooking meals for her family, says Carolyn Robb, a chef who cooked for the royal family and author of The Royal Touch, a cookbook based on her experiences.

Kate’s go-to recipes include curries, soups and roast chicken (reportedly Prince William’s favorite dinner). “Kate does quite a lot of the cooking at the moment. You have to remember that she’s not royal. She comes from a normal background and a normal home where she’s always cooked for herself,” said Robb.

Eating homecooked meals saves money and is usually a lot healthier than dining out or turning to processed foods, says Jackie Newgent, RD, CDN, a registered dietitian in and a chef instructor with the recreational division of the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City.

20 Meal Prep Hacks That Can Reap Some Serious Nutrition Benefits

Kate Middleton pushing a baby stroller or buggy in white high heels
Max Mumby/Getty Images

3. Kate Middleton is a “keen” runner

Kate has enjoyed running since her school days and has kept it up, even after the births of her children. She’s been snapped running outdoors with a baby in the stroller (or “buggy,” for our English readers!).

It’s been said she enjoys running so much and is so good at it that Mike Tyndall, a professional rugby player and Prince William’s cousin by marriage, told House of Rugby that if he could pick anyone in the royal family to be on his rugby team…it would be Kate! “I’ve got the Duchess of Cambridge on one wing because she loves running, she can run all day. Engine!” (We wonder how Prince William, who has also said he’s a passionate runner, feels about his cousin’s pick!)

9 Things That Happen to Your Body When You Start a New Running Workout

Kate middleton drinking a smoothie
WPA Pool/Getty Images

4. Kate Middleton eats high fiber snacks

Kate Middleton has often been photographed snacking on popcorn, a whole grain that’s high in satiating fiber and low in calories (as long as you’re not drenching it in butter). She’s also been spotted drinking fiber-packed smoothies made from organic, raw fruits and veggies. High-fiber, low-sugar snacks are a good replacement for empty carbs, like chips or cookies, says Newgent.

30 Ways to Get More Fiber in Your Diet Without Even Trying

The Duke & Duchess Of Cambridge And Prince Harry Join Team Heads Together At A London Marathon Training Day
Chris Jackson/Getty Images

5. Kate Middleton balances weights and cardio

Kate has been spotted doing all types of exercises, including bootcamps, CrossFit, and other interval training style workouts. It’s said she prefers to workout on her own, without the aid of a personal trainer, and has a membership to a nearby gym where she’s been seen lifting weights and using the treadmill, rowing machine, and cycles.

This is a smart way to workout, says Kyle. “These types of short high-intensity workouts use compound exercises to engage multiple muscles and are perfect for maximizing your exercise time,” he says.

Love this royally stylish workout look? Check out the best cold weather coats of 2023.

4 Rules for Exercise at Every Phase of Your Monthly Cycle, According to a Personal Trainer

unrecognizable woman unrolls yoga mat in the park on the grass close-up
Alexandr Dubynin/Getty Images

6. Kate Middleton practices yoga regularly

A daily yoga practice is one of the best things you can do for your wellbeing. Yoga is great for not just your body but also your mind and spirit, incorporating all aspects of what it means to be healthy.

Kate is such a yoga devotee that she invited her yoga instructor to her 2011 wedding. She was also seen taking prenatal yoga classes when pregnant with her first child, George.

The 5 Best Yoga Poses for a Healthier Gut, from a Registered Yoga Teacher

The Duchess Of Cambridge Meets British US Open Champions
WPA Pool/Getty Images

7. Kate Middleton loves to learn new things

Taking lessons to learn or improve your skills keeps your mind sharp and improves mood and mental wellness. Kate was recently photographed sharpening her tennis skills at a coaching lesson (in wedge heels, no less!) at the Hurlingham Club in Fulham, London. This could demonstrate that she’s eager to refine her knowledge and even learn something new.

Power Your Brain with the Reader’s Digest Brain Games, Quizzes and Puzzles page

2016 Royal Tour To Canada Of The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge - Kelowna, British Columbia And Whitehorse, Yukon
Poo/Getty Images

8. Kate Middleton prioritizes eating protein

It’s been rumored that Kate prefers high-protein, lower-carb plans, like the Dukan diet, and used it to lose the weight she gained during pregnancy.

Regardless of whether she follows this exact plan, starting your day with a high-protein meal is a smart move, says Kyle. “This will ensure that the body kick starts its metabolism of stored fat energy in the morning, and the healthy carbs that are added throughout the day will replenish the energy stores,” he says.

Here’s How Much Protein You Really Need in a Day, with a Kidney Doctor’s Wisdom

Kate middelton and Prince William eating ice cream
WPA Pool/Getty Images

9. Kate Middleton savors dessert when she has it

Princess Kate’s healthy lifestyle isn’t so strict that she doesn’t indulge in treats sometimes, like cake with her kids. Moderation is a great idea as all-or-nothing thinking about treats can lead to binges, says Newgent. You can also opt for healthier desserts, like subbing banana “nice cream” for ice cream, she adds.

For more wellness updates, follow The Healthy on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter. Keep reading: