Speaking with the Daily Mail, the 27-year-old said she had always kept away from the food group thinking it was “the devil.” But after her intense daily workouts failed to transform her body, she decided to incorporate slow release carbs (like quinoa, wholegrain bread and oats) into her diet.
“I was always scared to eat carbs so I left them out until the weekend and usually have a cheat day on Sunday and binged on a lot of bad foods,” she said.
“I enjoy all carbs now and know I need them to fuel my training as well as stay lean and healthy.”
Hayley also upped her intake of good fats such as nut butters dark chocolate, avocado and salmon, as well as protein rich foods (fish, egg whites, cheese and yoghurt.)
“Diet has been key to me achieving my results,” she explained. “Regardless of how hard you train – and especially as a woman – you can’t out train a bad diet.”
In addition, Hayley credits her new-found strength for her healthy mindset and positive outlook on life.
“When I am in the gym lifting weights, it makes me feel empowered and full of self-esteem and I want other ladies to know how confident being strong can make you feel,” she said.
“I feel unstoppable when I am in the gym leg pressing 270kgs because I know how amazing it is for my body to be doing such a strong weight and how determined I am to lift such an amount, especially as a petite woman.”
And while she’s currently at her heaviest on the scales, she’s never felt more comfortable in her skin.
“I believe that building strength and being strong makes you feel confident and even stronger on the inside as well as the outside,” she added.