Zara McDermott always looks amazing in her Instagram snaps – and she certainly works hard at her incredible figure. The reality star embarked on a huge health kick last August and has lost just under 2st, going from 10st 7lb to 8st 9lb.
When new! magazine calls Zara for a chat, she’s making protein pancakes for breakfast and tells us she’s managing to stick to a strict diet and exercise regime during lockdown. She’s also enjoyed spending some quality time with her boyfriend Sam Thompson as they self-isolate together at his London home.
“I feel like it’s been quite nice for me because I’ve been so busy the last few months,” she tells us. “Even though it’s getting a bit boring now, it’s been nice to have a bit of a break.”
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Zara, 23, and Sam, 27, hit a few bumps in their relationship during the latest series of Made In Chelsea, which was cut short due to the coronavirus outbreak. Sam’s ex-girlfriend Tiffany Watson returned to the show hoping to build a friendship with him, which resulted in a huge row breaking out between Zara and Sam in the last episode.
While they’re happily back on track, Zara tells us the situation with Tiff is “worse than it ever was”. Yikes!
“It was so annoying having to stop filming so suddenly because it was right at a place where I felt like I needed some kind of resolution,” she says. “Obviously I’ve got that with Sam, but the whole Tiff situation didn’t come to a resolution.”
Here, Zara opens up about living with Sam, her weight-loss journey and filming a new BBC documentary…
Hi Zara! What has it been like living with Sam in lockdown?
We’re honestly really good – we’ve barely argued at all. The only thing is, he drives me mad because he pulls the covers off me every morning to wake me up because he wants someone to talk to.
You spoke about living together on MIC, but Sam was worried about moving too fast. Has he come round to the idea now?
Yeah, I think so. Where we’ve been almost forced to live together, I think it’s made him realise I’m not that bad!
Do you think you’ll move in together properly after lockdown?
To be honest, I do enjoy my situation at home where I can go to and from Sam’s and see my family. So I think if Sam asked me to move in officially, I’d still go back to Essex and see my parents regularly anyway. When I do officially move in, I don’t think it’s going to be that much of a different set-up. I’ll just be an official key holder.
You said on the show that you wanted to get engaged within the next 18 months. Is that still the case?
That was taken so out of context because it was part of a much wider conversation. It was very much me just talking to my friends. It wasn’t me being like, “I need to be engaged by the time I’m 25!”
Have you spoken about it with Sam since?
I wouldn’t be with someone who I didn’t want to be with forever, but I don’t think it’s something we’d talk about at this point really.
You previously took him ring shopping. Are you still dropping hints?
Of course! I don’t know what girl doesn’t do that. A girl can always dream!
And do you want children?
A million per cent. It’s always been in my life plan. When I was younger, I used to be like, “I want eight kids!” A couple of my friends have babies and I see how hard it is.
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Sam’s ex-girlfriend Tiff recently returned to MIC. What was that like for you?
It was so intense. The reason why I was very much questioning everything was because from my perspective, Tiff apparently is friends with everyone I’m friends with, but I hadn’t ever met her. I was thinking, “Well, if she’s such good friends with the group, then surely I would have met her before.” All I saw was that she broke up with her boyfriend and then within a few weeks she’s come back into our group and back on to the show and now really wants to pursue a friendship with my boyfriend, who is her ex.
I was just like, “OK, so you want to be friends with Sam and that’s absolutely fair enough, but why weren’t you friends when you had a boyfriend? And why didn’t you invite him out with your family when you had a boyfriend?” She hadn’t seen Louise [Thompson] in years, so everything was so sudden and it made me question it.
Were you worried she still had feelings for Sam?
Of course. I think there was a kind of overlap with Sam and the guy she ended up with, so it made me worried because I was like, “Well, maybe she never got over Sam.” Maybe I was overanalysing it, but it was all adding up in my head because I couldn’t understand why she was back and everything was happening so suddenly unless she did have feelings for him. That’s why
I was so upset because I didn’t understand why. I personally wouldn’t go and start asking my ex-boyfriend out.
Where do things stand with Tiff now?
After the last episode, I reached out to her because I was really upset and I was like, “Do you know what? I can’t be bothered with this drama any more.” I just thought, regardless of what your intentions are, I’m just going to message you. So I messaged her and said, “Look, let’s just be friends.” And she was like, “Yeah!” I can’t delve into detail, but there have been a couple of things that have happened since then and she put up an Instagram Story saying, “Zara and I aren’t friends.” I reached out to her,
I followed her on social media, and obviously when we’re in lockdown it’s hard to be friends with someone, but I came out of that last scene wanting a clean slate and no more drama. And now it’s even worse than it ever was. It’s really sad. But it’s not really my doing because I have reached out.
How does Sam feel about it?
I don’t think he’s really thinking about it too much because I don’t think he cares that much. He doesn’t think me and Tiff are going to be best friends and he’s not going to be best friends with Tiff either.
Fair enough! Do you ever feel hesitant about playing your relationship out on the show?
When you sign up to a show like that, you have to. You almost sign an invisible document saying, “I will put everything out there – the ups and the downs.” I think it’s an unwritten rule. People are watching you on TV to understand your life and your relationship because they’re interested, so I think you just have to be honest and share things.
Moving on to something else… are you still keeping up with your diet and fitness regime during lockdown?
Yeah, especially my diet. I never used to track things like macros because I didn’t really understand the importance of making sure you have enough protein, so it’s really useful for me to make sure I’m getting enough of certain things in order to reach the next level of my fitness. Before, it was more about being healthy, but now I’m at the stage where I can start to be a little bit more focused on things like that. Every person is different but, for me, I try to eat about 120g of protein a day.
What are your body goals?
To tone up a bit more. For me, it’s more about strength-building and that feeling of being able to do something for the first time.
How often do you work out?
About four times a week, but at the moment I’m working out every day. I mostly do weights and then 15-20 minutes
of cardio on an exercise bike. I’m really lucky because I’ve got everything I need at home.
What do you eat in a typical day?
For breakfast, I usually have banana protein pancakes. Everything I have during the day is focused around protein. I love Heck chicken sausages, so I have them in wholemeal bread for lunch. I love sausage sandwiches and it’s a good healthy substitute because it comes to under 300 calories.
For a snack, I usually have a bowl of mixed fruit, a Grenade bar or a protein yoghurt. For dinner I’ll have something like steak with rice and vegetables.
What was your diet like before?
I used to eat all my fruit and vegetables, but I ate out a lot. I just ate whatever I wanted and never used to think about food
at all. I used to go and get myself a meal deal at 11am and then another one at 3pm.
Have you cut any foods out?
Even though I’m a real chocolate girl, I don’t tend to eat it when I’m being super healthy. If I give my body the right fuel and nutrition, I want to see what I can do strength-wise and aesthetically too. But to be honest, I will be back on the chocolate soon.
Is chocolate your vice?
Yeah. Chocolate and pizza. Pizza is my biggest weakness.
Do you drink alcohol?
No, I’ve never been a drinker. I think the last time I had a drink and got drunk was like a year ago.
You’ve been working on a BBC documentary about revenge porn. What can we expect?
I’ll be speaking to other victims and there are some very emotional stories. It’s so sad to hear how victims are treated and sometimes blamed. I’ve been a victim twice and spoken about it both times. Delving into it, I guess I felt emotions I never really knew existed because I’d hidden them for a long time.
Is there anything else you’d like to do career-wise?
I’m working so hard on music at the moment. I’ve really enjoyed it and people are loving it, which is everything I could have asked for because it’s so hard to know how it will go when you’re in reality TV. There’s always a bit of a stigma around reality TV. I’m going to get a good number of songs together so I can choose which ones I want to release.
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