Explainer: Celebrity diet secrets spilled
Of course it isn't as simple as it seems. Celebrities have to work just as hard as we do to lose weight (harder sometimes when they're under a time crunch for a movie role), but of course they have the benefit of nutritionists and personal trainers to keep them on track. So do us normal girls have a chance at a Jennifer Hudson or Kelly Osbourne weight transformation?
That's what we wanted to find out. So we asked Dr. Wayne Andersen, author of "Dr. A's Habits of Health" and founder of Take Shape for Life, and Dr. Eric Braverman, author of "Younger (Sexier) You." They looked at celebrities' weight loss and told us the real deal: what we can realistically expect when it comes to weight loss and which celebrities' diets are worth trying. Think of it as the ultimate cheat sheet for star-worthy weight loss.
"The triad of healthy eating, moving, and sleeping are the key which I call the Habits of Healthy weight control." Andersen recommends combining portion control, exercise and at least seven hours of sleep a night. Keep it up and you could lose about 2 to 5 pounds per week (no guarantees obviously).
B is for breakfast, which is key meal to start the day. In the National Weight Control Registry which tracks individuals who maintain long term weight control the majority ate breakfast everyday.
E is for exercise, which is a key component of long-term weight control as well as health.
S is for support, which is key whether it is obtained online, over the phone, in a clinic setting, or with a health coach.
L is for low fat, smaller meals a day (5 to 6 of them), which can help control appetite and prevent fat storage as the energy level in the body remains more constant.
I is for an individual plan to fit a person's lifestyle and logistical barriers of chaotic modern life. This includes portable snacks, which can be prepared in advance or using portion controlled meal replacements.
M is for monitoring your weight and waist circumference on a weekly basis to have an early warning system to make the necessary corrections if you experience weight gain.
To make sure you're losing the right amount, calculate your Body Mass Index. A healthy BMI is below 25. Another indicator is your waist circumference — for women it should be less than 32 inches, Andersen says.
"Eating healthy starts with avoiding animal fat (especially saturated fat), such as fried foods." He says to eat more lean protein instead — it's healthier and more filling. Also keep your sugar intake low (that includes simple sugars in white breads and pastas too).
But of course, most of us can't expect to get down to her svelte weight. "Nicole has a very petite frame and this level of thinness may not be obtainable for all body types."
So instead of trying to copy Nicole's look, just aim for a BMI range of 22 to 25. Andersen also says that adding weight training to your exercise routine can help keep your muscle and aid in weight maintenance.
- It's an affordable program
- More or less easy to follow
- Great for long term weight loss and maintenance
- Need to buy some of their products
- Counting points every time you eat can be tedious — and it isn't always the best gauge of nutritional value. (Example: a candy bar may contain the same calories/points as a large sandwich, but it's not as healthy.)
- Also requires attending classes on a regular basis, which is not practical for a lot of people that have a busy lifestyle and jobs that require constant traveling.
"Surgery should be reserved for ... cases where serious health issues and failed long term lifestyle interventions have occurred. If a person does not change their daily choices to habits of health, gastric bypass is unlikely to yield long term results."
Andersen also points out some of the risks including: nutrition deficiencies and, uh, death. So let's consider this one a last resort.
If you're starving yourself on a crash diet, then your body goes into starvation mode and will use your muscles for energy, Andersen says. Over time this can even hurt your heart and immune system. Your best bet: figure out your healthy weight and do your best to stay in that zone, no more yo-yo-ing.
Sara Rue is a spokeswoman for Jenny Craig and looks fantastic since using their program. Braverman says support systems like Jenny Craig can help keep you motivated and help you stay on track.
However, it's still up to you to curb those nasty carb and sugar cravings for long-term weight loss.