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Explainer: Celebrity diet secrets spilled

  • TotalBeauty.com
    Celebrities make dieting look so easy, don't they? One month they're on the cover of US Weekly for gaining too much weight and the next they're headlining the "sexiest beach bods" story.

    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.

  • Kelly Osbourne

    Kelly Osbourne is a great example of healthy weight loss. Andersen shares a few tips so you can follow in her footsteps: 

    "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).

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  • Jessica Simpson

    Poor Jessica Simpson gets slammed in the tabloids every time she gains or loses a pound. As we allknow, maintaining your weight can sometimes be harder than losing it. Andersen offers a few tips to maintain a healthy weight. Just remember "BeSlim":

    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.

  • Jordin Sparks

    Jordin Sparks has lost a lot of weight, but luckily Andersen says she isn't showing any of the signs of too much weight loss (sunken facial features or jutting out shoulders or hips).

    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.

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  • Tyra Banks

    Tyra Banks said she lost weight by changing some of her bad food habits (like putting bacon on her salads — oops). Andersen offers a few more healthy eating tips:

    "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).

  • Nicole Richie

    Nicole Richie has been super-skinny for years; it's hard to believe she ever weighed more than she did now. Andersen says, "It is inspiring for women to see other women get down to a healthy weight and then keep it off for many years. Nicole Richie has successfully accomplished this."

    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.

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  • Jennifer Hudson

    Jennifer Hudson is the latest Weight Watchers spokeswoman — and seeing her stunning figure has us reaching for the phone. But of course it isn't a perfect system. Braverman weighs the pros and cons:


    - 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.

  • Star Jones

    Star Jones lost her weight by having gastric bypass surgery — a major move. While it can seem like a quick fix, Andersen explains how serious it really is.

    "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.

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  • LeAnn Rimes

    A lot of stars, like LeAnn Rimes, credit exercise with their weight loss. But Andersen says the treadmill alone won't help you drop pounds. Unfortunately when we exercise it increases our appetite, so if we're not also making healthy eating choices we'll just eat more and negate all those calories burned in spin class. He recommends cutting calories and pairing that with walking, interval training and weight training.

  • Renee Zellweger

    Renee Zellweger is famous for gaining and losing weight for movie roles (remember "Bridget Jones' Diary"?). However, going up and down in weight can effect your health long term, Andersen says. "Each time you lose weight you run the risk of losing muscle," he says.

    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.

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  • Sara Rue


    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.

Video: How do they do it? Celebrity diet secrets

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