Celebrities are paid to look good, and we of course take notice and wonder how they do it. We’re all guilty of looking to our favorite celebrity for their weight loss secret du jour. But how do you know what’s sound advice and what’s just sorta crazy? This article by Eat This! Not That! laid it all out so well I couldn’t help but share!
FIRST, THE WORST TIPS:
The extremes that some celebrities go to lose weight are a little bizarre at times. Here are the worst confirmed and rumored celebrity weight loss tips that we don’t suggest you try. Check ’em out and then keep reading to find out the best!
STOP EATING NIGHTSHADES
Tom Brady’s personal chef, Allen Campbell told the The Boston Globe, “[Tom] doesn’t eat nightshades because they’re not anti-inflammatory. So, no tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, or eggplants.”
More on this: Solanine is the poison in nightshades that mythically causes these inflammatory properties, but there is no substantive scientific proof. In fact, a study in the journal Clinical and Investigative Medicine found that a tomato-rich diet, like the Mediterranean diet, did not inhibit or change inflammatory markers, and a British Journal of Nutrition study even found that the vitamin C in tomatoes helps to reduce inflammatory marker levels. Vitamin C is found in high levels in all the nightshades, giving them antioxidant properties that can help elevate your mood, counteract stress hormones that trigger abdominal fat storage, and protect cells from free radical damage.
DON’T EAT AT ALL
“I got my meal plan which was like, a smoothie for breakfast, and then like for lunch you journal about that smoothielike, there’s no food! That’s the Hollywood secret! Don’t put food in your dumb mouth! I’m proud to say, though, I did lose three pounds.” Amy Schumer to E! News discussing her diet plan leading up to her blockbuster hit, Trainwreck.
More on this: Cutting calories can cause your body to lose muscle mass and decrease the rate of your metabolism. Lisa Moskovitz, RD, CDN explains, “In an attempt for quick, noticeable weight loss, many people wrongfully believe that eating as few calories as possible is the best solution. Not only can this lead to numerous nutritional deficiencies as the body is getting less food overall, but it can also have the opposite effect on weight loss.”
EAT A TON OF BROWN RICE
I was macrobiotic for about three or four years […] being macrobiotic is basically about eating local, organic, seasonal food that isn’t processed, and that’s how I eat now, so it’s not that different. I haven’t eaten meat for about fifteen years.” Gwyneth Paltrow in an interview with V Magazine.
More on this: This vegetarian diet involves eating primarily brown rice (60 percent of your calories), vegetables, beans, miso soup, and naturally processed foods. At first glance, a macrobiotic diet appears to be an excellent way to eat; It’s comprised of whole foods and omits processed, chemical-laden foods whose high sodium and preservative contents have been linked to weight gain. However, following a macrobiotic diet has been found to result in vitamin D deficiency, as it’s focused primarily on grains and contains little animal products the only foods that naturally contain the type of vitamin D our bodies can use. The sunshine vitamin (so named because our skin produces D when exposed to the sun) is essential for our body’s uptake of calcium, linking its presence to having healthy bones and teeth.
STARVE YOURSELF IN THE 5:2 DIET
“Something I’ve been doing for a couple of years now is starving myself two days a week,” Jimmy Kimmel revealed to a men’s magazine. “On Monday and Thursday, I eat fewer than 500 calories a day, then I eat like a pig for the other five days. You ‘surprise’ the body, keep it guessing. On fasting days […] I mostly just drink coffee and eat pickles endlessly. For ‘meals’ I’ll have some peanut butter and an apple, or the whites of hard-boiled eggs, or if I’m really hungry, a bowl of oatmeal. The rest of the week I’m a glutton pizza and pasta and steak.”
More on this: We can’t tell if he’s kidding or not. Because it sounds like a joke, but he did drop a lot of weight. Even though the late night talk show host lost over 25 pounds, this diet is anything but safe. Dieting by extreme calorie restriction is not a safe way to lose weight because you can stress your body by putting it into starvation mode. And, as evidenced by Jimmy himself, when your body is stressed, it tends to crave sweets and starchy foods because they provide a lot of energy. If you don’t watch what you eat on those unrestricted days, you’ll most likely end up feeding yourself empty, junky calories and doing more harm to your health.
SMOKE TO CONTROL CRAVINGS
When Mary Kate Olsen got married, a source told Page Six that her party decor consisted of “bowls and bowls filled with cigarettes, and everyone smoked the whole night.”
More on this: Many people start smoking (and continue smoking) to lose weight quickly because they believe it can control cravings. While many current smokers cite fear of weight gain as the primary reason they don’t want to quit, research has found that even though ex-smokers gain a bit of belly fat during the initial eight weeks of their smoke-free life, cleansing out the nicotine and carbon monoxide in their systems meant that they actually lost weight and belly fat in the long run.
DRINK ONLY PROTEIN SHAKES
The Telegraph UK reported that for nine days before the legendary Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, supermodel Adriana Lima consumes only protein shakes mixed with powdered egg (“no solids”), washes them down with a gallon of water, and exercises once or twice a day.
More on this: After news of her extreme diet came out, Adriana explained to E!, “I know it’s very intense but I just do it for this particular thing. After this show, I become normal again.” And we’re happy to hear it, but that doesn’t make this extreme diet any better. Yes, protein aids muscle growth, wards off hunger, and helps you lose weight, but getting too much can have some serious consequences for your waistline (you’ll gain weight) and health.
HAVE AN ENTIRE CHEAT DAY
Contactmusic reported Jennifer Aniston explaining, “On Sundays I eat whatever I want. Otherwise, I stick to a low-carb, gluten-free diet with lots of protein and vegetables.”
More on this: Allowing yourself a weekly cheat meal can ward off cravings, alleviate stress, and boost your metabolism by increasing levels of leptin, the satiety hormone responsible for telling your body you’re full. The thing is, there are cheat meals and there are cheat days. And the latter is sure to derail your weight loss goals. Jim White, RD, ACSM Health Fitness Specialist explains, “Don’t go overboard and have a whole day of eating a lot of extra calories or eating a lot of junk food. So eat two to three pieces of pizza, not a whole pie.”
EAT AN EXCESSIVE AMOUNT OF SOMETHING
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, WWE superstar and actor, shared his muscle-building diet with Muscle & Fitness. It’s a lot of brown rice and cod. So much fish, in fact, that his yearly intake of cod amounts to a whopping 821 pounds.
More on this: Nutritionists are constantly raving about the health benefits of fish because of their heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, high-quality protein, and high levels of inflammation-fighting Vitamin D. Even though cod provides a great source of lean protein, this white fish is seriously lacking on the omega-3 front, with only 19 mg per ounce, making Pacific cod the seventh worst fish on our exclusive ranking of Every Popular Fish Ranked for Nutritional Benefits!.
“I eat alkaline. That’s my go-to. It’s no dairy, it’s no wheat, it’s gluten-free, no meat, and no sugar. When you start to become more alkaline, it’s just basically healthier. Everything digests better, your blood is [at a proper pH balance].” Kate Hudson to Glamour
More on this: This diet could work, but not for the reason it claims. The idea behind the alkaline diet is that certain foods increase acid levels in your body and, consequently, in your blood. When the acid concentration in your blood which hovers around an alkaline pH level of 7.4 decreases, or becomes more acidic, it can cause numerous health problems like bone loss, inflammation, and increased insulin resistance, which could lead to high blood sugar. However, according to a study in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases, the acidity of what you eat does not affect your blood chemistry or pH. While the reasoning might be baseless, the diet does promote healthy eating, and, in fact, may help promote certain health benefits. Just don’t be fooled into thinking the acidity of your blood has anything to do with it.
WEAR A WAIST TRAINER
Khloe Kardashian via an Instagram post: “I am obsessed with my new waist shaper […] Snatching my waist and looking cute all at the same time!!! I definitely feel like a superhero in this waist shaper!”
More on this: No need to bother deciding what to eat. The weight loss secret behind wearing a corset? It constricts your waist, hips, and back so much that eating a meal bloats you enough that the corset becomes very uncomfortable. Plus, it supposedly helps you draw in your core muscles (basically a workout, right?) to make you sweat out toxins. In reality, the corset isn’t really reducing or “training” the fat in your core to attain a certain shape; it’s just making you eat less (and crushing your organs).
EAT LIKE A WEREWOLF
For this tip and the following, these are rumors and unconfirmed. But we hear this material girl eats her food according to the lunar cycle. In this diet, you restrict your diet depending on the phases of the moon, including eating “less than usual” without starving yourself and are advised not to eat after 6 p.m., when “the moon’s light becomes more visible” during the waning moon period. Like many unsustainable diets, this is basically just fasting and any weight you lose is most likely just water weight. Plus, you’ll probably encounter side effects that come with starvation such as fatigue, irritability, and dizziness.
EAT ONE COLOR PER DAY
Experts stress to eat the rainbow because adding a spectrum of colors to your diet can help ensure that you’re getting a variety of nutrients. For Christina Aguilera, she was reported to have taken this plan to the extreme with the 7-Day Color Diet. Each day the dieter eats a different color; so, she’ll eat white foods on Monday, red on Tuesday, green on Wednesday, orange on Thursday, purple on Friday, yellow on Saturday, and Sunday is a rainbow! While you might be ensuring variation in the nutrients you’re consuming, there’s nothing to stop you from having a bag of Doritos on a Thursday.
CLEANSE WITH LEMON JUICE
This Bootylicious singer reportedly turned to a liquid lemon juice mixture to quickly slim down for her role in Dreamgirls. The diet requires six to ten servings of a lemon juice, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper concoction for ten days. Plus, you’re encouraged to do a saltwater flush and herbal laxative. Known as “The Master Cleanse,” or the Lemonade Diet, this detox is based on snake-oil science from the 1940s. But there’s no scientific evidence that your body needs more help to cleanse; your kidneys and liver are pretty good at doing it on your own. Ultimately, the drastic reductions in calories can lead to starving yourself and a super-slow metabolism.
WORK OUT EXCESSIVELY
For her role in Black Swan, Natalie Portman lost 20 pounds by sticking to just 1,200 calories a day (mostly comprised of almonds and carrots) and working out like a fiend. She spent anywhere from five to eight hours a day doing ballet, swimming, and interval training. Yes, working out is an essential part of your diet plan, but exercising too much and eating too little can break down your lean muscle mass, which is essential for increasing your metabolism to burn more calories.
EAT JUST A CAN OF TUNA
To drop 63 pounds for a role in The Machinist, Christian Bale’s weight loss diet consisted of an apple and can of tuna fish per day. Besides the fact that he was basically starving himself, if the canned tuna fish was albacore, he was most likely poisoning himself, too. Albacore tuna can have almost triple the levels of mercury than light tuna.
The cookie diet, i.e. eating six cookies and one real meal per day, is supposedly how Snooki chose to lose weight. By eating the cookies throughout the day, you don’t feel like you’re starving yourself, but you’re definitely not getting many nutrients either. We think she just did it as a gimmick because cookie rhymes with Snooki.
AND NOW FOR THE BEST TIPS!
Regardless of your body shape, living a healthy lifestyle and eating smart foods are something that Hollywood can help with. So, ignore the weird advice from above and check out these nuggets of wisdom instead.
1.RETHINK YOUR DAIRY INTAKE
Late last year, Khlo Kardashian dropped 11 pounds fast when she cut out dairy. “In a month and a half, I lost 11 pounds just from not eating dairy, without doing anything else different,” she said.
Tip: Milk is an excellent form of calcium and Vitamin D, but scaling back on your intake can result in an almost immediate reduction in feeling bloated. We’re not saying to ditch dairy entirely, but consider lightening your dairy load by eating non-dairy calcium-rich foods instead and see how your body changes and feels in the process.
2. FOLLOW THE 75-25 RULE
75 percent of the foods you eat should be healthy and really good for you. And 25 percent can be splurges. You have to earn your cupcake!
3. STOP OBSESSING
“I kinda went back to [the mindset of] when I was pregnant and I just stopped constantly being worried about [my weight],” funny girl Melissa McCarthy told CBS This Morning after losing more than 50 pounds. “I think there’s something to kinda loosening up and not being so nervous.”
Tip: McCarthy is onto something that’s totally backed by science, actually! When you’re stressed or uptight about something, your body produces more cortisol a hormone that’s associated with weight gain and storing fat.
4. BE GRATEFUL
“I don’t look at exercise as a chore. I look at it as something I get to do. I am grateful that I can move my body in that way,” Cameron Diaz explained to USA Today.
Tip: Fitness experts agree that Diaz’s approach to fitness can aid weight loss. “Before breaking a sweat, take a moment of gratitude for your health,” says celebrity trainer Kit Rich. “Doing so completely changes the energy of your workouts and can inspire you to push yourself harder.”
5. DON’T GIVE INTO EXCUSES
Jennifer Aniston doesn’t let living out of a suitcase stop her from breaking a sweat. She just thinks ahead so she can workout on the go. “I take eight-pound weights with me whenever I’m staying in a hotel,” she told InStyle. “It’s always good to do arm exercises when you’re watching television or talking on the phone. I also love to stretch before I go to bed, and usually throw in a couple of sit-ups.” While swinging around a weight while chatting on your cell likely won’t be the hardest workout you’ll ever do, it’s better than skipping your sweat sessions altogether just because you’re on the road.
Maybe Aniston can afford to add 16 LBS to her luggage (baggage fees! Ekk!) Bring a Human Trainer with you instead!
6. PACK YOUR BAG WITH PROTEIN
“When I’m trying to drop a few pounds, I carry around a shaker cup of chocolate protein powder. If I’m ravenous, I add the water, and it fills me up so I don’t eat something high-calorie instead, ” Bobbi Brown, founder of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics told Health.
Tip: Having a little something between meals can help ward off blood sugar dips that leave you feeling like you could eat an entire cake in one sitting. Follow Brown’s lead by stocking your office, glove box, and kitchen with healthy, ab-friendly, protein-rich snack like vegan protein powder.
7. HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE!
“Drink more water,” advises the wise Kim Kardashian. “You’d be surprised the difference drinking more water can make to your weight loss mission and workouts.”
Tip: Experts agree this is a smart move. “Water may just be the best pre-workout supplement when you’re looking to shed weight. Studies have shown that strength training while in a dehydrated state can boost levels of stress hormones that hinder muscle gains by up to 16 percent, says celebrity fitness and nutrition expert, Jay Cardiello. “When a client is looking to trim down, I tell them to drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day and at least 8 ounces during their workouts.
8. GET IN SHAPE FOR YOURSELF
Adele is noticeably slimmer than at the beginning of her career. And in a Rolling Stone interview last year, Adele says she’s cut back on sugar, has only one alcoholic drink a week and is doing weights in the gym. “It’s to get in shape for myself?not to be a size zero or anything like that,” she says.
Tip: The key to Adele’s success? She didn’t crash diet but instead made a lifestyle change, incorporating diet, cardio and strength training. She views a vegetarian diet not as deprivation but as a positive way of life (she’s said she made the change because of her love for animals). And it’s clearly working.
9. EAT A HEALTHY FIBER-RICH BREAKFAST
Sculpting strong, toned legs like Carrie Underwood requires a disciplined diet and workout routine. It was recently reported that one of the superstar singer’s healthy morning go-to’s is oatmeal a high-fiber food that will help fill you up in the morning and carry you through until lunch.
Tip: Foods that are high in fiber are essential for keeping hunger under control and feeling satisfied with your meals when you do get to noshing on something.
10. DON’T FORGET PLANT-BASED PROTEIN
Chicken is great; we’re not about to argue that. But as any plant-eater will tell you, there are some great other sources of protein that are chock full of other nutrients, too. According to an Australian interview, Kate Hudson mixes beans and lentils into her diet regularly, pairing them with salads, rice, fish, and a wide array of veggie dishes. As the face of her own fitness-fashion line, she’s got to stay fit, and wholesome foods like these help her do just that. These little guys are good for more than just your heart; beans are a great source of plant-based protein; just half a cup of beans provides your body with 7 grams protein.
11. GET YOUR CITRUS ON
From shimmying in scantily clad costumes on Dancing With the Stars to her most recent spot on Fox Network’s “Grease LIVE!”, Julianne Hough relies on fresh, nutrient-rich foods to power her body and keep it camera-ready. In an interview with a food magazine, she shared that she loves to pair her egg white scrambles with grapefruit in the morning.
Tip: Getting more grapefruit into your diet can help promote weight loss and may even counter the effects of a high-fat diet, according to a study from UC Berkeley.
12. NIX BOOZE
As Carrie Bradshaw Sarah Jessica Parker may down cocktails by the dozen, but IRL the petite actress maintains her svelte figure by steering clear of booze. But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t indulge her taste buds. “I eat everything. Last night I had steak, some lamb shank…some ice cream and some cheesecake. I’m just simply not really a drinker. It just doesn’t occur to me. Tonight, I’ll have a glass of wine.”
Tip: SJP is smart to steer clear of the hard stuff. Sure, a few cookies may have just as many calories as a glass of wine or a cocktail, but unlike alcohol, sweet treats don’t affect your appetite. One Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics study found that alcohol causes people to eat an extra 384 calories daily, on average. Researchers speculate that booze makes us more sensitive to food aromas and less likely to resist indulgent fare.
13. USE COCONUT OIL
Former Victoria’s Secret Angel Miranda Kerr swears on record that a daily spoonful of unrefined coconut oil is the best way to beat the bloat.
Tip: Though it’s a fat, coconut oil has been shown to scorch belly flab. A study of 30 men in the journal Pharmacology found that those who consumed two tablespoons of coconut oil a day shrank their waists by an average of 1.1 inches in one month. Can’t fathom the thought of eating the tropical oil from a spoon? Stir a teaspoon into your coffee for a creamy sippable treat.
14. DON’T BINGE
If you’re struggling to lose weight, “you are probably restricting and beating yourself up and bingeing,” Bethenny Frankel tells Menounos in The Everygirl’s Guide to Diet and Fitness. “Use common sense, make small changes, reduce plate size and portion size, and breathe. Never eat out of emotion. You can have a cookie or piece of pizza. You cannot beat yourself up or binge.”
Tip: “I don’t deprive,” says Frankel. “Add high-volume foods pureed vegetable soups, dark green salads and green vegetables,but make them taste good. And I’ll have dark chocolate with nuts or black licorice as a treat, sweets in small quantities.
15. SATISFY YOUR SWEET TOOTH
Olympian Hope Solo trains with Shaun T and Insanity so we asked him for his go-to food: “Berries like raspberries, strawberries and blackberries taste amazing, satisfy my sweet tooth, and are good for brain power,” Shaun T tells us. “They also have tons of antioxidants that help slow down the aging process.”
Have you tried any of these? Tell us what works for you!