When it comes to weight loss among women in the public eye, you don’t need science to see which strategies work. Here are the most effective weight-loss tricks, according to the celebs who’ve successfully used them to slim down.
1. Eat salad at every meal.
Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi credits her postpartum weight loss to laying off carbs and amping up her veggie intake. “Salad is always on the menu with whatever dish I am making,” she told People.
2. Write what you bite.
Carrie Underwood is a long-time food journaler who uses MyFitnessPal to record everything she eats. Otherwise, she says, her brain would never get the memo that she’s eaten enough. ” helps me make better choices and pay attention to what I’m eating,” she says.
3. At restaurants, order two appetizers instead of a starter and a main.
You could also opt for a main and a shared dessert if your sweet tooth is raging. It’s this advice from Jennifer Lawrence’s former trainer Dalton Wong that helped the actress tone up for body-baring roles like Mystique in X-Men: First Class. In the foreword of his book, The Feelgood Plan: Happier, Healthier & Slimmer in 15 Minutes a Day, Jennifer thanked him for teaching her life-changing weight-control lessons.
4. Plan ahead for hunger when you’re out and about.
Instead of letting hunger catch her off-guard when she was commuting regularly between her home in Los Angeles to her work on The View in New York City, Candace Cameron Bure planned her meals and snacks meticulously: She’d eat before cross-country flights to avoid settling on airplane food and pack snacks like protein bars to fuel up for workouts. It’s one reason why the actress got into the best shape of her life during this hectic phase.
5. During workouts, stick to the Bs.
When shaping up for her Las Vegas residency at Planet Hollywood, Britney Spears’s trainer Tony Martinez had her focus on what he calls the “Four Bs”: Basketball jump shots, Backwards walking, Balancing on one leg while doing medicine-ball slams, and Bicycling. But there’s a fifth “B” in Britney’s routine, and it stands for Basics. On Instagram, she’s posted push-ups, core work, bar curls, and squats — moves anyone can do.
6. Strive for a diet that’s pretty good — not perfect.
Although Blake Lively gave birth to her daughter in December 2014 and had to shape up quickly to play Nancy in The Shallows the following year, she didn’t try to live a life devoid of pizza or pasta (or joy), or count a single calorie to reach her goals. Instead, she simply stuck to a mostly homemade, balanced diet of proteins, vegetables, fruits, slow-burning starches like sweet potatoes, plus healthy fats like avocado, coconut oil, and grass-fed butter, according to Blake’s trainer Don Saladino. Her goal: to put good-for-you foods into her body at least 80 percent of the time — and to leave room for treats like mac and cheese when cravings call (as they do!).
7. Make wellness — not weight loss — your goal.
It worked for Lena Dunham who, for the record, is not trying to lose weight — not even a little! “Right now, I’m struggling to control my endometriosis through a healthy diet and exercise,” she recently captioned a photo posted to Instagram. The girl boss is working out with Tracy Anderson, doing yoga, and trying to eat despite an appetite that’s hindered by stress linked to current events. The same goes for Melissa McCarthy, who told Life & Style back in 2015 that training for fight scenes in Spy helped her stop worrying about her weight. “I think there’s something to kinda loosening up and not being so nervous and rigid about it that, bizarrely, has worked,” she said.
8. Include protein in every meal.
Although calorie-counters may be tempted to skimp on protein in favor of lower-calorie veggies, it’s difficult to keep food cravings a bay when you’re constantly starving — which is exactly what happens when you don’t get enough protein. Kim Kardashian, for example, lost her baby weight by following a meal plan that included a 6-ounce serving of protein with every single meal of the day, including cheesy eggs for breakfast, fish for lunch, and lean chicken breast for dinner. If her diet sounds filling, that’s because it is, and it’s proof you don’t have to go hungry to shed pounds.
9. Avoid eating late at night and early in the morning.
Jennifer Hudson shrunk from a size 16 to 6 after teaming up with Weight Watchers in 2010 and she’s since maintained her 80-pound weight loss. In a recent interview with the U.K. television show, Lorraine, she said one of the keys to maintaining her impressive weight loss is follow common sense when it comes to meal timing. “I’m very careful and cautious of what I’m eating,” she said. “If it’s early in the morning, ‘OK, I would still be asleep right now, So I’m not going to eat.'” And although she didn’t cite specific hours during which she eats or fasts, the approach follows recent research that suggests limiting your eating hours can protect you from weight gain.
10. Hire help.
Childcare, personal training, and diet counseling may not come cheap, but it sure makes rapid weight loss easier — at least according to Chrissy Teigen, who dropped this truth bomb during a Today show cameo in November 2016. On the show, she gave away what may be the biggest celebrity weight-loss secret of all: “We have nutritionists, we have dietitians, we have trainers, we have our own schedules, we have nannies. We have people who make it possible for us to get back into shape. But nobody should feel like that’s normal, or like that’s realistic,” she said.
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Elizabeth Narins Senior fitness and health editor Elizabeth Narins is a Brooklyn, NY-based writer and a former senior editor at Cosmopolitan.com, where she wrote about fitness, health, and more.
When it comes to losing weight healthfully and sustainably, experts warn against following extreme diets. But resorting to calorie restriction at the risk of malnourishment is no foreign tactic among celebrities seeking to prime their bodies for movie roles. Stars from Anne Hathaway to 50 Cent to, most recently, Chris Hemsworth and more have all slashed their daily caloric intake to shed pounds fast.
Here’s how those three celebrities, plus seven others, either dropped or gained pounds fast—and for which roles:
- 1. Chris Hemsworth
- 2. Christian Bale
- 3. Lily James
- 4. Charlize Theron
- 5. 50 Cent
- 6. Anne Hathaway
- 7. Matthew McConaughey
- 8. Jared Leto
- 9. Natalie Portman
- 10. Renee Zellweger
- 15 Celebrities Who Went on Extreme Diets for a Movie Role
- 1. Natalie Portman for Black Swan
- 2. Charlize Theron for Tully
- 3. Chris Hemsworth for In the Heart of the Sea
- 4. Christian Bale for The Machinist
- 5. Shailene Woodley for Adrift
- 6. Anne Hathaway for Les Misérables
- 7. Lily Collins for To the Bone
- 8. Matthew McConaughey for Dallas Buyers Club
- 9. Jared Leto for Chapter 27
- 10. Michael Fassbender for Hunger
- 11. Hilary Swank for Million Dollar Baby
- 12. Matt Damon for Courage Under Fire
- 13. 50 Cent for All Things Fall Apart
- 14. Ashton Kutcher for Jobs
- 15. Beyoncé for Dreamgirls
- Celeb Diet Secrets to Slim Down Fast
- How Celebrities Are Losing Over 20 lbs In Two Weeks
- Watch Your Fluid Intake
- Sweat It Out
- Hit The Gym
- Skip The Salt
- Enjoy A Balanced Diet
- Try Natural Boosters & Suppressants
- Diet Tricks the Stars Use to Stay Thin
1. Chris Hemsworth
Actor Liam Hemsworth’s older brother may be known for his buff body, but these days the man who plays Thor has been sporting a leaner physique to embody a shipwrecked man at sea in the upcoming flick “In the Heart of the Sea.” The movie stars Chris Hemsworth as Owen Chase and marks the film adaptation of the Herman Melville classic “Moby Dick.” The actor told Entertainment Tonight (ET) in July that for three or four weeks, he is preparing to drop down to 500, 600 or 700 calories a day.
“It’s going to be pretty uncomfortable, but we’ll be together in our misery,” he told ET. “I spend more time thinking about food than anything else at the moment.”
2. Christian Bale
“The Dark Knight” actor has shrunk his frame for not one, but two roles on the silver screen: first for “The Machinist” and second for “The Fighter.” Bale famously lost 63 pounds— or a third of his body weight— with vitamins, a sparse diet and lots of exercise to play a chronic insomniac in the former movie, in which he plays an industrial worker who doesn’t sleep for an entire year. For “The Fighter,” the 6-foot-tall actor downsized again to play Dicky Eklund, a former professional wrestler who becomes addicted to crack cocaine.
“I will adjust to what is needed,” Bale told People magazine in 2005, “but only if I have quite an obsession for the role.”
3. Lily James
Nutritionists have time and time again debunked the supposed health benefits of going on a liquid diet to trim your waistline— as it can throw your metabolism out of whack and interfere with your digestive system— but that hasn’t stopped celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow and Beyonce from plugging the popular weight loss method. According to E! Online, “Cinderella” actress Lily James also reportedly opted to go on a “cleanse” to squeeze into her corset for the title role. But the actress has said her choice wasn’t exactly an effort to lose weight— rather, it was to feel comfortable on set.
“When was on, we would be on continuous days, so we wouldn’t stop for lunch … you’d be sort of eating on the move. In that case, I couldn’t untie the corset,” the 25-year-old British actress told E! News. “If you ate food, it didn’t really digest properly, and I’d be burping all afternoon in ‘s face, and it was just really sort of unpleasant. I’d have soup so that I could still eat, but it wouldn’t get stuck.”
4. Charlize Theron
The outspoken animal activist and native South African gorged on donuts to gain 30 pounds for her role as a prostitute and serial killer in 2003’s “Monster,” for which she won an Oscar. Theron, who usually is a size 8, told SplicedWire.com that her weight gain goal “wasn’t about getting fat.”
“Aileen (my character) wasn’t fat,” she told the since-defunct movie review site after making the film. “Aileen carried scars on her body from her lifestyle, and if I’d gone to make this movie with my body— physically I’m very athletic— I don’t know that I would have felt the things Aileen felt with her body. It was about getting to a place where I felt closer to how Aileen was living.”
5. 50 Cent
The recently bankrupt rapper released photos of himself looking emaciated in May 2010 for his role as a football player who has cancer in the flick “Things Fall Apart.” Born Curtis James Jackson III, 50 reportedly went from weighing 214 pounds to only 160 in only nine weeks by sticking to a strict liquid diet. The rapper told the Associated Press in 2010 that when he was shot in the jaw in 2000, he could also drink only liquids, which had caused his weight to drop to 157.
“This time it was a lot tougher for me,” the 6-foot-tall rapper told the Associated Press. “I had to discipline myself not … to actually have myself be in the physical state to convey the energy I felt. It’s a passion project for me.”
6. Anne Hathaway
“The Devil Wears Prada” star shed a reported 25 pounds and shaved her head to play Fantine, a prostitute dying of tuberculosis, in the 2012 film “Les Misérables.” The actress’ rep told The Huffington Post that she consumed fewer than 500 calories a day to achieve the feat. According to Vogue, Hathaway lost the first 10 pounds by following a cleanse before shooting began, and another 15 by eating two thin squares of dried oatmeal paste a day.
“I had to be obsessive about it— the idea was to look near death,” Hathaway told Vogue in 2012. “Looking back on the whole experience— and I don’t judge it in any way— it was definitely a little nuts. It was definitely a break with reality, but I think that’s who Fantine is anyway.”
7. Matthew McConaughey
The BBC reported that Texas native Matthew McConaughey dropped nearly 50 pounds to play AIDS patient Woodruff in the 2014 Oscar-nominated film “Dallas Buyers Club.” McConaughey won an Oscar himself for the lead role, for which he reportedly lost 3 and a half pounds a week by using guidance from a nutritionist.
“I did it in as healthy a way as I found possible,” he told the BBC.
8. Jared Leto
Jared Leto is also well known for his physical transformation as transgender AIDS patient Rayon in “Dallas Buyers Club,” but the 30 Seconds to Mars front-man also drastically changed his appearance for his role as John Lennon’s killer in the movie “Chapter 27.”
Leto reportedly gained 60 pounds for the role, which caused him gout-like foot pain and left him feeling poorly for a year after playing the character. He told the New York Daily News that he binge-ate and force-fed himself to achieve the weight gain goal.
9. Natalie Portman
The Harvard grad and avid vegan reportedly lost 20 pounds for her role in the Oscar-winning flick. Her co-star Mila Kunis also reportedly lost 20 pounds—dropping to a mere 95 pounds total for her role in “Black Swan.”
“In real life, it looked disgusting,” Kunis told E! Online. “But in photographs and on film, it looked amazing.”
Kunis said it took her five months to drop the weight but only five days to put it back on.
10. Renee Zellweger
The usually size-4 star gained 20 pounds to jump to a size 14 for her role as Bridget Jones in 2001’s “Bridget Jones’ Diary.” Zellweger dropped the weight she had gained yet continued to lose weight even after that. The public scrutiny over her frame reportedly left the star feeling violated. “I realized the influence of living in a society that focuses so much on physicality has affected me,” she told Vogue in 2013.
“When the film was coming out, the question I was asked the most was regarding my weight … I was followed around Heathrow by a guy who wanted to take a picture of my backside. I don’t understand the obsession.”
15 Celebrities Who Went on Extreme Diets for a Movie Role
Celebrities are no strangers to changing their looks for a role. And in some instances, they have to get pretty extreme. From 500-calorie-a-day diets to drinking pints of ice cream, these actors and actresses know what it takes to change their bodies in preparation for a new film.
Whether it was weight loss or weight gain, here are the celebrities who weren’t afraid to go to extremes. And don’t miss the one actor who had to gain a ton of weight in a short period of time to play a character (No. 9).
1. Natalie Portman for Black Swan
Natalie Portman in Black Swan | Cross Creek Pictures
- She dropped 20 pounds for her role.
She won an Oscar for her portrayal of a troubled ballerina in Black Swan — and her dedication and extreme diet proved worth it in the end. E! News reports Natalie Portman practiced for up to 16 hours a day. As for her diet, she said she was barely eating — and there were reportedly some nights she thought she might die from being so thin.
Portman did her best to mimic the actual diet of a New York ballerina, which typically consisted of “a small salad for lunch, a small amount of nuts, fruit and nothing in the evening.”
Next: This actress did the complete opposite of Portman.
2. Charlize Theron for Tully
Charlize Theron in the film Tully | Tully Movie via Instagram
- She gained 50 pounds for her role.
She’s no stranger to gaining and losing weight for movie roles, as we remember her transformation in Monster. Entertainment Tonight reports Charlize Theron gained close to 50 pounds for her role as Marlo in Tully. Theron said that “for the first time in my life I was eating so much processed foods and I drank way too much sugar. … I remember having to set my alarm in the middle of the night in order to just maintain .”
Theron also said it was commonplace for her to wake up in the middle of the night and eat cold macaroni and cheese to keep the weight on.
Next: This actor ate a shockingly low number of calories for this role.
3. Chris Hemsworth for In the Heart of the Sea
Chris Hemsworth shows off his weight loss for In the Heart of the Sea. | Chris Hemsworth via Instagram
- He lost 33 pounds for his role.
You’re used to his hulk-like figure in Thor, but In the Heart of the Sea required a totally different diet. Daily Mail Online reports the movie required the castmembers lose a ton of weight to make their stuck-at-sea plight more believable. Chris Hemsworth said there were days when all he ate was one boiled egg, a couple of crackers, and a celery stick.
Hemsworth said losing the weight was hard, but having his co-stars doing it with him made it easier. “I was skinnier than ever before but at least we were losing weight together,” he said.
Next: We remember when this actor was scary-thin for this role.
4. Christian Bale for The Machinist
Christian Bale in The Machinist | YouTube Movies via YouTube
- He lost 60 pounds for his role.
Here’s another actor who isn’t afraid to do what it takes to get into character for a movie role. In The Machinist, Christian Bale plays an insomniac who’s seriously frail. Men’s Journal reports the actor lost 60 pounds to play the role. And Bale says he existed on a steady diet of cigarettes and whiskey to lose all the weight necessary.
While this worked for him in his younger years, Bale explains he tried to do the same thing again in his 40s, but it was a much more difficult task. “I was waking up with heart palpitations and just not feeling right at all,” he said.
Next: This actress looks way different now than she did in this iconic role.
5. Shailene Woodley for Adrift
Shailene Woodley in Adrift | Adrift Movie via Instagram
- She was eating just 350 calories a day.
Adrift chronicles the real-life experiences of Tami Oldham, who became lost at sea with her injured fiancé following a horrific storm. Shailene Woodley portrayed Oldham and went through rigorous training to build the strength necessary for sailing. And People reports she also went on an insane diet to accurately portray a woman who was stranded for 41 days.
“For the last two weeks I had a can of salmon, some steamed broccoli and two egg yolks every day — 350 calories,” Woodley said.
Next: She starved herself to play this iconic role.
6. Anne Hathaway for Les Misérables
Anne Hathaway in Les Misérables | Universal Pictures
- She lost 25 pounds for her role.
She wanted to get serious for her role in Les Misérables, as she was playing Fantine, a starving prostitute with tuberculosis. So Anne Hathaway went on a diet of “rabbit food” to drop 25 pounds, Daily Mail Online explains.
Hathaway explained her diet was essentially just starving herself, but she didn’t want to give details, as she doesn’t want to encourage anyone to copy her emaciated look. She did note that she “just had to stop eating for a total of 13 days shooting,” however. And at one point, her bones became so frail that she reportedly broke her arm.
Next: She had to play someone with anorexia, and this is how.
7. Lily Collins for To the Bone
Lily Collins in To the Bone | Netflix via YouTube
- She had an eating disorder in real life before portraying this role.
This actress with a history of disordered eating decided to take on the part of Ellen, an anorexic young woman in To the Bone. “I personally knew that this was something I needed to do to tell this story,” Lily Collins said. And though she lost the weight under direct supervision, fans grew concerned over her shrinking frame, USA Today reports.
Like Anne Hathaway, Collins didn’t want to divulge how she lost the weight. But the fact that she could touch her index finger and thumb around her bicep clued us into how small she was.
Next: He won for best actor in this role that required a huge transformation.
8. Matthew McConaughey for Dallas Buyers Club
Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club | Focus Features
- He lost 38 pounds for his role.
His portrayal of Ron Woodruff, a man with HIV/AIDS, was spot-on, earning him the title of best actor at the Oscars. But it also required a serious physical transformation. Matthew McConaughey said he lost 38 pounds for the role, E! News reports.
During filming, he said he lost a lot of energy from eating so little — and he hit plenty of plateaus along the way. Finally, with a strict diet, he got down to 143 pounds. And while he did cardio to help with the weight loss, he said it was 90% what he was eating and portion size.
Next: You’ll never believe what this actor ate to gain a lot of weight.
9. Jared Leto for Chapter 27
Left: Jared Leto looking trim | Jason Kempin/Getty Images, Right: Jared Leto in his role in Chapter 27| Peace Arch Entertainment/Getty Images
- He gained 67 pounds for his role.
This actor’s known for his extreme tactics for getting into his roles — and such was the case for Chapter 27. In this film, Jared Leto gained a whopping 67 pounds to play Mark Chapman, the man who assassinated John Lennon. The Guardian notes he achieved his weight loss by drinking microwaved pints of ice cream mixed with olive oil and soy sauce.
The quick weight gain came with a price, though. Leto ended up developing gout, which forced him into a wheelchair for a period of time.
Next: The film was heralded by critics, and this actor transformed for the role.
10. Michael Fassbender for Hunger
Michael Fassbender in Hunger | Criterion Collection via YouTube
- He ate 900 calories a day for this role.
Eating so few calories is no easy feat — but Michael Fassbender knew he had to do it to accurately portray Bobby Sands in Hunger. Sands is an Irish historical figure known for starting a hunger strike in Northern Ireland, and eventually, he died from starvation, The Telegraph reports.
To prepare for the role, Fassbender “settled on a diet of berries, nuts and sardines, eating 900 calories a day for the first five weeks.” He also helped in the weight loss process by walking four a half miles per day, skipping, and doing yoga.
Next: She had to put on a massive amount of muscle for this role.
11. Hilary Swank for Million Dollar Baby
Hilary Swank in Million Dollar Baby | Warner Bros.
- She gained 23 pounds for this role.
She says the training for Million Dollar Baby was the hardest thing she’s ever done for a role, The Hollywood Reporter explains. All in all, Hilary Swank had to put on 23 pounds of pure muscle for her role as a boxer.
The process doesn’t sound easy, however. “I started working out five hours a day — I had to eat 210 grams of protein a day,” Swank said. She also mentioned that she had to consume 60 egg whites per day, and when that proved too difficult, she had to drink them. And to keep the muscle on, she would get up and drink protein shakes in the middle of the night.
Next: This actor credits chicken with helping him lose an extreme amount of weight.
12. Matt Damon for Courage Under Fire
Matt Damon in Courage Under Fire | Wochit Entertainment via YouTube
- He lost 50 pounds for his role.
You probably remember Denzel Washington and Meg Ryan in Courage Under Fire — and another standout performance came from the gaunt Matt Damon. Men’s Journal explains Damon got down to 139 pounds for the role with a strict diet and exercise routine. “I had to run about 13 miles a day, which wasn’t even the hard part,” Damon said. “The hard part was the diet.”
According to Damon’s Ask Me Anything on Reddit, he said all he ate was chicken breast, as he didn’t have any advice from nutritionists on what to eat.
Next: This well-known rapper shocked us all with his transformation.
13. 50 Cent for All Things Fall Apart
50 Cent in All Things Fall Apart | YouTube Movies via YouTube
- He lost over 50 pounds for his role.
You know him for his music, but his sincere performance in All Things Fall Apart really shocked viewers. 50 Cent played a cancer patient in the film, and he chose to drop from 214 pounds to 160 in just nine weeks. He accomplished this with a liquid diet and running for three hours per day on a treadmill, The Huffington Post reports.
50 Cent also said he ran to suppress his hunger, but things got really difficult toward the end. “There is no way to play a role like this without really committing to it,” he said.
Next: This actor was hospitalized for his new diet.
14. Ashton Kutcher for Jobs
Ashton Kutcher as Steve Jobs in Jobs | Open Road Films
- He followed Steve Jobs’ “fruitarian” diet.
Steve Jobs was a “fruitarian” — and it nearly ruined Ashton Kutcher’s pancreas. TIME reports Kutcher was playing Jobs in the biopic of the same name, and he decided to try Jobs’ infamous fruitarian diet, which involved a large consumption of raw fruits. Kutcher said he was “doubled over in pain” just a few days before shooting, and when doctors checked him out in the hospital, his “pancreas levels were completely out of whack.”
Oddly enough, Jobs died from pancreatic cancer, so perhaps his diet had something to do with it.
Next: She’s famous for her singing — and now, for her cleanse.
15. Beyoncé for Dreamgirls
Beyoncé Knowles attends the Dreamgirls premiere presented by DreamWorks Picture. | Bryan Bedder/Getty Images
- She lost 20 pounds for her role.
She wanted to shed pounds for her role in Dreamgirls, and thanks to the Master Cleanse, she succeeded. E! News reports Beyoncé consistently drank a cocktail of lemon juice, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper for some of her meals. And People says it resulted in a 20-pound weight loss. At one point, the director was even asking her to stop losing weight, as there was a chance continuity would be ruined.
“I really wanted to go all the way,” Bey said. “I was inspired by Tom Hanks. He did it all the way (in Castaway), so I said, I can do it all the way!”
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Celeb Diet Secrets to Slim Down Fast
This Sunday marks the granddaddy of awards shows: the Academy Awards. I relish this time of year, tuning into red carpet coverage, discovering which designers stars are sporting, and witnessing behind-the-scenes tweets as stars glam up. Many people wonder just what celebs do to fit into their body-hugging dresses, so I asked my esteemed nutrition colleagues to learn how they get their A-list clientele in tip-top shape so you can do the same for your big night.
First, it’s important to note that every expert I interviewed stressed how almost all of their clients work with them for long-term health and weight-loss goals-not just for a quick fix two weeks prior.
For those gotta-look-great-fast fixes, though, Beverly Hills-based celebrity dietitian Ashley Koff, R.D., who bears a client list including model and actress Molly Sims and Bones star Emily Deschanel, advises, “Be realistic. The goal doesn’t have to be losing 10 pounds, but you can look as if you’ve lost a few pounds by getting extra sleep and fitting in all of your workouts.”
I can testify to getting extra sleep paired with adequate hydration. Upon waking, I see instant results of fine lines concealed and undereyes smoothed and plumped.
RELATED: Look your best on the red carpet or just running errands with celebrity makeup artist Sonia Kashiuk’s own essential everyday beauty tips.
For the jet set, Koff recommends coconut water for hydrating or even a liquid diet the days right before and after traveling, which she says allows the body to relax and prevents bloating. Steering clear of high-sodium foods likely to cause water retention, such as many canned soups, is also key.
Salt isn’t the only culprit when it comes to bloat. Scott Keppel, a certified fitness coach and owner of Scott’s Training Systems, specializes in training women for pageants and has coached models prepping for Gucci and Nike photo shoots and magazine covers, as well as a reality TV star for VH1’s Rock of Love. Through years of experience, he’s gleaned these tricks for helping clients fine-tune one to two weeks prior to the big day:
1. Cut out gas-producing vegetables, like broccoli and cauliflower, to reduce the dreaded ballooning.
2. Spit out the gum. In his world it is believed that gum chewing can trick the body into thinking it is eating, producing the necessary chemicals to break down food. However, in the absence of food, this acid can build up and eventually cause difficulty with digestion.
3. Reduce excessive amounts of carbs since 1 gram of carbohydrate can hold onto to 4 to 5 grams of water.
RELATED: Stay full and cut carbohydrates with these nine low-carb snack to eat on the go.
4. Incorporate foods with diuretic properties, which help rid the body of excess water, such as asparagus and beets.
5. People who have a harder time digesting red meat and chicken should reduce consumption during this time. White fish, on the other hand, seems to be well tolerated and easy to digest.
6. Eliminate protein shakes due to concentrated amounts of whey and additives, which can cause bloating.
Michelle Dudash is a registered dietitian, Cordon Bleu-Certified chef, and author of the cookbook Clean Eating for Busy Families. As a food writer, healthy recipe developer, television personality, and eating coach, she has spread her message to millions of people. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook and her blog for clean eating recipes and tips.
- By Michelle Dudash, R.D.
How Celebrities Are Losing Over 20 lbs In Two Weeks
When it comes to weight loss, I firmly believe that sustainability is key. By eating a variety of whole, unprocessed foods you’ll be giving your body all the nutrients it needs to look and feel its best, while dropping the excess pounds.
And without turning to starvation or fad diets, you’re also much more likely to keep the weight off long term.
That said, I get that there are times when you just need to drop a few pounds fast.
To help you out, I’ve been doing some research on how celebrities and athletes shed weight so quickly. MMA fighters strategically cut and gain weight in a matter of days before fights and jockeys lighten up before huge races.
But this dramatic shedding of pounds comes at a price. The dangers of cutting weight include hormonal imbalance, malnutrition, decreased muscle strength, poor kidney function, disorientation, mood swings, and blurred vision.
So you can see why I definitely don’t recommend you follow the weight loss plan of a professional wrestler!
In addition, losing weight quickly can also lead to bad skin, hair loss, and stretch marks…skinny is never worth that.
However, used in moderation, and when combined with sensible eating plans, some of the tips and tricks employed by professional athletes and celebrities do hold some merit and may help boost weight loss efforts.
Watch Your Fluid Intake
Drinking gallons of water and then gradually reducing daily amounts until they consume almost nothing is one way professional fighters manage to manipulate their pre-fight weigh in results. This form of severe dehydration can cause dizziness, fainting, headaches or, in extreme cases, seizures, and even death.
Why not go with the science backed methods of using water to maintain a healthy weight instead?
Make sure to drink at least 2 to 3 liters of water each day to fill you up, this is especially useful if you consume large amount of water before your meals.
As you’re upping your water intake, you won’t have room for sugar laden beverages like sodas and fruit juices.
Getting bored with plain water all day long?
Here’s something else to try.
Sweat It Out
I’ve come across stories online that claim you can burn around 500 calories in a 20 minute sauna session. Given that the average American male would have to run at 6 miles per hour for almost 40 minutes to achieve this same calorie burn, I’m skeptical to say the least!
Taking to the sauna is touted to be one of the quick weight loss methods employed by wrestlers, boxers, and bodybuilders. Unfortunately, the weight that you lose while you sit in these hot little boxes is merely water weight.
And what do you think will happen once you grab your water bottle to quench that inevitable thirst? Exactly!
The same goes for sweating it out in a hot bath.
You’ll lose water weight, but that isn’t going to make a major difference in your appearance. If you want to try using a sauna to help you along, I say go for it. If nothing else, you’ll be at lower risk of death by cardiovascular disease or stroke, as one Finnish study recently showed.
Just make sure to limit your use to 20 minute sessions and hydrate properly.
Hit The Gym
Even though the sauna might not be the miracle you’re looking for, there is one proven way to sweat it out, and that’s by exercising regularly.
You’ve probably heard about the hardcore gym goers who claim to drop weight in mere minutes by wearing a sauna suit or garbage bags whilst exercising.
Not only do they look ridiculous but, much like using an actual sauna, they are simply dehydrating to lose water weight. Sauna suits are so dangerous that the National Collegiate Athletic Association banned their use in training after three wrestlers died from using them.
Instead, be smart. Hit the gym for a combination of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and weight training.
HIIT has been shown to be more effective than other types of cardiovascular exercise in reducing body fat. Try it on the treadmill or take a spinning class.
Weight lifting will help build those emerging muscles and fire up your metabolism.
If you feel you need the extra boost, try a cup of coffee or pre-workout an hour before working out. You’ll have more energy and be able to push yourself for longer. One clinical trial showed that participants could cycle for over 90 minutes after just one cup of coffee, compared with just 75 minutes without caffeine. You don’t need to train that long, but caffeine will typically increase your ability to perform.
Always check with your doctor before taking on a new exercise regime and ask the staff at your gym to tailor a plan to your specific needs.
Skip The Salt
Another one of the tricks that MMA fighters and other athletes swear by when it comes to dropping weight fast is reducing sodium from their diet.
When we eat something salty, our body retains the sodium from that food. We also temporarily retain water until the body can get its sodium and water levels back in balance.
While salt is an essential nutrient, the American Heart Association states that most people consume twice the recommended daily intake of sodium. With 75% of that coming from salt added to processed foods and restaurant meals, you can safely put the salt shaker down and trust you’re already getting enough to meet your needs.
Between reducing your salt intake and drinking plenty of water, you should notice effects within a few days. The water weight you’ve been carrying around thanks to the excess sodium will begin to drop off.
Of course, given that sodium is essential for nerve and muscle function, restricting salt intake to extremely low levels as a long term strategy is not advised.
Enjoy A Balanced Diet
It should go without saying that a balanced diet is key to weight loss, something even the most extreme of weight cutting athletes seem to agree with.
By cutting back on high calorie foods like sodas and sugar, and filling up with protein rich meals, healthy fats and complex carbohydrates, you’ll be on the way to a new, trim physique in no time.
To supercharge your weight loss efforts, without collapsing with hunger, why not incorporate a variety of these super foods into your diet?
Try Natural Boosters & Suppressants
When you’re aiming for rapid weight loss, you may need to give your body a helping hand. There are a few foods and natural supplements that can do just that.
Spice up your meals!
In place of salt, why not add herbs and spices to your food for some much needed flavor without the bloat?
Certain spices have been shown to increase our metabolism. Liven up your dinnertime with coriander, turmeric, black pepper, cumin, cloves, mustard and garlic.
If you’re after something sweeter, add a pinch of cinnamon or ginger to your smoothies or oatmeal so you feel fuller for longer.
As I mentioned earlier, caffeine or a good pre-workout can supercharge your workout. But even if you drink it without exercising, it has been shown to increase metabolism.
Diet Tricks the Stars Use to Stay Thin
Verdict: Dont do it.
You shouldnt be taking this drug unless youre under a doctors supervision, Dr. Isaacs says. Side effects include potentially dangerous increased blood pressure and heart rate. Its also been linked to problems such as hearing voices and maniacal behavior. If youre seriously overweight or obese, talk to your doctor about legitimate weight-loss drugs like Alli or phentermine.
Next Page: They cleanse
Ever since Beyonce admitted to losing 20 pounds on the Master Cleanse—a fast that usually involves at least 10 days of sipping nothing but an elixir of maple syrup, lemon juice, water, and cayenne pepper—Hollywood has been buzzing about the weight-loss technique (also called the lemonade diet). The lemon supposedly acts as a purifier and provides bloat-reducing potassium, the cayenne pepper adds metabolism-boosting B vitamins, and the maple syrup provides the energy needed to get through such a grueling ordeal. “While I wouldnt recommend doing something so drastic for more than a couple days, I can say it works if you want to quickly shed three to five pounds,” Peterson says. Another popular, less-dramatic cleanse is the 30-day Isagenix program, which involves eating about 1,000 calories a day in the form of shakes and snack bars that contain diuretics like aloe vera.
Verdict: Not so fast. “The first few days, youre just losing water weight, which is why you may see the scale drop so quickly,” Taub-Dix says. “But its counterproductive—all this does is slow down your metabolism, so youre more apt to regain weight once you stop.” The diuretics also dehydrate you, which is dangerous, especially if youre working out a lot. “You can become deficient in crucial minerals like sodium and potassium, which affect heart function,” Crum says.