- Tracy Anderson on How to Lose Weight Fast
- A Q&A with Tracy Anderson
- 5 Diet Tips to Follow in 2018
- 5 Diet Tips to Avoid in 2018
- I Tried Tracy Anderson’s Glutecentric Program and Here’s Why I’m Obsessed
- The First 30 days
- After 60 Days
- 90 Days Later
- RESTART PROTEIN SHAKE (14 DAY SUPPLY)
- Tracy Anderson on Protein, Meal Replacement Bars, and Snack Time
Tracy Anderson on How to Lose Weight Fast
TA devotees, goop readers, and staffers alike never run out of questions for Tracy Anderson. The word “diet” has become a lightning rod in our society, but Anderson still fields an enormous number of questions; her approach to both fitness and nutrition are serious and clean clean clean. Here, she addresses a common summer conundrum: The fast-approaching beach vacation, wedding, even high-school reunion you might want to get in shape for. In this new interview, she shares tips for shaping up fast—whether you have a month, two weeks, or just forty-eight hours. Beyond that, we’ve included her summer workout playlist, the scoop on where you can find her/take a class this summer—and we’ve stocked the goop shop with her organic protein bars—an instant goop-staff obsession.
- TRACY ANDERSON
ULTIMATE CLEAR BARS goop, $12
A Q&A with Tracy Anderson
How do we jump-start weight loss? Do you get a lot of clients attempting it now, during beach season?
Yes, I do. The best way to jump-start weight loss is to work out every single day until you actually crave the workout. Plus, get off gluten and go very low carb. You are how you move, you are how you eat. Ideally, you want to be regular and strategic with the design of your body and your weight management all year. If you’re looking to slim down/keep your weight at a healthy, comfortable place this summer, I’d say avoid eating really large portions and overloading your digestive system. If you’re hungry between meals, have, say one poached egg, and wait a few hours to see how you feel, then have another little something light if you’re still hungry.
What about people who are stuck and can’t budge past a certain weight or size despite what they’re doing?
This can be really difficult and frustrating, and it’s very individual. Sometimes, it’s a matter of being honest with yourself and/or re-thinking what and how you’re eating and moving. It might be that you need a new routine—dance cardio is great at helping you push past boundaries—but even small adjustments (like cutting almond milk from your coffee) can make a difference if you need it.
For those with sluggish metabolisms, whose emotional taste buds were brought up on packaged cookies, candy bars, muffins, and chips—the “journey to balance” can be a real mountain that just doesn’t even look possible to climb. One of the most effective ways to get off of addictive processed foods that do not serve you is to always be prepared with a healthy option.
Is that how you came to develop your new organic bars?
Around one-third of adults in the U.S. are obese, and some estimates suggest that 500,000 people that will die this year in the US from an obesity-related illness. If we want to help reverse the dysfunctional state of moving less and eating more that we’re in, we need to include everyone, at every price point, at every level of food. Processed convenience foods can be better if we carefully craft the ingredients.
Most of our lives move too fast to make certain we have fresh, whole foods always available to us—we don’t all have organic salads at our disposal. I have had a lot of success over the years helping people to get rid of unhealthy, debilitating weight, in part by eating meal-replacement bars. As I learned more about nutrition and the body, and my work evolved, though, I found I couldn’t recommend the same products anymore because of the toxic ingredients in them. I believe in protein bars as meal replacements for weight loss and weight management, but while the options out there might work for managing weight, they aren’t good for the totality of your health.
When I dug into the back end of the protein bar market, I realized it was even worse than I thought: really healthy-looking marketing packaged with ingredients worse for you than an actual candy bar. I wanted a bar that would be good for the brain and body, and sit on that convenient shelf with other affordable options.
In the first round of CLEAR bars, I got the bars to 70 percent organic; now, I am thrilled to offer two 100-percent organic Ultimate CLEAR bars: Sport Cherry Pie (my personal favorite) and Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. They are meant to be a healthy combination of protein, energy, and flavor that will satisfy you, and support your weight management or weight loss journey if you’re on one. (I am also happy that my teenager can enjoy them before a game as a healthy snack that provides actual energy instead of a sugared-up sports bar.)
Obviously, this isn’t ideal, but it is a reality: What do you suggest when clients tell you they have a big event coming up, and they want to shed weight fast? What’s possible in a month, and what do you recommend?
If you have weight to lose, you can effectively do a fourteen-pound weight loss in four weeks. This requires focus and physical, mental, and emotional willpower. You will experience short-term stress (particularly during your cycle if you’re a woman)—but this can end up being less stressful than living with the stress of excess weight. Please keep in mind that these menus are meant for people who have unhealthy weight on them and/or are in need of weight management.
For breakfast, choose one of the following:
10 ounces of chilled Yogi peach detox tea with two scoops of vanilla ResTArt protein powder
2 poached eggs with a sprinkle of rosemary sea salt; side of sautéed chopped kale and cherry tomatoes in rice wine vinegar
1 TA organic Ultimate CLEAR bar
10 ounces chilled Yogi cinnamon vanilla tea with 2 scoops of vanilla ResTArt protein powder
1 cup of blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries
For lunch, choose one of the following:
Salad: chopped romaine, spinach, scallions, raw broccoli tops (shave the top off), cucumbers, yellow onion, sauerkraut (I like Garlic Dill Pickle from Farmhouse Culture), rice wine vinegar; plus 1 snack pack of Eden’s organic tamari almonds
Second salad option: chopped spinach, red onion, parsley, cheese (I do 2 ounces of Midnight Moon cut into chunks). For dressing, I recommend Paul Newman’s organic Italian.
Sautéed chicken: Sauté 1 chicken breast with garlic. In a separate skillet, put 1 cup organic tomato sauce with a little red pepper. Sauté ½ yellow onion and ½ zucchini. Shred chicken and add in with garlic.
Grilled chicken: Have a grilled chicken breast with a side salad of chopped organic iceberg and butter lettuce, chopped scallions and cucumbers, with rice wine vinegar and lemon.
Bone broth mix: Put bone broth in a pot to simmer (I do two cartons of lemongrass chicken bone broth from Pacific). Chop 1 cooked chicken breast and add to the broth along with scallions, celery, carrot. Once vegetables are cooked, add chopped curly kale to only slightly soften.
Taco take: Fill 2 gluten-free corn tortillas with Bethmale cheese or mozzarella, chopped tomatoes, onion, cilantro, and sea salt
Fish: Get 1 can of tuna in water and add mustard and capers. Eat on sliced cucumber.
Any of the following fish (wild-caught), or an organic chicken breast simply grilled or steamed:
Wild Chilean sea bass
Black sea bass
With any of the following vegetables, steamed or sautéed:
Cherry tomatoes and onions
Zucchini and onions
Sweet peas with rosemary and pearl onions
Spinach with lemon and capers
Collard greens (try sautéing in rice wine vinegar)
Aim for a half bar of Alter Eco’s Dark Velvet chocolate. Full bar is okay, too. But if you can do without the chocolate bar some days, that’s great.
Other suggested guidelines
Try to eat all/as much organic as possible
Drink plenty of water
Opt for zero-calorie, fresh-brewed tea (as opposed to be pre-made); can have flavor and/or be caffeinated, but no additives
You can add one Nuun tablet to water during exercise if you’re looking for a boost
Don’t eat eggs twice in a day
May have 1 to 2 glasses of wine per day. If you are drinking, it is best to have a glass before you go into a hungry time. For people that tend to crave carbs or sugar, go for a crispy, cold white. If the wine can be organic as well, that’s great. An organic red will have more health benefits than white, but the white is better for curbing cravings if you’re looking to lose weight.
Movement is key; you really want to get a solid sweat in for one hour, every day. If you’re in for TA, but not able to come to the studio, check out the streaming options. You could stream a master class each day, or even do the beginners version twice a day. Ideal is to exercise in a room with space heaters and humidifiers for a greater sweat.
CHECK IN WITH YOURSELF
Weigh yourself on the same scale every morning so you can know how much weight you are losing. If you are on a four-week plan, you’re likely to drop a bit of weight, hold that weight for a while, and then drop again—that’s normal. Regardless: You should make the choices that you need based on what your body is telling you. If you need a day off, or to eat something else, do.
What if you only have two weeks, or one?
Follow the above plan for just two weeks, or one. If you go no carb, people can generally lose around eight pounds in this timeframe.
If you only have 48 hours, I would go with the leanest eating options. For example: the tea with protein powder at breakfast, a poached egg and small salad with rice wine vinegar for lunch, half of the chocolate bar for a snack, and steamed/grilled plain fish with steamed spinach or asparagus for dinner. With this eating plan, plus a sweaty muscular structure and cardio workout, you could be down four pounds, but most likely two, unless you are a really good physical performer and you have the heat and humidity perfect in your workout environment.
Your summer workout playlist?
Can you share a bit about the new 59th Street studio vibe and how the launch has gone for you?
Every studio I build, I get the opportunity to improve. There are so many things I love about this new studio. I meet with every single member personally for a deep dive into the history of their physical self, and where they would like to go. I love meeting all of the people that will come and move and improve with us every day—they are all part of the solution. Two highlights: We combined infrared heat and humidity to create a temperature system that is the most anti-aging, glorious workout sweat ever. (I feel like I can say that after all of the places I have sweat—ha!) The TA cafe, with all organic produce and proteins, is special to me because it provides members and people stopping by for a class with a place where they can know they are eating in a way that is aligned with how they moved.
What else are you working on?
We are opening new studios in the US and internationally later this year (stay tuned for where!). This summer, we have ViTAlity weeks in the Hamptons, Charleston, and London.
We have a couple of other fun additions to the Hamptons: My favorite fitness stylist Karen Shapiro is curating really fun pop-up fitness shops for our Hamptons locations this summer, in East Hampton and Watermill. We are also doing a partnership with The Golden Pear to carry my favorite protein-powder smoothies with all organic produce at their four Hamptons cafés. I also have two books coming out this year, which I’m really excited about: Total Teen and Total Woman.
The views expressed in this article intend to highlight alternative studies and induce conversation. They are the views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of goop, and are for informational purposes only, even if and to the extent that this article features the advice of physicians and medical practitioners. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.
Tracy Anderson with Gwyneth Paltrow. Photo, Rachel Murray/Getty Images for imagine1Day
In the last few days of 2017, one of fitness trainer and Goop favourite Tracy Anderson’s latest weight-loss columns was circulating on social media again. The post is called “How to Lose Weight Fast,” and as a registered dietitian I can only describe it as nonsensical, borderline reckless and dangerous. Shame on you, Tracy.
I don’t want to link to the story, so here’s the gist: it recommends what can only be described as a starvation diet for people who “have weight to lose,” says Anderson. She argues that if you follow her month-long menu (and buy her protein bars, which are conveniently sold right within the story… shocker!), you can “effectively do a fourteen-pound weight loss in four weeks.” That’s an average of 3.5 pounds a week, which can definitely be far too rapid for most people and may lead to some medical complications. Anderson says the diet requires “focus and physical, mental and emotional willpower” and may cause “short-term stress.” She emphasizes that the menus are meant for people with unhealthy weight and/or are in need of weight management.
While the Goop-approved plan is extremely low on calories, it’s high on questionable advice: for example, you can’t have more than one egg a day, but you can have two glasses of wine, which makes zero sense. Sure, it’s only meant for short-term, but Anderson is kidding us if she thinks any results gained are sustainable. Once you start eating normally, the weight will likely come right back.
Clearly, this is not the best way to kick off 2018. Here, some of my best tips — both to incorporate into your diet and to avoid at all costs— so you can eat healthier (and happier!) this year.
5 Diet Tips to Follow in 2018
Start with something you can follow for the long term
This is called, being realistic. That means: not eating foods you hate, not cutting out foods you love, not going to a gym that you can’t stand going to—and all of those other things you do because you think they’ll make you thinner, faster. Everyone hates the word moderation, but I’ll say this: choose a diet that’s moderate in everything, instead of one that’s super-restrictive and that you’ll never follow for years to come. You want to make healthy changes that last and become habits for life.
Learn how to actually enjoy and appreciate food — and yourself
Instead of resorting to diet products and meal-replacement bars and shakes, try cooking and eating more whole, minimally processed foods. Stop looking at food as your enemy, and start seeing it as something that nourishes your body and makes it strong. By the same token, be kind to yourself. Weight loss is NOT about willpower—no matter how much Anderson might want us to believe—and we’re all human. Some days, some weeks will be better than others, so just move on and don’t punish yourself.
Figure out where your food issues come from
This one is huge. I get a lot of people in my practice who have issues with food and eating that started in childhood. People rarely even realize how much of an impact of their family’s attitudes toward eating, food and dieting can have on them long into adulthood. If you feel like you’ve had the same issues forever and they’re preventing you from making progress with your nutrition goals, it might be time to seek professional help via a therapist for this.
Shop, prep and cook on the regular
Far too many people believe that they can eat a healthy diet without even setting foot in a kitchen, but they would be wrong. Restaurant food is almost always a less healthy choice than something you make for yourself. It’s exceptionally difficult to make good food choices if you don’t have food in your house, so shopping weekly (or more) is essential. If you have a busy life, doing some prep on a Sunday before the workweek gets crazy is also good, and of course, cooking for yourself is important too. Even if you’re not great in the kitchen, salads, sandwiches, stir fries, and even eggs are simple meals that most anyone can do in a hurry.
Be suspicious of anyone who wants to sell you something
Just like Anderson and her protein bars, you need to steer clear of anyone trying to sell you a quick fix. Legit healthcare professionals will NEVER tell you that you absolutely need to buy their over-the-counter product/shake/supplements if you want to lose weight. That’s a conflict of interest and totally shady. Healthy eating and good nutrition can be achieved in most healthy people without any diet products at all.
5 Diet Tips to Avoid in 2018
Cutting an entire food group out of your diet, because some random person says so
There are a heck of a lot of people online and otherwise who have no credible nutrition education, but think they’re doing you a favour by giving you random nutrition advice. One of the most common pieces of advice I see people getting from these sources is to cut one of the usual suspects — wheat, gluten, dairy, legumes — from of their diets. There’s nothing inherently wrong with any of these foods, so if you’ve always been fine with them, keep eating them (and stop listening to bad advice).
Swallowing fistfuls of “fat-burning” supplements
No supplement has ever been proven in large human studies to burn fat, so please don’t waste your money on these. Trust me: if something amazing is invented, it’s not going to be sold in a health food store or by your friends on Facebook.
Tracking every single calorie that passes your lips
Some people do better with calorie counting than others, but my recommendation is to resist the urge to drill every bit of food down into a number — whether it’s a macro, calorie or carb value. It might seem relatively innocent, but I think obsessively tracking your calories can also dissociate you from your hunger and fullness cues and from what you’re eating altogether. We don’t eat numbers, we eat food.
Replacing a meal (or two) with a shake
Most commercial meal-replacement shakes are far too low in calories to be considered meals, which can put you at risk for overeating later in the day. Not only that, but shakes tend to leave the stomach a lot sooner than solid food, leaving you hungrier sooner. Ditch the liquid lunches and chew your meals.
Working out like crazy to “burn off” food you’ve eaten
I know that certain fitness and calorie trackers will have you believe that you can exercise off what you just ate, but your body doesn’t work that way. Even if it did, exercise alone has been shown not to have a significant impact on weight. I’m not saying that exercise is a waste of time — just the opposite — but relying on activity to burn off your dietary transgressions (and then some) hasn’t proven to be effective. And from a psychological perspective, activity is something that should be done for overall health — not as a Band-Aid for the guilt you feel as a result of overeating.
I Tried Tracy Anderson’s Glutecentric Program and Here’s Why I’m Obsessed
by BRIANNE HOGAN
Celeb trainer Tracy Anderson first piqued my interest years ago when Gwyneth Paltrow praised her for transforming her “dumpy” butt.
Back in 2011, Paltrow told Self Magazine, “I never thought that I’d be considered to have a good body. I was bony up top and kind of dumpy on the bottom. But my trainer, Tracy Anderson, completely changed my legs, butt, arms and stomach. I feel better than ever, too.”
At the time I related to Paltrow’s plight. I, too, was bony on top but unshapely and definitely not very toned on the bottom, particularly around my hips, thighs, and butt. I was inspired by Paltrow’s transformation, so I decided to try out Anderson’s Metamorphosis program for the first time.
Anderson’s intensive DVD series includes customized workouts for specific body types, including Abcentric, Hipcentric, Glutecentric, and Omnicentric (you can take a quick quiz to determine your body shape). I identified with the Hipcentric pear-shaped body shape back then, so I purchased the appropriate DVD set and waited anxiously for it to arrive. My dumpy butt, unshapely hips, and thighs depended on it.
As soon as I finished the first DVD in the series, I was hooked. As a former dancer, I loved the dance cardio component and I really felt — and later witnessed — the difference in my body with Anderson’s muscular structure work that’s designed to target problem areas and address the imbalances of each specific body shape.
By the end of the 90 days, my hips were pulled in, more shapely, and my lower body was more toned than ever. It was official: I was a Tracy Anderson believer. I repeated the Hipcentric program at least three times afterward and also purchased three additional DVDs of hers, including The Method. Besides running and the odd yoga class, Tracy Anderson was my fitness guru for a few years. I felt lean and toned, and, like, thisclose to Gwyneth.
However, as the years went on, I became obsessed with other workouts, like boxing and HIIT, and my TA devotion waned. But when a quick peek in the mirror in January revealed a rather flat butt in need of a little perk-me-up, I knew it was time to get another, literal, kick in the butt. In Tracy I trusted, so this time I purchased her Glutecentric program and, because I had worn out my Hipcentric DVD copy, I opted for the online option this time instead. It was time to reshape my butt.
The First 30 days
The best thing about Anderson’s Metamorphosis is that you don’t need much equipment. Just a mat and a pair of 3 lb. to 5 lb. weights. Because I was in better shape than my first time with the program, this time around I went for 5 lb. weights and chose to do the leg and butt exercises with a pair of 3lb. ankle weights.
There are nine workouts in total nine workouts in total to transition through every 10 days, which include 30 minutes of cardio dance and 30 minutes of muscular structure work that includes arm work, abs, and lower body, including butt, hips, and thighs.
After my first day, I remembered why I fell in love with this program: it’s fun, challenging, and it makes you sweat — which, for me, is the tell-tale sign that the workout is, in fact, working for me. Though the dance cardio is the same for the Hipcentric and the other body shape programs, the muscular structure work is different, which means you’re really targeting your trouble zones that are specific to your needs.
The first 30 days are little more basic than the rest of the program — the point is to consistently challenge your bod more and more every 10 days — but I was grateful for the reprieve. Anderson definitely knows what she’s doing.
After 60 Days
After my first month of the program, I definitely saw a rounder behind and more definition between my but and thighs. Since I was happy with my relatively fast results, and because I was cross-training with TRX, kickboxing, and yoga, I decided to skip my daily Tracy Anderson workouts, opting to work out to her Glutecentric program only twice to three times a week. I didn’t want to over-train.
Anderson also has a recommended meal plan, but my diet is mostly plant-based and clean anyway so I decided to skip it and continue doing my own thing. For my own reasons, I opted to eat veganat least five days a week, and eat vegetarian on the other days, and stuck to drinking wine only on the weekends. I know my eating, in addition to my regular fitness routine, is a huge reason behind my rapid results. After all, food is fuel. You can’t run your car on dirty gasoline.
90 Days Later
Baby’s got back! Ninety days later and I’m satisfied with my glutes. They’re rounder, fuller and perkier than they were three months ago. Tracy does it again!
Here’s how I got that peach: Consistency. It’s the key to success for any workout plan, and its efficacy can’t be stressed enough. What also helped? Eating clean, and making sure that on the days I wasn’t doing her program, I was still moving my body.
If you’re more into having a moderately toned, sleeker dancer’s body, then I highly recommend becoming part of the #tamily (the popular Tracy Anderson hashtag for her loyal following) and trying Metamorphosis, as well as her other programs.
Full disclosure: You will feel a little silly doing the hip movements, the choreography can be a little tricky for beginners, and you probably won’t like her Music option (it sounds like Euro house music from the late ’90s) but if you follow the program the way it was designed, after 90 days you will feel like stronger and leaner than ever before.
No dumpy butts, that’s for sure.
Morning friends! How’s your day going? Thank you so much for your awesome discussion on sugar last night and for the sweet compliments on the new job – I’ve very excited! I’m actually off to take my drug test this morning (ie Operation Golden Flow) so that I can start working soon. In the meantime, here’s a post with a Tracy Anderson Method review.
This is one that was a popular request on Facebook and I’ve been intrigued to learn more about it myself, as I’ve never tried the DVDs or taken a class. So instead of trying to research the deets without having real life experience and write a post about it, I decided to put the call out on Twitter for any Tracy Anderson pros. I DM’ed back and forth with Jenna, who so kindly offered to write a review post for me. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did 🙂
See ya this afternoon with the best gluten-free brownies everrrrrr <3
Tracy Anderson Method Review
I’m Jenna and I blog over at the online home of Upcakes, my baby business that I just started in London, where I live (www.upcakes.co.uk – no longer active). I’ve been reading blogs for a long time and Gina’s always been one of my favourite voices in the community. So when she asked me to review the Tracy Anderson Method, I jumped at the chance! It’s people like her who inspired me to start blogging in the first place anyway 🙂
What is the Tracy Anderson Method
The Tracy Anderson Method consists of two components: Dance Cardio and Muscular Structure Work (Mat Work). Tracy’s motto is that you have to work your small accessory muscles that surround your larger muscles, in order to get the ideal lean and feminine shape. She believes that conventional forms of cardio (eg running spinning) can overuse your large muscles and bulk you up, whilst the Dance Cardio portion of her workouts uses lots of varied movements that help you burn fat without the bulking. The Muscular Structure work is the ‘design’ part of the workout–a series of dancer-like movements in high reps that aim to re-shape your problem areas.
What to Expect from a Tracy Anderson Workout
In each of the dance cardio DVDs, there is a teaching chapter where Tracy talks you through each dance combination and breaks it down for you move-by-move. Once you’ve learned the combinations, the aim is to perform the 7 or 8 songs continually, which usually lasts about 45 minutes. During the Muscular Structure dvds, you just follow her along whilst she does the moves, always in high repetition with low resistance.
Tracy Anderson DVDs
–Tracy Anderson Method Mat Workout DVD: If you only purchase one thing from Tracy Anderson, this should be it. It was her first muscular structure DVD and I can rave about it enough! I think all her best, most effective moves are in here. Your butt and inner thighs will never look so good as when you stick to this DVD.
–Dance Cardio Workout: This was the first cardio DVD and whilst it’s the also the simplest, it’s not an easy way out! The music is super fun and you really start to enjoy the routines when you get a hang of them.
–Dance Cardio 2: The steps become pretty complicated in this DVD, but it’s not necessarily a harder workout that the first, so I wouldn’t recommend starting with it. I also find the routines are a little too similar in this one and therefore not as much fun.
–Perfect Design Series: This is a series of 3 DVDs that build on the Mat Workout, getting more complex with each DVD. They are equally effective as the Mat Workout, and having more to choose from allows you to switch it up, but it’s a little more of a pricey package. And I just happen to LOVE the results from the Mat Workout the most 🙂
-Post-Pregnancy DVD: This is mat work only – I haven’t tried this one myself, but I’ve heard rave reviews about it! Women speak of their loose skin snapping back and their saggy stomachs disappearing.
-Metamorphosis: This is Tracy’s brand-new program – a group of 4 DVDs, one for each ‘body type’ according to where you tend to store weight. When you buy this DVD you also gain access to her online community, where trainers will redesign your workouts for you every 10 days. Pretty cool, huh? However at around $120+, its definitely a splurge and I have to say I’m still saving up for it.
You’ll need a set of 3lb weights for some of the DVDs, but other than that all you need are a pair of sneakers and comfortable workout clothes.
Pros of the Tracy Anderson Method
– The muscular structure work really is a stand-out, and I can honestly say I’ve never seen anything like it for my body.
– I like the emphasis on getting a lean shape, rather than focusing on building muscles.
– Tracy has a really lovely manner and is not overly bossy or loud in her style (but that might be a con for some peeps).
Cons of the Tracy Anderson Method
– If you’re a workout purist and want to follow Tracy’s program to the letter, she demands that you do both cardio AND muscular structure 6 days a week – which is unrealistic for some. (She does say that you could do a minimum half an hour of each, but seeing as the DVDs are in sets of 45-60 mins, it can be hard to do half of one dvd and then switch to another halfway through).
– Tracy also advises you follow her diet plan whilst doing her workouts (not included in the DVDs, but can be found online and in her book ’30 Day Method’) but its super-restrictive and nowhere near enough calories for most of us to be able to function properly on. Proceed with caution.
– Some of the mat workouts will not give you the ‘burn’ that many of us like to get from our workouts, but trust me, this does not impact the results you will get.
Let me know how you find it!
Thanks so much for this review, Jenna!
Here’s a fun video of Kelly Ripa (and her very nice looking hubby) taking class at the Tracy Anderson New York studio.
Have you tried her DVDs before? If so, what did you think? If you haven’t, do you think this is a workout you’d enjoy? I personally would love to give it a try, but as far as fitness goes, I’ll happily try anything 🙂
Edited to say: I loved reading your discussion in the comments below. I added my two cents about the Tracy Anderson Method here. 🙂
I’ve got my Gwyneth Paltrow-body… but the Tracy Anderson Method left me so starved I suffered blackouts
By REBECCA WILCOX
Gwyneth Paltrow calls personal trainer Tracy Anderson her ‘pint-sized miracle and the exercise genius of all time’. And who can blame her? After all, Tracy is responsible for giving the 38-year-old actress and mother of two the kind of bikini body an Amazonian tiger-wrestler would be jealous of.
So when Gwyneth went on Oprah last year and revealed the painful lengths she goes to to maintain her Hollywood figure – with Tracy’s help – I wondered, could I do that?
Rebecca Wilcox (left) after following the 30-Day Method. Gwyneth Paltrow (right) showing off her toned body during a beach holiday in the Caribbean last month. And I wasn’t alone. Tracy, a former dancer, and savvy Gwyneth are now business partners. Together they’ve produced four exercise DVDs – each of which has sold in excess of 20,000 copies in Britain alone – and a book, Tracy Anderson’s 30-Day Method.
Released in December it is shifting around 1,000 units a week, a number no doubt boosted by Tracy’s A-list clients who include Madonna, Shakira, Penelope Cruz and Nicole Richie.
According to Tracy all we have to do to get Gwyneth’s figure is exercise for two hours every day, six days a week for the rest of our lives. Oh, and eat only according to her strict diet plan.
But who has the time and inclination to do that? Well, me. I work from home a lot, I have no children and only a small flat to look after. I also had a size-12 body that wasn’t getting any slimmer despite owning more than 100 exercise DVDs ranging from faddy to fantastic. I have done yoga, pilates, jogging, weightlifting, swimming, aerobics and dancing.
I even had a personal trainer at one point and, before you ask, yes, I have also tried several diets, including a hideous, practically food-free 10-day detox after which I didn’t lose a single pound.
Gwyneth in the gym with fitness guru Tracy Anderson, whom she has called her ‘pint-sized miracle and the exercise genius of all time’ Maybe my goal to get a celeb’s body is a little too ambitious. But my job involves me looking good on TV presenting on the BBC’s Watchdog programme, and I really wasn’t happy with my figure (something I have in common with most women, according to every survey published on the subject).
So I bought into the Tracy Anderson Method, got hold of her DVDs and books, and ordered her latest boxed set, Metamorphosis: A Complete Body Transforming System, a 90-day programme you graduate to after completing the 30-Day Method, and which is available only from Tracy’s website. I have to say, Gwyneth made it look rather too easy. On the 30-Day Method you have to do to three hours of exercise a day, which decreases to one hour on the 90-day plan.
It basically involves doing jazzy leaps, star jumps and aerobic moves in my living room.
Tracy is totally against other forms of cardio, such as running, where you repeat your movements over and over. That, she says, will bulk muscles. Along with the aerobics you must do a series of 40 toning Pilates-style moves, which change every ten days. It is gruelling and also mind-numbingly boring. I find myself staring at pictures of Gwyneth in her bikini for ‘thinspiration’.
Yet all this would have been bearable if it hadn’t been for the diet part of the regime. On the first week of the plan I’m only allowed to eat seven different foods, mostly blended.
These include the dreaded Power Juice made from kale, spinach, beetroot and apple. It is so disgusting I drink it over the sink in case my body rejects it (which happened on several occasions).
Then there is the Sweet Potato Corn Pudding ( one cooked sweet potato, one raw corn on the cob – blended together till smooth); the carrot parsnip puree (carrots and parsnips – blended); the blueberry and apple sauce (blended until smooth); the gazpacho (also blended until smooth) and protein soup ( surprisingly not blended).
Tracy says eat when you feel like it but I try to divide the foods as equally as possible into breakfast, lunch and dinner. Apart from the protein soup, which is carrots, celery, broccoli and chicken breast cooked in low-sodium stock, I don’t actually chew anything for a whole week.
This was excruciating. It took the best part of a day to make everything in preparation for the week and after all that I didn’t feel like I had any real food. I was starving.
But then with the onset of week two the diet only got harder and had me yearning for the good old days of pureed spinach. Breakfast is two eggs (boiled or poached) or turkey bacon with a small amount of fruit.
Lunch is a protein bar. Dinner is a small amount of protein and veg. For example, I could have half a chicken breast with a handful of spinach. I would go to bed so hungry that I could hardly sleep.
I feel faint on several occasions and in the middle of Oxford Street everything starts to black out. Thankfully, week three goes back to the blended foods-only phase.
Everything is grilled, steamed or poached. There seems to be a ban on starches in general. No bread, potatoes, pasta or rice. There are no fats, no dairy, no salt and no red meat.
Having completed the 30-Day Method I am currently on the 90-day plan. The results? Well, I’m no Gwynnie but since January I have lost a stone in weight and dropped from dress size 12 to 10. I am happier with my body than I have been for a long time.
Those are the positives.
On the downside I feel woozy and find it difficult to concentrate. At first I had loads of energy but now I’m always tired and am told I’m horribly grouchy to boot. My skin is terrible and my nails are flaking and weak. And – how can I put this – my system has become, shall we say, somewhat sluggish. Normally I’m as regular as clockwork. Not any more.
I am encouraged to weigh myself daily and measure my results with the ‘Tracy tape measure’ every ten days. At first this made me feel quite uncomfortable but now I’m fanatical about my daily weigh-in and refuse to eat or drink anything until I know my weight first.
Tracy makes no mention of the amount of calories or fat you are supposed to consume a day so I take my plan to Catherine Collins, principal dietician at St George’s Hospital, London, to get it analysed. The results are shocking.
She told me I had existed on less than 700 calories a day for the past two months – no wonder I felt terrible. Catherine was extremely concerned. ‘I see patients suffering with anorexia nervosa and now I’m reading their diet in pamphlet form,’ she says. ‘It’s immunosuppressant due to its lack of calcium, iron, carbohydrates, proteins and salt.
‘If you followed the regimen you would risk developing hyponatremia (low sodium levels in the blood). The diet is also very low in iron, which could lead to anaemia and problems with balance, muscle strength and exhaustion.
‘The lack of absorbable calcium (less than 300mg – the body needs 800mg a day) means you risk earlyonset osteoporosis and osteopenia too – something that Gwyneth has been diagnosed with.
What’s more, the protein levels are low – less than 1.7oz per day, which can be dangerous if prolonged.’Even the vitamins that are available cannot be absorbed since there is no fat present in the diet to act as an absorption vehicle, so they will just be excreted from the body.’
As part of the Metamorphosis plan you gain access to an internet chat room devoted to Tracy and her Method. It is filled with adoring fans sharing tips for weight loss and offering support. Many women on the Metamorphosis website are also concerned about the diet and opt to only follow the exercise element – something that Tracy opposes.
‘If you only follow the food plan partially or not at all I cannot promise results,’ she writes.
I went on the forum to voice concerns about the wisdom of the diet and was told sternly to ‘trust in Tracy Anderson’ and ‘believe in The Method’. I noticed my comments were later removed.
Dr Susan Jebb, head of Nutrition and Health Research at the Medical Research Council, was not surprised by my weight-loss results. ‘Of course you’re going to lose weight – you’re eating 700 calories a day,’ she says. ‘People who are not overweight shouldn’t go on these crash diets. They can be useful for patients who are very obese but not for someone like you.’
According to Dr Jebb, I should be consuming around 2,400 calories a day to maintain my weight when exercising as much as I am.
She explains: ‘A deficit of just 1,000 calories a day means you will lose 2lb a week. On this diet you would have a deficit of 1,700 calories a day.’ Dr Jebb went on to explain that there are guidelines for such low-calorie diets which mean you should be monitored by a health practitioner to make sure your heart and other major organs don’t suffer any consequences.
A sustained calorific intake at this level would mean a loss of nearly 4lb a week. And as Catherine Collins explains, it won’t be just fat that starts to disappear.
If you exercise at the rate the plan demands and eat less than 2.1oz of protein a day your body will then cannibalise your organs – your kidneys, liver and heart – to get the protein it needs,’ she says.
‘This is why anorexia sufferers can die of heart attacks. The low level of carbohydrates (only 1.6oz on some days) is well below the 2.4oz that an average woman would need if she were exercising.
‘This could also lead to a breakdown of the muscles, a deterioration of motor skills and a diminished organ size. It’s the worst thing to do when you’re exercising.’
Jo Doust, professor of physiology at the University of Brighton, says there’s nothing new or magical about Tracy Anderson’s exercises. He says: ‘She claims you can re-engineer your muscular structure and defy your genetics through her programme, but you just can’t do that. ‘You can develop your muscles but you can’t defy your genetics. Her exercises aren’t special – you could get a similar plan from any trainer in any gym.’
When I started the Tracy Anderson Method I was a massive fan and I wanted to tell everyone that I had found the holy grail of dieting. But now I see how wrong I was.
The exercises have worked for me so I’m going to keep going with them for as long as the novelty holds out but I have stopped the diet. For now I can only wonder at the stamina needed to get the body that Tracy’s method promises.
Representatives of Tracy Anderson did not respond to requests for a statement about Rebecca’s experience.
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SERVINGS PER TUB: 14 | RECOMMENDED DAILY SERVING: 2 SCOOPS
Tracy Anderson on Protein, Meal Replacement Bars, and Snack Time
What was the genesis for the line? What were you hoping to achieve?
World peace, a disease-free human population, a world of all-organic farming, every person on the globe having the freedom to dance in fields of flowers…
Do I think CLEAR bars and shakes are going to single-handedly bring world peace? Of course not. But I do believe that in giving people honest control over their bodies and health, we are taking a step in the right direction. Basically, I have been at this healing game for the past 17 years. When you have worked with as many people as I have—and you understand the barriers between their current condition and their potential to achieve their most connected self—you begin to understand the polarizing feeling that can be brought about by having the lives of “beautiful people” thrust into our faces. It can feel like an insurmountable hurdle, or that it’s not worth the effort because it will never be “enough.”
America is headed towards total obesity. It is both my mission and my responsibility to have every conversation that I need to have in order to pull everyone toward health. You can’t pretend that the big problems and roadblocks don’t exist. We have literally programmed our brains to think of Twinkies, Doritos, Oscar Mayer, and Coke as real food. Our brains are wired to crave everything that makes us obese—even if our metabolisms sometimes help us hide it on the scale, that junk is in us somewhere.
As a nation in general, we eat too much, we waste too much, and we escape into the lives of “celebrity culture” too much. When you ask what I am hoping to achieve…well, that’s a big question! I am hoping to catch every person who decides they want to kick toxic practices out of their lives and let them know that I have tools to connect them to their most important celebrity: themselves. We can’t all gather organic eggs from our beautiful chickens, pick herbs that have been brought up in a pesticide-free garden grown from pure love, source the wildest fish in the sea, and have it all sautéed to perfection in olive oil that costs more than our mortgage for each meal. We need on-the-go options to shut up our Nabisco-raised brains and our emotions that tell us at the end of a stressful work day: “You deserve the comfort of a Hamburger Helper and a cold beer.” Our comfort should be able to be made with healthier options. We shouldn’t have to rely on bars and shakes that are actually filled with cheap soy protein isolate and sugar alcohols. In a very crowded and clouded market for people who want to lose weight and inch themselves towards better health, I am throwing people a rope. I want them to start with the CLEAR bars and shakes and other gradual changes that work for them—and then join the #TAmily and start moving with me through streaming.
Is the idea that these are meal supplements, or replacements, or either/or? When is the best time for a CLEAR bar or shake?
They are meal replacements. We eat way too much. I was raised in Indiana, and my mom worked three jobs to put me through school. One of my best friend’s dad’s owned grocery stores and the other had a mom so cool she had a freaking Ding Dongs drawer. When Gwyneth first met me, I was so good at staying thin by the design of my workouts that my joy in London was finding a little market that was brave—or dumb—enough to sell American-made Pillsbury milk chocolate frosting and Oreos. I would dunk the Oreos IN the frosting in between training sessions with Gwyneth and Madonna. Yep, it’s safe to say I get it.
The best time for a CLEAR bar, in my opinion, is as your meal replacement at lunch. If you have an unhealthy amount of weight to lose, there is no such thing as a “snack”—you broke that bank a while ago.
If you have some weight to lose, my recommended routine goes like this:
Use the CLEAR shake in the morning with some organic produce, even if it’s just one or two things. Example: Vanilla protein powder with organic blueberries and spinach, and organic rice milk, water, and ice.
CLEAR protein bar.
Organic hard-boiled egg—I like to take out the yolk and mix it with a little mustard, Vegenaise, and dill relish and plop it back in the center.
Fish and veggies with a glass of wine. I use lemon and capers to add flavor.
You can maybe add half of an Alter Eco dark velvet chocolate bar in the afternoon. That’s a day on-the-go to successfully fight the fat you need to lose.
Any foolproof meals when you don’t have time to cook?
Grab Whole Foods tuna and mix it up in water, yellow mustard, and capers, then pile it on slices of a cucumber, skin and all. Eggs are easy, they take two seconds—and don’t be afraid of the yolks. I’m also a huge fan of my Philips Air Fryer. I will throw Applegate Farms gluten-free organic chicken nuggets and Cascadian Farms tater tots in the air fryer, along with some sliced zucchini and onions, and a have a meal I love in 12 minutes flat.
What are the best things to eat both before and after exercise?
If you exercise early in the morning, then you’re set with just water with a Nuun tablet or Sambucus syrup; or down an organic coffee with organic steamed whole milk (my style), and get on with it. After a workout: a smoothie.
The CLEAR bars and shakes pack a lot of protein. How much protein should we be eating, and what are the healthiest sources?
Don’t shoot the messenger, but we are “over-protein-ed” as a society at large. You are going to come to find that out. We are going to need our land and the nutrients it provides. That being said, we do need protein. I do one scoop of the protein powder in my shakes, and I’ll do a bar for a lunch/meal replacement on-the-go. One of our biggest challenges as a planet is the protection and health of our protein sources. Our nuts are moldy, and toxins, hormones, and poorly treated animals make our flesh-filled proteins much more damaging than a carefully crafted protein bar.
The CLEAR Dutch Chocolate Shake is made with collagen and designed to be a skin booster. How does eating collagen (as opposed to applying it topically via beauty products) affect skin?
Collagen is a structural protein—like with anything in the body, we aren’t good at mimicking that protein to be highly effective yet. We are lacking research in this area. I chose to put collagen in the bars based on some of the stronger studies to date, where subjects are actually feeling joint relief from collagen supplements. If the benefits were shown and felt there, then it was worth it to me to add it. We lose collagen as we age, so it was a better-safe-than-sorry choice.
We’re very excited for your food delivery program to come back. What kinds of meals are you planning on reintroducing?
All organic! That was why I pulled the original program. I feel that a home-delivery food program should be to us what a personal chef is to the “lifestyles of the rich and famous”—it’s about having well-conceived, highly nutritious, all-organic food prepared for you in a whole and healthful way. It is still a luxury item, but I care a lot about supporting all organic farmers. We need to stop denaturing what fuels us because we aren’t nourished on rocket fuel, we are nourished by nature. If those who can afford all-organic diets source it, then the prices will go down for everyone—and everyone deserves it.
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The godmother of dance cardio (and workout world lightning rod) Tracy Anderson already has the fitness studios, the DVDs, and the star-studded clientele like Jennifer Lopez and Gwyneth Paltrow (who’s also a business partner). Now she’s is launching a line of bars and shakes that will be available at everyone’s favorite I-went-in-for-one-thing-and-accidentally-spent-$200 mega-retailer.
Well+Good can exclusively report that starting this week, Anderson’s Clear line of organic protein bars and shake mixes will be sold at Target stores nationwide and online.
Photo: Tracy Anderson Clear
“I am thrilled to finally have bar and shake meal replacements on the big box retail shelf,” Anderson tells Well+Good. “We all lead busy lives and we need support to be all that we can be. While I completely believe in living a life full of whole foods, I also believe that we need healthier, easily accessible, and controlled options to lose and maintain weight,” a concern which Anderson gets asked about a lot.
The Clear bars come in three flavors—vanilla toffee crunch, chocolate mint, and chocolate—and the shake mix comes in Dutch chocolate and French vanilla. The products contain 14–15 grams of vegan pea protein per bar or shake, and 11–13 grams of fiber per bar (or 6 grams per shake). They’re made with natural sugars and are gluten-free and non-GMO. The Dutch chocolate shake mix contains collagen (a smoothie booster fave of the moment, particularly among celebs and beauty fanatics alike) and a B-vitamin complex for skin enhancement, and both shake flavors are also dairy-free.
The yay factor: The Clear shakes are far less expensive than the shakes Anderson currently sells on her own website, even though the ingredients are similar. (The Clear bars retail at $6.99 for a box of five bars, and the shakes are $29.99 per bottle.) Stock up before class?
If you’re a voracious label reader, you might notice ingredients like fiber syrup and the sweetener NuVous showing up—both have their defenders and detractors, so the jury’s out on those while we learn more.
And because fitting in time to cook is another issue that can derail a person’s healthy intentions (that and the take-out guy), Anderson plans to relaunch her national meal delivery program later this month. So, for those who want to eat like her, pretty soon she’ll have you covered from post-workout protein to three squares a day—plus a #TAmily meal on Sunday.
Inspired to go full dance cardio queen? Here’s how to dress for it.
Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle site, Goop — along with the actress’s personal trainer, Tracy Anderson — have come under fire after a nutritionist tore apart advice the trainer gave in a column, citing that it could be “extremely damaging.” Since then, opinions have been flaring on social media, prompting Goop and Anderson to clarify the statements.
In the original Goop story, Anderson’s asked an all-too-common (and all-too-Googled) question: How do we jump-start weight loss?
The fitness guru, who runs seven workout studios worldwide that follow The Tracy Anderson Method she created, recommended working out daily, going “very low carb,” and cutting out gluten entirely. “You are how you move, you are how you eat. Ideally, you want to be regular and strategic with the design of your body and your weight management all year,” she explained.
Later on, Anderson shared a meal plan for people who’ve reached an unhealthy weight and are looking to drop pounds quickly. “If you have weight to lose, you can effectively do a fourteen-pound weight loss in four weeks,” she said. “This requires focus and physical, mental, and emotional willpower.”
These statements struck nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert, who told The Independent she was “in complete shock that this article has been published, as this has the potential to harm a lot of relationships with food.” She warned that exercising daily, as Anderson suggests, may not give your body time to recover, and that eliminating gluten shouldn’t be seen as a magic bullet to lasting weight loss.
“It is not sensible to eliminate whole food groups or make drastic dietary changes which are not sustainable — you may end up deficient in micronutrients and lacking important dietary diversity which aid gut bacteria,” Lambert said.
Though Anderson’s advice for Goop was originally published months ago, at the start of summer, The Independent story prompted a wave of tweets from people who felt Anderson’s advice was “science-free bunk” and “promote anorexia lite,” among other complaints.
— Timothy Caulfield (@CaulfieldTim) December 7, 2017
GOOP and Tracy Anderson promote anorexia lite for fast weight loss https://t.co/G2hc6J9WIf pic.twitter.com/t6giORuTo5
— Jennifer Gunter (@DrJenGunter) June 28, 2017
Anderson and a spokesperson for Goop responded to these accusations, clarifying the article’s — and the trainer’s — intent with the advice.
“Over the course of her 20-year career, Tracy has consistently practiced owning a 1-2 lb. weight loss per week when someone has unhealthy weight to lose. Owning a 1-2 lb. weight loss per week is different than simply dropping 1-2 lbs. per week, which causes people to hold onto unhealthy weight,” Anderson’s spokesperson told E! News. “Of the 14 lbs. that someone could effectively lose in a month — if they have excess weight on them — the goal is to own 8 lbs. of that, which is aligned with Tracy’s practice of not living on extreme diets.”
Similarly, a representative for Goop told E! that the brand doesn’t promote weight loss, “only healthy eating.” (Note: The headline of the story is “Tracy Anderson On How To Lose Weight Fast,” though the first paragraph details how often people ask Anderson to answer diet-related questions.)
“We would never advocate for an unhealthy diet or extreme routine,” the Goop spokesperson explained. “As Tracy said in the interview, you should make choices based on what is best for your individual body.”
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Candace Braun Davison Deputy Editor Candace Braun Davison writes, edits, and produces lifestyle content that ranges from celebrity features to roll-up-your-sleeves DIYs, all while relentlessly pursuing the noblest of causes: the quest for the world’s best chocolate chip cookie.