Many of our favorite female Hollywood stars have something in common: they are paid well to be perpetually slim and trim. While some celebrities go to dramatic and often unhealthy lengths to maintain those million-dollar figures, most A-list stars maintain their sizes the old fashioned way - through nutritious foods and regular exercise. Here are five of our favorite celebrity diet secrets that really work!
1. EXERCISE IS ABOUT QUALITY.
Taking a long, leisurely stroll around the neighborhood every night is nice, but it is not going to knock 10 or 20 pounds off your frame. You have to raise your heart rate for 20 to 30 minutes each day to shed the fat! A trainer at your local gym can calculate your target heart rate for you, usually at no charge. Celebs favor running, Pilates and yoga to stay trim and toned. Bonus tip: exercising in the morning keeps your metabolism raised for the rest of the day, meaning your body can burn more calories with no more effort than if you had waited until later for your workout.
2. REACH FOR NUTRIENT-RICH FRUITS AND VEGGIES.
These major components of the food pyramid offer necessary vitamins and minerals in fewer calories than other foods. To get the most bang for your calorie "buck," swap empty-calorie items and reach for foods and beverages that are rich in beneficial nutrients. A study from the University of Florida shows that pink grapefruit juice provides more nutrients per calorie than many other commonly consumed 100 percent fruit juices, including apple, grape, pineapple and prune. So, think "pink" when you drink!
3. LOAD UP ON FIBER.
Fiber-rich foods, including fruits and vegetables, help to move things through your digestive system and can help make you feel full longer. Many stars favor asparagus, which may have natural diuretic effects, before red carpet events. Fruits and vegetables should be eaten as close to their natural state as possible: raw or lightly steamed, with no sauce.
4. BAN WHITES.
While ridding your diet of all carbohydrates is extreme, you should favor whole grains such as whole wheat flour, brown rice and oatmeal over "white" or refined carbs such as white flour, white rice, white potatoes and refined cereals. Whole grains are better for your body, and the fiber will help keep you feeling fuller, longer.
5. PRACTICE PORTION CONTROL.
Most of us eat portions that are far beyond what a serving should be. Many stars go so far as to measure each portion as a means of controlling their calorie intake. A proper serving of meat is the size of a deck of cards; fruit and vegetables, the size of your fist; steamed brown rice, the size of a cupcake wrapper; and pasta, the size of a scoop of ice cream. Stars are aware that portion control translates to fewer calories, and fewer calories mean a slimmer look on the red carpet!