By Hayley Krischer
Don’t you just love celebrities -- those perfect specimens who lose their baby weight in a matter of weeks and then show off their taut tummies on a beach in Ibiza? We stress ourselves out trying to emulate the same impossible feat, but I’m here to tell you that no matter how much you work out, you’re never going to look like them. You can get close, though, if you try. Start here with a few tips, and you’ll look Gwyneth Paltrow-esque in your skinny jeans in no time.
1. Splurge Daily
Paltrow's trainer and business partner, Tracy Anderson, gives all of us permission to not starve ourselves (um, thank you?). "Pick the meal that you enjoy the most, and let that be your one calorie splurge for that day,” says Anderson. She suggests cutting back on the other two meals with protein shakes or an energy bar (she happens to love Bliss Bar Superfood Energy Bars).
2. Snack Between Meals
You know how your mom used to be all, “Don't snack, or you’ll ruin your appetite!” And you were all, “But I’m so hungry!” Well, now you can tell your mom that Harley Pasternak -- trainer to Lady Gaga, Kanye West and Katy Perry and author of the Five Factor Diet -- says low-fat protein snacking is totally fine. Edamame and nonfat Greek yogurt with frozen berries are his favorite options. And in his book, he mentions salmon sashimi with plums and fresh figs with balsamic cream sauce. Yum.
3. Start Stripping
Apparently, actress Amy Adams hates the treadmill so much that she decided to go all stripper-pants on us to lose her baby weight. Yes, the woman known for her sweet and innocent roles (Enchanted; The Muppets) is down with pole dancing. And according to my insider sources (ahem, tabloids), Emma Watson, Cindy Crawford and Kate Hudson also named pole dancing as an integral part of their workouts. (Hudson reportedly even installed a pole in her bathroom. Dancing by the toilet sounds odd, but whatever works.)
4. Push Your Body In Shifts
Running circles around the track makes you feel good, right? “Woo-hoo, I’m burning the carbs!” Well, Joe Dowdell, president of NYC-based Peak Performance Strength and Conditioning Center (trainer to Anne Hathaway and Claire Danes), says that’s not enough: He would also like you be, ugh, methodical about it. The fitness guru says to push your body at the beginning of your workout, only resting 20 to 30 seconds between sets. Toward the end of your workout -- you know, that period when you feel like you’re about to puke -- take more time resting between sets (up to a minute).
5. Sign Up For A Delivery Service
Delivery-to-your-doorstep meals are nothing new, but according to Paula Abdul, Olivia Munn and Shenae Grimes, The Fresh Diet meals are da bomb. The company's Web site offers all sorts of success stories: Us Weekly called it the “best diet of 2011” and Self gave it a gold star. The menus look decent enough (e.g., 3 meals, 2 snacks and 2 sides -- including pesto couscous-stuffed tomatoes), but what got us was the no cleanup, no cooking part. Yes, it’s a little pricey ($44.99 a day for the 31-Day Total Transformation), but have you seen Olivia Munn? Case closed.
6. Don’t Ever Stop Working Out, Ever
When all else fails, work out, work out and work out some more. At least that’s what Jennifer Aniston tells InStyle. She works out 5 to 6 days a week. Spinning. Cardio. Yoga. Pilates. And you think she orders those fattening late-night room service runs during press junkets? Uh, no. "I take eight-pound weights with me whenever I’m staying in a hotel," she says. "It’s always good to do arm exercises when you’re watching television or talking on the phone. I also love to stretch before I go to bed, and usually throw in a couple of sit-ups." And this, my darlings, is why Jennifer Aniston looks like Jennifer Aniston.
7. Don’t Deprive Yourself
Since TV host Kelly Ripa is so thin, it’s hard to believe she doesn’t believe in diets. Yet this is what she told Self: "I don't diet, because I feel moderation is key. My guilty pleasure is french fries.” Apparently celebs have all the answers. “Kelly is spot-on by not giving herself guilt trips," says Ashley Koff, RD, of Los Angeles. In fact, Dr. Oz created a whole diet around eating what you love, based on numerous studies that show you’ll spontaneously combust if you don’t eat at least one french fry. Really! Now this is the kind of diet advice we like.