With the nominations in, the countdown has started for stars to get their bods ready for the red carpet. What are their celeb nutritionists and trainers telling them? For many of them, it’s all about 3 things: Protein, Portion Control,and Power Foods.
Even if you’ll be sitting on the couch instead of standing on the red carpet, these are strategies anyone can easily use to jumpstart their 2011 diet and slim down after all that holiday overeating and drinking. Delicious, satisfying and easy - what’s not to love?
Secret #1: Protein
The reason: Protein packs staying power; studies suggest that high protein foods, even at the same number of calories, have greater staying power than carbs or even fat, keeping you full and energized longer. Protein also helps preserve lean muscle tissue that not only looks great (think of that toned arms look), but your lean muscle tissue is your metabolic furnace, keeping your metabolism revved up.
What to do: Include protein in all your meals and snacks. Aim for 50-70 grams daily, or about 12-15% of total calories
What kinds? Here are some star staples that are a high nutrient, low calorie package:
- Protein rich breakfast: Greek Yogurt: 1 cup = 21 grams protein (preferably organic)
- Nuts: 1 oz. of almonds or pistachios= 6 grams of protein
- 1 cup soybeans/edamame: 22 grams protein
- 1 cup lentils in salad/soup: 18 grams of protein
- Salmon (3 ounces): 23 grams of protein (preferably wild Alaskan)
Secret #2: Perfect Portions
The reason: We eat with our EYES as much as with our stomachs, and no one wants to feel deprived, stars included.Cornell University’s Mindless Eating Lab has done some fun and fantastic research on this, and their findings are consistent: both our bodies AND our brains fight against deprivation - and visual cues are a key part of feeling satisfied.
What to do: Aim for 350-450 calorie meals and 100-150 calorie snacks. Avoid Portion Distortion: Remember big plates, big spoons, big cups = bigger servings and more calories.
The trick? Research suggests you can easily consume 20-30% less without even missing it, simply by serving on smaller plates, glasses and bowls. While stars may have personal chefs and meal delivery services to do this for them, you can easily do this at home:
- Serve breakfast, lunch and dinner on your salad plates or small soup bowls, not your large dishware. Your eyes and brain will be happier with smaller portions.
- Did you know you’ll drink 25-30% MORE out of a short wide juice glass than a tall skinny one? Drink from tall, skinny glasses.
- Don’t have a private chef? Hand it Over: Your palm, fist & thumb have all the sizes you need for perfect portions.
Secret #3: Power Foods
The reason: Calorie for calorie, these foods provide more nutrients than any food on the planet - which is critical to ensure you maintain a gorgeous glow from the inside out. They also help your body’s immune system stay primed and your energy up no matter how jam packed your schedule.
What to do: The best power-foods are plants that are loaded with color. Aim for 2 cups of brightly colored fruit and 3 or more cups of dark colored vegetables daily.
Some favorites? Here are a few of my favorite power foods that are a staple in many celeb meal plans:
- Cantaloupe cubes: Foods with high volume, low calorie are your best friends for slimming down. Cantaloupe fits the bill: it’s loaded with water and fiber, and 2 cups is only 100 calories. Bonus? It’s a fantastic food for your immune system, loaded with beta carotene and vitamin C.
- Avocados: Bite for bite, each has nearly 20 vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that keep you healthy, plus it’s loaded with monounsaturated fats that keep your skin glowing. According to some research, they also selectively blast belly fat.
- Kale: One of nature’s most potent health foods on the planet, packed with vitamin C, iron, and bone-building vitamin K. Contains 7-times the beta carotene of broccoli, and 2 cups has 3 grams fiber and 4 g protein.
Now, if we can just get them to include green (eco friendly) treats in all the Green Rooms, I’d really be happy!