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. “[It] 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 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 UK 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, [I tell myself] ‘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.