You see their faces everywhere, peering from the jackets of their latest bestsellers or DVDs and dispensing weight-loss advice on TV talk- and self-help shows. They star on popular fitness programs like Bravo’s "Thintervention" and NBC's "Biggest Loser", cheering on participants to greater physical achievements -- and lower weights. Now, these top fitness and weight-loss celebrities are here to help you. Read on for the number one, never-fail tips each of these notable diet experts lives by.
"Don't diet to lose weight," the two-time Golden Glove winner, certified trainer and "Biggest Loser" fitness expert says. "When you tell yourself you're on a diet, you're going to end up cracking and bingeing. It's just a bad cycle. I believe in healthy living and portion control. A lot of people say they don't know what healthy living is, so just do research. It's really not that hard. Go online, figure out what a balanced diet is, what lean protein is or how many calories there are in certain foods. People literally have no idea, and it's crazy how many calories are in what they put into their bodies." <em>--Fitness fighter Cara Castronuova</em>
Cut The White Stuff
"When you start a low-carb diet, learn to recognize food cravings for what they are -- withdrawal from carbohydrates," says the nutrition expert and author of nine books including the bestsellers "Living Low Carb" and "The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth". "You need to know this because to lose weight, you need to cut out the white stuff -- the sugar and the white processed carbohydrates -- and eat more protein and fat. But you'll experience cravings exactly the same as you would cravings when you give up cigarettes. It takes a few days for your body to get accustomed to not getting those processed white carbohydrates, but once you do, you'll be over the hump." <em>--Rogue Nutritionist Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., C.N.S.</em> <em>Photo from <a href="http://www.amazon.com/The-150-Healthiest-Foods-Earth/dp/1592332285/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1345135044&sr=8-5&keywords=Jonny+Bowden" target="_hplink">Amazon.com</a></em>
"If you snooze, you lose weight," the celebrity fitness coach and author of the New York Times bestseller "The Petite Advantage Diet" says. "If you are sleep deprived, you are going to be obese. Your hormones are affected by sleep. The most important one is leptin, the hormone that says, 'I'm feeling full.' The minute you are sleep deprived, your leptin levels go down. Ghrelin is the hormone that says 'feed me.' When you're sleep-deprived, your ghrelin levels go up. But people wear sleep deprivation like a badge of honor. They think it's cool, and they don't even know what it's like to be awake and lean. New moms are the worst culprits -- they say, 'My baby comes first,' but when you are sleep deprived, you are not making great decisions." <em>--Cardio-free trainer Jim Karas</em>
Find Your Motivation
"The most important thing you need to do is determine the reason why you want to lose weight," Platkin says. "Most people aren't connected to this reason, so when they're deciding between the apple and the donut, if it's on taste, the donut will win every time. We make several hundred micro decisions every day, and if you really want to choose health, there are ways to do it, now more than ever. But you won't do it if you are losing weight because someone else, like your husband or wife, thinks you should. You have to decide this personally, for yourself." <em>--Diet Detective Charles Platkin, Ph.D., M.P.H.</em>
Skip Processed Foods
"To lose weight, eat foods in their natural form and stay away from the processed 'diet' ones," the former "Biggest Loser" trainer and creator of the Fast Track to Weight Loss program. "Of course, there are exceptions for every rule, but 99 percent of foods that are fat-free or carb-free or sugar-free have replaced these substances with chemicals that are probably doing more harm than the fat, carbs or sugar would have. I encourage people to grab an apple and some almonds. And, when you do eat carbs, focus on eating the starchy ones early in the day, and protein and vegetables at night. This gives your body time to burn off the starchy carbs." <em>--Fast-track trainer Kim Lyons</em>
Find An Exercise That Works For You
"Don't limit yourself by doing a certain type of exercise just because you've seen a trainer do it," says the celebrity personal trainer. "That method is theirs, and it doesn't mean it will work for you. Find a sport you like and then train for it. Even if you start small, you can develop into greatness if you like what you are doing. For instance, if you like to play basketball and you train like a basketball player in the gym, you'll improve agility, speed and explosiveness that translate to the game when you play it with your friends -- you'll feel the difference and love it. And you'll get fit and lean in the process." <em>--Bodybuilder Joe DiAngelo</em>
Train With Intensity
"It's not how long you train, it's how strong," says the author of This is Why You're Fat (and How to Get Thin Forever) and 10 Pounds in 10 Days, and creator of numerous expert fitness DVDs. "Fifteen minutes of high intensity interval cardio is more effective than doing a hour on the elliptical or treadmill and reading a magazine. The best way to do this is a new method called cardio acceleration. This means adding one or two minutes of aerobic exercise between intervals of resistance training and switching back and forth -- you're actually burning more calories than you would if you were jogging on a treadmill. To me, this is a fantastic form of exercise, and a great way to do it is by jumping rope." <em>--X-Treme workout trainer Jackie Warner</em>
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