Every Christmas is accompanied by at least one or two bad gifts…but perhaps the worst gift is the extra weight that seems to stick around way longer than any hideous sweater or ugly ceramic sculpture. It’s hard enough to find a half hour to return a bad gift to the store, but for some reason, it can take months to lose the extra pounds that you added in only a few hours of eating. What’s a busy parent, professional or student to do? As my post-holiday gift to you, I’ve taken a look at how celebrities have lost weight successfully, and converted these plans into cheap (and entirely achievable!) weight loss strategies. Here are some of my favorites:
Until now, you may have been fine with letting your dog take care of his business in the backyard. But Fido will be happier, and you’ll be lighter, if you get out for a bit of exercise. You’ve probably seen dozens of pictures of stars walking their dogs – from Jennifer Aniston to Sarah Michelle Gellar to Jessica Biel, celebrities are constantly taking time from their busy lives to walk their own dogs. And so can you.
Of course, if you don’t have a dog, you can still use walking as a free way to lose weight. Christina Aguilera claims that walking for 40 minutes on the treadmill regularly helped her lose weight after baby Max was born in 2008. And, if there’s no treadmill available, your neighborhood will provide you with a good exercise and a change of scenery.
Dance like Natalie Portman
Everyone’s been buzzing about how the already petite actress lost even more weight for her role in the acclaimed film The Black Swan. Her secret? Intense dance practice. While you may not be able to train for hours a day as Natalie did (nor would you want to), you can definitely make some progress by investing in a dance-workout video and making an effort to follow it through at least once (or twice) a day. One great thing about using dance as a means of exercise is that it’s relatively low-impact, which means that your body should remain protected from other exercise-related injuries.
Snack frequently like Hilary Duff
In an attempt to lose weight for her wedding, Hilary duff changed her eating habits so that she ate small, healthy snacks between meals to stave off cravings. It’s rather trite to suggest reaching for carrot sticks instead of a chocolate bar, and since I’m a realist, I’ll skip the cliché. Hilary pulled off regular snacking by stocking up on delicious, low-effort snacks such as Greek yogurt or hummus. A handful of almonds can also provide a healthy burst of energy and help you feel full. Of course, if you want to keep a stack of chopped veggies on hand, you’ll reduce the cost of your diet and you may increase the rate of your weight loss. And, they’ll go great with the hummus.
Drink Like Padma Lakshmi
This culinary genius is no stranger to the kitchen, but she credits a healthy drinking attitude for hastening her weight loss after the birth of her daughter earlier this year. Not only is water an extremely affordably drink, but Lakshmi suggests flavoring it to reduce the boredom. Among her favorites are lemon slices, orange blossoms and jasmine flowers, but the options are endless. Try mint leaves, rosemary twigs or apple slices to add a refreshing twist to any pitcher of plain water, and drink the pounds away.
Cook Like Brooke Burke
You don’t need to be a chef to cook healthy, tasty and affordable dishes. Salads and sandwiches (with low-calorie, whole wheat bread) are some of the best diet staples and they require no advance planning or lengthy cooking times. Brooke recommends a whole wheat pita stuffed with chicken, lettuce, tomato and cucumber. For added flavor, add some mustard, which serves as a tangy low-calorie dressing. Prepare a scoop of tuna (with low-fat mayo) on a bed of lettuce, or a chicken salad made from grilled chicken and grilled vegetables. If you rotate the seasonings regularly you won’t get bored, and you’ll always have something healthy to enjoy.
The most important thing to remember when trying to lose the holiday weight is that most celebrities have to work hard to maintain their figure (or to reclaim it after they’ve gained weight) – if they can do it, you can too. Good luck!