Last updated: Apr 17, 2009
Could swearing off that extra salt keep the pounds off? We tapped the nations leading diet gurus for the advice they spill at cocktail parties—the things they know really make the pounds melt away.


Jump-start the day with fruit
“I always have a piece of fruit in the morning. It gets me into the mind-set that today will be a healthy-eating day, whereas if I start the day with just a bagel or a muffin Im inclined to backslide and eat more junk.
I change it up: some berries in my cereal one day; a banana-coconut-and-pineapple smoothie the next; or an apple with a slice of whole wheat toast and almond butter.” — Rory Freedman, co-author of Skinny Bitch

Get milk!
“Dairy gets a really bad rap in Hollywood. A lot of my clients have completely cut it out, but the reality is research shows three to four servings of low-fat dairy have been linked to weight loss, especially around the abdomen. Once they add it back in, they start losing weight.”
Jackie Keller, a certified Wellness and Nutrition Expert who has worked with Angelina Jolie and Charlize Theron

Eat carbs before sundown
“I stock up on carbs at breakfast. So many people try to cut out carbs completely, and then by 3 p.m. of the first day of their diet they have a headache, theyre cranky, and have so little energy they cant work or exercise. I tell clients like J Lo to start with a high-carb breakfast (fruit with oatmeal, for example) and then gradually taper down during the day.

"Some other good choices are brown rice, sweet potatoes, and sourdough bread. As the sun sets, so should your carb intake—by dinner, youre having only four to six ounces of lean protein like chicken or fish and some steamed vegetables.”
Gunnar Peterson, a Los Angeles celebrity trainer who has worked with Jennifer Lopez and Penelope Cruz, and the author of The Workout: Core Secrets from Hollywoods #1 Trainer

Stand to boost calorie burn
“I stand when doing weight training. It forces your body to stabilize, so you work harder and burn more calories. It strengthens core muscles, too, as well as improves your balance and posture.”—Patrick Murphy, a Los Angeles trainer who has worked with Eva Longoria


Hop, skip & jump
“Instead of spending an hour indoors on the elliptical, I take my workout outdoors, where I alternate running, skipping, and galloping—a mix of movement that forces your body to use all sorts of rotations. If you look at dancers and athletes, youll see that theyre constantly moving their bodies in different ways, which helps them stay strong and slim.”—Tracy Anderson, a trainer who works with Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow



Give yourself a curfew
“Go to bed around 10 and no later than 11. The later youre up, the more likely youll overeat.”
Pam Peeke MD, MPH, Discovery Health TVs chief medical correspondent, author of Body for Life for Women, and assistant professor of medicine at the University of Maryland

Gross yourself out
“Whenever I have a craving for a certain food—say, chocolate—I instantly force myself to think of a big bowl of food I have a repulsion for. then I imagine eating the two together, concentrating on the texture and the taste. It works to control the craving every time.”
Paul McKenna, PhD, author of I Can Make You Thin

Walk more, burn more
“I recommend just trying to walk a bit more. if you add in an extra mile to your day-to-day activities (about 2,000 steps) youre burning about a 100 extra calories each day.”
James Hill, PhD, director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of Colorado and co-author of The Step Diet: Count Steps, Not Calories, To Lose Weight and Keep It Off Forever

Lose seven pounds…without dieting
“I tell my clients to watch their sodium intake. If you eat a lot of salt, your body holds onto water, so you can easily have an extra five to seven pounds of pure fluid retention. Unfortunately, sodiums found in even the so-called healthy frozen foods or soups, so check labels carefully when shopping.

"Ideally, these foods should have just 200 to 400 milligrams of sodium per serving. Once clients cut back on salt, they lose that soft, bloated appearance and start to look more lean and defined—even if they havent made any other changes to their diet or workout routines.”
Patrick Murphy, an L.A.–based celebrity trainer

Have an amazing race
“I recommend the 30-30 workout: an intense 30-minute regimen that involves six different activities five times (for a total of 30 exercises). Pick six different exercises that work large-muscle groups—say, push-ups, squats, bent-over rows, crunches, walking lunges, and overhead presses.

"Then do each move for 30 seconds, going from one to another with 30 seconds of rest in between. It gets your heart rate up, so it offers all the calorie-burning benefits of cardio. But because youre also doing weight training, your body will continue to burn calories even after the workout. I have clients start with this once or twice a week, slowly working their way up to three or four times.”
Jason Walsh, a Los Angeles celebrity fitness trainer who has worked with Jessica Biel and Sophia Bush

Get more sleep
“One of the first questions I ask clients like Tia Carrere is how much theyre sleeping. There are some really dramatic studies out there that link not getting enough sleep to obesity. Were just beginning to realize that the quality and quantity of our sleep affects our appetite in ways we never dreamed it did.

"When you are sleep-deprived, your body produces low levels of leptin and high levels of ghrelin, two hormones that affect how full you feel. I often find that once clients start getting seven to eight hours of sleep a night, theyre much less likely to overeat and the pounds just come off.”
Jackie Keller, an L.A.–based celebrity trainer