Best Diets That Work for Us

The January 10 Us Weekly is their annual “Diets That Work” issue. The cover story is an 8-page photo spread of semi-naked Hollywood actresses that promises to reveal the “Secrets of Sexy Star Bodies.”

As we did for the special issue of People, we’ve summarized these “secrets” in a table, below, in the order in which they appear in Us Weekly starting on page 49 of the magazine.

First of all, there are only two celebrities featured this year that were also featured last year, Jennifer Aniston and Carrie Underwood. However this year Us Weekly gives us less information about Ms. Aniston’s diet and it’s not even consistent with what they reported last year. The information on Carrie Underwood is pretty much the same from 2010-2011.

One of things that really stands out about the stars’ fitness regimens is that they spend many hours per week (in some cases several hours per day) on training and often with the help of a personal trainer.

There were a number of unusual dietary practices that also stand out. For example, since Olivia Wilde is a vegan who avoids carboydrates, dairy and meat, what exactly is left that she can eat? Pure vegetable oil? The article doesn’t say.

Jenny McCarthy reported eats “Montel Williams’ vegetable soup.” What the heck is that? We looked into this and it turns out the Mr. Williams is a spokesperson for the “Health Master Blender” As Seen on TV. (It’s not known whether anyone’s tried Montel’s medical marijuana in the soup.)

Kendra Wilkinson-Baskett reportedly uses a non-prescription, “fat-burning” dietary supplement. It’s main ingredient is CLA or conjugated linoleic acid, a substance that has been shown to reduce body fat in laboratory animals. There are currently 18 clinical research trials in humans studying possible effects of CLA in health and disease.

Name Age Diet Exercise Advice
Carrie Underwood 27 Vegetarian, doesn’t eat out circuit training with pro Tony Greco, hikes, Krav Maga “Keep a food journal!”
Jennifer Aniston 41 former “Zone devotee” treadmill/stairmaster up to 2 hours per session, yoga with pro Mandy Ingber “I do some cardio for at least 20 minutes a day. Even that short burst makes a difference.”
Halle Berry 44 salads, lean protein 30-min cardio and circuit training 4 time a day “If I stick to exercising every day and put the right things in my mouth, then my diabetes stays in check.”
Denise Richards 39 carries around a small cooler full of snacks Pilates and DWTS pro Louis Van Amstel cardio dance class “I feel more fit than I did in my twenties.”
Jennifer Lopez 41 portion control, limits bread, sugar and alcohol Tracy Anderson’s 90-min dance cardio and muscle workouts 5 days a week there are no shortcuts to a bangin’ bod
Olivia Wilde 26 vegan, stays away from carbs, meat, dairy yoga, spinning, Bar Method, walking dancing “Any woman in a tight rubber suit should stop eating carbs!”
Jenny McCarthy 38 former “Weight Watchers devotee”, now Montel Williams vegetable soup Bikram yoga 3 times a week in her garage “I have five space heaters from Target and five humidifiers in there!”
Ali Fedotowsky 26 5 mini-meals a day, whey protein shakes, Weight Watchers Smart Ones training for a half marathon “I have a year to train, so no excuse to run 12-minute miles.”
Jennifer Hudson 29 Weight Watchers 25-min cardio and circuit workouts 5 days a week with pro Harley Pasternak “I’m so passionate about it.”
Kendra Baskett 25 Revolution Abdominal Cuts fat-burning supplement, salad and fruit “amped up” her fitness while filming her own “Be a Knockout with Kendra” DVD with pro Nicky Hollander “You can’t get a salad just to eat the bacon!”
Sara Rue 31 Jenny Craig an hour of cardio 5 times a week, weight training with pro Christopher Ross Lane yo-yo dieting and gaining the weight back “made me feel defeated.”

Will any of these diets and exercise plans work for you? Maybe, if you’re born with a certain body type, your livelihood depends on your appearance, you’re younger than about 40, you are wealthy enough to afford personal trainers and/or chefs, and you have enough spare time to work out for 60 to 90 minutes per day, 5 to 7 days per week.

Today’s post was sponsored by

Picture your Diet

Michele R. Berman, M.D. was Clinical Director of The Pediatric Center, a private practice on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. from 1988-2000, and was named Outstanding Washington Physician by Washingtonian Magazine in 1999. She was a medical internet pioneer having established one of the first medical practice websites in 1997. Dr. Berman also authored a monthly column for Washington Parent Magazine.

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