This Sunday marks the granddaddy of awards shows: the Academy Awards. I relish this time of year, tuning into red carpet coverage, discovering which designers stars are sporting, and witnessing behind-the-scenes tweets as stars glam up. Many people wonder just what celebs do to fit into their body-hugging dresses, so I asked my esteemed nutrition colleagues to learn how they get their A-list clientele in tip-top shape so you can do the same for your big night.
First, it’s important to note that every expert I interviewed stressed how almost all of their clients work with them for long-term health and weight-loss goals—not just for a quick fix two weeks prior.
For those gotta-look-great-fast fixes, though, Beverly Hills-based celebrity dietitian Ashley Koff, R.D., who bears a client list including model and actress Molly Sims and Bones star Emily Deschanel, advises, “Be realistic. The goal doesn’t have to be losing 10 pounds, but you can look as if you’ve lost a few pounds by getting extra sleep and fitting in all of your workouts.”
I can testify to getting extra sleep paired with adequate hydration. Upon waking, I see instant results of fine lines concealed and undereyes smoothed and plumped.
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For the jet set, Koff recommends coconut water for hydrating or even a liquid diet the days right before and after traveling, which she says allows the body to relax and prevents bloating. Steering clear of high-sodium foods likely to cause water retention, such as many canned soups, is also key.
Salt isn’t the only culprit when it comes to bloat. Scott Keppel, a certified fitness coach and owner of Scott’s Training Systems, specializes in training women for pageants and has coached models prepping for Gucci and Nike photo shoots and magazine covers, as well as a reality TV star for VH1’s Rock of Love. Through years of experience, he’s gleaned these tricks for helping clients fine-tune one to two weeks prior to the big day:
1. Cut out gas-producing vegetables, like broccoli and cauliflower, to reduce the dreaded ballooning.
2. Spit out the gum. In his world it is believed that gum chewing can trick the body into thinking it is eating, producing the necessary chemicals to break down food. However, in the absence of food, this acid can build up and eventually cause difficulty with digestion.
3. Reduce excessive amounts of carbs since 1 gram of carbohydrate can hold onto to 4 to 5 grams of water.
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4. Incorporate foods with diuretic properties, which help rid the body of excess water, such as asparagus and beets.
5. People who have a harder time digesting red meat and chicken should reduce consumption during this time. White fish, on the other hand, seems to be well tolerated and easy to digest.
6. Eliminate protein shakes due to concentrated amounts of whey and additives, which can cause bloating.
Michelle Dudash is a registered dietitian, Cordon Bleu-Certified chef, and author of the cookbook Clean Eating for Busy Families. As a food writer, healthy recipe developer, television personality, and eating coach, she has spread her message to millions of people. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook and her blog