To learn how celebrities stay healthy, just watch your Facebook newsfeed.
Comedienne Amy Schumer revealed the weight-loss plan for her new movie, Trainwreck: “hunger.” Apparently, it worked. “I’m like 160 pounds right now and I can catch a d*** whenever I want, and that’s the truth,” she said to wild applause, reported The Huffington Post.
Okay, Schumer went for the big laugh—and brought down the house. But what are celebrities, politicians and CEOs really doing to stay healthy?
Beyoncé launched her 22 Days Nutrition program (created with her personal trainer, LivingHealthy expert Marco Borges)—an entirely plant-based vegan diet, sans meat and dairy—available to anyone via home delivery. Then a story hit the Daily Mail that she’s only a part-time vegan and does eat meat.
Within days, Miley Cyrus was trending with her own veganism headlines, reportedly because of an animal rights stand rather than a nutrition-based one.
We’ve also seen comedian Bill Maher cycling around Amsterdam. And although Secretary of State John Kerry recently suffered an accident while cycling in France, we think it’s pretty impressive that he regularly does intensive Tour de France-style cycling at age 71.
Those are just the headlines! There’s plenty more happening behind the scenes.
Another passionate cyclist is Frits van Paasschen, CEO of Starwood Hotels & Resorts. Plus, he’s an Ironman triathlete, known for doing charity bike rides, giving interviews while cycling and holding meetings while jogging.
The “Father of Aerobics,” Kenneth Cooper, MD, is 84 years old and still works 50- to 60-hour weeks at The Cooper Institute in Dallas, which he founded in 1970. “If I had not embraced this concept of aerobics 45 years ago, I am convinced I would not be here today,” he says. “I’ve jogged 30,000 miles over my lifetime. Stopped in 2004 when I broke my leg skiing in Colorado.” Today, he walks five days a week. Plus, he heads to the gym every evening after work for a strength training circuit. “It’s how I get rid of the stress,” he says. “I sleep better.” According to Cooper, cross-country skiing, swimming, jogging, walking and cycling are the best aerobics. They all work the cardiovascular system, adding years to your life.
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Game of Thrones’ Jaime Lannister) uses gym workouts to build strength. But for cardio, he’s outside having fun: mountain biking, cross-country skiing and paddleboarding.
Denzel Washington is big on boxing—going 10 rounds, five times per week. Michelle Obama (with those toned arms) is also into boxing, lifting weights and jumping rope. And Schumer likes to find a boxing teacher to work with her during her comedic circuit.
Jennifer Aniston is a boxing enthusiast as well, and also logs in time on a treadmill, spin bike and elliptical machine. Well known for her commitment to Pilates and yoga, Aniston also keeps hand weights handy—to do arm exercises in front of the TV.
Jennifer Lopez keeps her body svelte by doing it all: biking, running, boxing and the StairMaster. She mixes it up to maximize her metabolism boost and works with a trainer two or three times weekly, where she focuses on complex squats and lunges that burn (and even shift!) fat.
You want bodies like theirs? Hire a personal assistant, because those workouts take hours, says Pete McCall, MS, a fitness trainer in San Diego. “Besides, most people just need to get active,” McCall explains. “Get up from your desk and move, walk around, several times a day. Once you’ve got that habit, then we can talk about an exercise program.”
When your body sits too long, it stops producing the enzyme lipoprotein lipase, which helps metabolism burn fat for fuel. “That’s why activity trackers like Fitbit are so great, because they can prompt you to get up and move,” says McCall, who is certified by the American Council on Exercise.
Craig Esrael, CEO of First South Financial, gets up at 3:30 every morning to work out. He runs about three miles every day, does push-ups and sit-ups, and uses free weights. “He works out for about an hour every morning and then in spurts during the day, says Delynn Byars, a senior vice president at the company. “He started when he was a preteen, to lose weight, and the habit has stuck with him ever since.”
In her Comedy Central sketch show, Inside Amy Schumer, Schumer consults a “nutritionist to the stars” (played by Janeane Garofalo), who suggests diets like the Tapeworm Experience, the Kentucky Meth Cycle or the Instagram Diet (“Tweet it, don’t eat it”). But what do celebrities really eat? Is everyone going vegan?
Mehmet Oz, MD (the famous “Dr. Oz”), follows the Mediterranean Diet, which emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts, fish, olive oil, herbs and spices. Dr. Oz is also a big advocate of weekend cleansing diets—as is Gwyneth Paltrow.
Hillary Clinton has brought Mark Hyman, MD (author of The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet), onto her team for the campaign trail, reports The New York Times.
Aniston starts her day with a breakfast smoothie. Lunch is soup with various greens, plus a blended assortment like zucchini, garlic, cayenne, ginger, lemon juice and onions. She also grinds almonds, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, and adds those to the soup mix.
J.Lo’s diet emphasizes veggies, lean meat and soy foods—plus lots of water. But she indulges, too, in an occasional chocolate chip cookie. La Lopez doesn’t believe in depriving herself.
J.Lo has the right attitude because her diet is very well rounded, says Alissa Rumsey, RD, a nutrition and wellness consultant in New York City. “With a vegan diet, you’ve got to be really, really careful to get sufficient protein to rebuild cells,” she says. “Even Beyoncé eats some fish.”
For a healthy diet that’s sustainable long-term, forget cleanses or detoxes, advises Rumsey. “Your kidneys and liver do a pretty good job of cleaning toxins from your body,” says the nutritionist, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Instead, focus on weeding out the processed, high-sugar, high-starch foods from your diet. Switch to whole fruits, vegetables, grains and lean protein. “That’s the kind of cleanse that will help in the long run,” Rumsey explains. “Eat a cookie now and then,” she adds.