What to eat to boost your metabolism & shed fat to reveal abs worthy of an A-lister

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As part of our guide to achieving a leaner, sexier mid-section, celebrity trainer & lifestyle expert ASHLEY CONRAD will show you how to banish the bloat, boost your metabolism & shed the fat to reveal your very own A-list abs. In Part One, she reveals the first two steps of her specially devised ‘Clutch System’, whose devotees include Kate Hudson, Penelope Cruz, Kristen Bell & Victoria’s Secret models. Conrad devised the system to help her celebrity clientele change their bodies – fast. “[In L.A] nobody can wait 3 months to get in shape – the phone rings and you’re booked for a movie role or a photo shoot and you have to be ready.” Conrad’s approach transcends simple diet and exercise – it’s a total lifestyle program. To reap the full-body benefits, turn a new LEAF – and by that we mean: Lifestyle, Exercise, Attitude, and Food.

EXERCISE – WORK IT OUT LIKE AN ATHLETE With her athletic background, Conrad likes to challenge her clients with high-intensity workouts that combine cardio and resistance. “I like to hit it all in one go. I’ll mix up the exercises so you’re not overtraining. One day it may be cardio, or boxing, or a track workout or stairs.” On other days, take it down a notch with an easy hike, stretching or an ‘abs & core’ class. The key is saying no to predictable, repetitive movements. But do the same principles apply when she’s training Victoria’s Secret models? “Absolutely!” says Conrad, “I just alter certain elements: if [client] Bradley Cooper is trying to bulk up for a role, his diet is going to very different for someone who walks down a runway.”

ADOPT A STRESS-FREE LIFESTYLE TO BURN MORE CALORIES Hectic work-days followed by punishing sessions at the gym to try and drop weight could actually be the cause of why your stomach never seems to get any flatter. “That belly area is directly related to stress,” Conrad says, “your cortisol (stress hormone) levels get raised and it triggers your body to start storing calories, rather than burning them.” It’s very important to take stress-relieving measures each day, says Conrad. “Take those [off] days to rest and relax. Breathe deeply, and get 8 hours of sleep.”

“That belly area is directly related to stress,” Conrad says, “your cortisol (stress hormone) levels get raised and it triggers your body to start storing calories, rather than burning them.” 

CUT THE SALT TO BANISH THE BLOAT If your lifestyle involves dining out much of the time at restaurants, you may want to re-think what else you’re ingesting into your system. “If you eat out a lot, there is a lot of added sodium in food, even if you can’t taste it. That salt retains a lot of water and is stored underneath the skin.” Conrad advises her clients to drink ample amounts of water (100 ounces per day) to help flush any excess sodium out. “People underestimate their level of dehydration, especially during the summer and how that plays a role in water retention.” Amp up the detoxing effect by adding 4 lemons to the water you drink every day. The natural superfood is a stimulant-free natural diuretic that detoxes the liver and makes skin glow.

Get PART TWO OF OUR GUIDE here: learn more on how to flatten your stomach and reduce bloating through simple nutrition tips. Conrad also shares what your body fat percentage should be, and how to gain a healthier persepctive on your body and enjoy your new lifestyle for full-body fitness.

Celebrity trainer Gunnar Peterson shares his hot body training & diet tips

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He’s the man behind some of Hollywood’s hottest bodies and the trainer that celebs like Kim Kardashian, Sofia Vergara and Jennifer Lopez turn to for his no nonsense, take-it-to-the-max positive attitude and curve sculpting skills. We asked the Big G for some of his golden rules to getting that strong & sexy L.A body.

How would you describe your diet and workout philosophy as a trainer? Shoot for 100% and you’ll end up at 80-85% and you’ll be great. Shoot for 80-85% and you’ll end up at 65-70% and you’ll be disappointed – regularly.

They say you are what you eat. In the food vs exercise ratio, what percentage does a clean diet contribute to a lean body? The closer you are to your perfect body the more nutrition plays a part. When you are miles away it’s not imperative to be so focused on details. Build a framework then fill in the details as it/you take shape.

What would be a perfect example of a day’s clean eating sample menu? Stick to foods as close to their natural state as possible. Light proteins, light complex carbs and fruit that is high in antioxidants (ex. Blueberries) in the morning; clean carbs, veggies and light protein midday; and veggies and protein in the evening.

 

sample menuIs it true consuming dairy makes a women’s body look soft? What should you avoid to look less bloated make & muscle tone more prominent? Most people are lactose intolerant, it’s a question of degrees. What animals drink milk after their formative years… No, not cats, unless you put it out for them. Duh.

How many times a week do your celebrity female clients train a week? How is that broken down between cardio and resistance training? Between 2-5 depending on schedules and other athletic pursuits: pilates/ yoga/ Spinning/ running/ martial arts/ tennis. It’s always a mix. Organized chaos.

“Refined sugar is white death! It’s so hard on the body.

It spikes insulin levels and encourages fat storage!” 

If you’re serious about dropping some lbs, what are your golden rules for keeping calories in check? Make breakfast bigger than lunch, and lunch bigger than dinner. Avoid complex carbs after dinner.

If you’re prepping a female client for a big red carpet event, how do you step up workouts & how far in advance? Are you an advocate for “two-a-days”? I lobby for more sleep if they can get it so the body can recover. As for the rest, we operate on the ‘if you stay ready you never have to get ready’ principle…

Why is it so important to eat a low sugar diet? If you’re going to have a cheat meal, which is the lesser of two evils: fat or sugar? Refined sugar is white death! It’s so hard on the body. It spikes insulin levels and encourages fat storage! Naturally occurring fats are far less evil. And great for your hair…so I’m told.

Every woman’s natural body type is different. What do you recommend your more curvaceous clients do in comparison to how you would sculpt a more supermodel-esque slender, athletic build? Train the weakness(es) with as much vigor as you train your strengths. Shoot for balance. Never try to hide or mask, own it to your core. Much of the beauty is in how you rock it.

Ok, we have 1 hour in the gym. What is the most effective fat-burning, full body workout we can do by ourselves? A mix of multi-joint strength movements (push-ups, squats, lunges, rows) coupled with high intensity bouts of cardio. Leave it all on the gym floor. DO NOT hold back.