Despite her sometimes crazy health advice, you have to admit Gwyneth Paltrow looks pretty damn good. She’s lean, toned, and lithe, and she’s HAD TWO KIDS. I mean c’mon, it’s not fair!
It's one thing to look at photos of celebrities with impossibly perfect bodies when they're in their 20s -- you know, when your metabolism is at its peak, and everything is sitting exactly where it should. But seeing celebrities who’ve had kids and look better now than in their early 20s? Um, jealousy, party of one! I know how hard it is to get back into shape after having a baby, and the fact that celebrities seems to do it in record time can be a hard pill to swallow.
So, I thought we’d take a look at Gwyneth’s diet and exercise routine, to see what we non-celebs would have to do to look like Gwynnie. Check out my expert personal trainer take on all things Gwyneth:
Diet: Once known for her macrobiotic diet, basically a cross between vegetarianism, local/organic foods, and Zen Buddhism (you know, like not mixing a yin food with a yang food, duh), Gwyneth switched to her trainer Tracy Anderson’s 'Metamorphosis' eating plan. Without buying the plan yourself, it’s tricky to get the details of this diet, but you could take Rebecca Wilcox’s experience as a warning.
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The Daily Mail reporter followed the Metamorphosis plan for two months. As well as losing weight, Wilcox felt woozy, tired, and grouchy, her skin and nails got dry and brittle, and she suffered constipation. After taking the plan to a dietitian at a hospital in London, she discovered she’d been existing on less than 700 calories a day. Or, as the dietitian so succinctly noted, "I see patients suffering with anorexia nervosa and now I'm reading their diet in pamphlet form." Awesome.
Personal trainer verdict: You don’t really need me to tell you this is crazy, right? Happily, Gwyneth didn’t follow this starvation plan while pregnant, but now does a less extreme version of the Metamorphosis plan.
Exercise: Gwyneth swears by her trainer Tracy Anderson, to the extent they’ve actually become business partners. She also works out for two hours a day. So, what’s the magic behind the Tracy Anderson Method? Well, first of all, no woman should ever lift a weight heavier than three pounds. Also, Tracy claims her method defies genetics to give you the body you want. Finally, rather than focusing on larger muscles like the hamstrings and glutes, the Method focuses on ‘waking up’ smaller muscles so you don’t get bulky. It’s basically high reps of little, to no weights, with a huge emphasis on cardio.
Personal trainer verdict: Dear God, no. Just no. This method is not just crazy, it’s preying on most women’s fear that they’ll look like a man if they do any form of weight training. You know what lifting weights will do for your body? It helps you build lean muscle, burns fat, and makes your bones, joints, and muscles strong. (Did I mention that Gwyneth suffers from osteopenia, the precursor to osteoporosis? Know what helps osteopenia? Weight training.) As a woman, you simply do not have the amount of testosterone needed to get bulky. You just don’t. And finally -- defy genetics?? Are you kidding me? If that was true, Ms Anderson would be in the running for the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
You want to know the real reason Gwyneth Paltrow looks like she’s in amazing shape? It’s simple. She is gifted with great genetics. She has a tall, naturally lean frame. As previously mentioned, she works out for two hours a day! She's also in a profession which relies on looks, and if you’re getting paid millions to act with the caveat that you stay thin, then you have millions of incentives to remain that way.
I think Gwyneth is beautiful and a great actress. But someone to acclaim for diet and exercise advice? Uh-uh, no way. What does work? Eating in moderation, exercising more, and not stressing out about how a celebrity stays in shape!
So tell me, what’s the craziest diet you’ve ever tried? And have you lifted more than three pounds today?
Image via Splash