We'll give it to them: Celebs frequently relay some super stellar weight-loss advice: Take Jennifer Aniston, who travels with 8-pound weights so she can do curls while watching television. Genius. Or Jessica Alba, who has been known to kick start her day with healthy smoothies. (You can too, with these 25 Best-Ever Smoothie Recipes!)
But celebs are mere mortals and they aren't immune to committing weight-loss sins. The difference between us and them, though? Nobody but our college roommate knows about that bizarre weight-loss trick we absently-mindedly swore by for a millisecond. When we hear an A-lister promote something cray—say, a diet that involves eating only cookies or advocates for nicotine in any way—we're gonna' go ahead and pull a Kanye-style interruption. These are some of the worst health tips celebrities have ever offered up, counterbalanced with some expert tips from superstar nutrition experts. And for some advice from Hollywood that we can actually approve of, check out these 26 Breakfasts Celebrities Love!
The Cookie Diet
The diet: Former Jersey Shore reality star Snooki supposedly lost weight after going on a cookie diet. The idea: Eat six cookies a day, plus a small dinner for a low-calorie diet with a low-glycemic index. Kim Kardashian was also linked to the diet, but she took to Twitter to deny it.
What to do instead: "A healthier way to eat more low-glycemic foods would be to focus on a diet rich in fiber," says Sarah Koszyk, MA, RDN, and founder of Family. Food. Fiesta. "High-fiber foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds, fill us up and control our hunger." Enjoying high fiber foods with some protein is a perfect combo to get the nutrients you need in a well-balanced way, Koszyk says. "Some of my favorite high fiber foods are berries, quinoa, chia seeds or hemp seeds, and most vegetables." Here's What Happens When You Don't Eat Enough Fiber.
The Cold Shower Trick
The weight-loss trick: One of our fave 90's icons, Liv Tyler, heard from a hairstylist friend that taking a cold shower is good for your hair. Sure, maybe your hair cuticles appreciate a cold blast. But Tyler also said she thinks the cold shower helps make her a little bit skinnier.
What to do instead: Don't shiver in the shower. The best trick in the morning to lose weight is to eat a high-fiber, high-protein breakfast within an hour of waking up (assuming you do not work out in the morning), Koszyk says. "Research shows that eating breakfast increases metabolism so that we use the food faster," she says. "Combining carbohydrates with protein also increases the metabolism." Start the day off right with a fab breakfast like a Greek yogurt smoothie with blueberries and chia seeds, Koszyk suggests. The breakfast is high in fiber and protein, providing you sustainable energy throughout the day. We also love these 25 Overnight Oats That Boost Your Metabolism in the Morning.
Cigarettes to Control Cravings
The weight-loss trick: Full House darling Mary-Kate Olsen has said in the past that she smokes cigarettes to control cravings. She also made headlines in 2015 for setting out bowls of cigarettes for guests at her wedding.
What to do instead: Skip the cigarettes. A healthy way to control cravings is making sure you are fueled with the right foods; it's as simple as that. "Many people get sugar cravings mid-afternoon because they are physically hungry, tired, or stressed. By having a healthy afternoon snack, like a yogurt with granola or fruit with nuts, you will be amazed how your cravings go away and you are re-energized." Stress adds to cravings—and can even undo your healthy eating efforts. That's why it's totally worth finding your go-to move (that's not a cig!) when you need to calm down; try one of these 10 Ways to Destress So Healthy Eating Works.
The Baby Food Diet
The diet: Eat jarred baby food for breakfast and lunch, followed by a low-calorie dinner. Stars like Lady Gaga were rumored to be on the diet.
What to do instead: Sleep like a baby? Great idea. Eat like one? Not so much. The diet's claim to celebrity fame was that it helps eliminate toxins. But researchers at Berkeley Wellness at the University of California say the body already naturally rids itself of toxins and debunk the diet as a short-term crash diet that's not just low in calories, but also low in nutrients. Pass on the pureed carrots (you already spit them up as a kid). Instead, boil your carrots. A study from the International Food Research Journal found that the cooking technique helps your body extract much more beta-carotene that way. The carrot's famed carotenoid is a boon for your immunity, vision, and complexion.
The body-shaping trick: When it comes to all things curves and contouring, we turn our attention to the Kardashians. The famous sisters have advocated for waist training (read: using a steel-boned corset to engineer an hourglass figure). Um, ouch.
What to do instead: Sorry, it's not that simple. There's really no way to waist train or spot reduce, says Elisa Zied, MS, RDN, CDN, author of Younger Next Week. You can do certain exercises to work your core, but the best way to get a slimmer, more toned waist is to eat fewer calories but still get enough protein and carbohydrate in the diet to meet nutrient needs, dishes Zied. "Getting enough protein, especially when cutting calories, is especially important to preserve lean muscle mass," she says. "When you diet or cut calories, you lose both body fat and muscle mass—and you don't want to lose muscle mass because that's what keeps your metabolism revved up." Combine this healthy eating habit with exercises that rev up your heart rate and resistance training, and you'll be rocking a flat tummy in no time! If you usually have a flat stomach but are puffed up from the wrong foods, then try these 42 Foods to Deflate Your Belly Bloat.
The Diet Coke Diet
The weight-loss trick: Rihanna has been rumored to fill up by drinking Diet Coke and washing it down with beer.
What to do instead: We'll narrow our focus here to just the diet soda. Even though the drinks are calorie-free, you can still consider them a risk to your diet. Studies have found they cause insulin to be released because their artificial sweeteners are imitating sugar, plus the fizzy drinks are loaded with chemicals. If you're craving caffeine, opt for coffee or another one of these 37 Drinks Great for Weight Loss.
The Pregnancy Hormone Trick
The weight-loss trick: The hCG diet has taken some heat, with the FDA calling it fraudulent and dangerous. The idea: Trick your body into thinking it's pregnant by taking human chorionic gonadotropin (or hCG) injections, the same hormone produced by pregnant women. It's coupled with a very low-calorie diet. Laura Prepon (you know her as Alex on Orange is the New Black) admits she took the injections in an effort to reset her metabolism. Now, she files it into the crazy crash diet category.
What to do instead: "A good way to keep your metabolism revved up is to eat nutrient-rich foods throughout the day and to make sure to consume protein-rich foods in small amounts at most, if not all, meals," says Zied. Getting adequate protein in the diet from legumes, like beans and peas, as well as nuts and seeds, dairy foods, eggs, and lean beef or poultry and fish and even soy foods is important because they give you energy, support protein stores in your body, and can help you build muscle (if you exercise). "It's also wise to eat most of your daily calories while you're most active to keep your brain and body nourished and energized," she says.
A Spoonful of Coconut Oil
The weight-loss trick: Model Miranda Kerr has said she takes a spoonful of unrefined coconut oil each day to help beat belly bloat.
What to do instead: We love coconut oil, but it's actually one of the 17 Superfoods That Can Make You Fat If You're Not Careful. Plus, there are far better ways to beat belly bloat. Marisa Moore, MBA, RDN, LD, and national media spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, offers up several ideas. For one, she says to eat smaller meals. "This may sound obvious but eating a few too many bites all at once is often the culprit of belly bloat," she says. You should also drink water and eat water-rich foods like watermelon, salad greens, and cucumber. "Belly bloat might be the result of constipation. Getting adequate water not only keeps you hydrated but it also helps keep everything moving." And ease your way into that high-fiber diet, Moore says. "Foods like beans and cruciferous vegetables like Brussels sprouts and broccoli are good for you, but too much all at once can lead to a little belly bloat. So, start slow." Get to know the 35 Things That Make You Bloat so that you don't have this problem in the first place!