Celebrities, they're just like us – or are they? Chasing the latest workout trends and food fads, Hollywood stars are constantly abuzz over the hippest methods to get fit, look young and stay healthy.
But will following the fashionable fitness and diet regimens of the stars boost your energy and well-being? Discover the latest celebrity health crazes and decide if they're right for you.
1. Fitness trend: Hula-hooping
Celebrities: Kelly Osbourne, Beyoncé and Catherine Zeta-Jones
The claim: This retro schoolyard toy is making a fitness comeback thanks to its ability to tone your back, arms, abs and legs while improving flexibility and balance.
Does it work?
According to a report by the American Council on Exercise
(ACE) one minute of hula-hooping will burn seven calories – that's 210 calories per half hour, similar results to a boot camp
or cardio kickboxing workout. But potential hula-hoopers beware! Full-fledged workouts are challenging.
"It's fun, but it can be difficult," says Lisa Workman
, a Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology–certified exercise physiologist from Edmonton, Alberta. "You have to keep the hoop rotating around your body, around different areas. It takes coordination and practice."
Workman recommends taking part in a hooping class in order to reap the full benefits. "An instructor will show you different moves," she explains. "Not only the traditional circling of the hips, but also cardio-based moves."
2. Fitness trend: Kangoo Jumps
Celebrity: Kim Kardashian
Pull on a pair of these fun bouncy boots for a low-impact rebound workout. Not only do Kangoo Jumps protect your joints from impact injuries, but they also help you burn a ton of calories, correct poor posture
and tone your abs and legs.
Do they work? While the boots' springs save your joints from the pounding that they would encounter during physical pursuits such as jogging, their other benefits aren't exclusive, says Workman.
"It's not the boots that are toning [your muscles], it's the movements that you do while wearing them," she explains. "If you went for a jog or a cardio kickboxing class wearing the boots, the actual activity would be doing the toning, not the boots."
Kangoo Jumps are costly, too. The cheapest pair starts at $225.
3. Fitness trend: Bodyism
Celebrities: Rosie Huntington-Whitely, Hugh Grant and Elle Macpherson
The claim: Created by James Duigan, a personal trainer based in the United Kingdom, Bodyism is a fitness and diet trend that employs customized nutritional planning, exercises and supplements to help clients stay lean. The website states that the program will "strip fat, enhance health, improve posture and increase performance."
Does it work?
The bad news? Bodyism's experts are based in London, England, so if you don't call the U.K. home you'll have to rely on their online videos, mail-order books, exercise bands and health shakes to get in shape. The good news? The fitness plan features simple exercises that don't require expensive equipment
"It's a lot of body weight exercises, such as planks and squats, and simple equipment, such as resistance bands," explains Workman. "The body weight exercises, if done properly, will give you a lot of benefits."
4. Diet trend: The 5-Factor Diet
Celebrities: Rihanna, Halle Berry and Katy Perry
The claim: Celebrity trainer (and Canadian) Harley Pasternak crafted The 5-Factor Diet (Random House, 2009) to help clients shrink their waistlines without feeling hungry or unsatisfied. His plan focuses on the number 5. Clients eat five small meals a day consisting of five ingredients, and each recipe takes just five minutes to prepare.
Does it work?
According to Desiree Nielsen, a Vancouver-based registered dietitian
, The 5-Factor Diet "is a sensible program. It focuses on good-quality low-glycemic carbohydrates, produce and protein. The recipes are fast, so they appeal if you're not much of a cook or have a busy lifestyle."
The one negative aspect of the diet is that it relies on non-fat products. "Fat-free ingredients aren't necessarily the best quality," explains Nielsen. "We need healthy fats
and often they're replaced with unhealthy gelatins and stabilizers." These fillers are often unsatisfying, causing you to eat more.
5. Diet trend: Weight Watchers
Celebrities: Jennifer Hudson and Jessica Simpson
The claim: The new Weight Watchers program uses the latest in behavioural science to teach clients how to make healthy food choices. According to Weight Watchers' official website, millions of people have successfully lost weight on their program.
Does it work? "Of all the commercial weight-loss programs, Weight Watchers is by far the most impressive," says Nielsen. "It teaches you how to assess and eat food in restaurants or at home."
The program also gives portion control tips and provides invaluable access to social support through meetings and online communities.
"Weight loss is difficult because you're trying to change habits that are deeply ingrained," explains Nielsen. "Weight Watchers lets you share with people who are on the same path." Best of all, this program gives you the tools to make smart food choices for the rest of your life.
6. Diet trend: The Fresh Diet
Celebrities: Olivia Munn, Maria Menounos and Shenae Grimes
This daily or weekly delivery service brings fresh meals and snacks right to your door. With tasty menus created by a gourmet chef, these healthy options will help you get slim
– plus, they don't require cooking or calorie counting.
Does it work? The Fresh Diet has expanded their delivery to include Toronto, so some Canadians can try the program, but it isn't cheap. A week's worth of meals costs $420. A full month can set you back $1,200.
Prices aside, Nielsen says that the menus are first rate. "There's a wonderful variety of flavours, but I suspect that portions are small – particularly if weight loss is a goal," she says.
And while the meals might be delicious, this program isn't teaching you how to eat properly. "Having meals delivered, you're not really gaining the tools to learn how to cook healthfully or manage portions – they're doing all that thinking for you," explains Nielsen.Interested in finding out more about the hottest new fitness trends? Check out five more fitness trends that might work for you. Or check out our guide to revamping your diet.