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Harley Pasternak on Losing Weight Fast (As in This Week)

Written on March 12, 2013 at 9:00 am , by

When looking for a blender, keep in mind Harley’s top tip: Make sure it can crush ice.

Megan Fox. Jennifer Hudson. Amanda Seyfried. Katy Perry. Those are just a few of the celebs trainer Harley Pasternak has whipped into A-list shape. Here at FITNESS, we’ve been getting a lot of Harley time lately (lucky us!). Not only is he the newest member of our advisory board, he recently treated us to an exclusive staff workout to talk about his latest collaboration with New Balance with the New Balance 5 Factor997 for cross-training and his latest book The Body Reset Diet, which helps you lose weight fast (we’re talking five days fast) in a healthy, non-cleansing or detoxing way. See what Harley had to say about his new program below (spoiler–it involves quitting the gym!) and find out why if you don’t already have one, you should go get yourself a blender ASAP!

What prompted you to create this new plan for The Body Reset Diet?

I finally understood the sense of urgency women have in wanting to see a difference in the way they look and feel. They don’t want it to take weeks, they want to see a change this week. It made me realize that I need to offer them a healthy option to quickly drop weight and transform their body. I wanted to talk them out of doing cleanses and using diuretics and show them that there is a healthy way you can lose weight and feel great.

In the book, you map out a three-phase plan to slim down that incorporates smoothies in each phase. What are some common myths you’ve heard in the past from your clients about smoothies?

People definitely don’t know the difference between blending and juicing. They think blending is for body builders and they are all just forms of protein shakes packed with calories that bulk you up. But that’s wrong. Believe it or not, a fresh cold pressed apple juice can have twice the calories of an entire blended meal and four times the sugar! Read more

Cheryl Burke’s Snacking Secrets: Being Curvy Is In!

Written on March 8, 2013 at 11:09 am , by

Say cheese! Cheryl listens to her cravings with smart, protein-packed solutions, like portable Sargento Natural Cheese Snacks.

Last week, the Season 16 Dancing With The Stars cast was revealed and to our excitement, two-time champ Cheryl Burke will be back March 18 for another year of gracefully stiff competition—this time with comedian D. L. Hughley. We cha-chatted with Cheryl before the big announcement about leading a FITNESS-approved lifestyle. Read on to find out how she stays fueled and fit every quickstep of the way—plus why she’s thanking all the haters out there.

You’re a force to be reckoned with as DWTS’ only professional to appear in the finals four times…plus you’ve taken home the Mirror Ball trophy twice, back-to-back! Spill your tactics.

During the show, it’s all about showcasing my partner. I feel like sometimes people think their partner’s going to be a professional dancer at the end of the day and for me, it’s just about making my partner look comfortable and not awkward and really developing a great chemistry with whoever I dance with. Dancing is a hard sport to do, especially when you have no experience coming into a show like ours. It’s just important that I showcase my partner and not showcase myself. I feel like the people at home want to see the progress of these celebrities and how they progress each and every week.

So how will you bring that experience to Season 16?

Every celebrity I dance with always brings something new to the table. Everyone has their own personality and their own way of learning so I feel like every season is a challenge for me regardless. It’s even more challenging now that I’ve done it for so long because I put pressure on myself to make sure that every season that I do is better than the last one I did. Read more

Jennie Garth on Giving Back, Weight Loss Secrets and Staying in Shape

Written on March 7, 2013 at 4:30 pm , by

No Jock Jams here! Jennie Garth listens to mellow music to stay in the zone during a sweat session. (Photo courtesy Lindt)

Have you ever walked into a Lindt store before? I had not, until this week when I went to go see actress Jennie Garth kick off the Lindt Gold Bunny Celebrity Auction to raise funds for Autism Speaks. Let me tell you, it is a deliciously terrifying place if you have a sweet tooth. The walls are covered with chocolate, not to mention the gold bunnies that basically spoke to you as soon as you walked in the door. (I swear one of them whispered to me that I could take all their chocolate ears and no one would care). But luckily, watching Garth sign her bunny and looking more in shape than ever was enough motivation to keep me from ransacking the walls. Below, Garth chats with us on her latest fitness routine, weight loss tricks and how she stays in shape.

What made you decide to get involved in the Lindt Gold Bunny Celebrity Auction this year?
I have three daughters and Easter is a big family time holiday for us. It’s also a valuable time to tell them about the importance of giving back, so partnering up with Lindt for this is just something I can really feel good about.

What’s your fitness routine like these days?
I’m really into hiking and jogging with my dog right now. I recently got a really big dog and he needs exercise all the time, so that is something that is new for me. I work out in a gym with a trainer two to three days a week on top of that. Read more

Pro Tennis Star Vika Azarenka on Staying Positive and Keeping Workouts Fun

Written on March 7, 2013 at 9:23 am , by

Mom may not agree, but our fingers are crossed for another Olympic appearance from Vika Azarenka! (Photo courtesy Robin Fenlon)

Written by Carrie Stevens, editorial intern

In case you haven’t heard of professional tennis player Vika Azarenka, we’ll catch you up to speed: She’s won two Australian Open singles titles (2012 and 2013) and two mixed doubles Grand Slam titles (2007 US Open with Max Mirnyi and 2008 French Open with Bob Bryan), plus an Olympic bronze medal for singles and gold for mixed doubles (with Mirnyi) at the London Games. Impressive for a 23-year-old, right? Before the BNP Paribas Showdown against Serena Williams at Madison Square Garden (Williams won the exhibition match 6-4, 6-3), we chatted with Azarenka about how fell in love with the sport, what she enjoyed about the 2012 Olympic Games and how she keeps her workouts fun.

When did you first pick up a racket?
I started to play tennis when I was seven years old. I was very close to my mom, and she worked at a tennis center. I couldn’t go anywhere without her, so after school, I would come back and walk around with her. She didn’t get a chance to work, so she had to distract me somehow. She gave me a tennis racket and a ball, so I started hitting it against the wall, and it was fun. One of the coaches saw me and asked if I wanted to join the group with the other kids. I was scared at the beginning, but once I started I was so happy. I really found a love for the game as a kid.

As they say, the rest is history! Aside from winning your medals at the London Games, what was your favorite part about the Olympics?
The whole journey. It was very tennis-oriented because we played far away from the other sports, so I didn’t get a chance to visit anything else. It was an amazing experience. The transformation from Wimbledon to the Olympics was completely different. Playing in singles and mixed doubles was incredible. Read more

Olympic Gymnast McKayla Maroney on Getting Back Into the Gym and Finally Being Impressed

Written on March 1, 2013 at 1:57 pm , by

McKayla Maroney is back in the gym healthy, healed and has her eyes set on another Olympics!

Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney might have been less than impressed with her vault silver medal at the 2012 Olympic Games, but her attitude these days is straight gold. I got the chance to chat with Maroney as she helped launch TEN, a line of 10 calorie sodas from the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group on the lessons she learned in London, recovering from injury and what she thinks about teammate Aly Raisman’s Dancing with the Stars announcement.

I love that the tagline for the TEN campaign is “McKayla is finally impressed.” Are you so sick of hearing about and seeing your not impressed face all over the Internet?

I wouldn’t say I am sick of it, but it definitely comes up in every topic with every person I talk to. It’s great that now I can turn it into something positive, and be impressed with TEN. My favorite out of the line is the Sunkist TEN; I have always loved orange soda so now I can enjoy it without all the sugar.

What are some of the lessons you learned from your time in London at the 2012 Summer Olympics?

The first thing I learned was how to deal with the media. I came to the Games and I had no media experience and I didn’t know how to take it all with a grain of salt. All of us on the team had our media issues, Gabby with her hair and then my face – so we had to learn how to let it roll off our backs. At the beginning it was hard, because I was just a gymnast. I was never famous, I was used to being in the gym eight hours a day and I never had anyone judging me because of my face, they were judging me on my gymnastics! Now I handle life way better and I’m actually happy that it happened because nothing hurts my feelings anymore. And since I want to get into acting I have to be ready for a lot more of that kind of attention. Read more

Amazing Race Season 17 Winner Nat Strand Talks Diabetes Control & What It Takes To Win

Written on February 15, 2013 at 10:26 am , by

Strand strives to be active every single day, if only for a few minutes. (Photo courtesy of Diabetes Hands Foundation)

A new season of The Amazing Race begins February 17th on CBS, and we’re more than ready for a healthy dose of adrenaline-soaked TV. Watching teams work together to conquer obstacles, solve clues and race against others to be the first across the finish line for $1 million is our kind of reality TV (but we love a good episode of The Bachelor, too). While still dreaming of competing on the show ourselves, we connected with Nat Strand, one half of the winning team during season 17. Not only was she the winner, but she and best friend, Kat, were the first all-female team to win – and Strand, now 33, was the first diabetic victor. Can you say rock star?

What made you want to try out for The Amazing Race?

I was with Kat at a friend’s wedding, and for some reason that night we started watching episodes on her computer and just fell in love with the show. It was travel, adventure, competition and culture. I had just finished my medical training and this was a breath of fresh air to celebrate that. And I knew it would be a fantastic platform to show that having Type 1 diabetes doesn’t have to limit you. One minute you’re scaling a castle wall, the next you’re bungee jumping off a crane. I just knew that if I could get on the show, I would have such a wonderful platform to inspire people who are dealing with chronic disease.

How did your diabetes diagnosis affect how you approached a situation?

It just requires a lot of forethought and planning. One challenge, for example, was floating on a shield. People kept falling into the water, and I had a non-waterproof insulin pump. So I had to plan how I would take it off, how to store it, etc. And I always had to plan and make sure I had fast-acting carbs on hand, like sports beans, because exercise affects your body a lot.

But you’re only allowed one backpack for the whole show. What did you make sure was always in yours?

When I was first packing, I put in everything that was diabetes related, and I couldn’t fit anything else – not even a single sock! So I obviously had to reconsider things. In the end, I made sure that, along with my diabetes management products, I had a lot of shot blocks and sports beans for electrolyte replacement, and a letter in every language explaining that I was a diabetic so I could get through customs. My teammate also had a full supply of diabetes stuff in her backpack, in case I ever lost mine.

Read more

14 Fit Couples We Heart

Written on February 11, 2013 at 2:35 pm , by

Seacrest and Hough stroll the streets for some extra calorie burn. (Photo courtesy JB Lacroix/WireImage)

Here at the FITNESS offices, we firmly believe that the couple who sweats together stays together. From the looks of it, Hollywood’s A-list agrees! Below, our favorite fit celebrity couples, keeping their bods and bonds hotter than ever:

1. Julianne Hough and Ryan Seacrest – Though their schedules couldn’t be more jam-packed, the pair still finds time to make good use of their time together. Recently spotted on vacation in St. Bart’s, the couple took to paddleboarding instead of the usual vacation itinerary of margarita drinking and sunbathing.

2. Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds – These newlyweds have been hitting the gym together since their very early days of dating. Because if you were married to Ryan Reynolds, wouldn’t you be inspired to spend as much time together in spandex as possible?

3. Jenna Dewan-Tatum and Channing Tatum – Pregnancy isn’t going to slow down this girl. The celebs, who danced into each other’s hearts on the set of Step Up, are staying active during Dewan-Tatum’s pregnancy by kayaking and hiking with their dogs.

4. Rachel Weisz and Daniel Craig – Being Bond comes with the added pressure of being in secret service shape. Good thing Craig’s wife, Weisz, heads to the gym with him for support.

5. Camila Alves and Matthew McConaughey – The beach life suits these two well, as they make sure to take advantage of all their favorite outdoor activities together like surfing, hiking, and running.

6. Fergie and Josh Duhamel – It’s not all fun and games for this running duo. Duhamel has admitted in the past that Fergie is quite competitive when it comes to working out, making the pair squeak out one more mile or rep almost every time they sweat together.

7. Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber - Known for squeezing in a run during breaks on set, Watts has been photographed a few times jogging ahead of Schreiber, leaving him to catch up. Who run the world? Girls!

8. Emily Blunt and John Krasinski - They hike. They gym it. They’re just plain adorable, right?

9. Vanessa Lachey and Nick Lachey -The new parents completed the Roselyn Sanchez Triathlon For Life in 2010…but now that they have a little bundle of joy, they’ve slowed things done a bit with regular walks toting their son.

10. Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer – Catching these two working out together is almost as sexy as their vampire antics. They love to bike, hit the gym and even take a stab at outdoor gymnastic rings!

11. Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O’Connell – The Past FITNESS cover girl told us all about her hot yoga workout, so it’s no surprise that she and her hubby frequently do Bikram yoga together.

12. Reese Witherspoon and Jim Toth – Witherspoon is constantly snapped lacing up her sneaks and we’re so happy that she now has a forever running buddy with her agent-husband Jim Toth.

13. Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake – By far one of the fittest couples out there, these two do it all: biking, hiking, running, surfing. We’re looking forward to see where their fitness feats take them as Mr. and Mrs.!

14. BFF SPOTLIGHT! Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Garner – America’s sweethearts are battling their sweet tooth cravings together, helping each other lose the baby weight since the births of their children last year. They pair up for Pilates classes together and practice the buddy system when it comes getting back into pre-baby shape. P.S. – Extra credit to Reese for making our list twice!

More from FITNESS: The Hottest Celebrity Bodies of 2012

Getting Hitched? Here’s Your Bridal Body Breakdown

Written on February 8, 2013 at 10:00 am , by

Here comes the (totally toned) bride! (Photo courtesy Jupiter Images)

It’s no wonder February is considered the month of love. According to the National Association of Bridal Consultants, it is also officially National Wedding Month–due to the number of couples who start planning for the big day. And with an estimated one million couples who got engaged over the holidays, you might be one of them! If you’re planning a summer wedding, check out this move of the month plan from Stephanie Walker and Sarah Ashenden, personal trainers from Fitness Formula Clubs, located in Chicago. To start, they recommend strength training for 30 minutes twice a week along with 30 minutes of cardio 3-5 days per week. Get started with the first move below and then add on a different exercise each month.

February: Triceps Dip

Since you’ll be standing with your back to all your guests for your ceremony, you want the back of your arms to look sleek and toned. Sit on a weight bench with legs slightly bent, feet flat on floor. Place hands on bench by thighs and press palms into the bench to lift your butt. Slide your butt off edge and bend elbows to drop hips 3 inches from floor. Straighten arms and slide hips back without sitting down. Repeat 8 to 10 times for 3 reps. Read more

Forget the Fiscal Cliff, Be Wary of the Fitness Cliff

Written on February 7, 2013 at 9:02 am , by

Monitor your resolution progress in strength, not what the scale says. (Photo courtesy Alexa Miller)

The Fiscal Cliff may have come and gone, but according to Gold’s Gym, February 7 is considered to be the “Fitness Cliff”–the day those New Year Resolutions start to go astray and goals slowly start heading toward the back burner.

Gold’s studied check-in patterns at gym locations around the country over a three-year period to establish this cliff. After the initial gym craze around January 1, they noticed a gradual decline in check-ins beginning January 30, with the biggest drop happening on February 7. To help keep you from falling off the edge, Dr. Belisa Vranich, author and clinical psychologist created these five warning signs that your resolutions may be slipping:

  1. You suddenly find yourself too busy to get to the gym as often as when you first started.
  2. You’re getting angry that the effort you’re making to work out and eat healthy aren’t equaling the results you’d like to see in the mirror.
  3. You find yourself less motivated and begin to wonder why you made this goal in the first place.
  4. You slowly start to ease back into old patterns, trading treadmill time for the TV and in caving into your usual guilty pleasures.
  5. You start arguing with yourself that you don’t really need to change, convincing yourself that you’ll make a better effort next year.

Do one or more of these points sound like you? Get back on track with these tips from Gold’s Gym Fitness Institute expert and celebrity trainer Mike Ryan: Read more

Former Martial Arts Fighter and Actress Gina Carano Joins the Under Armour Team

Written on February 6, 2013 at 10:36 am , by

Gina Carano tests E! News correspondents Alicia Quarels and Ross Matthews on their football skills at the NFL Experience in New Orleans.

It’s no secret that Under Armour has had some pretty inspiring and star-studded campaigns in the past. Now the brand is bringing on a little more awesome, kick butt attitude with former martial arts fighter Gina Carano, who will be featured in the brand’s campaigns this year. “I’ve always been an advocate of people taking care of themselves and living a healthy lifestyle,” Carano says about the new partnership. “The Under Armour brand expresses that in such an innovative way, and the people there are so welcoming, I immediately felt like part of the family, which isn’t the norm as a female coming from a martial arts background. I’ve always been different, but with these guys I feel like I fit right in!”

Carano trains in Under Armour products regularly, but her recent go-to product is one that surprised her. “I can’t believe I’m admitting this, but I’ve gotten into the yoga pants! I never thought I would be a yoga pants type of girl, I used to wear old sweats or board shorts to train in but now I’m obsessed with the tighter stuff. They just hug in all the right spots.” (Editor’s Note: We so hear you.)

Though she’s spending more time on the silver screen than in the ring, she still hits the weight room pretty regularly to train. “I like to switch it up every day, but hitting pads and weight training will always be part of my life. I consider that like my yoga. I also recently got into running and hiking and actual Bikram yoga for mental toughness. And I’m also trying to exercise outside as much as possible, since the majority of my life I’ve been in gyms. I’ve been traveling a ton, but now that I’m back I’ll start training with a stunt group again and I’ll have some time to set my goals for this year. I feel like I always work best when I have my goals written down and mapped out for me.”

Keep an eye out for Carano in Fast and Furious 6, out in May!

More from FITNESS: Gina Carano on Stunts and Her Sexy Co-Stars