By Megan Taylor Morrison
The Active Times
While the public may glamorize celebrities, the truth is, they are as stressed out as the rest of us -- maybe more so. Fitness and appearance are mandatory items on the checklist, so diet and exercise -- and the high-profile results -- can be just another source of anxiety. So, when it comes to staying in shape, many celebs want one thing: Simplicity.
Harley Pasternak, M.SC., is known for a simple, effective approach to fitness and nutrition that he details in his new book The Body Reset Diet. Over the years, he's honed his methods on clients including Kim Kardashian, Amanda Seyfried, Megan Fox and Hilary Duff, who sing his praises on the back cover of the book. Refreshingly, Pasternak's take is that we've gone "way overboard" with our methods, and that there are simpler ways to achieve health and fitness.
We caught up with Pasternak over the phone to hear about his top fitness tips for anyone trying to get in shape (and see the initial results quickly!). For the Pasternak basics, check out our slideshow below.
Carbohydrates are an essential part of your diet, according to Pasternak. "They're the only things that pass the blood-brain barrier, and we would be zombies without them," he said. Pasternak recommends maximizing healthy carbs -- those that have a lot of fiber, such as apples, blackberries or whole grains. Other sources, such as melon, papaya and mango, sometimes have surprisingly little fiber.
"Studies have shown that people who lose more weight in the first week of a program tend to be more motivated to stick with it," Pasternak said. Based on this information, Pasternak created a plan to help you "power your metabolism, blast fat, and shed pounds" in 15 days. If you can make it to this critical point, you give yourself the best chance at long-term success.
Many of Pasternak's clients think muscle soreness is a sign of a good workout. "Muscle soreness does not dictate the efficacy of a workout program," Pasternak said. "Muscle soreness is a byproduct of inflammation, so it is definitely not an indication you did a good job." Furthermore, certain muscle groups -- such as the deltoids -- do not get as sore as others, he said, regardless of the workout.
When clients first hear about Pasternak's approach to eating—having small meals throughout the day -- they often think they'll be eating more food. In fact, the calories stay consistent, but frequent eating ramps up your metabolism. "Grazing over gorging has been shown to be much better for stabilizing blood sugar and appetite," Pasternak said.
Pasternak cites numerous studies that say blending ingredients is the most efficient way to deliver nutrients to your body. Slicing the cell walls of fruits and vegetables releases the good stuff, allowing the body to access and utilize nutrients better.
While researching his book, Pasternak interviewed fitness and boot camp fanatics. He asked whether they found a relationship between the number of classes they did and weight loss (no), and whether they currently or recently had had pain in their joints (most often yes). What they're doing was not the answer, he said. He prefers fewer sessions of higher intensity.
For the complete slideshow of Low-Stress Fitness Secrets, go to TheActiveTimes.com.
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