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Diet Tricks of the Stars

  • Story Highlights
  • A small snack before going out to dinner can keep you from overeating
  • Put munchies in smaller bag to control portions
  • Healthy substitutes like air-popped popcorn, chocolate chips can ease cravings
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By Hallie Levine Sklar; Polly Blitzer; Alysia Poe; Julia Kelly
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(InStyle) -- You don't have to deprive yourself of what you love. Hollywood celebrities reveal their best tricks for how to drop pounds, conquer cravings, and have your bagel and eat it too


Cameron Diaz ditches bread, pasta and cookies to drop pounds.

1. Prep with a pre-party snack -- Trainer and nutritionist Philip Goglia, who has worked with America Ferrera, suggests eating a tablespoon of almond butter or peanut butter before going out to dinner, to avoid bingeing on the basket of bread.

2. Change it up -- To make good-for-you veggies more appetizing, tweak their flavor and texture, says Jennifer Lopez's trainer, Gunnar Peterson. If you're craving creamy, sauté broccoli in olive oil and then dip it in a dollop of nonfat yogurt. Desire something spicy? Sprinkle lemon juice and cayenne pepper on cooked broccoli.

3. Divide and conquer -- "When you sit down to dinner, draw an imaginary line down the middle of your plate," says trainer Kacy Duke, whose client list includes Julianne Moore. "Put the vegetables on one side, then cut the other side in half, putting the meat or protein on one quarter and a starchy carb on the other. You've got the perfect meal!"

4. Bag those goodies -- For perfect portion control, try this tip from trainer Valerie Waters, who works with Jennifer Garner: Take a handful of munchies out of the big bag they come in, and drop them into a small ziplock bag. "We're trained to finish what's in the bag, which can be as much as 10 servings," says Waters. "This is a great way to fake yourself out."

Don't Miss

Before the Big Event

Want to know how Cameron Diaz drops pounds in just two weeks?

Step 1: Cut out White Foods -- Trainer Teddy Bass tells clients like Cameron Diaz to ditch bread, pasta and cookies. "They have high amounts of sugar, which means your body burns off the sugar first rather than the stored fat," he says. Instead, eat five small meals each day that have lean protein and carbs in the form of fruits and veggies.

Step 2: Avoid Soda -- Even Diet Drinks -- A recent University of Texas study found that there's a 65 percent chance of being overweight for each can of soda a person drinks each day.

Step 3: Keep Track of What You Eat -- It forces you to notice what you're putting in your mouth, so you're less likely to reach for junk food.

Eats & Cheats

Jessica Biel Eats: "Jessica is already a pretty healthy eater," says her trainer Jason Walsh, "so she has been snacking on baked potato chips instead of regular ones." But Walsh has turned her on to an even better way to feel the crunch ...

Cheats: For a better alternative, Biel opens up a box of Kashi TLC 7-Grain Crackers (, $3). They have fewer preservatives and are high in fiber, so she's satisfied with eating less. To add flavor, she dips them in hummus.

Uma Thurman Eats: Thurman's big weakness is chocolate, according to nutrition coach Jackie Keller. Her favorite of all the sweet stuff: M&M's.

Cheats: She trades these treats for a handful of semisweet chocolate chips (dark chocolate contains heart-healthy flavonoids).

Fergie Eats: Tasty? Sure. But a bagel can add up to 500 calories to your diet. So when Fergie craves carbs, her nutritionist Carrie Wiatt suggests this low-cal option.

Cheats: Fergie eats a bialy (about 100 calories) with a healthy spread made of low-fat whipped cottage cheese and 1 teaspoon chopped chives. Added on top: tomato slices.

Halle Berry Eats: Berry loves munching on popcorn, but she isn't a big fan of all that butter and salt, according to her trainer, Nancy Kennedy.

Cheats: Instead, she pops the kernels in an air popper, then sprinkles on cinnamon and a handful of fat-free Parmesan cheese. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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