Here's some food for thought: birthday boy Jay Z and his wife, Beyoncé, have decided to go vegan for a full 22 days. From now until Christmas, the music moguls will embrace a plant-based diet inspired by Marco Borges and his 22-day nutrition plan. But this isn't the first time Hollywood has gone vegan. Back in 2011, Oprah took a one-week challenge, not to mention the wide array of celebrities who have embraced veganism for good. In fact, eating one vegan meal a day can even help you lose weight! With all this hype, have you ever tried a vegan diet? Let us know in the poll below!
It's true! The fitness world has a new power couple, and we couldn't be happier. Starting Dec. 16, Gwyneth Paltrow and Tracy Anderson will team up in a new fit reality show, The Restart Project. An AOL web series, this show aims not to get women "into their skinny jeans" but rather showcase the stories of amazing women who have healed themselves from the inside out. With Gwyneth and Tracy by their sides, they will reveal how they found "what's possible" through health and fitness. Just through the trailer alone, we can tell this show is going to be a tearjerker and definitely the motivation we need to stay on track throughout the holidays. Will you tune in?
Gaining a pound or two during the month of December may not sound like a lot, but a dedicated habit of pumpkin pie from Thanksgiving to New Year's can mean piled-on pounds as the years go by. Luckily, you don't have to swear off holiday treats or spend hours at the gym in order to participate in this month's celebrations — you just have to make a few smart choices when it counts. For a crash course on enjoying the holidays without an expanding waistline, we spoke to Extra TV host and Ocean Spray spokesperson Maria Menounos, who shed 40 pounds over a decade ago and has kept it off. Maria's newest book, The EveryGirl's Guide to Diet and Fitness ($14, available for preorder) will be published in April, but she shared with us a few of her go-to tips just in time for the holidays. Read on for her practical advice for preventing weight gain this season.
- Plan ahead for a feast: Whether it's a Christmas Eve feast with the family or a long night of holiday parties, if you know you're going to be indulging at night, plan ahead, says Maria. "If you know you're going to have a big meal that night, it's better to make sure that throughout the day you keep it simple and clean," she says. Feeling especially nervous that packed-on pounds are in your future? Go for a clean-eating diet a couple of days before the big day, as well as a couple of days after, Maria says, "so you can really splurge and not feel guilty on that day."
- Just keep moving: What to do when a packed week doesn't leave time for a gym trip? Just keep moving, Maria advises. "Maintain your steps throughout the day: try to walk as much as you can and at a brisk pace, so that you're burning calories throughout the day." Maria aims for 10,000 steps a day, which is just what most experts recommend you fit into your day.
- Drink hot water, not calories: Maria always keep a mug of hot water around — it's one of her favorite tricks for feeling full and energized throughout the day. "Hot water is like magic. It fills you up: it also is detoxifying, de-stressing, and helps digest the food in your stomach," she says. Also, "you'll find yourself eating a little less if you're drinking hot water," she adds. It's not just during the day that she recommends imbibing calorie-free: she even opts for water over juices or alcohol at holiday parties when watching her calorie count. "I save it for the food," she says.
If you're going to indulge a little this Thanksgiving (and who isn't?), might as well get some workouts in beforehand. That's just what some celebs did the week before the big holiday shebang. From running in the rain to jogging with studded fanny packs, see what these famous faces were up to in the workout world before chowing down.
The actress was quite the multitasker as she talked on the phone while taking a jog in Los Angeles.
Not even the rainy weather could stop Emmy Rossum from a pre-Thanksgiving workout.
Fergie was all geared up for a jog in Los Angeles with her personal trainer (check out that studded fanny pack). Think she was listening to The Black Eyed Peas?
Runway or parking lot? Rosie Huntington-Whiteley showed off her fit body while leaving the gym in Los Angeles.
Hilary Duff was full of smiles and looking comfy after she hit the gym for a pre-Thanksgiving workout in Los Angeles on Wednesday.
Fresh faces and moms dominated the celeb workout scene this week, and the activities were as varied as ever. Ashley Tisdale hit up Equinox while Naomi Watts went for a run in chilly New York City. Check out who else made time to sweat!Lea's entire fitness routine here.
Ashley TisdaleAshley Tisdale sported a smiley face and crossbones tee while leaving a recent workout at Equinox. This shirt is definitely a workout fave of Ashley's; she wore it to the gym a few months earlier!
Naomi WattsWhat better way to fit in a workout than while taking your kids to school? Naomi Watts ran behind her kids as they biked to school.
Stop by Anna Kaiser's newly opened studio, and you just might run into Kelly Ripa, Shakira, or Sarah Jessica Parker. These are just some of Anna's high-profile clients who stop by the Upper East Side locale for personal training sessions.
Lucky for us, you don't have to be famous to work out here. Anna offers plenty of classes to the public that still rely on her tried-and-true method of training. Classes start at $35 a session, which still make them a bit out of reach for some, but the intimacy of each class makes it feel like a semi-private session. "The design of Studio AKT/NYC was based on Andy Warhol's Factory," says Anna. "I wanted to create an atmosphere that housed not only the electricity and passion of my team, but the comfort of home — a way to truly embody fitness as a community and as a lifestyle."
Curious to see where some of NYC's most famous citizens get their sweat on? Take this virtual tour that ends with an exclusive Anna Kaiser workout that you can do at home!
Want to nab an athletic body just like Catching Fire's Katniss? You can train like a tribute at New York Sports Club, which is offering a Hunger Games-themed circuit class in honor of the blockbuster sequel starring Jennifer Lawrence. The class promises to help build strength, endurance, and agility — all required for dodging knives, arrows, and blunt objects if you ever find yourself in a battle for your life. Luckily, you don't need to be near a gym to fit in this heart-rate-raising under-20-minute workout. NYSC trainer Shayne Staley shares with us a modified version of the circuit class; all you need are a resistance band (and bench, if possible) and a space in your home. Perform each circuit for one minute, resting for 15-20 seconds in between each exercise. Repeat two to three times.
1. Beetee Bicep Curls
Stay strong like Beetee with challenging resistance-band bicep curls.
- Stepping on the resistance band with both feet so that the handles are even on either side, stand up tall. Keep a soft bend in the knees, abdominals drawing in.
- Starting with your arms alongside your body, palms facing forward, curl your hands to your shoulders. Control them down as you release your hands back to starting position.
2. Finnick Trident Triceps
Pretend you're holding Finnick's fierce trident while you perform this move.
- Stepping on the resistance band with one foot, grab the opposite end of the band with the same-side hand.
- Start with your upper arm and elbow lengthened up to the ceiling behind your head and your hand close to the middle of your shoulder blades. Try to keep your elbow where it is as you extend your arm straight and squeeze your triceps.
3. White Rose Rows
The President Snow-worthy move will help you stand tall.
- Stepping onto the resistance band with one foot, assume a split stance (one foot forward, one foot back, bending your front knee and lengthening through the back leg). Hinge forward from the hips so that your back makes a nearly 45-degree angle between the floor and ceiling.
- Keep the torso square, and pull the working elbow up, back, and in toward the midline while squeezing that shoulder blade in closer to the middle of the back. Release your arm, with control, back to starting position.
4. Forcefield Planks
Pushing on a wall — so much like trying to find a weak spot in the forcefield.
- Facing a wall, find a plank position, placing your hands about a foot's distance away from the wall (adjust as needed). Keep the hips and shoulders in line, abs in tight, and raise one arm straight out in front of you. Press that hand into the wall, and squeeze/firm your abs for 10 seconds.
- Return your hand back down to plank position, and then repeat on the other side.
5. Monkey Jump Box Jumps
If you don't have a box, bench, or other stable surface to jump on, skip this move.
- Starting with your feet hip-width apart, toes pointing straight forward, take a small squat by bending the knees, and then push off the floor and jump to land in a small squat on the bench.
- Press into the feet and jump off the same way, returning to starting position. Make sure to land softly, with bent knees, and to get your whole foot on the box.
6. Katniss Agility Jumps
If a box/step/bench is unavailable, this is a great alternative for building endurance and agility.
- Place the resistance band on the floor as a marker. Starting with your feet hip-width apart, toes pointing straight forward, take a small squat by bending the knees, and then push off of the floor and jump to land in a small squat on the other side of the band.
- Press into the feet and jump back over the band in the opposite direction, returning to starting position.
- This can be executed laterally side to side (top photos) and/or back to front (bottom photos).
Jennifer Garner's physique has been wowing us with since her days on Alias. Three kids and many years later, we are still impressed! To learn how she does it, we turned to her longtime trainer, Valerie Waters. Here are some of Jennifer's favorite exercises — try them out, and let us know what you think in the comments below.