TIFF 2015: Get your body red-carpet ready with tips from Harley Pasternak

By Sarah Kelsey

Celebrities have had a change of heart when it comes to hitting the gym, and with simple lifestyle changes they've been able to evolve away from cramming in workouts before a red-carpet appearance, like those at the Toronto International Film Festival.

“Because of smartphones, people can be photographed throughout the year, so there’s now really a need to look red-carpet ready all the time,” says celebrity personal trainer and Canadian fitness guru Harley Pasternak. Over the years, he’s worked with hundreds of A-list clients, including Kanye West, Katy Perry and Robert Downey Jr. (just to name a few), so he’s acutely aware of the tasks stars tackle to prepare for a big event.

Harley believes that working out regularly is the best approach to being event ready. Photo: © Getty Images

“You might read about celebrities doing more [like going on restrictive diets or undertaking crazy workout regimens]," he says, "but really they do a lot of small things on a daily basis, which help them look good all of the time.”

Read more:Trainer Harley Pasternak reveals Kim Kardashian's pregnancy workout

The 41-year-old author, who has written books like The Body Reset Diet and The 5-Factor Diet, adds that unrealistic expectations and extreme health methods – like going vegan or raw – are what cause people to fall off the wagon of a good health plan. “When you set forward very attainable daily tasks, there’s very little excuse not to do them.”

CLICK THE IMAGE FOR MUST-HAVE HEALTHY PRODUCTS: Harley Pasternak and actress Jordana Brewster work it out at a Fitbit event. Photo: © Getty Images

Harley asks each of his clients to follow several behaviours on a daily basis, and at the end of each day they send him an email saying whether or not they completed each task; this holds them accountable. Harley ensures that his tips can be done at home and you don’t need a gym membership to work out, so you can get in A-list shape on your own time.

  1. Take 10,000 steps a day
    “Wear an activity monitor to take at least those steps a day. It’s about little choices. I got rid of my coffee machine at home so I walk with my daughter to get a coffee. Don’t find the closest parking spot to your door, park further away and walk a bit more.”
  2. Sleep at least seven hours a night
    “If you don’t sleep at night, you'll make poor food choices and you won’t exercise,” and that’s where weight gain comes from," he says.
  3. Eat more protein and fibre
    “Canadians get enough protein, but we don’t get enough fibre. People need more psyllium fibre in their diet. It helps them feel fuller longer. With each meal I advise clients to eat protein that's the mass of their hand whether that’s chicken, fish or eggs. I tell clients to eat unlimited veggies. Then I have them eat a high-fibre fruit or grain, too.”
  4. Other daily tips that will help you stay fit like the stars:
    • Cut down on sodium and alcohol if you want to see results faster.
    • Try a detox plan, like the one Harley recommends in The Body Reset Diet. It includes drinking lots of smoothies and eating lots of crunchy snacks. Here’s one of his favourite recipes: Blend 5 almonds, 1 red apple, 1 banana, 3/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt, ½ cup nonfat milk, 1 tsp. Metamucil and a ½ tsp. ground cinnamon.
    • Drink lots of water to stay hydrated and to feel fuller longer. Also, don’t drink your calories in the form of pops or fruit juices.
    • Get out and soak up some Vitamin D to strengthen bones and boost your mood.

“Make the process your goal,” he says finally. “Don’t make the number on the scale or your waist size your goal. Remember to tell yourself you’re successful because of the little things you do.”

Check out some of the cool fitness and health products celebrities may receive – and use – during and post-TIFF!

Sarah Kelsey is a gal in the know who regularly appears on television and writes for a variety of outlets. Check out her work at sarahkelsey.ca, on Twitter @sarahkelsey, Instagram @sakelsey and Pinterest @sakelsey.

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