Gwyneth Paltrow on how to create a lean body shape
Actress and lifestyle guru Gwyneth Paltrow shares her slimming secrets.
Make exercise a habit
Keep up consistent exercise. I am dedicated to the Tracy Anderson Method and it has completely changed my body. Still, when I first started working with Tracy, finding motivation was hard. She advised me to think of exercise as an automatic routine, no different from brushing your teeth, to avoid getting distracted. Now it is part of my life - I exercise Monday to Friday at 10am and always stick with it. I'd also recommend concentrating on moving more - we sit for so much of the day. Choose to walk or take the stairs, or briskly climb a hill in the evenings. It creates good muscle tone and boosts your metabolism.
Schedule in a detox
A detox is a great place to start before a diet. My doctor, Alejandro Junger, recommends a detox once a year to rid organs of processed food and environmental toxins. His theory is that the gut (your system of digestive organs) is the root of good health. It contains about 80 per cent of your body's serotonin - which regulates appetite - so you're more likely to lose weight when it's working properly. This year I chose the Elimination Diet, which meant no additives or processed foods for three weeks. I've done juice cleanses in the past, and in my twenties I did the Master Cleanse, which left me hallucinating after 10 days. Be aware: a juice detox can crash your metabolism and lead to future weight gain.
Keep food at your fingertips
It is easy to get distracted by junk food when you are hungry, so keep healthy snacks to hand. On a Sunday prepare a batch of salad dressings (I make my 'Mexican green goddess' dressing - goat's yogurt, jalapeño, coriander and honey - or a carrot and ginger one) and store them in the fridge for the rest of the week. They make a quick and easy go-to for dipping vegetables or for drizzling over chicken. Also, keep your cupboards well stocked with fresh basics to stay inspired to eat healthily. I love cooking and always have sweet potatoes, shallots and various lettuces in my larder and keep garden-cut herbs wrapped in a moist kitchen towel in the fridge.
Measure in inches
There is something punitive about weighing yourself. It can leave you vulnerable to shame and guilt, and it messes with you psychologically. Women naturally gain and lose weight during their monthly cycle anyway, so it can be more realistic to monitor your body shape with a measuring tape.
Believe in balance
Stay away from processed foods, though cutting them out completely is no fun and can ultimately lead to a binge. Allow yourself programmed treats - I often have a glass of red wine in the evening and smoke a cigarette on a Saturday. I love those moments because they are just the right amount of naughty. That balance keeps you vibrant. You have to live your life, after all.
Try a beauty trick
One of the best cheat products I have found for the body is a tinted moisturiser called Prtty Peaushun ( prttypeaushun.com ). It is shimmery, which gives the illusion of contour; you can see muscle definition. It is great for legs too, and leaves skin looking really hydrated. I wore it on my stomach when I was filming Iron Man 3.
Gwyneth Paltrow is the face of Boss Jour