As the Cannes film festival unrolls its red carpet Wednesday, Hollywood A-listers Nicole Kidman, Kristen Stewart, Marion Cotillard, and Bérénice Bejo are stepping out in top form. Now, Los Angeles-based celebrity fitness trainer Gunnar Peterson shares his fitness tricks of the trade for looking great when it really counts.
Speaking from his luxurious Beverly Hills gym to Relaxnews, he says that when it comes to polishing your physique for a high-profile event (or for your summer holiday for that matter), "it's all about peaking at the right moment."
When Peterson works with some of his celebrity clients, such as Jennifer Lopez and Angelina Jolie, he develops a plan before a red carpet event, filming a video, or photo shoot, for example. "It depends on the goal and how many weeks away we are from the event," he says. "Do they need to lose a couple of pounds or seven pounds, what are their goals, and how many weeks do we have to make that happen."
In the buildup to an event, Peterson has a few tricks up his sleeve, such as one cardinal rule: avoid complex carbohydrates later in the day. If you normally eat four or five small meals a day (breakfast, midmorning snack, lunch, midafternoon snack, and dinner), phase out "rice, pastas, and breads about 90 minutes after you eat your second big meal of the day," he says. The rationale: these foods retain water in the body, meaning more bloat and less defined muscle.
Start the day with breakfast, he says - "it's a must" for your metabolism. At dinner, aim for lean proteins and vegetables, and leave it at that. "For dinner last night I ate a piece of salmon as big as your face and spinach, and then I got out of the kitchen before I grabbed the peanut butter," he adds.
Also avoid white sugar, aka "white death," Peterson says. "I'm a zealot in theory, and I don't live in a state of denial about what sugar does to the body," he adds. "I would shank my grandmother in the neck for a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, and I do eat sweets from time to time," but if your priority is to look your fittest for an event, you'll need to pass on the sweet stuff altogether.
For your pre-event workouts, Gunnar advises ramping it up. "Don't let your program stagnate and build in both cardio and resistance training and mix up the intensity." He adds: "If you normally run 30 to 40 minutes on the treadmill, mix it up, throw some weights at it. If you do 10-15 repetitions, aim for 25 reps."
The day of the big event, he advises starting with a healthy breakfast to stay energized throughout the day, and finding time for a power workout. "Some people advise yoga or meditation, but I prefer to aim for a heightened state of energy to match the energy of the day," he says.
To learn more about Peterson and his new eight-week online weight loss and fitness program, The Gunnar Challenge, kicking off May 21, visit his website, or watch this clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98pbia-Wp2c