Celeb trainer Harley Pasternak dishes on A-lister fitness secrets


Harley Pasternak

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When we’re frustrated with our own bodies, it can be really irritating to see an almost-perfect-bodied movie star strut across the screen. We can blame it on their big bank accounts, but truth-be-told, they’re still humans like you and me.

HellaWella spoke with renowned fitness and nutrition expert Harley Pasternak — who has worked with some of today's hottest celebrities, including Halle Berry, Alicia Keys, Jessica Simpson, John Mayer, Katherine Heigl, Orlando Bloom, Kanye West, Eva Mendes, Jane Fonda, Benjamin Bratt, Robert Downey Jr., and many others — to dish on some celebrity fitness secrets. Turns out, they have to work out just as hard as we do to keep in shape.


HW: Do celebrities work out differently than you and me? I mean, do they spend their whole day at the gym?

Pasternak: Celebrities do not work out differently than you and I other than the fact that they are probably more extrinsically motivated. They know that by working out regularly and sticking to their eating plan more diligently, they will look better — and looking better means everything about their career.

If you and I have 2 to 3 extra pounds on us, it doesn't affect our life, but if [celebrities] do, the whole world will know. So they have that extra bit of motivation, and that extra bit of motivation drives them to work a little bit harder, and a little more diligently, and [they] probably will avoid the cookie that someone else might say yes to. But they still have to do the work; they still have to lift the weights; they still have to go on those walks and runs; and they still have to avoid all their favorite temptations when it comes to their diets.


HW: How do you get celebrities fit in a short period of time?

Pasternak: I always have a different amount of time to get someone to look their best for a music video, feature film or television show. I wrote a book called the "Body Reset Diet" that came out a few months ago. It's a 15-day complete transformation reset of your body through eating and exercise and that really breaks it down and shows you what I do with my clients if I need to get them in great shape in a very healthy way and that you can build off of for an ongoing lifestyle afterward.


HW: What are some common challenges you face working with A-list celebrities?

Pasternak: Time is a challenge. They are so busy. If you're shooting a TV show, it's 12 hours a day — not to mention hair and makeup, and getting to set. So where do you find time in all that to get them to exercise, get them to move more and access to right the meals? That really is the main challenge.


HW: What’s the secret to staying motivated?

Pasternak: It's human nature to want to look better, feel better or perform better. We are already motivated. The people who are buying the fitness magazines or who are [reading] this interview right now obviously want to know more about how they can stay in shape, so they are motivated. My job is to bridge the gap [between] their desire to be in great shape and to them actually doing something about it — by giving the right tools and right problem-solving solutions so they'll actually do them.


Pasternak's three-pronged approach

Here's how to get a Hollywood bod and stay motivated:

1. Nutrition

You should be eating healthy five times a day: three meals and a snack between each. Remember the following five factors before each meal:

  • Quality protein, such as chicken, fish or eggs;
  • Healthy carbohydrate, such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables;
  • Fiber;
  • Healthy fat like olive oil, avocado or fish oil; and
  • A calorie-free beverage like water, Vitamin Water Zero or fruit water.


2. Movement

Be sure to take 10,000 steps a day. Grab a pedometer or a FitBit; make sure you're moving more throughout the day.


3. Resistance exercise

You should be doing sculpting, toning and strengthening movements from as little as five minutes a day to 25 minutes a day.