There are two ways to interpret the loaded word diet: The first connotes a quick fix for weight loss, dropping certain foods for a period of time, and it’s usually accompanied by restriction, disgruntlement and zero success. The other, what it really should mean, is a lifestyle choice, focused on eating healthily, maintaining energy, feeling strong over skinny and being your all-around best self. It comes down to common sense. Any reasonable doctor will tell you that the majority of your diet should focus on vegetables, leafy greens and other nice things from the earth, protein is key and not all (not most, actually!) carbs are bad. Think moderation over deprivation, avoid packaged and processed foods and balance, balance, balance. Oh, and drink lots of water. Here, the eating habits of a few famously healthy stars you can pick up with a little motivation and minimal discipline.
Jennifer Aniston starts her day with warm lemon water, which helps spur digestion, and then has a healthy shake or avocado and eggs topped with a little coconut oil. "Sometimes I'll have a puffed millet cereal with a banana," she said to Elle, "or I'll do oatmeal with an egg white whipped in at the end." Husband Justin Theroux taught her that trick for an extra boost of protein. For lunch, it's "some form of vegetables or salad with protein—pretty basic" and dinner is usually the same deal, with an apple with almond butter or nuts throughout the day to ward off hunger.
Macrobiotics, going vegan, no carbs, juice fasting, detoxing: The Goop queen has tried it all. But don't judge her so readily. Her daily diet is actually pretty reasonable. "Me with no coffee is not a good look," she said to People. Gwyneth enjoys her joe with half-and-half. She has "a smoothie after I work out. For lunch, I usually have a big salad with grilled chicken." And for dinner? "Whatever I want." Oftentimes it's what her kids are eating: stir-fry with chicken and broccoli, pasta or roast chicken and potatoes. But she wouldn't be Gwyneth without her periodic detoxes. Every January, she likes to kick off the new year by taking a five-day break from alcohol, caffeine, gluten, added sugars, processed oils and butters, corn, shellfish, red meat, soy and dairy. When she's not resetting her system, she relishes the occasional vice: Paltrow isn't ashamed to admit she likes to have one cigarette a week.
With her famously glowing skin and seeming immunity to age (the woman is 48 years old), we all want to do whatever it is J.Lo is doing—within reason, of course. For one thing, Lopez's meals are always organic and never include processed food. Breakfast is a protein shake with berries, honey, yogurt and whey powder, and lunch is frequently salmon with a veggie-packed salad; zucchini, peppers and broccoli are favorites. As relayed to Us Weekly, for dinner, she'll mix up the main protein and pair it with baked yams or quinoa: "I like pork and chicken, especially Puerto Rican–style!" She keeps fruits and vegetables with her to ensure smart snacking and—buzzkill—she doesn’t drink, smoke or have caffeine. As for her guilty pleasures, she likes the classics: chocolate-chip ice cream and chocolate-chip cookies. Skin tip: Lopez swears by oatmeal for a radiant complexion.
We've heard breakfast is the most important meal of the day since we were kids, but that doesn't mean we all wake up ready to eat. In an interview with Self, Kate Hudson noted that she has to force herself to get her metabolism going first thing, usually with green juice (yes, kale is still a mainstay) and coffee, followed by a post-workout protein shake and lunchtime salad. Her diet's technically "high-alkaline," which means she avoids highly acidic foods like meat, dairy and gluten. Most of her calories, via five small meals a day, are from fruits (grapefruit, avocado, lemons, limes and pomegranates are all alkaline-approved), vegetables, nuts and tofu. But don't think she's a total stickler. "If I want to go out and eat at a restaurant with amazing food, I'll do that, like, once a week where I'm not thinking about it," she says. "I want to indulge!"
Sure, Gisele Bündchen has her own vegetable garden, as well as a reputation for being "the world's most clean-living" model. Husband Tom Brady, who has reportedly never eaten a strawberry, might have something to do with it. According to Vogue Paris, she starts each day with warm pressed-lemon water, followed by an herbal juice and vitamin-infused smoothie, then brunch is eggs, avocado, fresh fruit, gluten-free bread and coconut butter. Eighty percent of the supermodel's diet consists of organic vegetables and whole grains, like quinoa and beans, while the remainder is composed of lean meats, like chicken, and wild salmon. Brady is known to steer clear of potatoes and tomatoes, also known as nightshades (eggplants and mushrooms are also in the nightshade family), which are known to be inflammatory and, therefore, bad news for your body.