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Celebrity Eats: RACHAEL RAY - A Healthy Approach to Weight Loss

Related: Rachael Ray, Food Network, celebrity chefs

Celebrity Eats: RACHAEL RAY - A Healthy Approach to Weight Loss

As a Food Network fanatic, I am often amazed at how small and fit some of the celebrity chefs on TV appear. I see Sandra Lee and Giada de Laurentis and think, 'How can they be so thin when their careers revolve around food?' Whether they exercise a lot or just got lucky in the gene pool, it's obvious that their careers haven't hurt their waistline. But for some of the other Food Network stars, it may be a bit harder to stay in shape.

Cue Rachael Ray, host of "30 Minute Meals" and the talk show "The Rachael Ray Show." Ray has always been naturally curvy, though she's never looked particularly overweight on TV. In the past five years or so, however, Ray has been looking slimmer. In 2009, at age 41, she dropped two jean sizes and lost two inches off of her waist. Surprisingly, Ray's relationship with food hasn't changed much--in fact, she eats pretty much what she wants. An important note to dieters though: What Rachael Ray wants is the healthy Mediterranean diet she already consumes, which is full of greens and extra virgin olive oil (or as Ray likes to call it on her shows, "evoo").

I was never a huge Rachael Ray fan because I found the recipes from her show a little too simple (think, "one-pot meals"). But what I love about her is that her approach to weight loss is natural and healthy--ideally the way everyone should go about losing weight. She eats wholesome, healthy foods that she enjoys cooking, and also follows a vegetarian diet a few times a week. She also--and this is the kicker--exercises. Six times a week she runs three miles and follows it up with an hour workout at the gym. Without this exercise it would be nearly impossible for her to maintain weight loss without going on some sort of elimination diet. As a supplement to her exercise, Ray consumes acai berry. Praised by Dr. Oz and Oprah, acai berry is a natural anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial that flushes out toxins, cholesterol and fat from the body. It is a good supplement to a healthy diet and exercise in promoting weight loss.

So Rachael Ray didn't have to resort to some fad or crash diet that many celebrities swear by to get that stick thin look. She was realistic in her weight-loss goals and found a simple strategy that has allowed her to continue doing what she loves to do: Cook and eat good food. She lost weight (and maintains her weight) the healthy way--and she looks great.

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Jean Hanks As an active child ? playing soccer, doing gymnastics, and dancing nearly every day ? I never put much thought into what I ate. It wasn?t until health class in middle school that nutrition labels on packaged foods began to fascinate me ? I wanted to know what each percentage meant and how each ingredient and macronutrient affected our bodies. Add into the mix a passion for distance running and a conversion to a pescatarian (no meat, fish only) lifestyle and here I stand today, somewhat of a health nut. Just before going off to college in New Orleans I discovered the Food Network, which inspired me to experiment with cooking, something I?d never taken up. I found that I loved cooking food even more than I did eating it. Since then, my challenge has been to create flavorful and exciting dishes that are actually good for you. I want to educate people (especially foodies) about health foods ? that ?vegetarian? doesn?t always mean tofu, and going without steak for a week won?t kill you, but might just actually add some years to your life.



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