Denise Austin
Red carpet fitness

Look like
an A-lister

America's favorite fitness expert Denise Austin, author of Side Effect: Skinny, knows how easy it is to envy those gorgeous celebs walking the red carpet in their silhouette-skimming designer gowns. But you don't have to be rich and famous to look red-carpet ready. She tells SheKnows how to look like a celebrity without spending a fortune on personal trainers, personal chefs and tummy tucks.

Celebrity fitness secrets: 3 moves to a red-carpet body

Even the sveltest of stars does a little extra work to look picture-perfect for the awards shows. Austin, who is a Screen Actors Guild member and award-show voter, says you, too, can incorporate a few celeb-caliber workout moves into your fitness routine to look your best. "Sure, the stars have trainers — and sometimes even surgery, but the following moves will tighten and tone you quickly, whether you're famous or not."


DIY tummy Tuck

Red-carpet trick to look 7 pounds slimmer — instantly

According to Austin, it's all about posture, posture, posture to look slimmer — and stars use this trick all the time. Here's her step-by-step guide to improve your posture and look skinnier without even dieting.

  1. Lift your upper body up off your hips to add an inch to your height.
  2. Draw in your abs so your legs move more fluidly and gracefully.
  3. Pull your shoulders down and back.
  4. Slightly lift your chest bone (sternum).
  5. Breathe deeply and let the oxygen flow into your back to keep your back muscles elastic.
  6. Always pull in your core and abdominals as you stand tall.
  7. Look straight ahead and feel like your hair is in a high ponytail being pulled upwards. This visualization trick helps to elongate the neck.

If you're looking for a tight waist, stop wasting your time doing all those crunches. If they haven't helped yet, they aren't going to just because you add more reps. Instead, try this surgery-free tummy tuck, Austin suggests. Not only is it effective, you can do it anywhere.

Move: Stand or sit tall with your shoulders back. Tuck in your abs, pulling your belly button back to your spine; contract and hold for 5 seconds. Then let your muscles relax and then tuck them in again for 5 seconds. Each 5-second isometric contraction is equal to one sit-up. Repeat for 15 to 20 repetitions



This full-body exercise is Austin's favorite move for getting toned thighs and banishing back fat (hello, backless dress!).

Move: Stand nice and tall with your feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your arms straight down in front of your body. Keeping your abs strong and back straight the whole time, slowly bend forward at your hips to lower the weights toward the floor, with your hands directly under your shoulders. For the row, bend your elbows as you pull your arms up along the sides of your body and bring your shoulder blades together. Lower the weights back toward the floor. Return to standing, squeezing your buttocks and thighs (it’s the squeeze that really helps lift and shape your butt). Repeat for 1 minute.


Bridge/tricep extension

"One of the keys to looking great in a dress is toned arms," Austin says. "To go from arm flab to arm fab, try this exercise."

Move: Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart, and your heels about 6 inches from your butt. Hold a dumbbell in each hand close to your ears, with your elbows bent and pointing to the ceiling. Lift your hips to the ceiling, contracting your back, abs, butt and legs, while straightening your arms and raising the dumbbells to the ceiling. As you lift your butt off the floor (bridge), your arms will be straight (tricep extension). Your body should form a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. Hold, then lower your hips and dumbbells, and repeat for 1 minute.

Celebrity diet tips

Austin doesn't recommend going on a deprivation diet to lose weight. She suggests eating healthy foods that fill you up and banish bloat.


Eat more fiber

What to eat for glowing skin

Austin's top food picks for stunning skin.

  1. Salmon to calm inflammation
  2. Cantaloupe with lycopene for a healthy glow
  3. Berries with polyphenols for anti-aging and to fight wrinkles
  4. Olive oil to beat dryness and roughness
  5. Greens (broccoli, spinach, collards, mustards, kale) with antioxidants to keep skin elastic and zinc to build collagen
  6. Carrots with beta-carotene to discourage wrinkles
  7. Oatmeal with cleansing compounds to oust toxins
  8. Water to keep skin hydrated and supple

"Foods that contain fiber are important to eat on the days leading up to a big event because they blast fat and naturally suppress the appetite," says the fitness expert. "Fiber-rich foods also help to 'flush you out,' therefore helping to keep you slim." She suggests adding beans to your dishes, munching on raw veggies and whole fruit, and choosing high fiber cereals and 100 percent whole-wheat bread.


Pump up your potassium

You can suffer from water retention and puffiness regardless of your size. However, you can look thinner by eating foods that are high in potassium and low in sodium. "These help prevent the dreaded bloat, making it that much easier to slip into a form-fitting dress," says Austin. "Try a veggie, like bok choy, or a fruit, like plums, to reap the benefits."


Go lean with protein

Waffles and pancakes may sound like a tasty way to start the day, but all those carbs will leave you lethargic by mid-morning and craving yet more carbs. If you want to look and feel your best all day, start your morning — especially on days you have a big event planned — with protein-packed eats. Austin says, "Fit protein into your meal to keep your energy up! Eggs or egg whites would be a good choice."

About Denise Austin

Side Effect: Skinny

Known as "America's favorite fitness expert,” Denise Austin has sold more than 24 million exercise videos and authored more than 12 books on physical fitness. As a worldwide fitness phenomenon, she has created a loyal audience with her two major television shows: Getting Fit, which ran for 10 years on ESPN and continued under the new name Denise Austin's Daily Workout on Lifetime Television, and Fit & Lite, also on Lifetime. Denise served two terms on the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. She has testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, helped launch the new food guide system of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and was recently honored by Woman's Day magazine and the American Heart Association with the Red Dress Award for her contributions to heart health. For more information, visit

More celeb fitness tips

Harley Pasternak's Hollywood workout
Mark Wahlberg's workout for women
Get Anne Hathaway's Catwoman curves


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