Dieting Secrets from Victoria's Secret Angels

The Victoria’s Secret Angel Diet gets a lot of play this time of year for helping the world’s most popular lingerie models get runway-ready, stat. So, we asked nutritionist guru Nicholas Passler, who created the diet, whether normal people (you know, those of us who don’t make our living strutting down the catwalk) can take away any tips from the Angels’ go-to toning plan?

Look at Dieting Like a Math Problem
Dr. Passler's methodology: Keep calories within a healthy range—low enough to lose weight, while still giving your body an adequate amount of protein. “Being skinny-fat is not a good look; this is a by-product of too little protein on a limited-calorie program,” he says.

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Be Realistic About Muscle Mass
“If you want to drop a significant amount of weight quickly, it can be done—what cannot be done is dropping weight quickly and gaining muscle at the same time. It requires additional calories to build muscle,” Passler says, adding that if you start a weight-loss program with a low muscle mass, you will not achieve the fit, lean, athletic look.

Calculate Your Protein
According to Passler, consuming nutritional shakes and bars is an easy way to ensure proper nutrient balance, and that you are getting the proper amount of protein and an optimal amount of carbs and fat in your diet. “Calculate the protein you need by determining lean body mass and activity level. If you know your body-fat percentage, you can calculate your lean body mass,” he says. “A program of less than 1,000 calories is counterproductive for most individuals. Keep in mind that weight loss is primarily based on calories consumed. There are no secrets—if you consume adequate protein and keep your calories down, you will drop the weight.”

Think Like an Athlete
You’ve heard it before, but Passler says there is a real science to the benefit of getting an adequate amount of sleep. “Yes, eight hours per night, and the best time to sleep is between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. This gives your system the opportunity to heal, repair and recover, like an athlete,” he says, adding that hydration is also just as important as you’ve heard it is. 

The Bottom Line
If you want to have a fit lean body it requires, Passler says it requires two things. “First, the knowledge to make it happen, and second, the desire to follow through. Being informed and working hard is what makes it happen.”