Celebrity nutritionist Erik Young tells ET why Hilary Duff, Mandy Moore and more A-listers love his flexible food plans.
Health is wealth! Celebrity nutrition coach Erik Young, aka The Flexible Dieting Coach, has helped Hilary Duff, Mandy Moore, Molly Sims, Bebe Rexha and more live healthy lifestyles through his balanced outlook, and now he’s sharing his top tips with ET ahead of summer 2023.
"My approach to nutrition is sustainable weight loss. I have seen so many people go super restrictive with their food choices, as well as calories, and lose a lot of weight pretty quick, but it’s not sustainable. Once they fall off, they have a rebound with their weight and usually gain more on top of the weight they lost," he explains.
To combat this cycle, Young creates realistic food programs, so his clients can feel their best while still incorporating their favorite treats.
"When we put plans together for clients they are flexible as far as food goes. … I stick to the 80/20 rule because we need whole foods, but still leave room for some fun foods. … Clients never feel like they are on a diet because they are able to eat the foods they love," the nutritionist shares.
And that’s exactly why A-listers rely on Young’s guidance.
"Every single celebrity that I have worked with has never done anything like this. They usually crash diet with very little calories and the food is very bland and boring. … Not to mention, most celebrities are usually on the go a lot, and have to eat out. We teach clients how to do that efficiently so they can still be compliant during the week," he says.
Another thing Young’s clients learn: "Doing this program inadvertently improves your relationship with food so you aren’t looking at food as good or bad. … There is no good or bad food. Of course, whole foods are more ideal, but if you don’t have other options, don’t be hard on yourself."
"Don’t just say, ‘Screw it. I messed up my day, so this week is ruined.’ Give yourself some grace and get back to it the next day. One bad day won’t ruin your physique, just like one good day won’t give you a six pack," he adds.
To stay on track, Young recommends keeping track.
"This is a numbers game. If you don’t know your caloric maintenance, you are literally shooting in the dark. … Start tracking your food intake for a week using an app online. … Average out your calories for the week and try to eat 500 calories less if possible to see fat loss," he suggests.
"Your body adapts to the average calories you eat per week and it also adapts to the activity at some point. If you want to see weight come off, eat less than what you normally eat. ... There are a lot of other variables that come into play like the ratio of protein, carbs and fats. If you are too carb and fat heavy and eat very little protein, this will be a problem, but at least this will be a start in the right direction," the nutrition expert notes.