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'Extra' host Maria Menounos lost 40 lbs with these five weight loss tricks

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When it comes to finding out what's hot in the entertainment industry, "Extra" co-host Maria Menounos has become the go-to girl. But when it comes to winning the battle of the bulge, it wasn't always so easy. Now she's lost 40 pounds and shared her weight loss secrets with FitSugar on Dec. 16.

She's also detailed her entire diet and fitness plan in an upcoming book: "The EveryGirl's Guide to Diet and Fitness: How I Lost 40 lbs and Kept It Off-And How You Can Too!" (click for details). Among the key tips in that book and in her previous guide ("The EveryGirl's Guide to Life") are these slimline secrets:

  • Eat a filling, nutritious breakfast. Maria likes trainer Harley Pasternak's breakfast smoothie recipe (see below). "I've been doing it for a year," she says. "It's got all the protein I need, and it's yummy."
  • Pedometer power: Maria seeks to walk 10,000 steps a day to ensure she stays on the right track.
  • Hydrate with hot water. "Hot water is like magic. It fills you up: it also is detoxifying, de-stressing, and helps digest the food in your stomach," she says.
  • Keep healthy foods on hand. "I think that makes a big difference, because if it's there, I will eat it," she explains. "If it's not there, I'm too lazy to go get it."
  • Eat early. "If it's too late, and I'm really hungry, I'll have a Greek yogurt or something simple like that," she says. "That way I don't have a big meal that I have to digest during the night."

As Maria noted, celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak believes in the benefits of smoothies. He's designed his new weight loss program around them, described in his book "The Body Reset Diet: Power Your Metabolism, Blast Fat, and Shed Pounds in Just 15 Days." Try Maria's favorite recipe below.

Breakfast Smoothie Ingredients

  • 5 raw almonds
  • 1 red apple
  • 1 banana
  • 3/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup nonfat milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

DIRECTIONS

Place all ingredients in a blender. (Depending on how powerful your blender is, you may need to chop the apple and almonds into small pieces before blending.)
Blend on medium-high for 30 seconds (or until desired consistency).

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