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Maria Menounos loses 40 pounds with walking and sugar-free, low carb diet

Get Maria Menounos' diet tips.
Get Maria Menounos' diet tips.Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images

Extra-slim "Extra" TV show host Maria Menounos doesn't look as if she ever had a weight problem. But now she's revealing that she lost 40 pounds by combining a walking regime with a sugar-free, low carb diet, reported Life & Style magazine on Friday.

Maria admits that she tried a lot of fad diets. Then she decided to come up with her own approach to weight loss, which she details in her new book "The EveryGirl's Guide to Diet and Fitness: How I Lost 40 lbs and Kept It Off-And How You Can Too."

The food element of her slimming program includes the basics of Mediterranean-style eating with the precepts of low-carb weight loss. Now Maria keeps off the weight by limiting herself to one "bad" carbohydrate a day.

For fitness, Maria walks a minimum of 10,000 steps a day. She uses a pedometer to ensure that she meets her goal. Maria's tip: Exercising throughout the day by moving keeps your metabolism functioning at its peak.

"Ninety-five percent of the time I get that, 5 percent of the time I don't, and sometimes I even exceed it wildly. I feel if you maintain your steps you can maintain your weight," said Maria in an interview with Shape magazine.

Maria estimates that 75 percent of her diet is what she calls "clean eating." She doesn't approve of drinking diet sodas or using energy drinks.

While her new book focuses on weight loss, Maria previously authored an all-in-one fashion/romance/fitness book "The EveryGirl's Guide to Life." She notes that she decided to write her follow-up because she wanted to share the many diet secrets she's gotten from both superstars and health experts she's interviewed.

And for those who feel that it's impossible to stick to a weight loss plan, Maria offers encouragement: "Strive to follow the 75/25 plan. Over time, you'll have a cleaner diet overall."

Agreeing with her theory that moderation works best is Keri Gans, MS, RDN, CDN, and author of "The Small Change Diet: 10 Steps to a Thinner, Healthier You." In an exclusive interview, Keri told me that she believes in eating clean rather than excluding food groups.

"In order for long-term weight loss a diet cannot be restrictive," she said. ""I am a fan of including lean protein, lots of veggies and healthy fat for weight loss, but am equally a fan of fruit, dairy and 100% whole grains."

Maria emphasizes cutting back portions rather than cutting out your favorite foods. Keri concurs, saying "Bottom line is learning portion control and adapting a realistic lifestyle."