Most people tend to focus on one thing with celebrities: how they exercise and train. You will find tons of posts about how this celeb got in shape for that movie, or the crazy exercise that singer does before she tours. Yet, not enough attention is paid to the diet part of good celebrity fitness.

The fact of the matter is that no matter how hard you workout, without good diet you are not going to look like a cover model. Worse yet, you may even fall into the track of looking way too bulky without actually improving your appearance. Think of the bodybuilders that you see in the gym who are obviously huge…but have bulging bellies and jeans that fit too tight.

Justin Timberlake With ~10% Body Fat

To pull off a Hollywood look, then, you need to mind the diet. For your muscles to show to their fullest, you want to get your body fat percentage down to around 10%. Competition lifters will go lower–some down to 6% or less–but even the hardcore can’t keep up that low between events, and for most people 10% is already challenge enough.

In order to get your body fat that low while simultaneously building or at least maintaining muscles, you need to devise a low-calorie diet that gives you plenty of protein. There are many ways to do that, including diets used by power lifters such as Paleo or zoning systems. To make this more accessible, I’ll focus on what you can do now without having to suddenly change all of your habits.

First, figure out how much protein you need to maintain/build muscle mass. As a rule of thumb, take your weight in pounds and aim for that many grams of protein. This means that a 185lb man needs 185 grams. Heavy lifters will go higher–sometimes as much as double grams of protein per pound–though to begin with, try to get at least one gram per pound.

To give you some perspective, here is an example of what that 185lb man would have to consume to get that much protein in a day:
1. 1 lb of chicken breasts (128 grams or so) divided into a chicken wrap for lunch and a half-pound of chicken in a light stir fry for dinner

2. One post-workout protein shake (anywhere from 32 to 64 grams of protein depending on the whey protein mix and quantity)

3. A cup of fat-free cottage cheese for dessert (28 grams of protein)

This is definitely doable in a day, but can be a challenge for someone who is not already minding their protein loads. This is also necessary for getting your body fat down–protein cannot be stored between meals, so your metabolism needs regular doses in order to have fuel for recovery and maintaining muscle mass.

Next, there is the question of carbs and fat. At the risk of being obvious, you do need to stay away from the especially unhealthy choices of greasy foods and high-fat desserts. Beyond that, your best bet is to find relatively light ways to include these–such as using wraps instead of bread, very small portion sizes of carbs, and moderate use of cheese and condiments–so that you do not start craving them, while not overloading your diet.

Good celebrity fitness always includes a healthy diet, as those six pack abs don’t carve themselves. In order to get your body fat down and start showing those muscles that you are working on, you will need some variation of high-protein meals combined with controlled amounts of everything else. The trick is to figure out meals that give you what you need while not depriving yourself so much that you go on rebellion binges.

Click here for a free Hollywood Fitness Guide