How stars get red-carpet ready for the Oscars

The red carpet at the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on Feb. 24, 2013 in Hollywood, Calif. Christopher Polk/Getty Images

The Academy won't be the only group handing out accolades on Oscar night.

When stars hit the red carpet on Sunday, they'll be under the watchful eyes of the fashion police -- those style experts and sartorial aficionados who won't hold back when calling someone the night's best (or worst) dressed. So it's no surprise that stars want to look their absolute best before facing the likes of the GlamCam.

It could be cold comfort (or, perhaps in a way, reassuring) to hear that A-listers don't just wake up looking that fabulous. There is a lot of work involved -- and not just a stylist and a hair and makeup team. Some stars also turn to nutritionists and trainers to help them look and feel their best leading up to the big night.

CBS News spoke with two such experts -- both of whom have helped celebs get red-carpet ready -- to find out how they help their clients prep for a major awards show like this one.

Cut out the bad stuff

Heather Bauer, a nutritionist and author who's worked with stars like Tyra Banks, advises celebs to "cut out the worst offenders" in their diet in the weeks leading up to the main event. That includes white refined processed sugars, the bread basket and "all the extra things you don't necessarily think about," like frozen yogurt, munching on trail mix and "picking on all the junk." Same goes for what she calls "bloaters," like sugar-free candy and gum.

Jay Cardiello, a celebrity trainer and nutrition expert who counts Minka Kelly among his clientele, agrees.

"I always have people stay away from refined sugar and refined flour, a lot of wheat products and processed foods, alcohol, butter, sugars, margarine, anything the food wouldn't necessarily have when it's prepared for them," he said.

Put in the time

Bauer says how far in advance a star begins red carpet prep depends on what they're looking to achieve. "It depends on how far their goal is," she said. "If you want to lose 10 pounds, we're not going to begin prepping three days before an event. Then we'd need to begin six weeks before an event. But I think people who are within a 3-5 pounds of goal weight will start to get aggressive I would say anywhere between seven to 10 days before a big event. And I think they'll go hardcore about three days before."

Cardiello said he thinks of red carpet prep like "an athletic event." That means, ideally, four to six weeks of preparation to whip his clients into shape.

Get your beauty rest

"Getting to the red carpet is not an hour process, it's a 24-hour-a-day process," said Cardiello. That includes making sure his stars get enough sleep -- six to eight hours of shut-eye, to be exact. That's so they'll be rested and ready to go when it's red carpet time, but it's also important for staying on track.

"If you think about the days when you were back in school, when you were studying for a test and you're up until two or three in the morning and you're only sleeping about an hour a night, it's not like you're saying, 'You know, I'm gonna have a garden salad with grilled chicken.' It's like, 'No, get me Denny's!'" That, he says, is because lack of sleep can cause leptin, a hormone that makes you feel full, to decrease, while increasing another one called ghrelin, which makes us crave comfort foods.

"We're trying to promote relaxation, increase circulation," he added. "Eight hours of sleep puts less stress on your body."

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

Think you're drinking enough water? Think again. Bauer tells her clients to drink two liters of plain water -- not sparkling, nothing added to it -- per day, in addition to whatever water they drink while working out.

"Water helps us process all the salt in our diet, and it also helps boost the metabolism," she explained, which is why she emphasizes drinking a liter in the morning and another after lunch to make sure her clients get it in. Those who put it off may fill up on coffee, diet soda or other beverages first and end up skipping the H2O.

Work it out

Fitness goes right in tandem with hydration, sleep and diet when it comes to getting red-carpet ready, Cardiello says. His training programs are based on "rapid muscle response," where new exercises are introduced every 30 seconds during workouts. He also focuses on exercises that work below the navel, targeting areas like the glutes, hamstrings and quads -- three of the largest muscle groups in the body.

What the star plans to wear also factors in here. Cardiello says he's had clients try on their red carpet attire, and areas that are exposed -- shoulders in a strapless gown, someone's midsection in a sheer one -- can be taken into consideration during workouts.

The majority of his workouts can be done just with a client's own body weight, which Cardiello says are safer, don't require any additional equipment and can be done even when people are traveling back and forth (which could be why you usually don't spot stars sweating it out in the hotel gym).

Eat the right things

Bauer cites eggs, veggies like mushrooms and asparagus and lean proteins like chicken and fish as "good" foods to eat leading up to a red carpet event like the Oscars. And carbs can still be on the menu, too. "I tell my clients even eating one healthy carb a day, whether it's a small sweet potato, quinoa, brown rice, have that one serving built in, so your body doesn't start bloating up that night," she advised.

Cardiello also pushes a diet heavy on fruits and vegetables, nuts, fish and other non-processed foods. "What I always say is, 'If it goes bad, it's good for you.' So think about that: If it comes out of the ground and it's handed to you, it's going to go bad in a few days, that's what we do," he said. He also advocates for starting the day with green tea, to "kick-start the metabolism" first thing in the morning.

And snacks aren't forbidden either. Bauer is a fan of healthy options that are "finite and controlled" (she likes Kind Bars) as a bridge between meals -- especially on a long awards show night.

"You can throw a bar into your clutch and have a snack with you to have closer to the show, because sometimes you don't end up eating until late at night," she advised. "So whether it's before the event or during the event, it's good to have one with you just in case, for emergencies, so you don't end up falling off track."

Know what to eat (and what not to) on the big day

Breakfast is still the most important meal of the day, even if you're famous and about to walk a major red carpet. Eggs (poached, hard-boiled or an egg white omelette) with slices of tomato and a few healthy crackers is a meal is a good meal that won't leave you bloated, Bauer says. Others will start with a bowl of berries before a workout, and save the eggs for closer to lunch.

"The idea is that you really want that fiber, protein and a healthy fat," she said.

Cardiello advises his clients to stay away from salt on the big day, and "anything else that's gonna bloat you." He also pushes for a good night's rest, a low-calorie breakfast and having a snack one to two hours before the main event since, as he points out, "You're not going to be able to pick up food during the awards ceremony."

That all culminates in a fancy dress (or tux), lots of posing and endless discussion of the night's looks by fashion fans.

"At the end of the day, people need to realize that the person walking the red carpet, whether it's male or female, is a brand," said Cardiello. "There's a lot of things that go forth. It's not just 'I look good in the Vera Wang.' It's, 'The Vera Wang looks great on me.'"

  • Jessica Derschowitz

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