David Kingsbury is a personal trainer to a range of Hollywood clients. From lifting weights to counting calories, he shares his best weight loss tips

Want a body like Jennifer Lawrence?

The secret is to begin losing weight today rather than dreaming about it, her trainer says. 

David Kingsbury, personal trainer to the stars, helped Lawrence sculpt her body in preparation for the film X-Men: Days of Future Past.

His client list also includes Hollywood A-listers like Hugh Jackman and Amanda Seyfried. 

He says becoming ripped is a matter of eating fewer calories than you use up – and exercising four to six times a week, Healthista reports.

From avoiding calorific snacks like nuts and doing a mixture of weights and cardio, here he shares his top tips on achieving a Hollywood physique…


We’ve all done it – said we’ll start on Monday but Monday never comes. 

We spend so much time researching exercise plans and what foods are good to eat but we never get round to the dreaded start.

‘The main thing is to start. A lot of people spend time trying to get as much information together as possible which for the most part is putting off the inevitable act of exercising more and eating less,’ Mr Kingsbury said.


Calories are important. According to the NHS to maintain your weight as a female you must consume 2,000 calories a day within a healthy, balanced diet. 

The only way to lose weight is by being in a calorie deficit which means you are burning more calories than you are consuming.

‘To be in a deficit, there’s two ways to go about it – one with food, and the other with exercise,’ Mr Kingsbury explained.

But counting calories may prove difficult for every day living. The latest research by Mintel reveals that well over one third of people don’t know how many calories they consume on a typical day.

So what is the best thing to do to know how many calories we are consuming?

’The easiest way is doing a bit of research into the sort of foods you eat and finding out how many calories are in them,’ Mr Kingbury said.

‘People will have healthy snacks and think because they’re healthy they are void of calories but some of the healthiest snacks are some of the most high calorie dense snacks you can eat,’ Mr Kingsbury explained.

Mr Kingsbury prepared Jennifer Lawrence for the film X-Men: Days of Future Past (left, at the premiere in New York) and Amanda Seyfriend for Les Miserables (right, at the film’s premiere in New York)

He has also helped Hugh Jackman prepare for a number of films and counts the actor as a friend

An example of calorie-dense ‘healthy’ snacks are nuts, which contain 500 – 600 calories in 100g.

People could easily snack on nuts all day and eat a 200 – 300g bag, which, for a woman trying to lose weight, could contain their daily allowance of calories, in the bag of nuts alone.

‘It’s about understanding what foods are calorie dense and looking at what foods contain different macro nutrients – is your meal predominantly protein, are there a lot of carbohydrates, is it predominantly fat? It’s knowing the breakdown of foods,’ Mr Kingsbury said. 


For women, Mr Kingsbury suggests doing a combination of cardio exercise and resistance training – weights or exercises like lunges, squats and press ups.

Resistance training is important to help avoid injuries – and along with cardio both types of exercise provide huge benefits in terms of health but also in terms of results.

Throughout his career, Mr Kingsbury has noticed many women are worried to do resistance training as they don’t want to build visible muscle.

Mr Kingsbury said the secret to weight loss is to start a workout plan immediately and to make sure you are using up more calories than you are eating

But it is a really good tool for fat and weight loss, and it’s quite difficult to build muscle unless that’s what you’re setting out to achieve.

Mr Kingsbury suggests doing four to six sessions a week including an equal combination of resistance and cardio training. But what does this include?

‘Some of those cardio sessions will be, for example, a one hour power walk or a two hour walk on the weekend. So it’s about being active as well as exercising or training,’ Mr Kingsbury said.

If someone has access to a gym, resistance training could include doing exercises on the cable machines or doing leg presses. 

Alternatively, lunges and squats are good examples of resistance training with body weight.

Mr Kingsbury trained Hugh Jackman for the film Wolverine


Mr Kingsbury appreciates each individual is completely different in terms of their size, how many calories they should be consuming in a day and how much exercise they should be doing.

But people who don’t have much time to work out can still lose weight, he said. 

‘If someone only has half an hour, interval training can be more effective for cardio; for example, spin your legs gently on the bike for a couple of minutes then do a one minute sprint and repeat that several times,’ Mr Kingsbury said.


It’s easy to find a general online meal plan and follow it, but Mr Kingsbury believes in tailoring meal plans for each individual.

When he plans meals for his online clients there are many factors which need to be considered when deciding how many calories a day someone should be consuming.

For example, he asks for their height and weight but also for their waist measurements.

The larger someone’s waist measurement generally the lesser their ability to handle carbohydrates or use them effectively. 

Another thing to take into consideration is how many hours of exercise per week they do while following this meal plan.

The calories someone consumes is completely dependent on their activity levels as well. 

But what about ‘cheat’ days? We all experience cravings for naughty foods, a quick sweet treat to boost our mood on a Wednesday afternoon, it’s only human. 

But we have to appreciate that the more naughty foods we eat, the slower our progress will be.

Mr Kingsbury doesn’t like calling them ‘cheat meals’ but says that it’s just a meal where you can be flexible with what you’re having.

How many ‘flexible’ days you have will depend on your own goals and motivations.

Mr Kingsbury admits he indulges as much as he wants to, but says naughty foods wouldn’t even appeal to those serious about losing some weight.

‘If someone is really trying to achieve something cheating becomes something that’s not even of interest whereas if someone is a lot more relaxed about the process and isn’t in so much of a rush to get there then those cheat meals can become part of it.

’It depends on if you want an A grade, B grade or C grade body. For an A grade, you would go all in meaning no cheat meals,’ Mr Kingsbury said.

Having a cheat day is fine as long as your overall calorie count keeps you in deficit, Mr Kingsbury said

‘B grade would mean you could have a cheat meal once a fortnight. Someone who wants a C grade would mean that they’re prepared to take a little bit longer over it, so they can have cheat meals more frequently.’

The problem with cheat meals or cheat days is people often let go of what they’re consuming and therefore have no idea of how many calories they are having.

Having a cheat day is fine if people keep make sure their overall calorie count means they are in deficit. 

‘It is OK to have a cheat day, but you still must consider the amount of calories your body is going through that day,’ Mr Kingsbury said.

‘As long as it fits in with your weekly calorie count then you should get away with it.’

Doing a mix of cario and resistance training – weights or exercises like push ups, lunges and squats – will reap the best results


The best way to move forward on the road to weight loss is by asking someone who knows what they are doing. 

As mentioned above, the most difficult part to changing your life is starting. 

Often, getting a helping hand from someone who is knowledgable could push you in the right direction. 

It’s easy to find help online but the exercise and meal plans you can find are not specifically tailored to you or your body, so it’s best to get someone who can help your needs and desires.

‘If you’re starting out on something and you want to see results but don’t want to spend time doing the wrong thing, seek advice from someone and you can be on an effective fitness and eating plan and you will see results more quickly,’ says Mr Kingsbury.


Although Kingsbury has revealed that a food plan has to be custom in order for it to work, he has given us an insight on the kind of plans he creates for his online customers. 

This meal plan has been structured according to a women with a 28 inch waist, weighing 9st 10lbs (62 kg), who is 5?8 inches (173cm) and participates in four hours of activity a week.

BREAKFAST – Scrambled egg with smoked salmon


  • 80g smoked salmon
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 110g raw spinach
  • 24g sultanas
  • 96g/3 egg whites

BREAKFAST: Tuck into smoked salmon and scrambled eggs with half an avocado and 24g of sultanas


Scramble the egg and egg whites

serve together with other ingredients


LUNCH – Creamy pesto turkey lunch


  • 1 1/2 tblspns full fat cream
  • cheese
  • 100g red lentils
  • 2 tspns pesto
  • 40g spinach
  • 80g turkey breast


Boil the lentils in water for 10 – 15 minutes.

Grill the turkey until cooked through.

Mix the pesto with the cream cheese, add the turkey and lentils and warm the mixture through.

Serve with the spinach raw or steamed for 3 minutes. 


DINNER: Munch on a chicken curry with sweet potato and make ‘rice’ out of grated broccoli

DINNERChicken curry with broccoli rice 


115g broccoli

100g chicken breast

4 1/2 tblspns half fat creme fraiche

2 tspns curry powder

1 tspn lime juice

35g sweet potato



SNACK: A peanut butter and banana smoothie made with almond milk and whey protein

Peel and chop sweet potatoes into 1cm cubes.

Stir fry the chicken in a couple of sprays of 1cal olive oil until it is cooked through, adding the sweet potato for the final 10 minutes.

3. Add the creme fraiche, lime juice and curry powder into the pan gently heat for 5 minutes.

4. Grate the broccoli into a rice consistency using a grater (if wish to cook the broccoli then put into a pan with a few tablespoons of water and heat for 3-4 minutes).

5. Serve together.


SNACK – Peanut butter and banana smoothie 


20ml unsweetened almond milk

20g banana

10g peanut butter

10g whey protein powder (banofee or vanilla)

100ml water



1. Mix all ingredients together in a blender. Add water as needed – start with 100ml

This article originally appeared and is republished here with the permission of Healthista.