Celebrity Fit or Fad: Anna Kournikova

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Anna Kournikova, tennis superstar, model and girlfriend of Latin crooner Enrique Iglesias was just named the newest trainer on "The Biggest Loser," replacing Jillian Michaels who has left the NBC show after Season 11. Of the new gig Anna said, "As a former professional tennis player and certified trainer, this is a wonderful opportunity for me to share my enthusiasm for staying fit across America's homes. I'm honored to join a program that embraces the values of a healthy lifestyle and is committed to fighting obesity. I look forward to the upcoming season and seeing the results we can achieve together."

Season 12 is set to see trainers Brett Hoebel and Cara Castronuova gone, and the show will take on a new direction with Executive Producer Todd Lubin reportedly saying the focus will shift from "just the tape measure," and get into "overall well-being and health." Familiar clips of screaming trainers could be replaced with more practical advice about the strict diets "Biggest Loser"
contestants follow.

Tufts University obesity clinician and researcher Michael Dansinger, MD, developed a book for the "Biggest Loser" weight loss program accompanied by dietitian and chef Cheryl Forberg, RD, trainers Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels, and writer Maggie Greenwood-Robinson, PhD. The plan in The Biggest Loser: The Weight Loss Program to Transform Your Body, Health, and Life, is described by Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, LD of WebMD as "a low-calorie diet based on 'The Biggest Loser' pyramid of 4-3-2-1 (four servings of fruits and veggies; three of lean protein; two of whole grains; and one 'extra'), along with good old-fashioned exercise."

Verdict: Fit
Susan Bowerman, MS, RD of UCLA's Center for Human Nutrition gives the plan the go ahead, saying, "It is very similar to the plan we use at our clinics, using very low-fat and lean protein, lots of fruits and vegetables (with an emphasis on vegetables), and avoiding refined grains -- which has proven to be successful because the diet is very satiating." And although American Dietetic Association spokeswoman Amy Jamieson-Petonic, MEd, RD endorses the program, she adds a caveat for keeping calories at a healthy level. Her advice: "It is not recommended to consume fewer than 1,200 calories a day because it is difficult to obtain the necessary vitamins, minerals, and nutrients needed for daily activities."