Shawn McKee

Celebrities, whether you love their new movie or loathe the release of their new album you must admire their near perfect bodies. Celebs' abilities to bounce back after childbirth and do things like appear in Playboy shortly after delivery are nothing short of miraculous. But what's their secret?

Movie stars, musicians and fashion models often use extreme techniques and rigorous routines to tone up for Tinseltown. Some use the same diets as the rest of us. And some, well, make up their own absurd diets. Here, we take a look at who's losing weight the right way and who's just losing it.

The Usual Suspects

Celebrity weight scrutiny is everywhere, Jennifer Aniston made the cover of In Touch in America for "looking pregnant" - but it could just be a large lunch. Her weight-loss secret early in her Friends career was with the help of The Zone Diet, and she kept it off. She hooked up her then hubby, Brad Pitt, with the diet, as well as fellow friends Matt LeBlanc and Mathew Perry. Rene Zellweger, Cindy Crawford, Demi Moore, Sandra Bullock, Elle McPhearson and Sarah Michelle Gellar are also reported fans of this diet.

Geri Halliwell, Courteney Cox, Christina Ricci and Sarah Jessica Parker all claim that their slim physiques were acquired thanks to the Atkins diet.

Kim Cattrall, Naomi Campbell and Bill Clinton have touted the benefits of the Gi diet to lose weight and keep it off.

Proponents of this plan claim fabulous skin, reduced ageing and even increased libido as a result of following the Gi way of eating.

You lost it how?

While most celebs can use real diet plans created by nutritionists and doctors, some just do whatever the hell they want. Here's a look at the sillier side of celebrity slimming.

Mariah Carey revealed details about losing over 2 stone in just four months by limiting her food intake with what she calls her morsel diet. In an interview with American Life + Style she says, "I kind of invented the diet. Basically you can have a tiny bit of everything you want - but it has to be less than a forkful." Feeling hungry? Fork it!

Keira Knightley is considered one of the “world’s sexiest women,” and she keeps her slender figure in a rather unorthodox way: "I'm not one of those people who's going to jog five miles every morning. I eat bowls of pasta or whatever makes me happy," she says in an interview for Elle magazine. "I haven't been to the gym since January and I'm drinking about half a bottle of wine a night." The half-a-bottle-of-wine-a-night diet - nice work.

Beyonce lost 20 pounds for her role in the film Dreamgirls. How'd she do it? "I tried to do it Tom Hanks style, and I literally fasted because I had to drop it really fast in the film," she says. "Everyone was eating cookies and I’m drinking, literally, water and cayenne pepper. But it worked." Ah, starvation and cayenne pepper - the secret of the stars.

When Jessica Simpson was preparing for her role in Dukes of Hazard, her trainer ate every meal with her to keep her on track.

Most of these extremes are for movie roles or upcoming tours, but they also include a fitness element - except in Knightley's case - and they had help from personal trainers or chefs. They have all the advantages because they can afford them and their careers depend on the way they look.

Imagine if on your way to work people were snapping photos and posting them all over the place with captions like, "Is she pregnant?" or "Sally from accounting's weight gain." Not a pretty picture!