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FITNESS | Guest Workout

Living the Lifestyle of the Lean and Famous

March 09, 1998|CANDACE A. WEDLAN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Shari Belafonte said right up front what this phone interview would be like. "There's nothing normal about me. I'm telling you right now" is how the actress, who co-starred in the 1980s TV series "Hotel," put it. She recently co-hosted the syndicated series "Lifestyles With Robin Leach and Shari Belafonte," an updated version of "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous."

"I'm listening to myself tell you this stuff," she said, referring to her eating habits, "and I know that people are going to go, 'She's got to be insane.' "

Belafonte grabs whatever she feels like eating--never mind the time of day. Her diet consists of turkey, fish, peanut butter, vegetarian pizza, Chinese food, pasta with tomato sauce, vegetables and fruit, particularly apples and avocados. "The weekend could be a brunch thing, and I always have a mimosa on Sundays and I love artichokes. Occasionally, an egg-white omelet, although I'm not a big egg fan." A favorite snack is Ritz crackers with cream cheese. Belafonte is the spokeswoman for Diet System 6, and she takes the diet supplements especially when she's on vacation, feasting on fried fish and pin~a coladas.

"And I drink lots of water. I do find when I don't drink water, I get stupid--and I get plenty of sun," Belafonte said. "My dad and I are the only people I know that still have reflectors." Dad, of course, is singer Harry Belafonte. She also drinks vodka or champagne, and her husband, actor Sam Behrens, drinks martinis. Belafonte described him as "the older hunk on 'Sunset Beach,' " a daytime soap opera on NBC).

Belafonte, 43, said that these days she feels good at 124 pounds--she's 5 feet, 3 3/4 inches ("unless I'm wearing really great hair, then I'm 5-foot-4"). "I know this is going to sound really weird, but . . . I have found that as I've gotten older, I've gotten heavier and I've gotten better looking. Make sense? When I was 110, I looked so gaunt."

Belafonte has traded in gaunt for taut. She puts herself through a rigorous workout three times a week at the Power Center gym in Toluca Lake, where she and trainer Brian Shiers put in one long hour of treadmill, weights, 200 to 300 crunches and kick boxing. "I'm telling you, it's like night and day. I can go in there for two days and lose two inches of body fat just working out."

Since Belafonte brought up getting older, did she notice anything else? "All I know is that I just took up knitting, and my husband just bought a Cadillac. He had on a hat like the one Henry Fonda wore in 'On Golden Pond,' like a fishing cap, and these Dennis the Menace's father's glasses--you know, nerd glasses. And, I'm knitting. Somebody get the camera."

* Guest Workout runs Mondays in Health.

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