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Butter binge to be Bridget

Renée Zellweger, the actress, has revealed the key to her massive weight gain for her reprise of the Bridget Jones role: four slices of bread smothered in clarified butter and cream cheese, French toast with syrup and eggs benedict. And that’s just for breakfast.

The 34-year-old, usually a size eight fitness fanatic, has been told to put on four stone for her role as the single lovelorn Londoner in the film Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, which starts production next Monday.

In typical all-or-nothing Hollywood style, Zellweger, who is staying at a rented west London home where she is trying to achieve a size 16 figure, has thrown herself into the task.

With the help of a nutritionist and her own personal chef, she is eating her way through 12 courses of fatty foods a day. In addition to the breakfast, she is gorging on curries for lunch and steak and chips for dinner.

Snacks of chocolates, peanuts and crisps are positively encouraged as are full fat milkshakes and sugary fizzy drinks. Exercise, on the other hand, is banned. Her extreme regime means that on average she is consuming 3,800 calories a day, nearly twice the recommended 2,000 for a woman her age. It is estimated she is taking in 200g of fat per day, compared with 70g, the recommended daily intake.

Remarkably Zellweger, speaking at the premiere in Kensington, west London, of her latest film Down With Love, believes she is taking a healthy approach to the weight gain.

She said: “I’m really putting the food away. It’s basically lots of high-fat, really fatty foods. My nutritionist is feeding me healthy food, but with really high concentrations of fat.

“They take my mind off how much they are getting me to eat by keeping me busy with, for example, a wardrobe fitting or a dialect class, or we will be rehearsing and she will just put it in front of me. So we’ll be talking about something else while all this fat is going inside me.”

Zellweger, who was speaking to London’s Evening Standard, added: “I have given up exercise as well. Certainly no running around Hyde Park — no way.”

While the actress may be under the illusion that she is taking a healthy approach, others are not so convinced.

Amanda Ursell, a nutritionist, said: “I am very surprised that the diet includes so many saturated fats which raise cholesterol and fur arteries. If I was her nutritionist I would suggest foods which contain mono-unsaturated fats like olive oil, oily fish and peanuts. This doesn’t seem a very safe way to gain pounds.”

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