People (or should I say celebrities) do some crazy things for weight loss. Below are just 10 of those examples..
1. The Victoria’s Secret Diet
Who’s doing it: Adriana Lima
Why it’s popular: The allure of looking like a Victoria’s Secret Model is just too attractive for most to resist – despite this being one of the worst (nutritionally) weight-loss plans out there. The dieter consumes only protein shakes mixed with powdered egg, washed down with a gallon of water, while continuing to exercise once or twice a day. And that’s just the beginning. Right before runway time, she’ll stop taking in liquids altogether! Emaciation may be a popular runway look, but in real life it’s just plain dangerous.
“Sometimes you can lose up to eight pounds just from that,” she told The Telegraph in the UK.
Cons: Subsisting solely on liquids will not only be difficult, it’s likely to lead to unsustainable weight loss.
Tania Flack a leading Sydney Naturopath and Nutritionist (www.taniaflack.com) warns: ‘this diet is detrimental to your health as it encourages dehydration, provides virtually no micronutrients and ultimately models will look gaunt and exhausted on the catwalk (not to mention constipated!). It would also cause havoc to the body’s delicate pH balance as it is far too acidic.’
2. The K-E Diet
Who’s doing it: Brides and reality stars.
Why it’s popular: This method promises 9kg weightless over 10 days.
Not one for the lighthearted. Feeding tubes are literally weaved into the stomach via the nose and esophagus to ‘feed’ the patient liquid proteins, amounting to an alarming 800 calories per day. This forces the body into what is called ketosis which means the body burns up stores of fat. According to The Daily Mail, dieters can remove the tube for one hour a day and can drink water, tea or coffee throughout the day.
Cons: Side effects include bad breath, constipation, potential kidney problems and of course weakness, headaches and dehydration – not to mention it is totally lunacy. It’s no surprise that this isn’t supported by Sydney health expert Tania Flack.
‘This extreme approach to weight loss is absolutely ridiculous and would place a great deal of strain on the body and be damaging to your health as it would force the body into extreme ketosis. It’s an invasive intervention that would leave the bride feeling weakened and looking exhausted on her big day.’
3. The New York Diet
Who’s doing it: Liz Hurley
Why it’s popular: designed by celebrity fitness expert David Kirsch, the diet promises to help you lose 6 kg and inches off the waist in only 2 weeks.
This is done by drastically reducing carbs, cutting out dairy, fruit, bread, sugar, coffee, alcohol and most fats – leaving you with a daily calorie intake between 800-1000 calories. Phase one allows 3 portioned controlled meals (such as egg white omelet, tuna cob salad and chicken and vegetable stir-fry) with two protein shakes as snacks.
Phase 2 reintroductions carbs (from fruit and vegetables) to your diet over a 2 week period with a daily calorie intake of 900 to 1000.
Cons: Some nutritionists believe the calorie restrictions for the first 2 weeks are too severe and that the complete elimination of certain food groups isn’t healthy and doesn’t help muscle tissue.
Sydney Nutritionist Tania Flack agrees and warns ‘the calorie restriction in the first two weeks of the program is too severe and ultimately it may result in loss of active tissue mass (muscle mass), which can lead to a slowing down of metabolism in the long run, especially if it is repeated.’
4. The Bleak Diet
Who’s doing it: Mariah Carey
Why it’s popular: This diet was created by music diva Mariah Carey and consists of soups and fish prepared without salt, sugar or spices. Bleak.
With an emphasis on lean protein Mariah lost approximately 15gk in four months. The diet also has a strong focus on exercise.
Cons: The longevity of this monotonous diet would be slim (mind the pun) due to tasteless food! Health expert Tania Flack explains:
‘Cutting sugar out of the diet is essential if you want to lose weight and minimizing your salt intake is always a good idea. Spices however should never be restricted and food should be appetizing. As long as vegetable intake was unlimited and small amounts low glycaemic index carbohydrates and lots of good quality seafood was included it actually may not be a bad choice.’
5. Fish Facelift
Who’s doing it: Sex And The City star Kim Cattrall
Why it’s popular: A facelift minus the knife? Pass the salmon! This is one of the few diets in Hollywood that doesn’t focus on weight-loss. The Fish Facelift (or Perricone Diet) calls on extremely large sums of oily fish such as salmon to reap the anti-aging benefits which is provided via the omega-3s.
While Nutritionist Tania Flack loves the idea of eating your way to a new fresh faced look via a diet high in omega 3 essential fatty acids there are things to be aware of:
‘I would recommend that you avoid eating larger (pelagic) fish such as sword fish and shark (flake) as they bioaccumulate heavy metals which could undo all the benefits if you ate them on a regular basis.’
Cons: Expensive, fishy and limiting.
6. The Cookie Diet
Who’s doing it: The reality star Snooky used it to drop the pounds she had put on with her binge-drinking lifestyle
Why it’s popular: who wouldn’t love a diet that allows you to eat cookies AND offers weight loss?! But is this diet really everything it’s cracked up to be?
On this plan, dieters eat up to nine 60-calorie cookies a day formulated by weight-loss expert and author Dr. Siegal’s, breaking for the hunger-suppressing treat every two hours. Why? Because less time without food means less time to get hungry. There is also a substantial 500 to 700 calorie meal tallying up to 1,000 daily calories and, at that calorie level, there are NO failures. Everyone loses weight.
Cons: Health expert Tania Flack says put down the cookie: ‘Again another fad diet that doesn’t provide enough fresh vegetables! It’s hardly helping to educate people on good food choices as most people on this diet probably gained weight by eating cookies in the first place.’
7. Apple Cider Vinegar Diet
Who’s doing it: Megan Fox claimed the vinegar transformed her body by ridding her body of water weight and boosts her metabolism.
Why it’s popular: Advocates claim that vinegar flushes out fats in the colon, helping the body digest food while curbing cravings. But vinegar isn’t a weight-loss panacea. There’s no evidence it does anything but leave behind an unpleasant taste.
Sydney expert Tania Flack (www.taniaflack.com) explains ‘Apple cider vinegar will promote good digestion as it would stimulate digestive acids. This may help to reduce abdominal bloating in some people. It isn’t a cure all, but certainly could be considered an added benefit to a well controlled diet.’
Cons: There’s no evidence of weight loss. It may not do anything but leave behind an unpleasant taste.
8. Seven-Day Colour Diet
Who’s doing it: this regimen has supposedly attracted Christina Agularia
Why it’s popular: Each day of the week is devoted to a specific colour. Adding colour to your diet can help ensure that you’re getting a variety of nutrients. This weight-loss plan takes that idea to the next level. Day one is white, day two is red, day three is green, day four is orange, day five is purple, day six is yellow, and on day 7 you eat the rainbow of colour. It is said that if you follow and stick with the diet, you should lose weight, maintain a healthy weight and maybe even improve your complexion.
Cons: ‘It’s a great idea to have a wide range of different coloured fruits and vegetables in the diet,’ explains Naturopath and Nutritionist Tania Flack ‘however trying to stick to one colour per day seems a bit limited to me and would surely lead to some strange food combinations. Try to have as many different coloured vegetables on your plate at each meal; it will give you the same results.’
9. The Bacteria Diet
Who’s doing it: Madonna is said to be a fan.
Why it’s popular: More of a science than an actual plan, this diet is high in fibre and laced with “good bacteria.” The theory is that the bacteria will ward off cancer and help with food digestion by promoting the growth of microbes in poop. Yes, poop.
Cons: Expert Tania Flack explains that this diet may not be as silly as it seems: ‘A high level of dysbiotic bacteria in the gut has been linked to problems with insulin signalling, systemic inflammation, obesity and metabolic syndrome. In fact, some studies have shown that changing your gut flora for the better actually helps you lose weight. I find in clinic that people with gut dysbiosis and ‘leaky gut’ often have trouble losing weight and correcting the gut can help achieve weight loss. High fibre diets, particularly vegetable fibres help to promote healthy gut flora which in turn would support weight loss.’
10. The Drunk Diet
Who’s doing it: the one and only, Lady Gaga.
Why it’s popular: The singer says she drinks whiskey while she works, but will always exercise after regardless of a hangover, hmm. Here’s to hoping this diet is more of a publicity stunt (as many people speculate) than a lifestyle. Although her ex boyfriend has scored a book deal based on the The Drunk Diet aiming to illustrate how he transformed his body with the oddball technique, in what he boasts as ‘the greatest f***ing diet book of all time’
Cons: Do you really need to ask?
TF: This is an appalling weight loss fad that will never work!!
Lee Sutherland – Director of Fitness In The City (Personal Training, Health Coach and Blogger on all things health, natural medicine, nutrition and fitness).
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Expert commenter is Tania Flack www.taniaflack.com
Tania Flack is a leading Sydney Naturopath and Nutritionist, who believes that an integrated approach to healthcare, including the use of evidence based natural medicine, is the best approach for optimal wellness.