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Many of our favorite celebrities have unbelievable figures, but we just can’t write them off to ‘good genetics.’ The truth is that these stars work hard to stay lean – both in terms of exercise and diet. Thankfully, these days it seems that the celebrity trend is toward ‘healthy’ rather than extreme diets. While some celebrities are full carnivores and others are vegetarian or vegan, most health conscious stars follow the basic principles of lots of veggies and fruits, lean protein sources and whole grains.
However, there are a few celebs that follow pretty restrictive diets. Others have temporarily followed crazy cleanses or strict one-food-group diets in an attempt to quickly shed the pounds. Not only are some of these diets downright dangerous – they put the dieters at risk for the dreaded yo-yo effect. Weight lost too quickly is much more likely to come back later AND SOME.
Let’s have a look at some of the most extreme celebrity diets, and what makes them NOT worth us following!
This diet, created by celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson this diet was followed by several celebrities including Jennifer Aniston, Lady Gaga and Gwyneth Paltrow. The idea behind the diet is that it helps curb cravings while not sacrificing nutrition since most baby food is fortified. The diet has two variations. One is to eat 14 jars of baby food throughout the day with the option of a healthy adult meal at dinner. The other option is to eat 3 normal adult meals per day, swapping snacks for baby food.
The problem with this diet? First of all, we’re not babies and it’s unlikely that this diet would be satisfying to us in the long term. Eventually, we’re going to want some adult food with adult flavors. It’s also not nutritionally complete for adults since baby food lacks fiber, calcium and vitamin D. Also, just like with any other diet, you have to control the types of baby food, number of jars and calories eaten in order for it to work.
Most dieticians agree that the baby food diet is nothing more than a gimmick and that we’d be better off following a real-food diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains.
2) The Master Cleanse
In my recent article about Beyonce, I shared that several years ago she used The Master Cleanse to shed 20 pounds prior to filming Dream Girls. Gwyneth Paltrow has reportedly used the cleanse as well. While it worked temporarily for Beyonce, she states that she wouldn’t recommend it to others. The truth is that this cleanse is really extreme!
It involves a 10-day diet of liquids only – no solid foods. Each day you make yourself a lemonade of lemon juice, maple syrup, cayenne pepper and water. You also must take a laxative in the morning and the evening, or you can trade the morning laxative for a salt water flush. Needless to say, many master cleansers complain of hunger, weakness, loss of muscle mass and constant trips to the bathroom. Nutritionists also say that this diet can be dangerous. Not only are you starving yourself, but you’re depriving yourself of all of the essential nutrients: vitamins, minerals, protein, carbohydrates, fiber and fat.
Liquid cleanses are really just starvation diets. You might lose pounds, but they’ll be in the form of lean muscle and fluids. They also mess with your metabolism causing it to slow quickly to conserve your body’s energy stores (fat) instead of burning it. Whenever you follow an extremely restrictive diet plan, it’s usually followed by an extreme binge. This combination will probably cause you to gain additional weight after the end of the cleanse.
There aren’t many of us that would follow any trend started by Snooki, and The Cookie Diet should be no exception. A few years ago, Snooki made headlines when she slimmed down significantly using Dr. Siegal’s Cookie Diet. The Cookie Diet involves eating 6 – 10 cookies per day (you choose between the 6 cookie plan or the 10 cookie plan) and then a healthy dinner.
How is it that Snooki could lose weight by eating a non-diet food? The cookie diet actually limits your caloric intake to 800 – 1200 calories per day, an amount considerably less than recommended by most dieticians. Since you’re eating the same food most of the time (cookies) you’re also missing the vital nutrients you’d be getting by eating well-rounded meals.
The Cookie Diet is misleading in that it makes you think you can indulge, when in reality you’re restricting calories and noshing on cookies that aren’t as tasty as you might imagine.
4) Macrobiotic Diet
This diet certainly sounds healthier than cookies, but some macrobiotic dieters turn it into a very restrictive form of eating that would certainly make dinner with friends an awkward affair. Gwyneth Paltrow (yes, that’s the third diet she’s been associated with in this article) reportedly followed the diet which doesn’t allow any processed or refined food. The macrobiotic diet focuses on a natural, organic plant-based food sources (with a little fish), and foods should be consumed in their ‘most natural state.’ According to sources, Paltrow also went the extra steps of eating no animal products whatsoever and nothing cooked.
Paltrow took the macrobiotic concept much further than some practitioners do, and she may have put herself at risk for some of the problems that go along with lack of calcium, protein and vitamin B. Paltrow herself was diagnosed with osteopenia (a precursor to osteoporosis) a few years ago, which may have been caused by her extreme diets over the years.
This interesting diet involves eating only foods of a certain color each day, and different colors for each of the 7 days of the week. Some sources state that Christina Aguilera is currently following this diet religiously to lose weight. How does this diet work? For example, Monday is white foods, so on Monday the dieter can eat bananas, cauliflower, garlic, ginger, jicama, mushrooms onions and potatoes. Tuesday is red, Wednesday is green, etc. The idea behind the diet is not to leave out any nutrients and to learn to enjoy new fruits and vegetables that you may not otherwise consume.
While this actually sounds pretty healthy and might be fun to follow for about a week or so, it seems like it might get to be a pain in the rear after a while…especially for those of us that don’t have a personal chef working for us 24-7. However, if this diet sounds enjoyable to you it might be the only one of these 5 extreme plans that we’d support you giving a try. Since it’s based on fruits, vegetables and grains (but doesn’t leave out lean proteins), it’s actually pretty balanced. And if it means you’ll get your veggies in, then by all means, eat by the rainbow.
Here’s the good news. Anyone willing to work hard for it can become their leanest and fittest selves, just like the celebrities. If you’re looking for a nutrition and fitness plan that will help you make that lifestyle change, we invite you to try out Athlean-XX for Women. We designed Athlean-XX for Women to be a REALISTIC plan for REAL women. Our workouts are just 30 minutes per day, but they’ll get your heart pumping and get you in shape FAST! Our diet plan is actually not a diet at all. We want you to eat more! Eat healthy foods 5 – 6 times per day, and you’ll get your metabolism revved like a well-oiled machine. We also keep you inspired with our daily blog posts and our active Facebook community. Join us on Team Athlean – we’ll keep help keep you motivated and reach your goals!
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