I have the benefit of sitting next door to a real, live dietitian—the kind that went to school for a million years and will probs pay off her student loans for the next several decades. Recently, she informed me that a diet followed by the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson, and other celebrities, is too good to be true. The diet in question is called the alkaline diet, and it is apparently 100% a scam for a multitude of reasons. I nearly spit out my iced coffee when I heard this. The internet has led me astray?! Say it isn’t so.
So, before you set off on a journey to reset your body’s pH levels, here’s everything you need to know about the alkaline diet and why it’s a waste of time and money.
What The Alkaline Diet Is
According to WebMD, my source for anxiety, the alkaline diet is a diet based on the theory that “some foods, like meat, wheat, refined sugar, and processed foods, cause your body to produce acid, which is bad for you.” It also claims, “eating specific foods that make your body more alkaline can protect against those conditions as well as shed pounds.” So that’s the science behind this plan—eat healthier foods, avoid processed garbage, fix your pH levels, and SHED THOSE POUNDS.
As for why people ever subscribed to this in the first place? “The theory goes that consuming acid-inducing foods and drinks creates an unhealthy cellular environment and sends distress signals throughout the body, leading to colds, outbreaks and inflammation. It’s suggested that continual acid-dumping via food can create chronic disease such as arthritis, osteoporosis, and cancer,” says Greatist. Sounds like a conspiracy theory, but ok. So, again, the idea is that if I eat basic (IT’S A PH JOKE, EVERYONE) food and avoid acid, I’ll live forever and be skinny. Yah, totally!
Why It Doesn’t Work
So basically, and for those of us who didn’t go to dietitian school, here’s the bottom line: the only way you can change the pH in your body is by hypo or hyperventilating, which means adding more oxygen to or taking oxygen away from your blood. No amount or type of food is going to have an effect on that. PERIOD. END OF STORY.
According to WebMD, our bodies are slightly alkaline to begin with, with a pH of 7.35-7.45. Our stomachs are obviously acidic, with a pH of 3.5 or less. WebMD says, “nothing you eat is going to substantially change the pH of your blood. Your body works to keep that level constant.” Thanks, WebMD, for the science lesson (NERDS!). But, yes, at the end of the day, a diet that claims to fix your body’s acid levels—which are perfect as they are—is utter crap. That’s what you get for following a diet peddled by self-proclaimed doctors like Gwyneth Paltrow and her Goop followers.
And, as a note, the guy who literally invented the alkaline diet, Robert Young, PhD, MAY BE GOING TO PRISON FOR PRACTICING MEDICINE WITHOUT A LICENSE. Yeah. He helped to write the book on this whole alkaline diet and the theory that all diseases are caused by too much or too little acid. According to Health.com, he was convicted of practicing medicine without a license. As an added bonus, “A jury was deadlocked on several other charges against him, including defrauding patients out of money.” He allegedly convinced terminally ill cancer patients that they could be cured by dping some weird expensive baking-soda treatments “to flush dangerous acid out of the body.” Yeah… This guy DEFINITELY sounds like someone who could make up a diet based around acid in your blood. What a jackass.
“But I Lost Weight, So You’re Wrong”
Here’s the thing: the alkaline diet may “work” in that you lose weight, but you’re not losing weight because of any kind of radical pH changes or sorcery in your blood. You’re losing weight on the alkaline diet because the cornerstones of said diet are to EAT HEALTHY. WHAT AN IMPRESSIVE CONCEPT. By cutting out things like meat, refined sugar, and processed foods, you’re most likely going to lose weight. Granted, this diet says you don’t have to exercise—which, no, yes you do—but starting with eating better and cutting the crap is definitely going to give you a leg up. So fight me in the comments, and I’ll teach you about why the diet industry is a billion-dollar system and you’re a dope for getting duped by these shenanigans. Oh, and why you shouldn’t follow a diet invented by a quack doctor so he can swim in his dollar bills.
I hope I ruined everyone’s day. Bottom line: Diets in general don’t work because you’re applying a temporary fix to what should be a lifestyle change. Eat better, exercise more, and don’t inhale pizza every meal, and you’ll be healthier.
Images: Shutterstock; Giphy (3)
It can be super tempting to head to your local Walgreens/CVS/witch doctor and grab a bottle of pills promising SUPER XXTREME WEIGHT LOSS or CRAZY ENERGY or YOU’LL LOOK LIKE KATE MOSS IN 1997. No one LIKES to get sweaty and gross at the gym, say no to that double chocolate chip cookie, or skip on the extra parmesan grated oh so nicely over your lasagna, so making a pill do the work seems like the most American way to lose those extra three pounds.
However, because of lots of loopholes in our system, almost any asshole can produce a bottle of pills, claim it does magical things, and use very little (if any) data to back it up. Yes, there are some supplements that “show in studies” that participants experienced some very modest weight loss, but the many of these pills have studies that a) are sponsored and, therefore, not v legit or b) gave rats and animals such high fucking doses of said pills that the caffeine and other shit naturally made them sweat off five pounds or whatever the rat equivalent is.
Here are some of the most bullsh*t diet pills that don’t work. Grab an iced green tea and take a walk instead, because that will do more for you than these pills.
1. Raspberry Ketones
According to LiveScience, “Reliable research on the use of raspberry ketone for any health condition in humans is currently lacking. Further high-quality research is needed.” This is not just my opinion, BTW—so says Catherine Ulbricht, senior pharmacist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and co-founder of Natural Standard Research Collaboration, which reviews evidence on herbs and supplements. More importantly, literally none of the studies done to show weight loss from raspberry ketones WERE DONE IN HUMANS. So, yeah, maybe if you have the same fat problems and diabetes as a pale white lab rat (guilty), you could benefit from raspberry ketones the same way. But it’s probably better to just go with diet and exercise.
I’m sorry to break it to you, but Kim K and Anna Nicole (RIP) lied to us. Hydroxycut has been around for-freaking-ever and is super popular, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t full of sh*t. Basically, this stuff claims to work the same as caffeine, making you all cracked out and jittery in exchange for losing a pound or two. Unfortunately, there’s only one study on the supplement and no long-term data on how effective it is after, like, a week. So yeah, if you crush and snort Hydroxycut and chain smoke for a week, you’re probably gonna lose the same amount of weight you would from drinking 10 cups of coffee and chain-smoking. Amazing!
3. Green Coffee Bean Extract
Ding ding ding! Industry sponsored studies do not an honest supplement make. According to Health Line, green coffee bean extract did help some people lose weight (like, five pounds more than a placebo over the course of a few weeks), but the studies were all pushed and paid for by the company. And, again, the weight loss in these “studies” is so modest that can it even really be counted? I can lose five pounds from eating nothing, too, but I’m not going to market that sh*t. Or maybe I should?
CLA stands for Conjugated Linoleic Acid, and has been popular for like, a while. Again, don’t waste your money / I’m about to ruin your day. Basically, CLA claims to reduce your appetite and give your metabolism a needed push, but in a review of 18 studies, the weight loss was about 0.2 pounds per week with the potential for lots of side-effects. AGAIN, that’s practically water weight I can pee out each morning. Why take the risk for like, oily diarrhea poos and the loss of one singular pound when you can trade a piece of pizza for a salad and feel better?
Forskolin is a compound found in the roots of a plant that’s sort of like mint and has been used in herbal medicines for like, ever. Once Dr. Oz started singing songs of its glory, Americans were all about this stuff. The claim is that forskolin effects fat metabolism; however, a lot of the studies showed it had very little, if any, effect on body weight. Even more sketchy, there is INCREDIBLY limited data on side-effects. Probs best to avoid this stuff that I keep reading as “foreskin”.
Images: Giphy (2)
Holy shit, it’s June. We ignored all the signs and warnings. We threw caution to the wind as we ate that third (all right, fifth) slice of pizza. We didn’t switch out our Diet Coke for LaCroix (LET ME LIVE). We promised ourselves that tomorrow would be the start of our diet. Bitches, tomorrow is here. But before you freak out and go on a 72-hour fat flush and laxative tea diet, we did some investigatory journalism about those diet myths you def have believed since age 12, when you saw your first issue of Vogue and wondered why your tummy had fat rolls. Stop believing these diet myths now that you are a grown-ass adult.
1. All Calories Are Created Equal
If a piece of pizza is 300 calories and a giant salad is also 300 calories, then, like logically, I should “cheat” and have the pizza cause I deserve it and also it’s the same amount of calories and will sit upon my thighs the same way. Right? Fuckin’ wrong. According to Eat This Not That, your body will store calories differently depending what they are.
If you eat something that’s more difficult to digest, like corn, your body can’t absorb as many of the calories and, therefore, you aren’t as likely to gain weight from it. Protein is also great because a) it keeps you fuller longer and b) your body is more easily able to burn off the calories while it’s digesting your salmon or steak. Cookies, on the other hand, get their calories from our friend sugar, which isn’t as easily burned off. So veggies and protein good. Cookies and pizza, not so good.
2. All Sugar Is The Devil
Errrrrr, wrong. You can’t equate the sugar found in a banana with the sugar found in a box of Jelly Belly (like my mom’s now-defunct diet program tried to do in the early 2000s). It just isn’t the same. According to Prevention, the sugar in fruits and veggies comes with fiber that helps slow down the absorption of said sugar. Jelly beans come with nothing but short-lived happiness, then a slow decline into cellulite, so there’s that trade-off to consider. Don’t be afraid of the naturally occurring sugars in your fruit. Be afraid of the naturally occurring sugars in cookies and pie.
3. Cut Out Every Single Carb
Carbs are evil: a mantra we’ve known since the dawn of about age 14. According to Prevention, you CAN have carbs, live your life, and not end up on an episode of My 600-lb Life anytime soon.
Just follow the USDA recommendation: half your plate should be veggies, one-quarter whole grains, and one-quarter protein. Plus, you can ditch shitty carbs like white bread and white potatoes and replace them with bougie carbs like farro, quinoa, and sweet potatoes. If you cut carbs altogether, you’re more likely to crave them, order from Domino’s at 11pm, inhale that three topping cheese-stuffed goodness, then cry yourself to sleep.
4. You Need To Do Juice Cleanses And Detoxes
Ok, first of all—you don’t need to detox. That’s what your liver and kidneys are for. It’s fine to eat lighter or more healthfully the day after drinking a handle of vodka and eating a Little Cesar’s Hot & Sweaty, but there’s no need to starve yourself into a meditative plane and subsist on lemon juice and cayenne pepper because Beyoncé did it and I just do everything Beyoncé fuckin’ does now. Plus, if you slash your calories to like, 800 per day for a week, you’ll end up losing and then GAINING weight thanks to your body being too smart to fuck up your metabolism like that. Get it together and have a sandwich.
5. Don’t Eat After 7pm
Sounds great and is based on nothing. According to Real Simple, “calories can’t tell time,” which is news to me and probably most of our great American nation. The idea is that if you stop eating after 7pm, your body has more time to digest before it goes into nappy sleep mode. That isn’t true, since if you eat a bowl of oatmeal for whatever reason 15 minutes before bed then pass out, your body will just use those calories the next day. Now, this doesn’t mean you should def continue your routine of eating a bowl of Breyer’s before bed every night, but it also means you can have that piece of fruit or bit of cereal before hitting the sack without worrying about gaining 50 pounds.
Images: Jamie Street / Unsplash; Giphy (2)
Look, I’ve tried a lot of bizarre diets and weird beauty hacks in my day. From Paleo, to Atkins, to low-carb to high-carb to Keto to vegan to juicing to brothing
to counting calories and exercising, I’ve done it all, and most betches can say the same. Can you blame us? We’re bored and practically willing to do anything to avoid regular exercise and a well-balanced diet. With that being said, there are certain lines we just won’t cross. Like, sometimes you just know that a certain ingredient doesn’t belong in your body or on your skin, and there are no further questions, no matter how many times Jennifer Aniston endorsed it. Celebrities are obviously insane, and some of them go to v dramatic lengths to stay healthy. Here’s some of the craziest shit they do.
1. Kate Upton Takes Wheatgrass Shots In her Eyeballs
This news just came out, and it’s honestly what prompted me to do more research on these weird celebrity health habits. Why the fuck would anyone put wheatgrass shots in their eyes, you may be wondering? Apparently it’s supposed to hydrate your eyes, and Kate swears by it. “I wear contacts, and the wheatgrass really works,” she said in an interview. “It basically hydrates your eyeballs. It’s like flushing out your eye.”
2. Miley Cyrus Spreads Avocado On Her Face
A couple years ago, Miley posted a pic on Instagram with the caption, “The avocado obsesh is mad real.” I mean, we obviously agree with that statement (cue my 500 avocado toast orders), but like, not on our faces. The picture shows the avocado spread all over her face like guac, and it literally has chunks in it. I’m gonna vom. I really don’t care if it makes your skin smooth or clear or whatever, it’s gross. Can we stick with a mud mask next time?
3. Reese Witherspoon Eats 10 Jars Of Baby Food Everyday
I’m literally trying not to gag while thinking about this diet. Baby food is meant for babies, just like dog food is meant for dogs (although I wouldn’t be surprised if that were a new weight loss trend at this point.) I mean, relatively speaking, I guess this isn’t the most inedible diet ever, but baby food is just mushed up fruits and veggies, so why don’t you just eat fruits and vegetables instead? Or like, a smoothie? Reese, you make no sense to me.
4. Gwyneth Paltrow Sprays Silver On Her Airplane Seat
No, you didn’t read that wrong. Queen of wellness and Goop guru Gwyneth sprays her airplane seat with literal silver before a flight. Apparently this spray is sold by naturopathic medicine brands, and it’s made with potassium, distilled water, and actual silver. People say it fights off bacteria and viruses. IDK. Let’s keep in mind this is done by the woman who gets her vagina steamed, so you do you, Gwyneth.
5. Kourtney Kardashian Drinks Avocado & Sugar For Breakfast
We’ve already talked about the health benefits of Kourtney Kardashian’s daily lemon water, but I think it’s time to talk about what the fuck this girl actually eats for breakfast, because it’s alarming. Kourtney literally blends an avocado with sugar and drinks it as a smoothie, and like, sometimes eats with a spoon. Is this healthy? Is it good? Is anyone else getting hazing PTSD from the concoctions you had to drink as a pledge? So many questions, and I’d like some answers.
6. Madonna Bathes In Basil
This situation actually sounds kind of relaxing, but it’s also super weird. Madonna reportedly takes a basil bath on the reg, which literally consists of a bathtub filled with herbs. Basil is supposed to be an anti-inflammatory agent, so it can help combat stress and muscle pain and apparently make you look amazing. I mean, this sounds time-consuming and annoying, but if this is why Madonna looks so good at age 60, I can get down with a basil bath every now and then. But like, does the basil get stuck in the drain at the end? I need to know.
7. January Jones Eats Her Own Placenta
Um, was this cleared by a doctor?! January Jones once told reporters that she eats her own placenta in capsule form everyday. She claims “your placenta gets dehydrated and made into vitamins,” which is still not a reason to eat it, if you ask me. She says she recommends it to all moms, but whether or not anyone wants to take her new mommy tip is questionable. I’m really not over this. Your own placenta?! Really? I can’t. Whatever, I’m getting cheese fries.