We’re all fascinated by celebrities. We study their every move: what they wear, what their skin care routine is, what they eat.
As dietitians, we know that nutrition can be overwhelming and it’s easy to look to celebs for diet advice. After all, they look fabulous, and if it works for them, shouldn’t it work for us? (Aside from the fact that they have a trainer, dietician, and probably an unlimited food budget, we mean.)
Unfortunately, celebrities can fall victim to diet culture just like the rest of us, and they usually aren’t the best source for nutrition advice. Not to mention, they’re working in an image-focused industry that prioritizes looks over health. So maybe, just maybe, we shouldn’t take their diet advice after all. Need proof? Here are some trending celeb diets that may do more harm than good.
Adele’s Sirtfoods Diet
First question: what are sirtuins? Silent information regulators, or SIRTs, are enzymes that regulate pathways in the body that may boost metabolism and reduce inflammation. The creators of the Sirtfood Diet claim that certain foods like blueberries, kale, and dark chocolate contain antioxidants that increase SIRT activity, thus helping you burn fat more effectively. Apparently, you can lose seven pounds in seven days by following the Sirtfood diet.
Sound too good to be true? It is…
There is some evidence that SIRTs may benefit your metabolism, but the research on SIRTs is actually stronger when it comes to aging and longevity. More importantly, there is no research that specific foods activate the SIRT enzymes per se. Yes, some antioxidants in food stimulate SIRT activity, but it would take an exorbitant amount of those foods to make this happen—much more than you can reasonably eat in a day.
Another kicker: the first phase of the Sirtfoods diet requires a pretty extreme calorie restriction: 1,000 calories a day for three days, mostly coming from juices. No thanks.
RD verdict: Even if SIRTs help burn fat, we probably can’t enhance their activity by eating normal portions of so-called “sirtfoods”. Any weight loss you see on this diet is probably from limiting your calories and eating nutrient-dense foods. While the Sirtfoods diet is rich in healthy foods we love, it’s basically a calorie restricted Mediterranean diet repackaged and sold with another name. Good thing the Mediterranean diet already exists, doesn’t rely on intense calorie restriction, and has proven benefits.
The Kardashians’ Flat Tummy Tea
The creators of Flat Tummy Tea claim that it “aids in the detoxifying and digestion process”. This word “detox” is used a lot in diet culture, but what does it really mean?
Your kidneys, liver, and digestive systems metabolize and help eliminate harmful substances from your body, also known as detoxification. While some herbs may help to support these processes, your organs are pretty effective at doing them on their own, so you really don’t need a tea to do what your organs were built to do.
Another important caveat: one of the main ingredients in this tea is senna leaf, a potent laxative that can actually alter your gastrointestinal motility and potentially do irreversible damage if used in the long term. Eek! That’s not detox—that’s diarrhea. Pass.
RD verdict: The best way to get a flat tummy, if that’s one of your goals, is by eating a whole foods diet, limiting alcohol, controlling your blood sugar with regular, balanced meals, drinking lots of water, and eating foods that are rich in fiber and probiotics. While you’re at it, add in 30 minutes of movement per day and voilà, a flat tummy—no harmful laxatives necessary.
Beyoncé’s Master Cleanse
The Master Cleanse, also called the Lemonade Diet, is a liquid-only diet consisting of four ingredients: water, lemons, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper. Proponents of the Master Cleanse (which also include celebs like Michelle Rodriguez and Demi Moore) claim that the specific combination of these ingredients helps detoxify the body and support weight loss. Spoiler: any diet that promotes you consume nothing but a lemonade mix for days on end is not going to be good for you, and if you need more convincing, check out this account from a brave soul who tried it.
RD verdict: While it might be true that short-term liquid fasting gives your digestive and detoxification systems a little break to work more efficiently in the future, a liquid diet usually leads to binge and overeating which taxes your detox systems even more!
Yes, there’s some evidence that spicy foods like cayenne pepper may slightly boost your metabolism, but any weight loss you see from doing this diet is likely from the severe calorie restriction from not eating. If you have enough willpower to drink this concoction, why not adopt a healthy diet and get more exercise? It’s more effective and sustainable for long-term weight loss and supports overall health.
The hard truth about celebrities is that they look fabulous because they have the money for chefs, personal trainers, and dietitians to help them eat and exercise for their personal and professional weight goals. They are not qualified to give nutrition advice, but if asked, most of them will tell you that the secret to feeling and looking great is not a fancy tea, but a healthy, balanced diet with regular exercise.
Vanessa Rissetto and Tamar Samuels are registered dietitians and co-founders of Culina Health, offering nutritional coaching and a science-based health and wellness education. Taking the complicated diets, numbers, and more out of nutrition, Vanessa and Tamar simplify healthy eating ideals and plans in order to stop stressing about food and start living life. Vanessa has over ten years of experience as a RD, and currently serves as the dietetic intern director at New York University. Tamar is a RD and National Board-Certified Health & Wellness Coach, with a unique and holistic approach that integrates functional medicine, positive psychology, and behavioral change techniques.
Images: Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com
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.