“I’m going gluten-free,” a fellow female student told me over lunch. Salad leaves littered her plate like debris. “Just for two weeks.”
Ah, the diet. There are so many variations available nowadays: vegetarianism, gluten-free, low or no carb. Then there are the…stranger ones: the grapefruit diet, the potato diet, the five hands diet, and the Snooki cookie diet. (It has a certain ring, doesn’t it?)
Amelia Burton, a physical trainer, talked with Australian talk show host Kerri-Anne Kennerley about many of these strange celebrity diets. Victoria Posh, says Burton, stands by the five hands diet: five handfuls of food per day. Posh cuts of processed sugar, along with incorporating lots of protein—well, as much protein as you can incorporate with 800 calories per day.
Then, there is the Twinkie diet. On everydayhealth.com, Susan March, R.D. describes this spongy diet choice. “Twinkies have 150 calories each. Eat nothing but Twinkies and you could lose weight…even if you eat 10, that’s only 1,500 calories a day.” Pay no mind of all the nutrients your body needs to function.
Snooki’s Cookie Diet, made famous by Snooki from The Jersey Shore, requires eating six cookies per day, along with one 300-calorie meal a night, reports Burton. She laughs, “It is the most plastic processed thing!” She goes on to mention that the second cookie ingredient is glycerin—the same glycerin that makes soap and cleans heavy-duty machinery.
All these diets severely restrict daily caloric intake, so it is no wonder dieters can drop weight quickly.
While many of these diets withhold calories and nutrition, the Baby Food Diet does not. Eating jars of pureed peas and carrots may have high amounts of vitamins, “but they’re not appropriate in terms of adult nutrition,” remarks March. Hence, the label of baby food—babies only. She adds, “You’ll lose a lot of what adults enjoy about food—fiber, taste, and crunch.”
Despite their craziness, these diets can have some sobering effects. Paul Bentley, of the UK’s Daily Mail worries that more women will be diagnosed with orthoexia nervosa: “worrying so much about the purity of what they eat that they are denying themselves entire food groups.” With diets like the Maple Syrup Detox diet—thank you, Beyoncé, for that creation—middle-class women in the thirties, says Bentley, develop a compulsion for the purest foods they can find.
Psychologist Anjula Mutanda sees where the problem lies. “What we are bombarded with is the idea of good and bad food. People need an education in normal eating.” While we’re at it, we should bring a skeptical eye to our media. What kind of media pressures its women—its sexy starlets and curvaceous leading ladies —to starve themselves to be accepted.
These diets, despite how quickly they help you lose weight, are nothing but trouble. A much better way to lose weight whilst staying healthy does not come from the latest celebrity secrets magazine, or the whispering hairdresser who learned a technique from a popular slim star, no, the best and most effective weight loss secret is…eating healthy foods, decreasing consumption of junk food and exercise regularly, who would have thought it?
Image Source: Forbes