Hollywood celebrities often tout novel dieting techniques for a fabulous bod – be it fasting or the exclusion of certain food groups. So what ARE the star-approved diets out there, and what are the health precautions you should be aware of when undertaking your quest for body beautiful? The 9 health facts of Hollywood diets, here.
1. The 5:2 Diet
Can’t stand the thought of dieting 24/7, but want slender stems like Gwyneth Paltrow? Behold the 5: 2 diet. The part-time regime works as such: you eat whatever you want during a 5-day period, then stick to a 500-calorie intake for each of the remaining two days.
The celebrity-backed fad (Gwenyth Paltrow and Jennifer Lopez among its devotees) keeps weight down while boasting long term benefits of preventing Alzheimer’s, heart disease and cancer.
2. Why should I fast?
The answer lies in IGF-1 (no, it’s not a strand of avian flu). Insulin Growth Factor-1 is a hormone that boosts the reproduction of cells. As we age, the production of this stimulant wanes, so less new cells in our body are made and the older, wearied ones work harder.
What fasting does is to kickstart the sensitivity of IGF-1, keeping cells youthful and pretty while fending off age-related diseases. Sweet.
3. So how much IS 500 calories?
Brace yourselves: a single portion of hawker centre-bought char kway teow alone is 742 calories. So imagine having less than that for an entire day! Your 500-calorie fast can either be broken up into bite-sized meals, or consumed in a single feeding at the start of the day. However, in order to reap maximum benefits of fasting, the latter option is advised. (Fat-burning perks of fasting reportedly commence only after 18 hours into a fast.)
4. The Lemon Water Diet
Think solid food diets are for scaredy cats? Beyoncé attests her regular bouts of lemon water cleanses to being absolutely bootylicious.
These intense lemon cleanses- each lasting for up to one week- reportedly wipe the health slate clean by allowing your body to completely remove any toxins within your system. Majority of your mass lost will be water weight, but it leaves your complexion surprisingly clearer. Fans of the lemon cleanse- now put your hands up!
5. The ‘No Dairy’ Diet
Get this: the ability to digest lactose past the age of three is actually considered a genetic mutation! (60% of adults cannot digest this naturally-occuring sugar found in cow’s milk.) Not only that, excess diary in your diet reportedly causes higher frequencies of adult acne. Cue screams of horror.
PS, Megan Fox says she doesn’t do dairy. Period.
6. So what alternatives are there to cow’s milk?
Soy, almond, and rice milk are par for the course, but keep an eye out out for carrageenan. According to this article, several of your USDA-approved organic foods contain- and don’t freak out- these cancer-causing nasties. So when in doubt, always check the ingredients list!
7. The Ice Cream Diet
Uma Thurman once claimed she ate nothing but desserts and ice cream in order to slim down for her role in Kill Bill. Sounds crazy? The diet works on the basis that consuming less calories than what you need would result in weight loss. So technically, you can lose weight by eating small portions of Ben & Jerry’s throughout the day.
However, what this fad fails to alarm is the poor nutrition afforded by desserts alone. Good for a quick weight loss, maybe. But not for a long term healthy lifestyle.
8. The Atkins Diet
With a slimmed midsection, Kim Kardashian keeps her hourglass-figure in check with this famous diet. The grand old dame of weight loss techniques was popularised by a research paper titled “Weight Reduction” by Dr. Atkins himself in 1972. Essentially, all you need to know is that “carbs are the enemy” (Yes, Rihanna totally said this before!)
The Paleolithic (‘Paleo’) diet follows the same carb-banishing route: meals are characteristically free from any type of carbohydrate, focusing instead on intakes of protein, fruits and vegetables.
9. Protein Overkill
Now before you bite into that steamed chicken breast, STOP RIGHT THERE. Studies by Dr Valter Longo, Professor of Cancer Research at the University of Southern California support the no-protein camp. According to him, high protein consumption is as bad for your body as smoking!
The allure of Hollywood fad diets are undeniable. However, we can’t simply assume that they work just because a celebrity who endorses it looks fab on the red carpet. What we may not realise is how these calorie-crunchers were probably supplemented with a rigorous fitness regime in the first place.
Moreover, as with any diet, consistency is key. Sure, some of these diets can promise a reduction in dress size or a slimmer physique; but these may also come with a series of health setbacks. So shake off those rose-tinted lenses the next time you go gaga over a celebrity weight loss fad.
What other Hollywood diets do YOU know of? Share with us in the comments section below!
About the Author: Matthew Fam is a contributing writer of Material World, and has worked at Cosmopolitan Singapore as an intern and Contributing Beauty Assistant. He writes, teaches, and performs for the stage. Matthew enjoys museum visits, Singaporean Theatre, and spends too much of his undergraduate allowance on magazines.
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