Weird and dubious celebrity diets are part and parcel of the Hollywood lifestyle and are practically as old as Hollywood itself. Remember though, the next time your favorite Kardashian or Instagram fitness model touts the latest detox or cleanse, they probably have a team of nutritionists around them to shape the fad around their lifestyle.The ins and outs of a diet trend, and specifically what they do to your body, can be a little difficult to dissect on your own.
To help understand and debunk some of the science behind a few of the most popular celebrity diets out there, Dr. Caroline Apovian - a top nutrition and weight management specialist - talks us through what's real and what's bogus! Here are eight celeb hacks that are pretty terrible for you.
1. Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen don't eat potatoes or tomatoes
Along with potatoes and tomatoes, the couple excludes meat, alcohol, coffee and nightshade vegetables (where potatoes and tomatoes hail from) from their diet. Dr. Apovian disagrees with this health choice as she says, "Nightshade vegetables are nutrient-rich options, and many of them, such as tomatoes and bell peppers, provide essential antioxidants to the body. It's a healthy group of vegetables that should be included in the diet."
2. Kylie Jenner (and the rest of the Kardashians) swear by skinny tea detoxes
Essentially a nice smelling laxative, this tea detox is not a sustainable way to lose weight. "Detoxification of the body is a natural process carried out by the kidneys," Dr. Apovian said. "Nothing we eat or drink assists with this process. The one exception would be consuming organic vegetables, as the less pesticide material we ingest, the less we have to detox. Other than that, no tea or liquid detoxifies the body."
3. Gweneth Paltrow touts her juice cleanses on her site Goop
Like tea detoxes, juice cleanses do not clean out your system of toxins. If anything, they can be dangerous. You consume very few calories a day, and much of the weight loss is due to fluid loss. You stop the cleanse, you very quickly regain the pounds you lost. Dr. Apovian says: "detox protocols can cause dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, and impaired bowel function."
4. Mariah Carey and her love for anything purple in her "Purple Diet"
This is a bit of a tricky one. Purple vegetables like eggplants and radishes are healthy, but correlation does not equal causation in this instance. "Purple-hued produce is high in anthocyanins, which likely has a myriad of health benefits, but there are hundreds of compounds in produce of all hues that may have health benefits. Eat purple veggies and fruit, by all means, but don't do it to the exclusion of other types of produce."
5. Shailene Woodley eats clay as part of her "detox" lifestyle
Eating clay sounds pretty crazy, right? You'd be correct in thinking so. Dr. Apovian explains. The trouble with clays detox theories is that primarily, "clay can be harmful and contain high amounts of arsenic and lead, and should not be eaten."
6. Kate Hudson follows the Alkaline diet and says "no" to acidic food
The Alkaline diet theorizes that foods like red meat, most processed goods and dairy cause your body to produce acid, and therefore do harm. An alkaline diet will, therefore by logic, balance your pH level and help you lose weight, but the diet has not been scientifically proven to do anything, good or bad.
Yes, it promotes plant-based fruits, veggies, beans and nuts - all components of a healthy diet - but, "limiting animal-based foods can lead to a lack of variety in the diet. An alkaline diet would end up restricting B12, and could lead to anemia, fatigue, mood disturbances, and accelerated brain aging".
7. Beyoncé can't get enough of the Master Cleanse lemonade diet
The lemonade diet or "The Master Cleanse" is held in very high regard by stars like Beyoncé. You simply replace meals with a concoction made from lemon juice, water, maple syrup and cayenne pepper. Like a juice cleanse, this diet doesn't work well overall.
"This diet will not result in permanent weight loss, as soon as you resume normal eating habits the weight will come back on," Dr. Apovian explains again. "You'll have also compromised your metabolism due to insufficient protein content, and you run a risk of malnourishment." Far from flawless.
8. Harry Styles drinks bulletproof coffee every morning
Bulletproof coffee is the staple of many a paleo and keto-acidic diet. For those who don't know it, bulletproof coffee is made with butter instead of milk and sugar and you replace this with your breakfast to energize your body and burn calories throughout the day.
The jury is out on the super creamy coffee, but Dr. Apovian says, "at best, having a breakfast that consists of coffee with butter and MCT oil is a missed opportunity to fuel your body. Although the bulletproof coffee diet makes claims that this fat-only breakfast stimulates your body to burn more fat during the day, there is no evidence to back this up."
Whether you believe in these trends or not, remember that you are not a celebrity, with all the time and money they have to radically change their body and look great for their next upcoming event. At least not yet.
Try your best to tailor everything, including health trends, to a balanced lifestyle that you can handle. Otherwise, you'll just end up back in McDonald's after your diet crashes for the umpteenth time. Always fun, but not the end goal.