There’s little doubt that being a celebrity can take a toll on a person’s self-image. You can hardly blame them; we build them up in the press, hound their every move, and then the minute life happens, we love to kick them when they’re down. And the tabloids love nothing more than to latch onto questionable celebrity diets.
Body image is absolutely everything in Hollywood, and since the early days of the film studios, celebrities have been doing all sorts of weird and wacky things in the name of a thinner, more toned, all-around more fabulous (and photogenic) version of themselves. No wonder there are so many weird celebrity diets.
While we like to think, these days, we’re a lot more informed about what we put into our bodies and the long-term effects it might have on our health, it’s fair to say that celebrities often let the pressure to look good onscreen affect their judgment when it comes to all things diet-related.
Remember that banquet feast scene from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom? The one where Indy and his posse sat down to a scrumptious feast that began with a scorpion and spider salad and ended with a chilled monkey brain sorbet? With some of these celebrities, that’s not too far from the level of sheer disgustingness we’re dealing with here. That might be a bit of an exaggeration, but these weird, questionable, and for some, downright gross celebrity diets are all the proof we need that sometimes, the rich and famous will do just about anything to keep themselves looking trim!
Kim Kardashian-West is no stranger to dieting. One look at her Instagram feed and you can see that she is schilling for just about every disgusting and questionable celebrity diet craze that has come to pass in the last decade. With that in mind, it should then come as no surprise to see that Kardashian-West has embraced yet another weird and disgusting diet trend – this one comes courtesy of your local emergency room.
Kardashian-West has been quoted telling several media outlets that she is a fan of activated charcoal “lemonade,” which she states makes her feel “cleansed and energized throughout the day.” If that sounds fair enough to you, you probably need to learn a bit more about what activated charcoal actually is and what it does.
Activated charcoal is sometimes used in emergency rooms for things like drug overdoses to absorb toxins that have been ingested. It’s pitch-black, gritty, and reportedly tasted about as good as one might expect from a charcoal-based drink. But is it a healthy diet aid?
While using it for treatment in the context of a medical facility appears to be safe and effective (when used correctly), the evidence for using activated charcoal as a health and diet aid is sketchy at best. In fact, it has been shown that activated charcoal can interfere with certain medications, and slow, or even completely prevent nutrients from being absorbed from your gut. Consuming it in small amounts is fine, but the side effects of consuming too much include black stools, vomiting, diarrhea and/or constipation, and a black tongue and lips; a look that will undoubtedly be on display at the next Yeezy fashion show.
Beyoncé is reportedly a fan of the Master Cleanse diet, also sometimes referred to (appropriately in this case) as the Lemonade diet. The Master Cleanse is essentially an all-liquid diet that at its core basically consists of lemonade, salt water, and a laxative herbal tea. If it sounds too good to be true, that’s likely because it is. Proponents of the diet claim that it’s a panacea for all that ails you; you’ll lose weight, feel energetic, and lose your cravings for unhealthy food.
Sound a bit extreme? That’s because it is extreme. The Master Cleanse is really more of a fast than a diet. Most people, if they stick to the plan, will lose a bit of weight, largely due to the fact that they are taking in exponentially fewer calories on this diet than they would if they were eating normally. Also probably because mixing all of those things into the same glass is more than a little disgusting. What’s more? Once a dieter who has done the Master Cleanse goes back to a normal eating pattern, he or she is likely going to gain the weight right back again.
Reese Witherspoon may seem like a bastion of Southern charm and good taste, but when she wants to drop a few pounds, apparently she is not above engaging in the occasional gross celebrity diet. Witherspoon, along with other celebrities like Lady Gaga and Gwyneth Paltrow, is allegedly a fan of the baby food diet. And no, this is not some smoothie-type recipe craze that you make in your blender at home (and add vodka, right?). We’re talking about the small jars of actual baby food that you buy off the shelf in your local grocery store. You know, the ones for babies.
Apparently the baby food diet is one of the more popular (not to mention questionable) diets that famous people do when they want to trim down quick. The diet (if you want to call it that), basically consists of replacing breakfast and lunch with approximately 14 jars of baby food, which run between 25 and 75 calories each.
In addition to being low calorie, baby food is also low in additives and preservatives, and comes in very portion-controlled, infant-sized jars. From a health standpoint, one could do a lot worse. However, be prepared to get some pretty funny looks from your fellow human beings. As Jim White, a registered dietician with the American Dietetic Association told The Huffington Post, “Who wants to eat baby food 14 times a day? We’ve got to enjoy ourselves too, and chew our food. It’s just not livable, unless you’re in a retirement home.”
Megan Fox is just one of a multitude of celebrities that tout the vinegar diet as a way to do just about anything from keeping off the pounds to preventing disease and even clearing your skin. Fox (along with another noted hottie, Miranda Kerr) has gone on record as far back as 2010 saying that taking a few shots of vinegar a day (namely, apple cider vinegar) helps her to lose weight, and “just cleanses out your system entirely.”
Unlike so many other strange and icky-sounding celebrity diet claims, this one may actually have a small slice of truth associated with it. While many, if not most of the wide spectrum of health benefits that people claim are cured by apple cider vinegar are simply unproven, there is a little bit of evidence to suggest that Fox might actually have the science on her side. According to one Japanese study, study participants who took a small dose of apple cider vinegar every day (as opposed to the water that the remaining participants took) did lose slightly more weight than those who did not. Participant lost an average of between one and two pounds – a number that hardly seems worth the energy of screwing the cap off the vinegar bottle.
Nicole “Snooki” LaValle, formerly of that traffic accident of a reality show Jersey Shore, has enjoyed her celebrity status well after the show’s completion, parlaying her reality TV experience into guest-hosting appearances on a multitude of television programs and even a few events for the WWE.
However, Snooki was at least as well-known for her overly-tanned, over-the-top, slightly curvaceous sartorial appearance as she was her persona. Apparently, all that time in the limelight must have made Snooki want to shed a few pounds, because, for the last few years, she has been rocking a fitter, slimmer, and more toned version of the Jersey Shore Snooki that we all came to know and love. How did she do it? Apparently, Snooki went on a gross and rather questionable-sounding diet called the Cookie Diet, which was created by Dr. Sanford Siegel, a practicing weight loss physician.
The Cookie Diet replaces breakfast, lunch, and snacks with… you guessed it… cookies! the goal is to eat approximately nine cookies in place of these meals per day. However, don’t run out and start stocking-up on Nutter Butters just yet; these aren’t just any old cookies. Cookie Diet cookies are essentially a low-calorie, high-fiber and protein version of a cookie designed to act as a meal replacement.
The upside of this diet is that if you stick to it, you will definitely lose weight, as you are cutting a lot of calories. However, the plan’s calorie count is a meager 1000 to 1200 calories a day! For the 4’9″ Snooki, that might just be enough, but for your average human who enjoys a bit of exercise, that is going to leave you feeling pretty hungry! Also, eating cookies at every meal is going to get pretty monotonous, and these particular cookies don’t come cheap. A 21-day supply cost $100!
Victoria “Posh Spice” Beckham is renowned for her teeny-tiny, birdlike physique. After the birth of her youngest child, daughter Harper Seven, Beckham allegedly turned to the Five Hands diet.
The Five Hands diet dictates that you may eat exactly five handfuls of food per day. Yes, you heard that right. Five handfuls. Of your five handfuls, one or two may be fruits and certain low-glycemic veggies, and 2/3 of a handful may be legumes or sweet potatoes. All wheat products are off the menu, as are bananas.
While this is a very strict diet, it is a little more forgiving as far as variety goes than your average celebrity crash diet, although the calorie count will likely not be high enough to support anyone who is serious about maintaining a workout routine while on this diet.
Christina Aguilera, whose weight has fluctuated over the years, is allegedly a proponent of the Color Diet. So, what is it?
The Color Diet is really less of a diet than it is a way to get people eating more fruits and vegetables. The diet was the brainchild of an artist named Mindy Wensel, who in 2003 co-wrote the book with her two daughters after feeling inspired by the full spectrum of colors of healthy food. What’s odd about the Color Diet is that it is only seven days long. You basically focus on a single color every day of the week and try to eat only foods of that color, with a little help from things like condiments.
However, just because the color of the day might be white, don’t think you are going to get away with eating nothing but marshmallows on white bread. The diet has some pretty healthy guidelines to follow, which are vegetable-heavy and actually quite sound nutritionally.
If there’s really going to be a taco truck on every corner of the USA, then the timing is exactly right for Jennifer Aniston. Aniston has recently shown an interest a diet called the Taco Cleanse.
However, you can take all those images of oily, cheesy tacos and put them straight out of your mind, because the Taco Cleanse focuses on vegan, tacos that cut down on simple carbohydrates by using corn tortillas. But perhaps the best part of the Taco Cleanse is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously. In addition to allowing drinks (margaritas!) and even refried beans (yessss!), the Taco Cleanse promises a holistic, if not downright esoteric taco experience, promising that it “will bring all of your levels to new heights and increase your nutrimatter content a thousandfold.” Which sounds like a whole bunch of hokum (What on God’s green Earth is nutrimatter? You can’t even answer that, because it’s not a real thing), but who cares? Taco diet!