The Skinny on Celebrity Diets

Let’s admit it, we’re all a little envious of those celebrities who seem to get better with age. Before embarking on a nutritional regimen to rival Jennifer Aniston’s, it would be wise to find out just how healthy and effective their diets are.

Celebrity Diet No. 1: Cooler Cleanse
Celebrity follower: Salma Hayek
The lowdown: Hayek started the Cooler Cleanse with Eric Helms, owner of the popular juice bar Juice Generation. Helms formulated the drinks upon the challenge of Hayek, who was looking to improve her cleanses with juices that were effective and enjoyable. The Cooler Cleanse can be done with either a three-day or five-day program, where regular meals are replaced with fresh-pressed juices delivered to your home in a cooler. The drinks, with names like almond nut milk and grapefruit and mint are fresh-pressed and made from organic, sustainably grown produce. Hayek credits cleanses for giving her renewed energy and glowing skin, and of course, losing weight.

The program is good for a body cleanse, but not to obtain a shocking or long-lasting weight loss, as the pounds will most likely come back after the diet. Hunger, food cravings and lightheadedness are likely to occur, which the company confirms saying, “Cold and flu symptoms may be more pronounced if you typically eat a diet high in processed foods.”

Celebrity Diet No. 2: Baby Food Diet
Celebrity followers: Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon
The lowdown: Developed by celebrity fitness trainer Tracy Anderson, who has Gwyneth Paltrow and Madonna as devotees, the plan involves consuming 14 portions of pureed food daily, followed by a healthy adult dinner. Aniston’s diet is said to include fruit smoothies, pureed oatmeal with pears and cinnamon, soups and meals of lean meats and lots of vegetables.

No specific guidelines have been published on the Baby Food Diet, and caution must be taken before embarking on this program. Some people have actually gone on the diet by consuming baby food jars bought at the supermarket. However, this diet can lead to cravings, especially since the taste and texture of the food might not appeal to anyone.

Celebrity Diet No. 3: The Master Cleanse
Celebrity followers: Beyonce, Naomi Campbell

The lowdown: Most of us have heard of the Master Cleanse, a rigorous detoxification process that involves consuming nothing but a mixture of lemon juice, maple syrup, cayenne pepper and water for 10 days or more. Beyonce admitted to going on the diet to lose weight for her role in Dreamgirls, while Campbell is said to do the cleanse three times a year.

Is the diet for you? It is extremely hard to follow, and while it may work to flush out junk from the body, many experts are wary of the diet’s caloric restriction and advise against it. Most of the weight loss comes from water leaving the muscles. As soon as carbohydrates are consumed again, water goes right back in the muscle, says Garry Peters, a fitness expert and personal trainer. The Master Cleanse, however, might do your body more harm than good, as your body could go on starvation mode and shut down. Even Beyonce admitted to being cranky while on the diet, and has said that she gained the weight back as soon as it was over. 

The bottom line is, there are no hard and fast rules to being slim and trim. “The problem with the concept of a ‘diet’ is that it implies a finite change in eating patterns,” says Peters. “When the person reaches their goal, they believe that they can resume eating the way they did before the diet. If a person returns to her old habits, she will also return to the state she was in before the diet.”

Thus, it is important to eat “clean,” which means steering clear of processed food. Peters recommends a macronutrient profile of 50 percent carbohydrate, 30 percent protein and 20 percent fat in a person’s diet. “If you follow these recommendations, your body will slowly cleanse itself, and you won’t accumulate all the artificial chemicals that a cleanse is meant to rid you of in the first place,” says Peters.

Finally, if you do decide to go on a diet, be sure to consult with a health care or nutrition professional first.