It’s January, quick everyone starve yourselves!
It’s not January unless everyone you know is on some kind of health kick, and the crazier the better - or so it seems. People are on cavemen diets and lemon detoxes, and extreme diets like the fruitarian diet, which is not actually that good for your health…
Just ask Ashton Kutcher who revealed he was hospitalised after turning fruitarian for his latest role playing Steve Jobs for the upcoming biopic. Kutcher said he fell seriously ill after a stint mimicking Jobs’ strict dietary regime of fruit, nuts and seeds.
“...The fruitarian diet can lead to, like, severe issues,” Kutcher told USA Today. “I went to the hospital like two days before we started shooting the movie. I was like doubled over in pain. My pancreas levels were completely out of whack. It was really terrifying … considering everything.”
Unorthodox eating habits are not uncommon in Hollywood. According to The Guardian, Christian Bale lived off coffee and one apple a day for his movie, The Machinist. Anne Hathaway admitted to being on a starvation diet for Les Miserables, but refused to give the details in case someone else followed it simply to lose weight.
Hmmm, that sure does sound tempting Anne.
But how do we explain the determination and psychology of people who eat like this, (or don’t eat, as it happens) as part of a long term health strategy?
The daily diet of New York interior designer, Kelly Wearstler that did the rounds on Twitter last week is a great example of this. After waking for her seven day a week 5:30am boot camp class, Ms Wearstler claimed to drink a couple of glasses of green water, laced with something called plankton, followed by a macchiato on the way to work and nothing but vegetable juice till dinner time.
Just reading that is bound to make a person hungry.
The quick fix attraction of these extreme dietary regimes is understandable, especially for those of us feeling guilty after December’s hedonism. And then there’s our modern obsession with needing to get everything we want, exactly when we want it.
But our bodies don’t necessarily work that way. As nutritionist Susie Burrell said extreme dieting can often double our chances of failing because we can’t stick to the changes.
“The biggest issue is that they are non-sustainable and in the case of the most extreme eg lemon detox, actually inadequate in key nutrients and promote a starvation approach to weight loss in which metabolism is challenged long term,” she said.
“When it comes down to it, we only have three key nutrient groups to play with - carbs, protein and fat and all diets are a mix of these three nutrients, generally dropping carbs and increasing protein to different degrees. The more aggressive they are at manipulating these nutrients, the more pronounced weight loss, but also the more restrictive and less sustainable they tend to be.”
Now there’s some food for thought.
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