Why You Should Avoid Celebrity Diets

why avoid celebrity diets

A celebrity diet could fail, or worse!

Adele turned heads and blew her fans away by losing 100 pounds between 2019 and 2021. She inspired hundreds of thousands of women to change their diets and exercise to achieve similar results. We applaud her success, but caution readers to avoid following celebrity diets. Just because an entertainer or sports star apparently lost weight on it doesn’t mean it will work for you. It could fail and hurt your self-esteem, cause rebound weight gain, or worse, be dangerous to your health.

We at the Comite Center for Precision Medicine & Health avoid recommending diets because diets do not work the same way for everyone. Dr. Florence Comite, founder of the Center, says everyone’s physiology is unique. Just as medical advice should be based on each individual person’s health, family history, lifestyle, and biomarkers, so should recommendations about nutrition and exercise.

“Looking at a celebrity, or anyone for that matter, and thinking, ‘if it worked for her, it’ll work for me,’ will usually disappoint you,” says Dr. Comite. “Healthy, safe fat weight loss is very individual; besides, you never know exactly how a celebrity lost that weight, despite what they say in the press.”

Before you attempt any diet or exercise routine, you should visit a physician who practices Precision Medicine, and have a full assessment, including bloodwork.

We asked Dr. Comite to review what we know about some popular celebrity diets. Below are her thoughts as an endocrinologist with more than 20 years’ experience helping men and women improve their metabolic health.

Adele

The famed singer-songwriter lost upwards of 100 pounds by following the Sirtfood diet, according to many published reports. The Sirtfood diet focuses on foods that contain sirtuins (SIRTS), which are a group of proteins that regulate inflammation and metabolism. Sirtfoods include citrus, apples, walnuts, capers, soy, olive oil, dates, kale, red onion, green tea, red wine, and other foods. Sirtfood diet plans typically encourage fasting and calorie restriction.

 

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Adele has also noted that part of her success is due to an intense exercise regime. The singer has been practicing circuit training and weightlifting for several years. During the pandemic, she worked out three times a day – weight lifting in the morning, boxing in the afternoon, and doing cardio exercises at night.

Does the Celebrity Diet Work?
By combining sirtfoods with significant calorie restriction, the diet is supposed to trigger the body to produce higher levels of sirtuins. Sirtuins help regulate oxidative stress and metabolism. The diet is high in bioactives and polyphenols, which are found in olives, fruits, and vegetables. Many of these foods do have positive effects on the body and can help prevent chronic disease.

Dr. Comite’s Take
While many of the foods on the Sirtfood diet are whole and healthful, the diet program is notoriously difficult because it restricts calories and it consists of many unpalatable foods, like bitter green juices. I don’t recommend juicing because juices can be high in sugars that are absorbed fast and can drive glucose high in many people, causing cravings when sugar quickly drops. Also, we don’t advise calorie restriction at the Comite Center. In fact, we don’t talk about calories as everyone metabolizes them differently. Instead, we suggest people focus on eating protein to start at every meal (and snack) and eating plants and whole grains.

Adele’s weight loss was also likely due to her extreme caloric restriction and intense exercise regimen–working out three times a day. I don’t know many people who have the luxury of time to exercise that frequently.”

The Kardashians

The Kardashians have been on so many diets, it’s hard to keep track. But some aspects of their lifestyle are quite positive, at times. For example, Kylie Jenner has been vocal about taking her time to recover after her second pregnancy. Likewise, Kourtney Kardashian shared that she gained weight after undergoing IVF treatment. While she used to feel “stuck on the number” that she saw on the scale, she now embraces her curvier figure. Both Kylie and Kourtney are displaying healthy mindsets when it comes to loving their bodies, even during life’s transitions.

 

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So, what about all the other Kardashian celebrity diet and health trends? Here are a few to consider:

  • Khloe Kardashian: Khloe is well-known for her workout regime, posting her routines with her personal trainer online. The reality star works out Monday through Friday for one-hour sessions.
  • Kendall Jenner: Kendall has discussed that she’s a bit of a health nut on the family’s reality show. She likes to try every wellness trend, from hydrating, vitamin-rich IV treatments to brain scans for determining her mental and emotional health.
  • Kim Kardashian: Of all the Kardashians, Kim has promoted the greatest number of diets and fitness trends. She now sells her own waist trainer via her shapewear brand Skims and once promoted diet pills, powders, and drink mixes with her sisters.

Does the Celebrity Diet Work?
Many of the Kardashian-Jenner weight loss choices are gimmicky or extreme. For example, the waist trainers that Kim promotes only provide a temporary slimming effect.  They don’t actually aid in weight loss or a healthy lifestyle. Kim, Khloe, and Kourtney have come under fire for promoting QuickTrim diet pills and products. These products have no scientific evidence to back their claims, and they may even be harmful. Detoxifying supplements and colon cleansing have been proven to be dangerous. One meta-analysis of 20 case studies found that these cleanses can sometimes even lead to kidney failure.

Dr. Comite’s Take
Your liver if it’s healthy, does a fine job of detoxifying your body. You don’t need colon cleanses and detox supplements, which are not regulated by the FDA. One of the worst things the Kardashians do is extreme dieting. Recently, Kim Kardashian tried to lose 10 pounds in three weeks to be able to fit into Marilyn Monroe’s 1962 Jean Louis gown for the Met Gala. Kim was successful but at her peril. Losing that much weight in such a short time often results in rapid rebound weight gain once you stop the calorie restriction. Worse, it could be dangerous, causing muscle loss, metabolic dysfunction, and nutrient deficiencies that may weaken your bones and immune system.”

Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez eats and trains like an athlete, especially when she has an upcoming project like a skin-baring movie. Her trainers report that she eats lots of organic, nutrient-dense food, including high-quality proteins. Her celebrity diet includes foods like fresh leafy vegetables, sweet potatoes, quinoa, oatmeal with fresh berries, nuts, egg whites, salmon, grass-fed beef, chicken, and turkey.

J-Lo has one cheat meal per week but otherwise aims to soothe sugar cravings with protein shakes and sugar-free popsicles. She primarily drinks water and skips alcohol and caffeine. She also sometimes takes part in no-carb and no-sugar challenges.

The celeb balances her diet with an exercise routine. Her trainers report that she works out four to five times per week. Each workout focuses on different body parts.

 

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A post shared by Jennifer Lopez (@jlo)

Does the Celebrity Diet Work?
Lopez is proof that it works…for her. Jennifer is in amazing shape, especially when you consider that she’s 53 and is likely perimenopausal. Her diet is full of healthy, whole foods, so it’s difficult to critique her eating style as it’s far better than most Americans’. However, her diet is quite restrictive, which could be difficult to follow and easy to fall off.  And remember, research consistently shows that intense food restriction tends to lead to weight gain rather than weight loss.

Dr. Comite’s Take
Again, I don’t advocate calorie counting, restrictive dieting, or following a celebrity diet. However, J-Lo’s food choices–lean proteins and whole foods–are to be emulated. Focusing on adding more of these to your diet can be beneficial, especially if you allow some indulgences so you don’t feel restricted. One practice that has probably helped Lopez maintain her body is exercise, specifically strength training. At 53, she’s still muscular and well-toned. We always recommend strength training to our clients to maintain their muscle mass. Muscle typically declines with age unless you keep up with weight-bearing exercise.  Strength training also helps minimize bone density loss, as well as support joint health.”

Rebel Wilson

In 2020, Rebel Wilson shared her weight loss goal on social media, committing to becoming consistent with exercise and eating a nutritious diet. By the end of the year, she’d lost close to 80 pounds, reached her weight loss goal, and inspired millions.

Rather than going for a fad diet approach with quick fixes and dramatic shifts, Wilson chose to make sustainable changes over an entire year. She candidly discussed with fans how she focused on eating more protein, mostly fish and poultry. She also aimed to add nutritious items to the food she loves, for example, by including shredded carrots and avocado on her tacos.

 

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Wilson increased her physical activity by working with a personal trainer. Physical activity, of course, aids in weight loss and weight management and is great for mental health, too.

Does the Celebrity Diet Work?
Wilson’s approach will likely benefit most since it’s focused on eating healthier foods and exercising consistently. She also said that she adopted the policy that no foods are off limits, which makes it easier to stick to the overall lifestyle. Still, for this to work, you need to do what Wilson did, commit to this lifestyle for the long term.

Dr. Comite’s Take
“Wilson’s approach to changing her diet is reasonable and effective. You start with small changes and build them into part of your regular routine. You don’t rush things but take your time and focus on how you are feeling rather than the numbers on the scale. If you want to try her system, begin by making sure to include lean protein sources like eggs, poultry, lean beef, fish, legumes, nuts and seeds in every meal and snack. Protein will satisfy your hunger longer and stabilize your blood glucose. Then build more vegetables and fiber-rich whole grains into your meals. I recommend adding a 30-minute walk after dinner, especially if you have a high-carb meal, to help usher the glucose into your muscles.”

Most important, however, is making your lifestyle changes in partnership with a physician who practices Precision Medicine. Such doctors look at your metabolism, biomarkers, lifestyle habits, and family health history to determine how food and fitness impact YOUR body. We are all very different human beings. The approach to remaining disease-free must be customized to account for many variables. That’s why Precision Medicine is so important. At the Comite Center for Precision Medicine & Health, we consider your lifestyle, genetics, medical background, and more to pinpoint the right approach to health for you.

To access the transformative power of personal Precision Medicine and health at your fingertips, get on our waitlist now at www.groqhealth.com.

Endocrinologist Florence Comite, MD, is CEO & Founder, Comite Center for Precision Medicine & Health in New York, Palo Alto, and Miami Beach.

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