Celebrity diets: Are they life-changers?
A fitness trainer gives his take on celebs who've lost weight recently. Will they be able keep it off?
Thu, Sep 30, 2010 at 01:30 PM
WEIGHTY ISSUES: From left to right: Bill Clinton, Caroline Manzo, Sir Anthony Hopkins and Drew Carey are among those celebs who have had success dropping weight recently. (Photos: ZUMA Press)
Some celebrity diets work. The question is: for how long?
As a personal fitness trainer and certified nutritionist, I’ve come across people trying countless dieting methods, from Atkins to South Beach to eating nothing but chocolate for a week (the latter of which, didn’t work).
On the other hand, some celebrities have had dieting success recently. Drew Carey, Bill Clinton and Anthony Hopkins are among those who've embraced a healthier lifestyle and managed to shed a few pounds.
Let's take a closer look at these celebrity diets and try to determine if they will be short-lived successes or sustainable victories.
Bill Clinton: No longer Bubba?
MNN's pop culture blogger Michael d’Estries reported that Bill Clinton dropped five pounds more than the 15 mandated by daughter Chelsea for her wedding this past summer.
Adopting an all-vegetarian diet and dropping his notorious junk-food binges, the former president lost 20 pounds.
I’m anteing up and predicting that Clinton won’t last long on an all-veggie diet.
Practically born suckling on a stack of smoked, baby-back-barbecue ribs, Clinton’s craving for meat will get the better of him.
He has undergone multiple heart operations, including one as recently as earlier this year when he had two stents placed in his coronary artery.
So it’s no surprise that Clinton’s motivation for going veggie was to reduce his cholesterol.
But cholesterol-containing meat itself is not to blame for Clinton’s compromised heart.
As Dr. Ron Rosedale, co-founder of the Colorado Center for Metabolic Medicine, puts it, “Cholesterol has only been shown to be correlated, meaning associated, with heart disease. That would be like saying firemen cause every fire just by association.”
Enlightened nutritionists like Rosedale realize that oxidized cholesterol is the main culprit of heart disease; a diet containing cholesterol itself will not necessarily lead to heart problems.
If Clinton eats occasional lean animal protein sources like fish — and avoids fried and junk food, which leads to oxidized cholesterol — he will have a better chance at keeping his weight down. Until then, he’ll be dreaming nightly about those ribs.
The weight is right for Drew Carey
Also reported by MNN blogger d’Estries was Drew Carey’s amazing transformation, dropping 80 pounds by the time he returned as host for the 39th season premiere of "The Price is Right", shocking the audience and millions of viewers.
Carey claimed he had gone nearly carbohydrate-free and exercised daily for 45 minutes.
As the BBC reported, even Carey’s former type II diabetes condition is now completely gone.
Taking a spin on the showcase showdown wheel, do I think Carey will keep the 80 pounds off? Is this a celebrity diet that actually can work permanently?
Yes, as long as Carey allows himself to cheat once in a while and maintains his daily regimen of cardiovascular exercise. Getting married should help him stay motivated.
Hannibal Lecter actor eats less flesh, drops 75 pounds
In portraying the fictitious serial killer, Hannibal Lecter, Anthony Hopkins’ perhaps most infamous line was: “A census taker once tried to test me … I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.” (Insert gluttonous “fefefefe” sound effect here.)
Nowadays Hopkins would have to revise the quote to a blander, “I ate fava beans.”
Hopkins told the Daily Mail that his current wife, his third, served as inspiration to lose nearly 80 pounds and go on a meat-free diet.
Hopkins also hits the gym six days a week and sticks to a diet that’s roughly 1,800 calories — not the 800 calories that was reported by sources such as the New York Post’s Cindy Adams.
It seems the British press didn’t have a hard time understanding Hopkins’ Welsh-English accent.
If Hopkins was indeed eating only 800 calories a day, he wouldn’t be able to maintain this insane celebrity diet; he’d most likely wither away.
Hopkins need not avoid eating liver — save human ones — to remain healthy and keep the weight off.
He’ll most likely be able to keep the weight off, but only if he can moderate his predilection for English junk food (read: biscuits).
New Jersey’s most famous 'Housewife' drops more than 20 pounds
Caroline Manzo of reality TV’s "Real Housewives of New Jersey" told Us Magazine that she has recently lost more than 20 pounds.
What did Manzo’s celebrity diet consist of? Portion control, she said.
But how long will this famous housewife with an Italian surname be able to shun pasta and other carbs? To Manzo’s credit, she isn’t avoiding pasta, she’s just eating less of it and earlier in the day, when there’s ample time for those carbs to be burned.
Carbohydrates feed the brain, and eating a limited supply is good for eliminating cravings. A celebrity diet doctor reported that Manzo is also exercising three times a week for one hour.
Manzo is likely to keep her 5-foot-1 figure svelte as long as she allows herself to indulge once in a while and continues to reduce her portion sizes.
Hollywood mega couple’s detox celebrity diet
If you’d rather stick a hot poker in your eye than go on a diet for 10 days consisting of nothing but water with lemons, maple syrup and cayenne pepper, you’re not alone.
But that’s how Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore chose to purge their systems clean of toxins earlier this summer by going on the Master Cleanse diet.
Kutcher didn’t fare very long. Five days into it — the critical halfway point, when many on the master cleanse become very irritable — he fell off the wagon, as was reported on a celebrity blog.
I have known several people who have done the master cleanse, and the ones who stick it out lose weight but they always put it back on.
If you’re a normal, functioning, healthy person, the master cleanse is one celebrity diet you don’t need. Your liver is an ingenious organ that detoxifies your system every day, all day.
Got thoughts on other celebrity diets? Leave us a note in the comments below.
Judd Handler is a freelance writer, fitness trainer, certified Metabolic Typing Nutrition Advisor and health consultant. His website is WellnessGuru4U.com.
MNN homepage photo by ZUMA Press