Eat baby food. Go gluten-free. Reserve Mondays for yellow food and Thursdays for purple food.
These are just a few of the utterly insane eating plans that various celebrities have publicly admitted to trying.
Thankfully, there are better ways to change what you eat and feel healthier. (Spoiler alert: Many of them involve longterm lifestyle changes instead of jumping into a rigid eating plan for a few days).
Here's a list of some of the craziest and inadvisable things celebrities have done to look and feel better, along with a few suggestions that could be healthily incorporated into your life:
Beyoncé reportedly used the "Master Cleanse" to lose weight before “Dreamgirls.”
The scoop: Beyoncé reportedly did the Master Cleanse, which involves subsisting on nothing but lemon juice, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper, before staring in the movie “Dreamgirls” — the idea being that it detoxes your system and accelerates weight loss.
Should you do it? You never need to do a detox. Our bodies do it for us. While our kidneys filter our blood and remove waste from our diet, our liver processes medications and detoxifies any chemicals we ingest. Paired together, these organs make our bodies natural cleansing powerhouses. So stop eyeing that lemon squeezer. It's not worth it.
Reese Witherspoon did the 'Baby Food Diet'
The scoop: The Baby Food Diet has been traced to celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson, who's since denied supporting it. It involves eating 14 jars of baby food, with the option of adding in one actual low-calorie meal, each day.
Should you do it? Nope. The jars of baby food are 80 calories. Eat 14 and you end up with roughly 1,000 calories each day plus one real meal. So long as the meal you allow yourself is about 400 calories — think a small piece of grilled fish or lean meat and some sautéed veggies — you'll definitely lose weight. But it'll be because you're not eating food, not because mushed-up fruit is a miracle diet product.
Snooki went on the 'Cookie Diet'
The scoop: Snooki reportedly lost weight in 2010 with a diet of cookies. For three weeks, she ate six of the 90-calorie treats a day and one small meal. Alarmingly, the Cookie Diet is not Snooki's creation: Now-retired Dr. Sanford “The Cookie Doctor” Siegal trademarked the plan.
Should you do it? Probably not. Cookie Diet cookies are no Girl Scout Samoas. The recipe's first three ingredients are glycerin (used to add sweetness and moisture), whole-wheat powder (for fiber), and beef protein. They've also got rice crisps (ostensibly for crunch), egg whites (for more protein), wheat bran (for fiber), and a smattering of B vitamins.
Sam Smith slimmed down under the guidance of nutritionist Amelia Freer.
The scoop: Shortly after Smith took home four top awards at the Grammys in February, he started shedding pounds and Instagramming the action. He credited his transformation to nutritional therapist Amelia Freer, who had him working out regularly and eating lots of fresh veggies, fruit, lean meats, and some seafood while abstaining from pastries and ice cream.
Should you do it? Maybe a “lite” version. While losing a pound a day is by no means healthy — experts say you should aim to drop 2 to 3 pounds a week — there's nothing about Smith's eating plan, from what we can tell, that's outright unhealthy.
Taylor Swift swears by chia seeds, which can be soaked in water and sipped
The scoop: A handful of celebrities, including singer Taylor Swift, have chalked up their recent weight loss to the “miracle” food chia seeds. The seeds are tiny, grayish kernels that come from the beautiful chia flower native to central and southern Mexico and Guatemala.
Should you do it? Maybe. The seeds aren't completely useless: They're loaded with fiber, protein, and some key B vitamins. But as far as helping with weight loss goes, it's doubtful they'd have any special slimming power. Two tablespoons of the seeds — or about 1 ounce — are 140 calories, or roughly the same as a container of flavored yogurt.
Katy Perry claims the “Mushroom Diet” helps her stay thin
The scoop: Perry claims the M Diet helps her get lean only in select areas of her body, namely her waist, hips, and thighs. All she does is swap one meal a day with mushrooms, preferably raw, for 14 days.
Should you do it? No. First, “there's no evidence that any diet … will help you lose weight in a particular spot,” as registered dietitian Katherine Tallmadge told LiveScience. Plus, of course you'll cut calories by swapping a meal (about 700 calories) with a serving of raw veggies (about 21 calories for a cup). But there's nothing special about mushrooms, and they might not keep you from snacking later.
Victoria's Secret model Miranda Kerr slathers coconut oil on everything
The scoop: Coconut oil (CO) is roughly identical to olive oil (OO) in terms of its overall calorie and fat content. Kerr cooks with it, adds it to salads, and uses it as a moisturizer.
Should you do it? No. As opposed to a tablespoon of OO, which has just 1 gram of saturated fat and more than 10 grams of healthy mono or poly unsaturated fats, a tablespoon of CO has a whopping 12 grams of saturated fat and roughly 1 gram of healthy fat. Experts suggest avoiding saturated fats because they've been linked with raising cholesterol and the risk of type-2 diabetes.
Jay Z is a vegan
The scoop: The day before his 44th birthday, Jay Z joined partner Beyoncé in a 22-day “vegan challenge.” Now, both stars are partners in a vegan food company founded by their personal trainer, Marco Borges, called 22 Days Nutrition.
Should you do it? Sure. Just be sure to replace meat and dairy with foods that have a similar nutritional profile (like tofu, beans, and dark, leafy greens) to ward off deficiencies in some key nutrients, including calcium, iron, protein and Vitamin B-12. Instead of Bey and Jay Z's plan, which costs about $600 for the full 22 days, try going vegan with a friend for a month.
Country singer Tim McGraw went paleo
The scoop: McGraw sticks to a paleo diet, though a meal plan without dairy, refined sugar, or grains isn't the only reason he's likely lost so much weight. The star has also reportedly stopped drinking alcohol and using drugs, both of which can contribute to weight gain when used in excess.
Should you do it? Probably not. Alcohol and drugs obviously aren't good for you, but you don't need the paleo diet to curb or cut these from your diet. Plus, with their emphasis on meat, some paleo diets drastically up the recommended intake of protein and unhealthy saturated fat, which some research suggests can raise your risk of kidney and heart disease and some cancers.
Kirsten Dunst does the 'Alkaline Diet'
The scoop: Dunst joins the ranks of Jennifer Aniston and Gwyneth Paltrow, who've all reportedly done the pH diet, which advocates swapping “acid-forming” foods (meat, fish, dairy, eggs, grains, alcohol) with alkaline ones (fruits, nuts, beans, vegetables).
Should you do it? Nope. The diet is based on the misleading idea that you can change your body's pH levels with food. While your stomach's pH is acidic (it's filled with acid to help with digestion), your blood is slightly alkaline. And the food you eat cannot change the pH value of your blood.
Megan Fox takes a shot of apple-cider vinegar every morning
The scoop: Fox told The Telegraph that she uses apple-cider vinegar (ACV) because “It just cleanses out your system entirely.”
Should you do it? Go for it, but not as a cleanse. So long as it's consumed in safe amounts (no more than a few tablespoons diluted in water a day), ACV hasn't been linked with any severe health problems. While it certainly won't help you “detox,” some research suggests that vinegar may help stabilize blood-sugar levels in people with type-2 diabetes.
Kourtney Kardashian took placenta pills after giving birth
The scoop: Last December, reality star Kourtney Kardashian gave birth to her third child. In January, she posted a photo on Instagram of two capsule pills in a dish with the caption, “Yummy…PLACENTA pills! No joke…I will be sad when my placenta pills run out. They are life changing!”
Should you do it? Probably not. There haven't been many actual scientific studies of the pills — which are basically bits of placenta that have been steamed, dried, and ground up — but some anecdotal evidence compiled by the American Pregnancy Association suggests that they could help boost CRH (a stress-reducing hormone), decrease postpartum depression, restore iron levels in the blood, boost milk production, and raise the release of oxytocin — a hormone that, among other things, helps the uterus return to normal size.
Christina Aguilera ate foods of a different color every day for a week
The scoop: Aguilera reportedly went on the seven-day Color Diet at one point, eating foods of one color each day. Day one starts with white, which is followed by red, green, orange, purple, yellow, and, on the seventh day, all of the colors.
Should you do it? Sure, but don't limit yourself. Different-colored foods often provide different nutrients, so the temporary plan might help encourage you to try new things that you might otherwise ignore, like purple yams, deep-red strawberries, and dark-green kale. If you start by eating one color of fruits and veggies every day, you can establish a healthy habit of incorporating color into your diet, but don't forget the protein and whole grains.
Shailene Woodley eats clay to clean out her body's 'heavy metals'
The scoop: Actress Shailene Woodley described during an interview last year some of her health and beauty rituals, one of which is eating clay because it “helps clean heavy metals out of your body.”
Should you do it? Nope. Our bodies are designed to rid themselves of any toxins or “heavy metals,” so eating clay doesn't have any proven health benefits beyond what our bodies already do.
Gwyneth Paltrow drinks a $200 'Moon Dust' smoothie every day
The scoop: Shortly after Oscar-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow shared the recipe for her daily breakfast smoothie — which includes a mushroom powder called “Moon Dust” which allegedly imparts “feelings of centeredness” — on her blog, the Daily News called her out for its hefty price tag: about $200 a glass.
Should you do it? No. “There aren't really any clinical trials to even say what [these products] do,” Andy Bellatti, a registered dietitian and the co-founder of the group Dietitians for Professional Integrity, told Business Insider. “Could they potentially have benefits? Could they potentially help lower your cholesterol? Maybe. But we just don't have that information.”
Eva Mendes follows the five-factor diet plan
The scoop: Hollywood fitness trainer Harley Pasternak is the author of the New York Times best seller “The 5-Factor Diet,” which encourages people to eat five five-ingredient meals per day, each of which allegedly take just five minutes to prep.
Should you do it? It's worth a shot. The plan, more of a lifestyle and less of a temporary “fix-it” diet, is based around the idea that each of your meals contains one of each of four main food groups: protein, complex carbs, fiber, and healthy fat. The fifth group is sugar-free drinks, which strikes us as odd but shouldn't do any harm. Together, these factors help stabilize blood sugar and keep you energized throughout the day.
Tanza Loudenback contributed to an earlier version of this post
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