The diet business, it seems, is structured around our inevitable failure. Do your best, until you fail, and then try, try, again, for $19.95 — or whatever the price is.
Most of our lifestyles do not even closely resemble those of celebrities. (Nor do our houses.)
Why do we buy into the idea that our everyday lives — complete with our daunting daily tasks — could resemble those of celebrities? Maybe a stay-at-home mum in San Francisco has unfettered access to top-notch ingredients and ample time on her hands, but the majority of us do not.
I have found celebrity diets to be incredibly unrealistic.
Here are a few reasons why.
You don’t have a personal chef.
Or maybe you do, who am I to know.
But assuming that you, like me, do not have a personal chef (and no, Seamless does not count as your personal chef) it’s time consuming and difficult to simulate a celebrity’s eating patterns.
When I tried what I’ll call the Gisele challenge, the most obvious issue that stuck out to me was that I didn’t know where to begin with meals. I didn’t know what substitutions to make. I was bored, certainly not getting enough nutrients, and quite frankly, it was a miserable experience.
It also can be potentially risky if you’re not preparing your food the right way. I don’t just mean that you might undercook your chicken, but that if you’re not balancing the amount of nutrients properly, you might not have energy to power through your day.
There’s yet another caveat: dining like a celebrity is often expensive.
Sakara Life served up a mediocre dish, but for $109 a day? No thanks. Soup cleanses and juice cleanses are also pricey. And even strictly adhering to a celebrity food shopping plan — like Gisele and Tom Brady’s — won’t help you; their budgets are have more wiggle room for discretionary avocados, fancy salts and oils, and organic starfruits than most of ours do.
These ‘diets’ are often wildly limiting, even they appear to look like ‘lifestyles.’
Consider the no-salt-unless-it’s-Himalayan-rock-salt rule from the Gisele and Tom diet as an example.
Perhaps these strict rules can adhered to in a nominally easier fashion if you have someone whipping up meals for you ’round the clock, but that probably still wouldn’t bode well for your everyday, regular-person life.
That’s not to say that I advocate the Cookie Diet (I don’t), but I do condone diets that, within reason, permit wiggle room for happy hour and are reasonably affordable. Then, they can become actual lifestyles rather than quick fixes to fit into a dress — but the same could be said for any diet that puts large X’s on food groups.
Experts say that dieting doesn’t work.
Spoiler alert — you’re doomed to fail as it is.
“What seems to be clear is that long-term diet adherence is abysmal, irrespective of whether low-fat or other diets… are prescribed,” Kevin Hall of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases in Maryland, United States wrote, according to AFP.
So these so-called “lifestyles” are not sustainable in the long run.
Celebrity diets — with their high prices and bizarre rules — might be sustainable for some. But for many, they’re not, thereby making them just as unlikely to work in the long term as doing a quick fix like a cabbage soup diet or The Master Cleanse.
You might argue and say that that’s the point of dieting, to be lethargic and devoid of personality as you battle your way to eternal thinness, but — spoiler alert — it’s not. It’s about making healthy, sustainable choices that you can keep up. And yes, there are healthy changes you can make in your diet that will make you lose weight.
And those small but realistic lifestyle changes are the same things people have been saying for eons: eat your vegetables, fruits, watch your sugar intake, and curb your alcohol temptations.
It’s not nearly as chic as living like Gwyneth Paltrow for a week nor does it come with the cool tote bag Sakara Life gives you, but most of us are not celebrities, anyway.
We are people — with jobs, with children, with spouses, with homes to maintain, with errands to run, with plumbing to repair, with relationships to tend to, with work to do, with books to read, with exercise classes to go to when we make time for ourselves. That doesn’t mean it isn’t fun to occasionally experiment with recipes inspired by celebrities, but our primary focus shouldn’t be attaining a celebrity body, but rather, our best bodies — ones that function, support us, and make us feel good.
But the “real person who’s just trying” lifestyle diet just doesn’t have a great marketing ring to it, now, does it?
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