With constant cultural pressure to be physically trim, slim and beautiful, it’s no wonder some celebrities go to drastic health measures with diets that usually don’t reflect guidelines for a healthy lifestyle. Here are some of the wackiest celebrity diet and weight loss plans, tricks and trends.
English model and actress Elizabeth Hurley has been known to shed pounds in record time with the calorie-restrictive Watercress Soup Diet.
Watercress Soup Diet
Elizabeth Hurley’s secret to dropping 10 pounds in seven days: a diet of watercress soup, which consists of onions, light chicken stock, three large bunches of watercress, and salt and pepper. . “I drink at least six cups a day when I am eager to lose a few pounds,” she told London’s Daily Mail in 2007. “It’s fat-less, low-calorie, full of vitamins and iron, and delicious enough to serve at a dinner party.” Such a restrictive diet, however, could open the door to nutrient deficiencies, a weakened immune system, and rebound weight gain.
The Facial Analysis Diet
Created by celebrity nutritionist Elizabeth Gibaud and used by Kate Winslet to shed her pregnancy weight, the point of this fad diet states that differently shaped faces need different diets, and that facial imperfections, such as forehead wrinkles or large pores, can signal dietary needs. A facial analyst will first examine skin for markings, color, and texture, and then create a customized plan that begins with a two-day detox. Most versions of the diet are low in calories, but claims in the book aren’t backed by scientific research.
The “Bleak Diet”
In 2007, Mariah Carey told reporters that she’d dropped two dress sizes by following a “bleak diet” built around fish and soup prepared very blandly—no oil or butter, for example. However, the diet is heavy on healthful lean protein.
Megan Fox and Fergie have admitted to taking shots of vinegar—typically three times a day, before each meal—in the name of weight loss. The vinegar supposedly flushes out fats in the colon, helping the body digest food while curbing cravings, however there’s no real evidence it does anything but leave behind an unpleasant taste.
Carmen Electra reportedly carries a vial of grapefruit oil around with her, sniffing it whenever hunger strikes. Still, no research suggests that grapefruit oil has appetite-suppressing properties.
The “Air Diet”
Madonna has been linked to the calorie-restrictive “air diet.” Dubbed by the French magazine Grazia as the “it” way to lose weight in 2010, the idea is to go through the motions of eating without ever taking a bite. Followers put food on their plates, cut it, dig their fork into it, and hold it up to their mouths to savor the scent—never tasting it. The only thing air dieters can actually consume is soup made from water and salt.
Beyonce famously used Master Cleanse to drop about 20 pounds for her role in the 2006 film Dreamgirls. For at least 10 days, those on the plan give up solid foods in favor of fluids. On the menu: not-quite lemonade, water, and laxatives. Continuously cycling on and off the diet could lead to nutrient deficiencies, long-term weight gain, a weakened immune system, and heart and kidney problems.