Four Celebrity Diets, Dissected

Posted by Julia McVeigh on

It’s with a healthy mixture of curiosity and skepticism that most of us approach the topic of “celebrity diets.” On one hand, wouldn’t we all love to look like Elle Macpherson – at age 52, no less! On the other, is she actually serious about eating alkaline-only foods?! As such, we decided to break down four popular celebrity diets and provide our commentary on whether or not they’re viable for us non-supermodels. Read on!


Kate Middleton, The Dukan Diet

What it is: The brainchild of French doctor Pierre Dukan, the Dukan diet is famed for keeping Princess Kate looking lean and downright regal. While its name belies little about the diet itself, it’s basically a high-protein, low-carbohydrate plan. It does have some curiosities though, which involve its four phases. The “Attack Phase” is the start of the diet, and it involves eating protein – and only protein – for 2-7 days (stuff like lean meats, eggs, and fish) in order to kick-start fat burning and rev up your metabolism. The next phase – the “Cruise Phase” – involves consuming a mix of vegetables + protein one day and then pure protein the next, in order to help you find your “true weight.” The third phase – the “Consolidation Phase” – entails slowly re-introducing eliminated foods (carbs, dairy), while the final phase, the “Stabilization Phase,” is all about maintaining this new diet, incorporating while non-negotiable elements like 3 tablespoons of oats per day, plenty of walking and one “pure protein” day per week.

Our take: First of all, this diet basically impossible for vegetarians and vegans, so look elsewhere if you’re not game to consume (a lot of) meat or fish. With that said, it is a realistic plan for omnivores. While we’re not huge fans of the scant amount of vegetables in the first phase of the plan, we do think there are merits to limiting refined carbohydrates and staying full on protein. Plus, we love you Kate. 


Gwyneth Paltrow, The Alkaline Diet

What it is: The Alkaline Diet has won the loyal followings of super-fit celebrities like Kate Hudson, Gisele, Victoria Beckham and the OG wellness guru, Gwynnie. True to its name, it’s rooted in a pH-based philosophy wherein you consume alkaline-rich foods in order to both maintain an idea acidic-basic balance and encourage better digestion. What are alkaline-rich foods, you ask? Think: Vegetables, low-glycemic fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. As for acid bombs, think of foods like coffee, dairy, processed carbohydrates, alcohol and meat. The ideal balance should be 80% alkaline to 20% acidic.

Our take: Although its name might make this diet seem complicated, it’s a pretty straightforward plan. In short, it requires that you eat plenty of plant-based foods and limit addictive substances like simple carbohydrates, sugar and caffeine. That’s the good news. We do have two qualms with this plan, however: One, you’ll need to ensure you are eating enough protein, as meat is pretty limited in this regimen. Two, the pH-balancing claims are somewhat unsubstantiated. Regardless, you’ll be eating whole, real foods – which is good by us, always! 


Beyoncé, The 22 Day Revolution

What it is: The brainchild of trainer and nutritionist Marco Borges, this diet plan is famous because, well, Beyoncé endorses it. In essence, this diet is grounded in two things: One, eat vegan. Two, it takes 21 days to create a habit; hence, the “22 day revolution.” Although there is a cookbook that can help guide adherents to the plan, this diet also encompasses a meal delivery service; you can eat like Queen Bey for just $12.50 – $9.50 per meal!

Our take: Going vegan can be tricky, which is why having help in the form of a cookbook and meal delivery is helpful. Whether this is a sustainable choice, however, is something that is up for debate. The BHH team personally loves our fish and lean meats, so this wouldn’t be something we could adopt as a long-term plan. With that said, it’s great as a three week reset and it could help inspire more plant-based eating, which we’re always all about. Also, #SLAY.


Oprah, Weight Watchers

What it is: The OG diet (or so it seems), Weight Watchers has won legions of followers for its “eat-what-you-want-in-moderation” approach. The gist is this: Foods are given “SmartPoints” based off of metrics like calories, saturated fat, sugar and protein. Adherents are given a certain amount of points a day; you tally your food accordingly and if you stick to your points, you’ll lose weight and/or maintain a healthy weight.

Our take: Although tallying points can be kind of cumbersome – and may take some of the joy out of eating – this plan wins points (pun!) for adopting a realistic, accessible approach to eating. Boiled down to its core, Weight Watchers is about eating healthfully most of the time, focusing on vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins while allowing yourself the occasional cheat – within reason. The fact that it keeps you accountable through the point system is helpful, too. And… Oprah!  

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