We get it. Sometimes, you don’t want to listen to your closest friends’ advice (or mom’s nagging) when it comes to shedding the pounds. So then who should you turn to? While it might make sense to read up on celebrity diets—they’re the ones with all the money to pay for nutritionists and personal chefs, after all—they’re not always making the best decisions for what’s right for you. And even though staying trim is practically part of their job, the extremes that some celebrities go to lose weight are a little bizarre at times. Here are the worst confirmed—and rumored—weight loss tips from celebs that we don’t suggest you try. For some celeb advice we can get behind, though, see 23 Healthy Foods Celebs Can’t Get Enough Of.
STOP EATING NIGHTSHADES
Tom Brady’s personal chef, Allen Campbell told the The Boston Globe, “[Tom] doesn’t eat nightshades because they’re not anti-inflammatory. So, no tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, or eggplants.”
More on this: Solanine is the poison in nightshades that mythically causes these inflammatory properties, but there is no substantive scientific proof. In fact, a study in the journal Clinical and Investigative Medicine found that a tomato-rich diet, like the Mediterranean diet, did not inhibit or change inflammatory markers, and a British Journal of Nutrition study even found that the vitamin C in tomatoes helps to reduce inflammatory marker levels. Vitamin C is found in high levels in all the nightshades (as well as the fruits in these detox waters), giving them antioxidant properties that can help elevate your mood, counteract stress hormones that trigger abdominal fat storage, and protect cells from free radical damage.
DON’T EAT AT ALL
“I got my meal plan which was like, a smoothie for breakfast, and then like for lunch you journal about that smoothie…like, there’s no food! That’s the Hollywood secret! Don’t put food in your dumb mouth! I’m proud to say, though, I did lose three pounds.” — Amy Schumer to E! News discussing her diet plan leading up to her blockbuster hit, Trainwreck.
More on this: Cutting calories can cause your body to lose muscle mass and decrease the rate of your metabolism. Lisa Moskovitz, RD, CDN explains, “In an attempt for quick, noticeable weight loss, many people wrongfully believe that eating as few calories as possible is the best solution. Not only can this lead to numerous nutritional deficiencies as the body is getting less food overall, but it can also have the opposite effect on weight loss.” Instead, make one of these healthy snack ideas to keep your blood sugar levels stable and your metabolism going.
EAT A LOT OF BROWN RICE
“I was macrobiotic for about three or four years […] being macrobiotic is basically about eating local, organic, seasonal food that isn’t processed, and that’s how I eat now, so it’s not that different. I haven’t eaten meat for about fifteen years.” —Gwyneth Paltrow in an interview with V Magazine.
More on this: This vegetarian diet involves eating primarily brown rice (60 percent of your calories), vegetables, beans, miso soup, and naturally processed foods. At first glance, a macrobiotic diet appears to be an excellent way to eat; It’s comprised of whole foods and omits processed, chemical-laden foods whose high sodium and preservative contents have been linked to weight gain. However, following a macrobiotic diet has been found to result in vitamin D deficiency, as it’s focused primarily on grains and contains little animal products—the only foods that naturally contain the type of vitamin D our bodies can use. The sunshine vitamin (so named because our skin produces D when exposed to the sun) is essential for our body’s uptake of calcium, linking its presence to having healthy bones and teeth.
STARVE YOURSELF IN THE 5:2 DIET
“Something I’ve been doing for a couple of years now is starving myself two days a week,” Jimmy Kimmel revealed to a men’s magazine. “On Monday and Thursday, I eat fewer than 500 calories a day, then I eat like a pig for the other five days. You ‘surprise’ the body, keep it guessing. On fasting days […] I mostly just drink coffee and eat pickles endlessly. For ‘meals’ I’ll have some peanut butter and an apple, or the whites of hard-boiled eggs, or if I’m really hungry, a bowl of oatmeal. The rest of the week I’m a glutton—pizza and pasta and steak.”
More on this: We can’t tell if he’s kidding or not. Because it sounds like a joke, but he did drop a lot of weight. Even though the late night talk show host lost over 25 pounds, this diet is anything but safe. Dieting by extreme calorie restriction is not a safe way to lose weight because you can stress your body by putting it in starvation mode. And, as evidenced by Jimmy himself, when your body is stressed, it tends to crave sweets and starchy foods because they provide a lot of energy. If you don’t watch what you eat on those unrestricted days, you’ll most likely end up feeding yourself empty, junky calories and doing more harm to your health.
SMOKE TO CONTROL CRAVINGS
When Mary Kate Olsen got married, a source told Page Six that her party decor consisted of “bowls and bowls filled with cigarettes, and everyone smoked the whole night.”
More on this: Many people start smoking (and continue smoking) to lose weight quickly because they believe it can control cravings. While many current smokers cite fear of weight gain as the primary reason they don’t want to quit, research has found that even though ex-smokers gain a bit of belly fat during the initial eight weeks of their smoke-free life, cleansing out the nicotine and carbon monoxide in their systems meant that they actually lost weight and belly fat in the long run. Instead of smoking, try one of these 35 Fun Ways to Lose Weight!
DRINK ONLY PROTEIN SHAKES
The Telegraph UK reported that for nine days before the legendary Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, supermodel Adriana Lima consumes only protein shakes mixed with powdered egg (“no solids”), washes them down with a gallon of water, and exercises once or twice a day.
More on this: After news of her extreme diet came out, Adriana explained to E!, “I know it’s very intense but … I just do it for this particular thing. After this show, I become normal again.” And we’re happy to hear it, but that doesn’t make this extreme diet any better. Yes, protein aids muscle growth, wards off hunger, and helps you lose weight, but getting too much can have some serious consequences for your waistline (you’ll gain weight) and health. Find out more about What Happens When You Eat Too Much Protein.
HAVE A CHEAT DAY
Contactmusic reported Jennifer Aniston explaining, “On Sundays I eat whatever I want. Otherwise, I stick to a low-carb, gluten-free diet with lots of protein and vegetables.”
More on this: Allowing yourself a weekly cheat meal can ward off cravings, alleviate stress, and boost your metabolism by increasing levels of leptin, the satiety hormone responsible for telling your body you’re full. The thing is, there are cheat meals and there are cheat days. And the latter is sure to derail your weight loss goals. Jim White, RD, ACSM Health Fitness Specialist explains, “Don’t go overboard and have a whole day of eating a lot of extra calories or eating a lot of junk food. So eat two to three pieces of pizza, not a whole pie.” For more tips on how cheaters can prosper, check out 20 Cheat Meal Tips for Weight Loss Success.
EAT A LOT OF COD
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, WWE superstar and actor, shared his muscle-building diet with Muscle & Fitness. It’s a lot of brown rice and cod. So much fish, in fact, that his yearly intake of cod amounts to a whopping 821 pounds.
More on this: Nutritionists are constantly raving about the health benefits of fish because of their heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, high-quality protein, and high levels of inflammation-fighting Vitamin D. Even though cod provides a great source of lean protein, this white fish is seriously lacking on the omega-3 front, with only 19 mg per ounce, making Pacific cod the seventh worst fish on our exclusive ranking of Every Popular Fish—Ranked for Nutritional Benefits!.
“I eat alkaline. That’s my go-to. It’s no dairy, it’s no wheat, it’s gluten-free, no meat, and no sugar. When you start to become more alkaline, it’s just basically healthier. Everything digests better, your blood is [at a proper pH balance].” —Kate Hudson to Glamour
More on this: This diet could work, but not for the reason it claims. The idea behind the alkaline diet is that certain foods increase acid levels in your body and, consequently, in your blood. When the acid concentration in your blood—which hovers around an alkaline pH level of 7.4—decreases, or becomes more acidic, it can cause numerous health problems like bone loss, inflammation, and increased insulin resistance, which could lead to high blood sugar. However, according to a study in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases, the acidity of what you eat does not affect your blood chemistry or pH. While the reasoning might be baseless, the diet does promote healthy eating, and, in fact, may help promote certain health benefits. Just don’t be fooled into thinking the acidity of your blood has anything to do with it.
WEAR A WAIST TRAINER
Khloe Kardashian via an Instagram post: “I am obsessed with my new waist shaper […] Snatching my waist and looking cute all at the same time!!! I definitely feel like a superhero in this waist shaper!“
More on this: No need to bother deciding what to eat. The weight loss secret behind wearing a corset? It constricts your waist, hips, and back so much that eating a meal bloats you enough that the corset becomes very uncomfortable. Plus, it supposedly helps you draw in your core muscles (basically a workout, right?) to make you sweat out toxins. In reality, the corset isn’t really reducing or “training” the fat in your core to attain a certain shape; it’s just making you eat less (and crushing your organs). For better, long-term weight-loss tips, check out our Best Weight-Loss Tips.
USE LOTS OF SUPPLEMENTS
Katy Perry posted a snap on Twitter captioned, “I’m all about that supplement & vitamin LYFE!” with three plastic bags labeled “Upon rising”, ”Breakfast”, and “Dinner.”
More on this: Besides the fact that store-brand supplements tout falsified claims, some pills have even been found to contain substances that could be dangerous to those with allergies–Walmart’s “wheat- and gluten-free” supplement has been found to be made from little more than powdered radish and wheat. Even worse? If you take too much of a supplement, like vitamin C, you could actually cause adverse effects such as nausea, bloating, headaches, and insomnia. Kick the supplement habit with our guide How to Supplement Your Diet Without Pills.
“I’m on the drunk diet. I like to drink whiskey and stuff while I’m working. But the deal is, I’ve got to work out every day, and I work out hungover if I’m hungover.” — Lady Gaga to Sirius Radio
More on this: Pioneered by her ex-boyfriend (he even wrote a book about it), Lady Gaga said she follows the “Drunk Diet” where she drinks whiskey while she works. Drinking is fun, but it can derail your weight loss plan with its empty calories of carbs and sugar. Giving up alcohol will help you sleep better, along with 6 other things that happen when you stop drinking alcohol.
EAT LIKE A WEREWOLF
For this tip and the following, these are rumors and unconfirmed. But we hear this material girl eats her food according to the lunar cycle. In this diet, you restrict your diet depending on the phases of the moon, including eating “less than usual” without starving yourself and are advised not to eat after 6 p.m., when “the moon’s light becomes more visible” during the waning moon period. Like many unsustainable diets, this is basically just fasting and any weight you lose is most likely just water weight. Plus, you’ll probably encounter side effects that come with starvation such as fatigue, irritability, and dizziness.
EAT A COLOR A DAY
Experts stress to eat the rainbow because adding a spectrum of colors to your diet can help ensure that you’re getting a variety of nutrients. For Christina Aguilera, she was reported to have taken this plan to the extreme with the 7-Day Color Diet. Each day the dieter eats a different color; so, she’ll eat white foods on Monday, red on Tuesday, green on Wednesday, orange on Thursday, purple on Friday, yellow on Saturday, and Sunday is a rainbow! While you might be ensuring variation in the nutrients you’re consuming, there’s nothing to stop you from having a bag of Doritos on a Thursday.
CLEANSE WITH LEMON JUICE
This Bootylicious singer reportedly turned to a liquid lemon juice mixture to quickly slim down for her role in Dreamgirls. The diet requires six to ten servings of a lemon juice, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper concoction for ten days. Plus, you’re encouraged to do a saltwater flush and herbal laxative. Known as “The Master Cleanse,” or the Lemonade Diet, this detox is based on snake-oil science from the 1940s. But there’s no scientific evidence that your body needs more help to cleanse; your kidneys and liver are pretty good at doing it on your own. Ultimately, the drastic reductions in calories can lead to starving yourself and a super-slow metabolism.
LOAD UP ON SODA
A source shared to the interwebs, “[Rhianna’s] body clock is a total mess from working 18 hours a day in the studio. To refuel herself after a lack of sleep, she fills up by drinking a crate of Diet Coke…washed down with Budweiser! She calls the combo ‘rocket fuel’, and while she enjoys the odd shot of tequila or vodka on the rocks when out partying, in her opinion, nothing can beat her beer and fizzy soda mix.”
Drinking soda can cause diabetes, obesity, tooth decay, and even heart disease. These ailments are typically due to the beverages’ most common sweetener: high-fructose corn syrup. HFCS’s introduction to soft drinks and other sweetened beverages is largely responsible for the obesity epidemic by causing caloric overconsumption. Since energy obtained from fluids has been shown to be less satisfying than calories from solid foods, we tend to drink more before we feel satisfied, according to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Over consumption of artificial sweeteners causes weight gain because the fructose structure of HFCS bypasses the typical regulations of glucose metabolism, making it an easily accessible source for fat production over energy synthesis.
Tim McGraw sticks to a paleo diet, a meal plan that mimics the way humans ate before agriculture: without dairy, refined sugar, or grains. While giving up processed foods is probably good for you, the diet’s emphasis on meat means you could drastically up the recommended intake of protein and unhealthy saturated fat, which research suggests can raise your risk of stroke, heart disease, and some cancers. Going paleo certainly does not guarantee weight loss, and you can read more about it as one of our 8 Diet Myths That Keep You Fat and Frustrated.
WORK OUT EXCESSIVELY
For her role in Black Swan, Natalie Portman lost 20 pounds by sticking to just 1,200 calories a day (mostly comprised of almonds and carrots) and working out like a fiend. She spent anywhere from five to eight hours a day doing ballet, swimming, and interval training. Yes, working out is an essential part of your diet plan, but exercising too much and eating too little can break down your lean muscle mass, which is essential for increasing your metabolism to burn more calories.
EATING A CAN OF TUNA
To drop 63 pounds for a role in The Machinist, Christian Bale’s weight loss diet consisted of an apple and can of tuna fish per day. Besides the fact that he was basically starving himself, if the canned tuna fish was albacore, he was most likely poisoning himself, too. Albacore tuna can have almost triple the levels of mercury than light tuna, one of our The 20 Best Proteins For a Flat Belly.
The cookie diet, i.e. eating six cookies and one real meal per day, is supposedly how Snooki chose to lose weight. By eating the cookies throughout the day, you don’t feel like you’re starving yourself—but you’re definitely not getting many nutrients either. We think she just did it as a gimmick because cookie rhymes with Snooki.