“No bread, no carbs, no sugar, no dairy, no meat, no fish, no alcohol… I’m hungry.”
“I definitely pushed myself further than I knew I could, and I learned a very valuable lesson.I will never…never push myself that far again.”
There has been a lot of noise around Beyonce’s pre Coachella diet following the release of her documentary ‘Homecoming’. For this week’s blog, we asked our Founder and celebrity personal trainer Tim Hayes for his comments on the extreme lengths celebrities go to for image.
I have to admit when I first heard about it I felt angry and very judgmental, my first response was to slag this off and point fingers, which I think we can all agree is pretty easy to do. When I took a step back I realised that she was just doing her job: unfortunately, the job of a celeb is to get in shape quickly for specific events. If you have watched the Netflix documentary you will see she clearly states that she feels hungry and would never do it again.
Why we should never look up to celebrities for fitness tips
My recent piece for the Huffington Post on Mark Wahlberg’s fitness routine commended Mark for revealing the brutal reality about what he needed to do to get in shape. Rather than point the finger I think it’s better to accept that this is what celebs need to do, but also accept that there is no way the average person could achieve this in a normal lifestyle. The more celebrities open up about the painful reality behind their appearance, the less quick fix diet pills and miracle routines can use their image to sell their useless products. Fortunately, it’s clear Beyonce hasn’t tried to sell this diet or encourage her young fans to follow it.
So what’s wrong with the diet?
In case it’s not already obvious, here are just a few of the issues I could see arising from this restrictive low carb vegan diet. 1) Unless there was some inclusion of a protein powder, this is a low protein diet which would have a negative impact on muscle mass. 2) the total lack of complex carbs would have a very negative impact on mood and concentration, as we need at least a small portion to help shuttle serotonin to the brain 3) vegan plant proteins are high in carbs. Chickpeas may have around 18g protein per serving but they have double that in carbs, and even vegetables are similar. So I assume that since she cut all carbs, that she was eating nuts, seeds, avocado, olive oil and maybe tofu. Dinner times must have been fun. She must have been taking a bucket load of supplements to support herself through this. 4) Finally, she admits to feeling hungry. Probably hungry and drained. Who wants to feel that way? There are much healthier ways to lose weight and to keep the weight off.
I’m detailing this because I want people who may attempt to follow such a diet to know more of the facts, and of course this is based on the limited information she has provided on the diet.
I actually admire Beyonce for her professionalism and commitment to her career: it must have been horrific to go through what she did to get ready for this show, especially after a complicated birth to twins. Nevertheless, she did it because that’s her job: that’s the path she’s chosen. Her performance was very physically demanding, so in many ways we should regard this as an athlete getting ready for the competition of their life. She is brave, courageous, driven, and quite clearly completely mad to do this to herself but hats off to you Beyonce.
I’d like to conclude that we need to be very aware of what we are prioritising in our lives: unless you are a celebrity preparing for a career making performance – and presumably surrounded by the best nutritionists, dieticians, personal trainers and therapists that money can buy – my closing words would be don’t follow this diet. Unlike a celebrity, you actually have the luxury of taking your time and doing this right, in a way that doesn’t make you miserable and hungry. If you are unhappy enough that this prospect doesn’t put you off this diet, please seek professional advice.