Diet & Fitness
Monday, 30 March 2009 07:58
By Karen Asp AOL
Nobody does diets better than Hollywood, and when stars want to slim down fast, they often turn to cleanses. "Through cleanses or detox diets, which are usually low-calorie, liquid diets, you experience fast, significant but short-term weight loss," says Andrea Giancoli, M.P.H., R.D., spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association who's in private practice in Los Angeles. The results, however, don't often last, which is why cleanses aren't the solution to long-term weight loss. But if you're trying to slim down for a big event, your body can handle a few days on a cleanse. Here, Giancoli weighs in on eight favorite Hollywood detox diets and tells you which ones are okay to try and which to avoid.
When Gwyneth Paltrow wanted to shed "holiday excess," she turned to a detox specialist, and wound up with a seven-day plan that eliminates dairy, caffeine and processed foods. You'll enjoy smoothies made with fruit and rice milk or coconut milk and organic foods like chicken and steamed salmon and veggies along with herbal teas, soups and brown rice. Gwyneth's web site offers lots of detox recipes.
Our expert says: Give it a go. "Of all the cleanses, this is perhaps one of the more healthful ones, as you're getting substance and nutrients," Giancoli says.
This liquid diet promotes ultra fast weight loss because all you're allowed to consume is a concoction of water, lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne pepper; salt water; and an herbal laxative tea. Over the 10- to 30-day diet, you'll consume only 600 to 1,200 calories a day.
Celeb followers: Beyoncé Knowles
Our expert says: Skip it: It's way too low in calories and doesn't provide any nutrition. Plus, when it's done, you'll regain the lost weight.
There's no crazy dieting or fasting on the SoCal diet. Instead, you choose your cleanse (there are five to pick from), and then you pop two capsules of natural herbs in the morning and another two in the afternoon, which are intended for "internal body detoxification and cleansing." You're also encouraged to eat fruits, vegetables and lean protein; avoid processed foods and caffeine; and minimize your sugar intake.
Celeb followers: Lisa Rinna
Our expert says: Save your money. "If you're eating a diet that includes fruits and veggies, you don't need these capsules," Giancoli says.
David Kirsch's LemonAid 48-hour Detox
Celebrity fitness trainer David Kirsch has whipped numerous Hollywood A-listers into red-carpet shape, many of whom have done this diet. For two days, you drink a glass of LemonAid (a mix of lemon, purified water, maple syrup and cayenne pepper) four times daily. Water, hot tea and a few of Kirsch's other drink products are also allowed.
Celeb followers: Anne Hathaway, Liv Tyler
Our expert says: A one- or two-day cleanse like this probably won't hurt you, but it's not going to be fun or easy.
The iZO Cleanze offers two options: The iZO Juice Feast, a liquid diet available only if you live in the Los Angeles area (although it's expanding to other cities), and the iZO Superfood Cleanze. With the Juice Feast, organic juices and teas are delivered to your door every morning for as long as you want. On the Superfood Cleanze, which lasts three or seven days, you mix powders into water or juice.
Celeb followers: Allison Janney, Daisy Fuentes, Eva LaRue, Tony Shaloub
Our expert says: Look elsewhere. "Any diet or cleanse that's product oriented should raise a red flag," Giancoli says. Besides, it's expensive and doesn't provide enough nutrition.
Martha's Vineyard Detox Diet
Losing 21 pounds in 21 days is the premise of this diet, which consists of fruit and vegetable juices, drinks, soups, enzyme pills, and oh yeah, enemas.
Celeb followers: Angelina Jolie, Robin Quivers
Our expert says: Even though it's high in fruits and veggies and low in processed foods, this diet promotes dangerous behaviors (like colonics) and unsustainable weight loss, which could be detrimental to the psyche, Giancoli says.
Choose from three levels of intensity on this liquid diet, where you'll be slurping six juice-based "tonics" daily with ingredients that might include cashew nut milk, fruit juices and select spices. On the Renovation Cleanse, which is for beginners, you'll consume 1,200 calories while you'll drop to 1,100 calories a day on the Foundation Cleanse. Finally, the Excavation Cleanse, the most hardcore, allows 1,000 calories a day.
Celeb followers: Sarah Jessica Parker
Our expert says: Don't do it. The calorie count is too low -- general guidelines recommend not dipping below 1,200 calories a day, and even that could be too low for many people -- and it's expensive.
Quantum Wellness Cleanse
Created by Kathy Freston, a personal growth and spiritual counselor, this cleanse promotes eating plant-based, fiber-rich foods and eliminating caffeine, sugar, alcohol, gluten and animal products for up to 21 days.
Celeb followers: Oprah
Our expert says: Thumbs up. "I like the focus on plant-based eating, which more Americans should do," Giancoli says, adding that this diet is more of a healthful approach to eating versus a cleanse. Her only concern? If you're not sensitive or allergic to gluten, cutting gluten doesn't make sense, as you'll skip some key nutrients.