Beyoncé’s bod is one of the most talked about on the planet, but what does a dietitian really think about the super quick, slim-down plan?
Fit and fearless, she attributes her shape to ‘22 Days Nutrition’, a program that promises to make healthy eating easy, created by New York Times Best Selling author, exercise physiologist and nutritionist Marco Borges. Here’s what you need to know.
What is 22 Days Nutrition?
In a world of plant-power, it’s no surprise 22 Days Nutrition has tapped into the trend. As a plant-based meal planning service, the program promotes the importance of eating more of the good stuff like vegetables, legumes, fruit and nuts via an easy to use online platform that’s jam-packed with Instagram-worthy, nutritionally analysed, plant-based recipes. You just have to fork out about $50 (AUD) a quarter to get it.
The program does it’s best to create a customised meal plan that suits you. When you sign up, you’re asked all sorts of questions about your lifestyle, from how much time you have to cook each day and your level of finesse in the kitchen to the equipment you have on hand and your dietary preferences.
You also have the choice of four different plans:
- The Family Plan;
- The 22 Day Revolution, which promises to revive your life with gluten and soy free recipes;
- Beyoncé’s Kitchen – THE plan Beyoncé used to get in shape for Coachella (more on that in a minute), and;
- Performance Fuel, to fuel your regular sweat sesh.
22 Days Nutrition: yay or nay?
In you choose to be vegan, 22 Days Nutrition is, if nothing else, a wealth of recipes to get you inspired to try new things in the kitchen. But would I recommend it? No. Truth is, you don’t have to be vegan, gluten free or soy free (or all three) to be healthy. In fact, these kinds of eating plans have real potential to result in dangerous nutritional deficiencies and I’d argue could actually leave you worse off than when you started.
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That’s because any kind of ‘diet’ is usually very restrictive and can lead to a counterintuitive mindset, where you have a list of foods you can eat and a list of foods you can’t. Foods become good or bad, and when you eventually eat something ‘bad’, you feel guilty and miserable. So, you start again, promising to be more strict than ever. And the cycle repeats itself again and again and again. It is not a healthy relationship with food.
Nonetheless, to my surprise, the menu plan that was spat out at me when I signed up to 22 Days Nutrition was relatively sensible on the calorie front. With a range of daily caloric intakes from 1,400 to 1,800 calories in the first week, my ‘personalised’ meal plan was somewhat in line with what I’d recommend to the average Joe for healthy weight loss (read: 1,500 calories a day).
The verdict on 22 Days Nutrition
Beyoncé sells the 22 Days Nutrition program on her website via a rather disturbing vlog that starts with her stepping on the scales saying “every woman’s nightmare” at 175 pounds and ends with her celebrating the fact that she fits into a costume for Coachella. With reports that her version of the diet contained no bread, carbs, sugar, dairy, meat, fish or alcohol, this plant-based crash diet is not my idea of a healthy way of eating, so I wouldn’t recommend you jump on the bandwagon. If you’re still intrigued, however, I’d look at the meal planning platform as a form of plant-based inspo – not the be all and end all when it comes to good nutrition or weight loss, or anything in between.
Melissa Meier is a Sydney-based accredited practising dietitian. You can connect with her on Instagram @honest_nutrition.