In her newly released Netflix doco Homecoming, Beyoncé has opened up about her diet struggles in her quest drop some of the 218 pounds (roughly 100kg) – her weight after giving birth to her twins – while planning to return to performing full time.
The superstar’s super-strict diet – which cut out bread, carbs, sugar, dairy, meat and alcohol; along with gruelling daily workouts – appeared to consist of little other than veges, nuts and seeds to help Beyoncé find her way back to her former svelte physique.
With calorie deficits estimated at as much as 2000 calories a day, it is safe to say the level of focus and mental toughness required to follow such a super strict regime is out of reach of the average person! While the results of the diet were apparent, even Beyoncé swears she will never push herself or her body that far again.
Starvation diets that clock in at 1000 calories or less are not new.
Movie stars of old are said to have been put on strict regimes of black coffee and cigarettes to shift the kilos for film roles and every second day there is another extreme diet that claims to strip weight ASAP.
But at what cost?
Extreme diets can not only play havoc with metabolism in the long-term, but there is a psychological cost too.
Likened to diagnosed clinical eating disorders, those following strict diets become obsessed with food, calories and diets and are often preoccupied with their weight, body shape and size.
Physiologically, there are hormonal consequences that can impact fertility, blood glucose control and our ability to maintain weight long term. Extreme starvation diets are anything but safe for anyone long term.
For a superstar like Beyoncé, who has access to personal chefs, nutritionists and trainers on a daily basis, an extreme diet may be slightly easier to implement but still as difficult to maintain as it is for you or I.
As Beyoncé described so simply but so powerfully in her documentary: ‘I’m hungry’. I bet!
Many of us long for a day when this – people starving themselves senseless to obtain a body that society convinces us we should want – is no longer the norm, for superstars or for anyone else.