Beyonce was running the world on empty.
The 23-time Grammy winner revealed in her “Homecoming” documentary released on Netflix
on Wednesday that she went on a restrictive diet to get a “Flawless” figure ahead of her showstopping Coachella performance last year.
The “Get Me Bodied” singer shared that she weighed 218 pounds after giving birth to her twins Sir Carter and Rumi in June 2017, and she set a high bar for her return to the stage. “I’m creating my own homecoming and it’s hard,” she says in the film. “I had to rebuild my body from cut muscles. What people don’t see is the sacrifice.”
Until now. The footage shows her eating an apple and adding, “In order for me to meet my goals, I’m limiting myself to no bread, no carbs, no sugar, no dairy, no meat, no fish, no alcohol — and I’m hungry.”
And no wonder. Nutrition experts told MarketWatch that while we don’t know exactly what Bey was eating, from this statement, many of the things she was cutting are proven fuel for the body — especially the carbs. Meanwhile, she was rehearsing for a two-hour Coachella performance.
“The problem with cutting carbs to lose weight is that our bodies need carbs for energy. Cutting carbs leaves us feeling tired, cranky and weak, shaky and lethargic,” Tanya Zuckerbrot, a registered dietitian and founder of the F-Factor Diet, told MarketWatch. “From an activity perspective, without carbs you won’t have energy for workouts. This is the reason athletes carboload. Cutting carbs is also a problem because then you aren’t getting fiber, which is the secret to weight loss without hunger, and is only found in carbohydrates.”
It should be noted that Zuckerbrot’s F-Factor Diet embraces fiber, such has low-calorie whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans and legumes, as well as nuts and seeds, which research has shown keep you feeling full for hours while providing health benefits. “Fiber also improves gut health, supports healthy cholesterol levels and healthy blood sugar regulation, promotes regular bowel movements, improves sleep habits and promotes overall wellness,” said Zuckerbrot.
Plus, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) doesn’t recommend dieting during the postpartum period, which can last up to six months after the baby is born; we’re not sure when Beyonce began her diet. “Although it may be tempting to [go on] a crash diet so you can squeeze back into your old clothes, don’t do it. Dieting can deny your body vital nutrients and delay healing after birth,” reads the ACOG website. “Keep up the good eating habits you began in pregnancy. If you do, you’ll be close to your normal weight within a few months. Combining healthy eating with exercise will help the process.”
Prevention also notes that cutting out bead, carbs (which technically include fruits and vegetables), sugar, dairy, meat and fish could deprive breast-feeding mothers of the fatty acids, vitamins and minerals that their nursing babies need.
“Another issue is that Beyoncé is focusing on omission — what she is limiting/cutting out,” added Zuckerbrot. “A focus on omission, rather than addition (what you are adding to the diet), can leave dieters feeling hungry (like she said she is), deprived and dissatisfied — these feelings are not consistent with long term weight loss success.”
But for the four in 10 Americans (or 93.3 million adults) who are obese, which increases their risk of heart disease, stroke, Type 2 diabetes, certain cancers and early mortality, cutting back on sugar and alcohol is often a good idea. After all, the sweeteners and syrups used to flavor processed foods sees the average adult eating 20 teaspoons of hidden added sugar every day, or an extra 320 calories, according to the USDA’s nationwide food consumption survey. And the research on even moderate alcohol consumption’s effect on health is mixed.
Restrictive diets are all the rage now. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has made headlines for fasting daily, which has many on social media expressing concern that he has an eating disorder. In fact, a Reddit user shared that she uses intermittent fasting to cut her food budget and her calories. But many Americans are shopping for that secret weapon to win the battle of the bulge, which is why the weight loss market has ballooned to upward of $70.3 billion.
But nutritionists note that eating almost everything in moderation is OK. It’s often more important to pile on healthier foods than to take entire food groups away.
”She could be losing the weight, safely and effectively, in a much more enjoyable and sustainable manner,” Zuckerbrot added, “eating carbs, protein — and drinking alcohol even, too.”
The Beyhive (her fans) weren’t biting, either.
Even Beyonce admitted that she won’t be doing her “Homecoming” diet again. “I definitely pushed myself further than I knew I could and I learned a very valuable lesson,” she said. “I will never, never push myself that far again.”
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