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Beyoncé’s Coachella diet: Is the Beychella fitness regime crazy effective or just plain crazy? A dietician weighs in

Beyoncé’s Coachella diet: Is the Beychella fitness regime crazy effective or just plain crazy? A dietician weighs in

No cake 4 u

Text: Emily Heng


There are a lot of things we — and the world at large — admire about Beyoncé. Within the extensive list: an unbelievably strong work ethic, killer vocals, and a to-die-for figure; which, as revealed in the star's recently-released Netflix documentary, Homecoming, was obtained through a strict dietary regimen that sent the Internet reeling.

"In order for me to meet my goal, I'm limiting myself to no bread, no carbs, no sugar, no dairy, no meat, no fish, no alcohol," she told viewers, ending the statement off with an apt, "And I'm hungry." The goal in question: getting her body ready for Coachella 2018, which took place almost a year after she birthed twin daughters, Rumi and Sir Carter. Dietary restrictions aside, Beyoncé was also burning an estimated amount of 1,500 to 2,000 calories a day between SoulCycle spinning class and dance rehearsal for four months.

And while the triple threat (diet, exercise and well, more exercise) managed help Beyoncé shed the weight successfully to the point where she was able to fit into one of her former tour costumes, it begs the question: is this diet safe, or feasible for us common folk? Dr Naras Lapsys, Consultant Dietician at The Wellness Clinic, says no.

"The diet would be safe for most people in the short term but would not be sustainable in the long term," he explains. "Nearly all food groups are severely limited, with fruit, vegetables and legumes being the only sources of nutrition available. Now, that's not to say that a plant-based diet isn't feasible in the long term; it is, but only when done carefully and with a lot of planning involved. If not done right, one may suffer from a iron deficieny, as well as a defiency in other key nutrients such as calcium, mineral bone density, and real essential fats such as DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) — all of which are required for good health." 

 

Maintaining the weight loss even after going off such a diet would be possible — but only with careful monitoring and a planning by a professional dietician. "If your diet from before was high in calories, it is likely that you will go back to old patterns and regain the weight lost," Dr Lapsys points out. "To maintain your current weight, you — or a professional — will have to completely reasses your total diet and energy expenditure to come up with a modified version that allows you to reach a calorie equilibrium."

It is not diet he would recommend for women post-pregancy either, especially if they're still breastfeeding. "Breastfeeding is very energy extensive — the female body requires up to additional 800 calories a day to support it. Going on a low calorie diet essentially means having less calories available for your body to provide milk for your child."

 

Ultimately, he advises a healthy balanced diet is what's best for anyone looking to shed some pounds and get back in shape. "The focus should always be on a healthy, balanced diet that provides good nutrition," says Dr Lapsys. "Food should be unprocessed — or minimally processed —fresh, and seasonal. Avoid fried food and excessive sugar consumption. Eat a variety of foods from all the food groups."

And what about exercise? "Post child-birth, exercise must be kept gentle, with it building in intensity and duration in time. The reason why Beyoncé was able to get back to high-intensity workouts so fast can be credited to the fact that she opted for a C-section. You see, abdominal muscles are cut open during a C-sections, but the reproductive organs don't take a hit— this means that you are able to start working out faster, as compared to those who experienced natural births. Only one muscle is required to heal, which speeds up the recovery process."

 

"Those who have experienced natural birth, on the other hand, run the risk of prolapse should they engage in too-intensive workouts too soon," he continues. "That is when your vaginal muscles are not in control, to the point where peeing yourself becomes a frequent occurrence." 

In summary: while possible, it's probably not the best idea to give this diet a whirl, particularly if you don't have a professional on hand planning it with you every step of the way. Queen Bey herself admitted that this is not a diet she will be returning to. "I definitely pushed myself further than I knew I could, and I learned a very valuable lesson," she says. "I will never... never push myself that far again."

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