If you’ve ever found yourself both terrified and intrigued by what other people, especially for favourite celebs say they eat in a day, same. Who doesn’t wonder whether they’d feel as great as Meghan Markle looks if you also began your days with a green smoothie, avoided dairy and sugar (even from fruit), went vegan, and topped your day off with a small piece of 70 percent cacao dark chocolate?
Thing is, you’re not going to become the Duchess by eating like her, says Philadelphia-based weight-loss expert Dr. Charlie Seltzer, M.D.
Whether you want to lose weight or score glowy skin, here’s why copycatting an A-lister’s eating habits might not be a good idea.
They Might Be Selling You Something
Those diet products celebs make bank on aren’t regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, meaning there’s no telling if their ingredient list or health claims are legit.
Everyone’s metabolism is different.
Because your resting metabolic rate—i.e., how many calories you burn at rest—is based on variables such as your height and weight, genes, and activity level, there’s little chance your system needs the same amount of calories or micronutrients like protein, carbs, and fat, as a celeb you aspire to eat like, says Dr. Seltzer.
Say you’re twice as active as an influencer you follow. Eat exactly what she eats, and you’ll feel more tired and hungry since your body requires more fuel to operate, says Dr. Seltzer. A diet that’s based on your specific energy needs may involve more food, so you can live your best life, hanger-free.
A strict diet is probably pointless.
“True food sensitivities are less common than people think,” says Dr. Seltzer. So if a celeb claims to feel lousy after eating a particular ingredient, they might think they have a gluten intolerance when the real problem is overeating a food containing it.
If you don’t experience symptoms, cutting out the foods a celeb doesn’t eat won’t affect your body in a measurable way unless you’re consuming less calories overall, says Dr. Seltzer.
You might spend all your money.
A meal plan that takes hours to assemble, involves eating more frequently than your schedule allows, or contains ingredients outside your budget could make you give up, order takeout, and call it a day. “It sets you up for failure,” says Dr. Seltzer.
They’re not showing the whole picture.
Actors and influencers who follow extreme diets to play a character or to squeeze into a sample size on the red carpet may take non-food related measures to meet their goals, says Dr. Selzter.
“You never get the whole picture,” he says of their soundbites. “They could be taking extreme measures because it’s their job to lose 30 pounds in six weeks for a role.”
Translation: The average person eating the same meals won’t necessarily see similar results.
It could be super dangerous.
There’s a reason you’re supposed to consult your doctor before overhauling your diet: Some eating plans can aggravate existing health conditions. For instance, large quantities of protein can worsen organ function in people with kidney disease, while unbalanced meals (i.e., mono meals comprising only, say, fruit or potatoes) could cause a diabetic’s high blood sugar to spike, leading to nerve damage and other complications over time.
And even if you don’t have a specific health issue, celebrities’ diets might not deliver all the calories and nutrients you need.