April 21, 2008

Celebrity Diet Secrets: Mariah Carey

Us Weekly's feature on Mariah Carey's "back to her teen body" diet left me thinking, "Forget copy editors. Magazines should really consider hiring nonsense editors."

As great as it is to have copy editors catch spelling, grammar, and syntax errors, someone needs to step in, look at nutrition-focused articles and say, "Are you KIDDING me?"

Those are precisely the words I sighed when I read that Mariah's diet (the one behind her "hotter-than-ever body") "prohibits eating carbs and protein together."

Okay, first of all -- Mariah is a megastar. Does she really need to pick up Suzanne Sommers' weight-loss hand-me-downs to promote her new album?

I was even more surprised to see a quote from Registered Dietitian -- and New York University graduate -- Keri Glassman apparently lending credibility to the silly idea of "food combining" by saying:

"To digest [protein and carbohydrates] you need different enzymes. The theory is that if you eat them separately, you'll break down more foods more effectively and increase weight loss."

It is my opinion -- and sincere hope -- that Glassman was merely asked what her thoughts about food combining diets were, and the magazine erroneously attributed her support to them.

Anyway, it gets worse.

We then get a sample of Mariah's daily diet.

First up -- breakfast.

On the menu? Plain yogurt, sliced fruit, and a banana.

Is this a joke?

Let's go back a few lines and reread the following: "Carey's diet prohibits eating carbs and protein together."

Yogurt contains protein AND carbohydrates. Hello???

And this is no one-off typo.

Her lunch also mixes protein (grilled chicken) with carbohydrates (zucchini, squash, and spinach). As it should!

Food combining fanatics forget that the vast majority of foods are all a combination of fat, proteins, and carbohydrates.

This is no secret -- read any food label!

You will see that pasta, milk, and bread contains carbs and protein.

Chickpeas and kidney beans, meanwhile, contain fat, carbohydrates, and protein.

The article finally -- about fifteen paragraphs later -- gets to Carey's weight loss "secret": cutting calories.

Turns out she takes in approximately 1,000 - 1,200 calories a day and eats less of her greasy favorites like mac 'n cheese and pizza.

Oh, dear, how... how... common!

I am increasingly becoming more irritated with the amount of deception and unnecessary complications surrounding weight loss and management in pop culture.

I guess "cutting calories" isn't A-list enough.

Instead, people are bombarded with inane advice like count your carbs, don't mix carbs with protein, get a coffee enema once a week, don't eat after 6 p.m., sprout your chickpeas, eat only raw foods, eat nothing but red fruits on Mondays while standing on your head and wearing polka-dotted socks .

Oh, please! Throw all that advice into the "macroneurotic" pile and start living life.

I am not going to sit here and claim to know "a secret" to weight loss.

I also refuse to start dictating obnoxiously high-maintenance rules you must follow to follow to achieve your weight and health goals.

I believe a dietitian's main responsibility is to help people develop strategies in order to make positive, feasible lifestyle changes. Nutrition is not -- and should never become -- a calculus 101 class with laws, rules, and inane theories.

That said, I'm off to make dinner: Peanut-ginger tofu (protein!), sweet potatoes (carbs!), brown rice (more carbs!) and avocado (fat!)

And I have the audacity to author a nutrition blog?


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WifeMomChocoholic said...

I wonder if she's hungry all the time? That's an awfully small amount of calories for someone who not only works out regularly, but has a rather strenuous job while onstage!

Anonymous said...

I think this article is hilarious and oh so true!!!! I'm glad someone else noticed the protein- carb mistake. I wonder how many people are going to jump on the idea of not mixing the two. F.Y.I protein slows down the digestion of carbs, in turn slowing down the time in which sugar hits the blood stream. It's actually beneficial for weight loss! ;)

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Dieting Secrets