The crash diet obsession


In a world where everyone wants to look fit and glamorous, the quest to look the best on screen sees many celebrities going very harsh on themselves. It is often required of many stars, especially actresses, to sport a very lean figure for their roles’ sake. As a result, they opt for mean diets to get quick results.

And the latest actress to join this bandwagon is Jacqueline Fernandez, who has bagged Race 3.

Reportedly, Jacqueline has to follow a specific and extreme diet regimen for a few days. She is drinking more fluids throughout the day. Her lunch comprises spinach, an egg and half an avocado. It’s followed by a protein shake in the evening. Her dinner includes half an avocado.

While this certainly shows the dedication of the actress towards her role, one wonders what is the effect of such diets on the system in the longer run?

Shedding light on what’s a healthy diet to lose weight safely, nutritionist Dr Janaki says, “We generally start with reducing 500 calories a day in a person’s diet. That too, 250 calories is reduced in the food intake and the rest 250 by exercise. Anything more than this may make the body weak.”

Also, to provide the required strength to the body, stars are prescribed protein supplements. But can that replace food? “For as long as the person is on a diet, yes! However, the problem starts only after you are off the diet. Because as long as on diet, your digestive system isn’t working and hence once you start taking food, you might feel bloated,” explain Dr Janaki

Many other stars too have resorted to crash diets in the past for their roles. Reports of actors like Aamir Khan for Dangal, Kareena Kapoor for Tashan and Katrina Kaif for Thugs of Hindostan have made the rounds for similar reasons.

“Such diets can affect various body parts. One can experience extreme muscle pain, you can get acidic and may face other digestive issues,” explains Sridevi Jasti, Founder and Chief Nutritionist, Vibrant Living Foods.

Sridevi states that a systematic approach to weight loss is the only right way. “While trying to copy their favourite stars, many youngsters take up similar diets.

But that is so wrong! One doesn’t have to go on a mean crash diet and put themselves through such pain if they start preparing for their roles much in advance,” she says, adding that everyone should approach a dietitian before going on such harsh diets.

However, the digestive system is not the only part of the body that gets hampered by such diets. “A very low-calorie diet may also take a toll on the amount of calcium made in the body. This might lead to weaker bones and orthopaedic issues in the future. Another problem that one might have to face could be neuro-related issues, as neuro cells require certain amount of fats in the body to function properly,” explains Dr Janaki.