CELEBRITY lifestyle diets, programs and books annoy me. There I said it. I even roll my eyes a little bit when I hear that a celebrity is releasing one. And, it’s not because of the reason you think.
There is endless debate on social media about the efficacy of some celebrity diets right now. But extreme diets have been around forever. It’s just that now social media puts the controversy surrounding them right in our faces. Forget paleo. What about the grapefruit diet, the macrobiotic diet, the soup diet and the baby food diet? They are all doing the rounds as well.
What annoys me is that regardless of the new fad celebrity diet book, a whole lot of people are going to run out and buy the book, follow the book, and feel worse that they couldn’t follow the book.
Then the book is forever to remain in a dusty stack with all the other cookbook and diet books that didn’t help.
Extreme dieting and detoxing doesn’t maketh a sustainable healthy change.
As a health psychologist, I am interested in anything to do with health (obviously), so I am all up for increasing my knowledge in anything and everything to do with keeping one’s body in tip top condition.
In fact, I am a kale-drinking, non-meat eating owner of a massive bookshelf full of self help woo-woo books. So I am hardly one to not be interested in new ways of living healthy.
I also think it is important that we evolve as human beings and continue to come up with new ideas. In fact, it is crucial for us to have people contributing to knowledge and new ways of thinking and sharing what worked for them.
I just think that before we get lit up by the big blue eyes of our favourite TV personality who has just written a book about how they lives have been transformed by a new way of eating, we need to stop and have a think. A big think.
Everyone is an expert on food and exercise these days. However, just because they are on TV doesn’t mean they are right. We need to remember that anyone can write a book. Or create a website. Or write a blog. Their advice are usually based on personal beliefs or opinions rather than scientific evidence, which means that they are not necessarily correct. Opinions can be wrong.
If a product is marketed well, it will sell. It doesn’t mean it is the best product or the right product for us.
The hot celebrity with a cookbook is always going to have higher sales than the lesser-known dietician with a cookbook.
Public health campaigns are developed using evidence based research and knowledge.
Celebrity cook books and self help books are not. Celebrity product marketing is good looking, cool and shiny.
Public health campaigns, are of often not.
If you sit down and read all the research in what is going to help you become more healthy both in your body and mind in the long-term, it isn’t going to be eating like a caveman or flea or flushing out your bowels with coffee.
Every person is different. So taking someone’s general advice on what worked for them, might not necessarily work for others. So you are setting yourself up for failure by putting all your health hopes and dreams into it. Human beings are such complex individuals. How on earth is one persons way of thinking going to suit everybody?
If we were all the same genetically, all brought up the same environment and had the same exact experiences in life, then yes, we could perhaps use a one-size fits all approach to health and wellbeing.
But we don’t all come from the same production line so a celebrity technically cannot say that one way is the best way for each and everyone of us.
By all means buy the book of your favourite celebrity, and give it a go. Knowledge is power, so it’s always good to learn new information. But remember, this is their personal belief at the time of writing the book.
This is what was working for them (or maybe it wasn’t exactly, but they want you to buy the book so they will say it did), at that particular time.
Listen to your own body. Notice what your own body is telling you. If you are feeling good, then whatever you are doing is probably of benefit. If you are not feeling good, or you are feeling physically or psychologically worse, then that is a good sign that the advice is not right for you.
In fact, this piece is my opinion, and it may not be correct, and you don’t have to agree with me — which is great. I want you to apply that critical thinking to those celebrity diet books that you get drawn into in the future.