Sunday 31 October 2010

The celeb who never diets: a sceptic's rant

This week's guest blogger, Gretel Hallet, trained to be a Chocolate Fairy last year and is running workshops in East Anglia.  If you live in the area and would like to attend a Beyond Chocolate course, Gretel would love to hear from you!  Meet Gretel.

I hope you will forgive my cynicism, but another super-skinny celeb has popped up claiming she doesn't diet and doesn't workout, and – frankly - I don't believe her.  

She claims to 'love' barbequed ribs and quadruple cheese burgers, but I am willing to bet almost anything that she doesn't actually eat them.  Or, if she does eat them, it'll be very very occasionally and in minute quantities. Keira Knightly, one of our skinniest home-grown celebs, also claims to 'love' cheese, chips and pasta.  Again, I'll bet whatever you like that the amounts she eats would hardly be classified as a meal by the rest of us.

Nicole Kidman has also been defending her recent extreme skinniness by claiming to love cakes and pies.  I'm prepared to bet she doesn't actually eat them at all, or hardly ever, or only in very small amounts followed by a lengthy period of fasting and much exercise to compensate.

It has been proved by studies that people do over or under-estimate (often the latter!) how much they are actually eating. I know from my own experience of keeping a food log, it's often a bit of a surprise to see just how much I have eaten during a day. And, if you have a skinny friend, and you meet her at a cafe, which one of you is tucking into the cream scone and luxury hot chocolate with flake?  “Oh, no, you go ahead,” she'll murmur, “I'm not hungry,” or “I just ate.”  And she'll sip complacently on her Americano (no sugar, of course) and smile indulgently at your child-like greediness. OK, even if it is her with the scone and hot choc, does she eat it all?  How do you know whether she eats anything else that day to compensate for all those calories?

The article about the super-smug-skinny celeb who doesn't diet or work-out (hah!) went on to support her claim by mentioning studies into weight gain and one in particular that was on the television a while back – the article claimed that some lucky people just couldn't put on weight despite eating huge amounts of calories each day.  Well, I watched that programme, and the only participant who didn't put on lots of weight was a young man of Asian origins.  His metabolism did seem to cope with all the extra calories and burned them off.  He gained very little weight.  The others, all the Caucasians and Asians on the programme, put on weight very easily under the mega-calorie regime.

Despite my extreme scepticism about the claims of super-skinny celebs that they can 'eat whatever they want' and not put on weight, I do believe it's possible to do that and Beyond Chocolate has shown me how.  The thing is, it's not possible to just rely on eating whatever you want to maintain a low body weight.  It's not something that can be done in isolation.  The 'Eat Whatever You Want' principle of Beyond Chocolate is buttressed with nine other complementary principles.  Working with all 10 principles together, I do believe it's possible to maintain a natural body weight without avoiding all my favourite foods.  

However, for me it's very unlikely to mean I'll ever be a size 0, and you know what?  I'm happy with that. I'll have a jam doughnut and a luxury hot chocolate with extra cream and a flake, please. And you know what?  I'm going to really enjoy them!

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