Other than starvation and retching, actors and models do really strange things to keep weight off, as recently revealed by Beyoncé Knowles, who shared with the public that a disgusting concoction involving maple syrup unstuck twenty odd pounds from her frame.
Beyoncé says she went on this liquid diet to lose 20 lbs. for her role in the movie Dreamgirls – but she doesn't recommend it to the average person. "I lived on water, cayenne pepper and maple syrup for 14 days. It was tough; everyone was eating and I was dying."
"It was a liquid diet where you lose weight really fast," the singer, 24, told Britain's GMTV morning show on Thursday when asked about rumors that she'd lost weight on a maple syrup-based regimen. "I would not recommend it if someone wasn't doing a movie, because there are other ways to lose weight. But I need to lose it really quick, and I put the weight back on as soon as I finished, so I am no smaller or bigger than I've always been. It was strictly for the movie."
Beyoncé plays the svelte Diana Ross-esque lead singer of a '60s girl group loosely based on the Supremes.
Other actors are rumored to use the old stand-by of cocaine, speed and the trusty finger down the throat method. Smarter celebrities combine abstemious food intake with highly paid trainers that sweat it off them during grueling workouts; it's a total tax write-off for anyone on-camera.
Some stars luck out and get a nookie bonus with their trainer, burning extra sex calories off on top of the Pilates, hopefully with that time free of charge, like Desperate Housewives star Nicolette Sheridan and her ex-fiancé and trainer Nicklas Soderlom.
The best denials always come from those with clavicle and chest bones prominently exposed, usually saying something to the effect “I eat everything, I just have a fast metabolism.”
My favorite celebrity reveal was years ago, on Howard Stern, before he went to satellite, when Heather Locklear shared that she had up to four bowel movements a day on the air, using the fast metabolism excuse. That was some interesting radio. Stern archives: Air date10/25/96
Crazy diet fads circulate like Snopes urban myths that become well-intentioned seasonal chain emails, sent from friend to friend about missing little girls, cell phone numbers going public to telemarketers, and women in burqhuas making scenes in grocery store lines about their trampled human rights.
They rear their heads at different times of year, like the odiferous cabbage soup diet, the breathing diet, the stomach searing grapefruit diet, the raw-food only diet, the blood type diet, Atkins (which will boomerang back again in a few years, bread makers take note) and the god-awful Peanut Butter diet.
Even the spiritual high road comes into play. "God's diet was pretty radical and the philosophy behind it is that if God didn't make it, you should not eat it," says Payne MS, RD, LDN, at Orlando Regional Health Care in Orlando, Fla. "It involved huge lists of things you could and could not eat and there were a lot of restrictions in terms of sucrose, fructose, glucose, and all sugars," she recalls.
No word on the Islamic, Jewish, Buddhist and Scientologist menu preferences versus the plain ol’ Christian one, sort of generic all-in-one godly fare that certainly must involve banning man-made Twinkies, Flake bars, Marmite, Vegemite, Haggis, Pez, and anything from the Philippines for that matter.
Celebrities are to diets as Motor oil sponsorships are to NASCAR, a symbiotic relationship fueled by huge book deals with appearances on live television, a favorite destination being CNN’s Larry King, where celluloid stalwarts like actresses Suzanne Somers and Kathy Ireland hawk their tomes, or the up-and-down Anna Nicole Smith who alluded to actually writing a book on dieting, but veered left, taking the easier Trim Spa money and running.
My favorite diet advice came from The Sopranos "Big Pussy" who had the "half a sandwich" theory for weigh loss, which was basically, eat only half your sandwich. He didn't make it to the end of that season.
If the series gets canceled, the movie flops, the looks start to go, there will always be a golden parachute of retirement money to be had by any half way decent celebrity, a hungry agent and a new diet angle.