What’s “every woman’s nightmare”? Not a shark on fire with a chainsaw riding an e-scooter shooting laser beams? Well, according to singer, songwriter, model, dancer, and actress Beyoncé, it has something to do with getting on a bathroom scale sometime after giving birth to twins and then saying, “this is my weight, 175. Long way to go.” This occurred near the beginning of the following YouTube video in which she promotes the “22 Days Nutrition” diet:
The video then says, “Beyoncé followed the 22 day program for 44 days to meet her goals for Coachella.” Next, a voice, which is apparently that of her trainer and developer of the “22 Days Nutrition Diet,” Marco Borges, chimes in, “we’re going to go 100% plant based from now through Coachella.” After this, Beyoncé says, “I am back on stage after giving birth to twins. I was a woman who felt like my body was not mine.” She didn’t say whose body it was.
The video offers very few details about what specifically the diet is. It includes lots of buzzwords like getting “rid of over-processed foods”, “making healthy choices,” and “plant-based,” that really say very little. “Plant-based” could mean a wide variety of possibilities. For example, eating nothing but deep fried cannabis would be technically a “plant-based diet.” So would grazing on your neighbor’s lawn.
The video flashes images of vegetables and Beyoncé working out but none long enough to figure out exactly what she was doing leading up to Coachella. The end of the video shows Beyoncé performing at the concert, but does not guarantee the same results (i.e., performing at Coachella) if you do the diet.
Accompanying the video is a blurb that says, “Recently, they launched the 22 Days Nutrition Meal Planner which offers members access to tools and foods that empower everyone to become their healthiest self through proper nutrition. Marco has teamed up with Beyoncé to offer the Hive special access to the 22 Days Meal Planner.” If you are wondering who “they” are, it’s Queen Bey and Borges, which rather than Air BnB would be Queen BnB.
Then there was @AliciaMcElhaney, who tweeted: “i’m usually a beyoncestan but please for the love of god do not give this rich lady your money for a (bleep) 22 day extreme diet. She has nutritionists, trainers, plastic surgeons & a personal chef to make her look the way she does. No diet will do that for you.”
And @mchambers__ offered this along with several underscores after in her Twitter handle: “I’m actually shocked that Beyoncé is promoting this. She is the epitome of women empowerment and is so much better than this. This just sets an unrealistic goal for the every day woman #22DaysNutrition”
Not the most positive halo.
In a piece for Vice, Anne Gaviola pointed out that in Homecoming, the documentary of her Coachella performance, Beyoncé sighed, “I’m hungry,” and also said, “I definitely pushed myself further than I knew I could, and I learned a very valuable lesson: I will never, ever push myself that far again.”
Without the details on what exactly Beyoncé did to prepare for Coachella, it is difficult to assess what diet she may have used. However, ” pushed myself further than I knew I could,” sounds a bit like a crash diet.
This As/Is video shows four people trying what supposedly was Beyoncé’s Coachella Homecoming diet for a week:
Not exactly the most resounding endorsements.
Beware of crash diets or massive changes in diets, in general. They may help you lose weight in the short run but not necessarily in the right places. You may be losing more muscle than fat. Crash diets, depending on what they consist of, can leave you short of particular nutrients. Also, your metabolism may slow down, because rapid changes in diet may tell you that there is danger and a general lack of food. Your body may then slow its metabolism to conserve energy. This can lead to weight regain or even weight gain beyond where you were before you started the crash diet.
The best way to achieve and maintain a healthy weight is to make gradual, progressive, maintainable changes in your diet, physical activity, and other habits like sleep. Success in nearly anything does not come overnight but instead takes time and consistent effort. Of course, some “plant-based” may work well in some situations, but not all “plant-based” diets are the same. And “plant-based” diets may not be for everyone.
The “22 Day” label emerged from the claim that it takes 21 days to change a habit. This is complete baloney (which incidentally is not plant-based.) There is no magic established length of time that it takes everyone to break any habit. It’s not as if giving up at 20 days will be different from giving up at 22 days. Depending on the habit, it can take some just a day to quit and others weeks, months, and even years. Your ability to break a habit depends on the habit, the duration of the habit, your personality, and the circumstances around you. For example, I managed to cease watching and dancing to NSYNC videos as soon as someone walked into the room. Of course, if you have lots of support, like a team of trainers or chefs around you, breaking a habit may be a lot easier.
Moreover, a woman’s or a man’s “worst nightmare” should not be getting on a scale and seeing a certain result. There are a lot worse things such as finding that a cat is piloting your airplane or having a major health problem. Our society is already far too appearance-oriented in a subjective way. Movies, television, and other types of entertainment push a certain body type, skin color, and set of features. That’s why you don’t tend to see Asian American males as romantic comedy leads or Native American women as action stars in Hollywood movies. Certain body sizes are pushed or not pushed as well.
Plus, Beyoncé gave birth to twins on June 13, 2017, for Bey’s sake. The body changes during pregnancy for a reason, to support pregnancy, and can’t just change back quickly like a Barbie doll. If you’ve gained weight during pregnancy, don’t be in such a hurry to lose the weight. You aren’t Beyoncé. You don’t know what she is doing behind the scenes or what she may have that you don’t have. Plus, you probably won’t be performing at Coachella, unless, of course, you will be or are Queen Bey.