Celebrity fitness gurus extreme diet plan raises risk of anorexia, warn health professionalsBy LAURA COXPUBLISHED: 00:19, 11 January 2014 | UPDATED: 14:41, 11 January 2014 1,362 shares 187View commentsMadonna, Gwyneth Paltrow and Victoria Beckham have credited her fitness regime with sculpting their slender frames.But a diet plan created by celebrity personal trainer Tracy Anderson is proving less popular with health professionals – because it is so extreme.Experts are warning that the programme, which lasts for up to 90 days, is dangerously low in vital nutrients and is so demanding it could cause impressionable youngsters to develop eating disorders.
Star status: Tracy Anderson with Madonna after a workout which health experts brand dangerous
While the usual recommended daily calorie intake is 2,000 for women and 2,500 for men, Miss Anderson’s Dynamic Eating Plan requires followers to endure periods of eating as little as 500 calories a day.Experts highlighted these so-called ‘nutrient boost’ weeks – which entail eating mainly pureed fruit and vegetables and drinking juices – as particular cause for concern.And even during periods where a more rounded menu is prescribed, the daily cap is thought to be around 1,000 calories. Essential fats – such as steamed salmon – feature only occasionally, while carbohydrates are kept to a minimum.The programme also recommends an intensive exercise regime of an hour a day, six days a week, despite the level of food deprivation.
Gwyneth Paltrow looking a bit sweaty after a workout at her gym in London with personal trainer Tracy Anderson
Miss Anderson, 38, rose to fame after Madonna began following and promoting her fitness regime. Soon Miss Paltrow started sharing Miss Anderson as a personal trainer with the pop star.But in 2009, Madonna parted ways with her trainer, after she reportedly became annoyed that Miss Anderson was spending too much time with other clients. Despite the snub, Miss Anderson has retained many famous fans, including Miss Paltrow, who has teamed up with her on business ventures and regularly mentions Miss Anderson on her lifestyle website Goop.Other celebrity followers include Cheryl Cole and US socialite Nicole Richie, who is known to be a recovering anorexic.
The British Dietic Association warns Miss Andersons programme is dangerously low in essential fats
Yesterday the British Dietetic Association and eating disorder charity Beat both voiced concern over the regime, and said Miss Anderson may be particularly popular with impressionable teenagers because of her celebrity status. Dr Frankie Phillips, of the BDA, said of the plan: ‘It’s extremely low in essential fats, low calorie and low in carbohydrates other than from fruit and vegetables. It also looks to be very time consuming. You would need to spend a lot of time preparing and shopping for the different meal plans.‘It just means that [followers] might be more at risk of an eating disorder, of developing a disordered eating pattern.’
Other followers of Miss Andersons diet include Cheryl Cole and socialite Nicole Richie, a recovering anorexic
Dr Phillips went on to say that the diet was not suitable for those without a substantial amount of weight to lose and should be followed only under the guidance of a doctor.Meanwhile Mary George, a spokesman for Beat, said: ‘We would urge caution and urge young people not to be influenced by this kind of extreme, or getting to these extremes to achieve a look… In the wrong hands and with young people, whose bodies are still developing, [the diet] is not to be recommended at all.’A spokesman for Miss Anderson was contacted for comment but did not respond.