Celebrities are constantly in the public eye. They are scrutinized at every turn for how they look, what they wear, and whether or not they are in shape. Over the years, this level of attention to their appearance has driven some celebrities to take drastic and even absurd measures to maintain their weight. Let’s take a look at some strange celebrity diets throughout recent history.
1. Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga is known as much for pushing the limits of fashion as for music career. To maintain her svelte appearance, this pop diva apparently went gaga for baby food. Reportedly, Gaga tried the Tracey Anderson baby food diet. The diet consists of replacing the first two meals of the day with any Gerber baby food and following it up with a healthy dinner. Amazingly, Gaga is not the only celebrity to attempt this wild dietary regiment. Gwyneth Paltrow and Reese Witherspoon are among others who have given it a try.
Beyoncé’s album Lemonade was an instant classic, but did you know the Queen B also fostered a lemonade diet fad. She supported the Master Cleanse Diet which consisted of drinking a concoction of lemon juice, maple syrup, cayenne pepper, and water. It was a fast and easy way to drop weight, but not for any length of time. Like most fad diets, people tended to gain weight back quickly.
3. Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi
Before she became a mother, Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi of Jersey Shore fame ate cookies to lose weight. The reality television star became a spokeswoman for Dr. Siegle’s Cookie Diet. The diet involves replaces most meals with specially made cookies that help suppress hunger.
4. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
Female celebrities are not the only ones who go to extremes with their diets. Ex-professional wrestler and Hollywood action star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson raised his caloric intake to Herculean levels to bulk-up for his role as the Greek demigod Hercules. Johnson ate 10 pounds of food over the course of 7 meals every day while training for the role. He devoured an amazing 5,165 calories a day.
5. Ashton Kutcher
Deceased Apple founder Steve Jobs was reportedly a fruitarian which means his diet solely consisted of fruits and nuts. When Ashton Kutcher landed the role of the tech legend in a feature film biopic, the former That 70s Show star decided to adopt the diet as well. It did not go so well. Reportedly, the diet landed Kutcher in the hospital with pancreatic problems. Whether or not Jobs was a true fruitarian is up for debate, but most experts agree it is virtually impossible to get all the nutrients a healthy body needs from just fruits and nuts.
6. Christina Aguilera
Singer, songwriter and television personality Christina Aguilera attempted to control her weight by controlling the color scheme of her diet. Aguilera apparently lost weight successfully by adopting the 7-Day Color Diet. A person on the diet starts with white foods, followed by red, then green, orange, purple, yellow and then all of the colors on the final day of the plan.
7. Christian Bale
Christian Bale’s physical transformation for his role as a guilt-ridden insomniac in 2004 film The Machinist is legendary. The actor lost 62 pounds to take on the character’s emaciated frame. In 2017, during an interview with Star2, Bale said he managed the transformation by “the absolutely brilliant method of just smoking cigarettes and drinking whiskey to lose weight.” This is one diet we can definitely advise absolutely no one to try.
8. Mariah Carey
Many modern diets place an emphasis on eating protein to lose weight, but pop diva Mariah Carey has a very specific source. In 2016, the singer told E! News that she maintains her figure by eating “Norwegian salmon and capers every day — that’s it.” While eating only protein can stave off your hunger, it robs you of essential nutrients your body needs to be healthy — probably not a good idea.
9. Chris Pratt
Marvel movie star Chris Pratt talked advocated for the Daniel Diet on his Instagram stories feed. According to the Daniel Diet’s official website, the diet reproduces Biblical fasting to detoxify the body. For twenty-one days straight, dieters eat only fruit, vegetables, and unlevied bread.
10. Marilyn Monroe
The Cut reports that in a 1952 interview with the now-defunct Pageant Magazine, the late movie star detailed her self-professed “absolutely bizarre” dieting habits. She told the magazine that her breakfast consisted of “two raw eggs whipped in warm milk,” after that she would skip lunch and then “broil liver, steak, or lamb and eat it with five carrots.” To top it all off, Monroe would eat a hot-fudge sundae for dessert.
11. Tom Brady
Patriot’s star quarterback Tom Brady doesn’t just adhere to his own unique diet to maintain his top physical performance, he wrote a book about it. He calls it the TB12 diet. As part of the twelve-step plan to stay in great shape, the professional athlete says he doesn’t eat nightshades, a group of vegetables including tomatoes and eggplants, because they raise the body’s pH level and cause inflammation. He also drinks gallons of water a day to stave off sunburn. According to Insider, research disputes both of these claims.
12. Shailene Woodley
The Actor famous for her roles in Big Little Lies and The Fault in Our Stars apparently eats clay for its detoxifying properties. Woodley told the beauty blog Into The Gloss that “clay is one of the best things you can put in your body … it bonds to negative isotopes … [and] helps clean heavy metals out of your body.” She also told the blog that she “first heard about the benefits of eating clay from a taxi driver.”
13. Karl Lagerfeld
Brady isn’t the only celebrity to write a book about their unique diets. Karl Lagerfeld wrote a book with his doctor about the diet that helped him lose eighty pounds. The deceased fashion designer famously drank up to ten cans of diet coke a day. In addition, he ate small meals to restrict his caloric intake. According to Vox, his Spartan eating habits capped his daily calorie consumption at 1200. According to Healthline, men are recommended to take in 2000 to 2500 calories a day.
14. Elizabeth Taylor
According to Insider, Elizabeth Taylor reportedly attempted to regain her ideal body type later in life by adhering to a diet consisting of recipes of her own design. Some of these recipes presented flavor combinations that were quite interesting, including the hamburger and peanut butter sandwich, tuna salad with grapefruit, and the Rock Hudson cocktail (Hershey’s syrup, vodka, and Kahlua.)
15. Elvis Presley
The king of rock and roll was known for his eccentric and often opulent tastes. Later in life, he struggled with obesity and other health issues aggravated by unhealthy living and substance abuse. According to Insider, the rock-and-roll legend used sleep as a means of weight loss. It is rumored that an “unknown doctor of ill-repute was…to have gone as far as using a medically-induced coma to help Presley shed some pounds.”
16. Lord Byron
It appears that strange celebrity diets have existed as long as there have been celebrities. Victorian poet Lord Byron was as close as you can get to a rock star for his age, and he too had some strange eating habits. Byron was obsessed with losing weight, leading some to theorize that he may have been anorexic. When he did eat, it was often very sparingly, eating meals that consisted of hard biscuits, soda water, and potatoes with vinegar.
17. Henry Ford
The father of the modern assembly line apparently ate something he called a “roadside salad” which essentially amounted to weeds. According to the book Young Henry Ford: A Picture History of the First Forty Years, Ford ate them “variously prepared as salads, or lightly boiled, and even stewed — often appearing in sandwiches.”
18. Judy Garland
Not all celebrity diets have been chosen by the celebrities themselves. During the heyday of the studio system, the movie studios often controlled nearly every aspect of their actors’ lives — right down to what they ate. CBS News reports that “no matter what Judy Garland ordered at MGM Studios cafeteria, the staff was instructed to serve the actress only chicken soup with matzo balls.” Garland referred to the imposed diet as her “prison menu.”
19. Joan Crawford
The worry over the dangers of following extreme celebrity diets is nothing new. Jezebel unearthed a 1929 article warning readers not imitate the eating habits of the stars. The article’s author, Katherine Albert, discusses Joan Crawford’s diet specifically: “I have seen Joan Crawford make an entire luncheon on a few tablespoons of cold consomme, a dish of rhubarb and a half a dozen crackers thickly spread with mustard, And this a day after day performance.”
20. Amanda Seyfried
At one point in her career, the actress ate only raw food and followed the rule that no food can be cooked at more than 115 degrees Fahrenheit. In a 2010 interview, Seyfried told Esquire, “I’m on a raw-food diet … It’s intense. And sort of awful. Yesterday for lunch? Spinach. Just spinach. Spinach and some seeds.” Yum.