FactCheck: Were Kim Kardashian’s Met Gala 2022 diet and routine sustainable?


by Dick David Ongking


Pub by: Bea Jacinto and Lyka Tesea

Netizens were surprised when Kim Kardashian went to the Met Gala with the iconic “Happy Birthday” dress that Marilyn Monroe wore on President Kennedy’s Birthday in 1962. Wearing a historical piece of clothing, she became one of the spotlights of the event. However, behind this high praise, she had to lose 16 pounds in three (3) weeks to fit in the dress. When asked how she was able to do it, she expressed, “I cut down all the sugar and carbs, eating only the leanest protein and veggies”. Moreover, the star clarified that “she didn’t starve, but only remained strict to her diet”, along with wearing sauna suits twice a day and going to the treadmill.[1] Despite some backlash from the media due to this transformation, many people still applauded her achievement, and this may provoke other people to replicate this way of diet in order to lose weight fast.

MISCONCEPTION:

It is possible to sustainably lose 16 pounds of weight in three weeks (approximately around 5.3 pound/week) with Kim Kardashian’s routine.

WHAT SCIENCE SAYS:

No.

Based on nutritional analysis, it is not sustainable.  

  • Based on the analysis of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), losing one pound of mass in a week would need a reduction of 3500 calories, or an average reduction of 500 calories per day.[2] Since Kim Kardashian lost an average of 5.3 pounds per week, this should imply burning 2500 calories per day, which is highly inappropriate. Hence, it can be assumed that she underwent a crash diet, or was consuming little to no calories per day in order to achieve her target weight. Moreover, the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) explained that the weight that would be lost in crash diets is not fat, but rather water and muscle mass.[3] Moreover, people who lose weight more quickly tend to regain back the weight they have lost in the long run as the body tries its best to adapt either by sending hunger signals that may prompt binge eating or slowing one’s metabolism, which can eventually lead to rebound or yoyo effect.[4] The former scenario is evident in the behavior of Kim Kardashian after the event, where she told the public in her Instagram story that she heavily craved her favorite doughnuts and pizza. 

Exercising with little to no food intake is detrimental to the body in the long run.

  • Exercising moderately and intensely with little to no food intake depletes the glycogen stores in our body faster, hence shifting the energy source to fats and proteins. In the short run, this may result in a decrease in stamina and energy levels. Furthermore, the decrease in glycogen stores also prompts a decrease in blood sugar levels, and this can induce nausea, lightheadedness, and dizziness. But in the long run, this may lead to your body adapting to this chronic stress, and it adjusts the body to primarily use fats for energy, which can prompt fat storage and muscle loss.[5] This is further aggravated with her cutting down on sugar and carbs in her diet.

Sauna suits are not effective.

  • Although using sauna suits promise to lose weight, even fat, there is no clinical evidence of its ability to achieve its objective. This is because the mass lost during sweating is mostly water weight and not fat. In contrast, sauna suits induce physiological strain and cause larger sweat losses, which can lead to dehydration and heat-related illness.[6] 

There is a large pressure on celebrities about their physical appearance because they have to create a positive reputation with the public. Hence, in order to keep up with the demands of society, they try to make sudden changes like this 3-week transformation by Kim Kardashian. This may induce false hope from people that they can lose weight fast. Later on, they may also be disappointed in the results and eventually, even acquire eating disorders. Because of this, fact-checking is necessary to fight misinformation that is prevalent in our society today.

References:

[1] Boesch, S. (2022, May 3). The dangerous ‘met Gala Diet’ Kim Kardashian followed to drop 16 pounds. Eat This Not That. Retrieved May 5, 2022, from https://www.eatthis.com/news-dangerous-met-gala-diet-kim-kardashian-followed-to-lose-weight/ 

[2] US Department of Agriculture. (n.d.). I want to lose a pound of weight. how many calories do I need to burn? NAL. Retrieved May 5, 2022, from https://www.nal.usda.gov/legacy/fnic/i-want-lose-pound-weight-how-many-calories-do-i-need-burn 

[3] Penn Medicine. (2018, June 22). Want To Lose Weight Quickly? Here Are 7 Reasons Why Crash Diets Probably Won’t Work. Pennmedicine.org. Retrieved May 18, 2022, from https://www.pennmedicine.org/updates/blogs/health-and-wellness/2018/june/crash-diets-and-weight-loss 

[4] Ratini, M. (2020, April 7). Your body’s reaction to Yo-yo diets explained. WebMD. Retrieved May 18, 2022, from https://www.webmd.com/diet/ss/slideshow-diet-yo-yo-diet-effect  

[5] Cronkleton, E. (2018, November 5). Working out on an empty stomach: Is it safe? Healthline. Retrieved May 5, 2022, from https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness-exercise/working-out-on-an-empty-stomach#risks 

[6] Willmott, A. G. B., Gibson, O., James, C., Hayes, M., & Maxwell, N. (2018, March 13). Physiological and perceptual responses to exercising in restrictive heat loss attire with use of an upper-body sauna suit in temperate and hot conditions. Taylor & Francis Online. Retrieved May 5, 2022, from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/23328940.2018.1426949 

The contents of this article are for educational purposes and are not intended as a substitute for professional or personal medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Seek advice from your physician or other qualified health providers about any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this page/website.

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