To put it into perspective, Adele's weight loss has had almost more press coverage than Pippa Middleton in *that* bridesmaid dress which, if you remember, was a helluva lot.
And, as with any good media storm, a bevy of rumours about what exactly she did to achieve such a transformation followed shortly thereafter. From ex-trainers coming out of the woodwork explaining what they did when they worked with the mega-star to hypotheses of certain diets, the rumour mill around Adele's weight loss is having a ~moment~. Especially as it's been compounded by the fact Adele hasn't confirmed or denied any of the theories. Big Area 51 energy, indeed. The only thing she has said has changed her life recently is a book namely, Untamed by Glennon Doyle. Sharing her love for the read to her 38.5 million Instagram followers, Adele said, 'if youre ready this book will shake your brain and make your soul scream. I am so ready for myself after reading this book! Its as if I just flew into my body for the very first time.' If ever there was a review to give, Adele's bloody given it.
So, instead of diving into the maelstrom of conjecture-ville around her weight loss we asked trusted experts to unpick the rumours surrounding her weight loss and why, in some cases, the suggested methods are not only unsustainable, but dangerous in the long term.
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Similar to the pictures in America's Next Top Model, these rumours are going to be inspected, unpacked and unravelled by the experts. On the bench today we have:
We so hope you're with us when we say that restrictive diets are absolutely not the way to achieve sustainable, safe weight loss. Not only will you most likely regain the weight you lost, the swing between restriction and normal eating can damage your metabolism and even your fertility.
Whilst there is no solid evidence that Adele (or her team) used this approach to lose weight (only hearsay), we're going to unpack exactly why it shouldn't be the way you choose to either. K?
To do some quick revision on what the baseline is for daily consumption, adult women should aim to consume 2000 kcals per day, according to NHS guidelines. Now, everyone is different and this figure could change based on activity level, age and goal.
Studies have shown that restrictive diets can lead to muscle loss and significantly slow down metabolism,' explains Dr Rekha Tailor of Health at Aesthetics. 'So, whereas consuming too many calories can stop you from losing weight, too few calories can also have a negative impact and reduce your metabolism and muscle mass.'
Yikes. This means that eating too few calories could be undoing any work you've done to sculpt and build muscle during all those home workouts. No, thank you.
Other side effects of overly restrictive diets include:
However, this list is not exhaustive as Dr Tailor explains:
'Restrictive diets can, over a long period of time, reduce fertility, especially for women as their ability to ovulate depends on hormones. It can weaken bones due to the reduction in estrogen and testosterone levels and it may also lower your immunity against virus and infection, thus increasing your risk of becoming ill.'
Basically: too few calories has a wide-reaching detrimental impact on your body and can lead to long-term consequences. If a diet asks you to remove entire food groups, ignore your natural hunger cues or restrict to a point you feel weak or fatigued label it for what it is (an unhealthily restrictive crash diet) and kick it to the curb!
'Health is a journey and everyone's on their own journey and that's how people should look at it: as a healthy lifestyle, not necessarily as weight loss,' says Dr Tosin Sotubo. 'The term weight loss can put a lot of pressure on someone to get to a certain number of a certain look and it should be more about living a healthy and sustainable lifestyle.'
To figure out how to fuel yourself properly on a weight loss journey, calculating your macros can be a great way to start. It'll help you figure out what to eat and how much of it.
If you're not familiar with macros, peep our super handy explainer to get clued up.
This rumour might be the one with the most traction and for good reason the sirtfood diet is one that Adele has actually said she's done before. Whether she's definitely eating from this regimen has not been confirmed. If she is, this is what it entails:
'The sirtfood diet is a diet which promotes sirt foods, these foods are believed to contain specific enzymes known as sirtuins,' explains nutritionist Jenna Hope. 'Sirtuins are a select group of proteins which have been claimed to promote metabolism and reduce inflammation. In addition to consuming these foods the diet also recommends a calorie intake of just 1000 kcal per day.'
Uh oh. The dreaded 1000 calories a day rumour rears its head again. Hopefully, if the songstress is abiding by this diet, she's doing so with expert guidance to ensure her bod and brain fuelled correctly.
So, the science on this one is... shaky.
'Its claimed that the specific sirt foods may help to increase metabolism and reduce inflammation,' says Hope. 'Although, there's no scientific evidence to support these claims. In reality its the significant calorie restriction which induces the initial weight loss.'
Hmmm. So, it might not be the sirt-ness of the foods that causes rapid weight loss but the fact it mandates such a small daily calorie intake.
As we delved into before, overly restrictive diets such as this are not advised to be a healthy mechanism for long term, safe, sustainable weight loss. Not only can you cannibalise your own muscle tissue, you'll probably also be miserable as hell while doing it. Not safe, not fun, not healthy. Hard pass.
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If you've ever tried to wean yourself off sugary tea, you'll know it goes from tasting like a sweet treat to bitter dishwater. Basically, it's hard AF.
However, small changes like drinking tea sans sucre or putting the kibosh on fizzy drinks can make a big difference in improving your overall diet and help in achieving weight loss goals.
'Cutting out added sugars from fizzy drinks or tea may contribute towards weight loss as you will be reducing overall calorie intake,' explains nutritional therapist Marilia Chamon. 'In addition, added sugars, also called "free sugars", are calories which are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream and create an insulin peak in the body. That messes up your blood sugar levels and appetite hormones, making you feel more hungry, more quickly.'
Whether removing these drinks from your diet will be enough to cause noticeable weight loss will depend on the overall balance of your entire diet. And, when healthy eating is balanced, there can be room for occasional less nutritionally dense foods, however as the basis of a healthy diet, probably not.
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The other thing Adele's been reportedly doing is swerving caffeine and alcohol, two stimulants known for their impact on the body.
'Both alcohol and caffeine are a diuretic and promote dehydration and blood sugar imbalances which lead to false hunger and a bigger appetite,' describes Chamon. 'Cutting them out can be helpful as you'll be able to maintain blood sugar levels that are more stable. This can lead to increased satiety after meals.'
As stimulants, alcohol and caffeine can also affect our sleeping habits, causing a poor night's rest that can impact how we feel (and eat) the next day.
'Good sleep is essential to maintain balanced appetite hormones. You're less likely to make good food choices if you're sleep deprived and studies even suggest that individuals who didn't get a good night's sleep consume an extra 380 kcals per day,' says Chamon.
Don't look at us like that: we know the biscuit jar/snack cupboard/toaster gets some extra love when you've slept less than forty winks. Practicing good sleep hygiene, which could include nixing caffeine and alcohol, might be the balance you need to keep on your healthy journey. It can't hurt!
Hypnotherapy for weight loss is a large area that many who feel they've tried everything consider as an option. However, as Dr Elena Touroni, a consultant psychologist and co-founder of The Chelsea Psychology Clinic, will unravel for us it shouldn't be the be all and end all of a weight loss journey. In fact, it should just be one building block.
Put aside your visions of a dark room and gently swinging metal balls hypnotherapy is about as woo woo as drinking water. Basically, it's not. And as a therapeutic approach it does have its benefits.
'There is some evidence that hypnotherapy can be effective for weight loss,' explains Dr Touroni. However, she continues: 'Whilst it can help aid the initial weight loss, in order to make long-term change, its important for someone to understand what might have caused their difficulties in managing their weight in the first place.'
And, what's more, it won't necessarily mean you'll keep the weight off for good.
'The danger of relying on a strategy thats meant to create subconscious change is that it doesnt equip you with the tools to manage relapses,' explains Dr Touroni. 'Most people have more difficulty maintaining weight loss rather than losing the weight in the first place so might find that they revert back to old behaviours.'
In order to lose weight safely and for good, identifying and addressing your triggers such as using food to self-soothe or entering cycles of bingeing and restricting; managing proper stress control; and ensuring you're eating enough (and of the right things) is just as important as getting started on the journey.
'There's a difference between weight loss and a transformation,' explains trainer, ex-Olympian and founder of ROAR Fitness, Sarah Lindsay. 'It should be a standardised, progressive plan so that it's measured, you know where you're going, you know what the plan is and you can record it and keep moving it forward. It's about nutrition and training combined.'
So, remember: with your health and fitness, we're here for a long time, not just a good time! Safe, sustainable measures to achieve a transformation like Adele's are always the way to go.
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