The Victoria's Secret fashion show, which features a parade of hopelessly beautiful women wearing only underwear (and giant wings) airs November 29 on CBS. The hype is much like that for the Super Bowl -- million-dollar commercials, merchandise tie-ins (even if you can't look like an angel, you can smell like one), and celebrity appearances that you rarely see outside professional sports. The models are stunning, with long legs and seemingly perfect bodies. Perfection, it seems, comes at a price.
In a recent interview with The Daily Telegraph, model Adriana Lima shared her diet and exercise regime, which includes high intensity workouts twice a day, and protein shakes prescribed by a nutritionist. More worrisome is the period right before the show, when her diet turns to near-fasting. According to the article, "For nine days before the show, she will drink only protein shakes - "no solids". The concoctions include powdered egg. Two days before the show, she will abstain from the daily gallon of water, and "just drink normally". Then, 12 hours before the show, she will stop drinking entirely."
We asked Dr. Juan Jose Rivera, a Miami Beach cardiologist and health correspondent on Telemundo, whether Lima's diet strategy is healthy. Absolutely not, he replied.
"She's trying to lose weight quickly. Carbs are the main source of
energy and when you restrict them your body has to get glucose
somewhere, so you start creating ketones and ketones are toxic. That
places a lot of stress on the kidneys, which work overtime. You lose a
lot of water and that's why she's drinking a gallon of water a day. Both
of those things can throw her kidneys into renal failure."
renal failure, Dr. Rivera listed a host of other potential side effects
from this high protein, low carb diet, some of them not befitting an
angel including constipation, low blood pressure, dizziness, leg cramps,
and bad breath.
In addition to dieting, Rivera was concerned
about her extreme exercise routine. "The other thing that she does is
that she ramps up her exercise to two sessions a day. she's not allowing
her muscles to rest and recover from the exercise that she's doing
every time you over train that could lead to injuries because your
muscles are overworked", he said.
So what does the doctor, who shares his practice with South Beach Diet creator Dr. Arthur Agatston, recommend? We've heard it before. Quick fixes don't work, says Rivera.
"We see a lot of women who are at the ideal weight and want to lose
more weight we call that the Cosmo effect. As a physician I do not
recommend that diet. Every time you lose a lot of weight in a short
period of time it will not be healthy or sustainable.
You've got to have a healthy diet combined with exercise. I do not
recommend the high protein low carb, basically starvation, diet."
Rivera also remarked on the consequences that publishing this diet may have on readers and people who want to emulate models. "Victoria's Secret
is an entity that a lot of women look up to. This model is dieting for a
particular goal, but she can't forget the fact that she's got a lot of
people out there that that don't have her resources.
It's another example of how far models will go to achieve success.
In my opinion, these types of extreme diets could be the beginning of
eating disorders. This is not sustainable. What's going to happen when
you gain weight again. Are you going to get depressed? It's a slippery
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.