Victoria's Secret Model Adriana Lima's Dieting Hell: A Doctor's Opinion

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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


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