Lately, one diet has been stealing the spotlight, earning (mostly) rave reviews from A-listers and everyday folks alike: the keto diet.
Essentially a very high-fat, low-carb eating plan, the ketogenic diet forces your body to burn fat rather than carbs for energy, says Victoria Lindsay, R.D., a registered dietitian based in Washington, D.C. High-protein and high-fat foods (think: protein, full-fat dairy, eggs, avocado, oils, and low-carb veggies) dominate the keto diet’s menu, while any high-carb foods are no-nos. Most keto diets involve consuming less than 50 grams of carbs a day (that’s about what you’ll find in two bananas).
Obviously, the keto diet is not for the faint of heart, but when it comes to getting and staying in awesome shape, well, the Hollywood set doesn’t typically shy away from hard work. Here are five celebrities who love the trendy plan:
1 Halle Berry
This badass beauty has been following the ketogenic diet since before it was cool, and recently sang its praises on Live With Kelly and Ryan, in Entertainment Weekly, and even on Instagram. “For years, I have been following the keto or ketogenic diet,” Halle writes on Insta, talking about the importance of nutrition in managing her diabetes. (A little-known fact about the Oscar-winning actress: She’s had type 2 diabetes since she was 19 years old.) Research shows that a very low-carb diet can help people manage type 2 diabetes by reducing blood glucose levels.
Halle emphasizes that, to her, keto isn’t a “diet” per se: “I hate the word ‘diet’ so while you’ll see the word diet, just know I encourage you to think of it as a lifestyle change.” She also credits the keto diet as “largely responsible for slowing down my aging process,” and helping her lose her “baby belly,” control her appetite, and boost her energy and mental performance. The 51-year-old mother also says it’s helped improve her physical endurance and skin.
2 Vanessa Hudgens
Vanessa gained 20 pounds for her role in the 2013 movie Gimme Shelter. To lose the weight, she stuck to a low-carb, high-fat diet. On the Rachael Ray Show, she opened up about what a typical day of eating looks like for her. For breakfast, Vanessa enjoys eggs, bacon, half an avocado, and coffee. Lunch is usually salad with chicken, more avocado, tons of greens, and maybe some nuts or fruit. Dinner often involves grilled salmon or steak with a salad or sautéed veggies for dinner…. and maybe more avocado? Yeah, she loves avocado: “I eat a whole avocado a day,” she says.
“I think that we’ve been brainwashed to think that fat is bad, but really, it’s what going to make you feel fuller longer,” she says. Experts agree: Because it takes a long time to digest, fat can promote satiety and help curb cravings, Lindsay explains.
3 Megan Fox
The actress credits a strict, low-carb diet (along with long walks) for helping her stay svelte after three kids. “I cut out all bread and those sort of carbohydrates,” she tells E! Online. “No crackers, no pretzels, no chips.”
“I don’t have any cheat days,” she says. “It’s like giving up smoking. I gave up smoking cold turkey. I’m one of those people, when I’m committed, there’s no stopping me. So, I did it and after about a week, it repulses me. Like, there’s bread over there and never again would I put that in my body.”
4 Kourtney Kardashian
On her website, Kourtney writes about her low-carb “detox” plan. A typical day features a green smoothie with avocado for breakfast, then lean proteins and veggies (such as greens, cauliflower rice, or broccoli) for lunch and dinner.
Although she doesn’t explicitly state she’s on the keto diet, her gluten-free, sugar-free style of eating definitely qualifies. She even explains that this plan helps her keep her “body in a state of ketosis, which occurs when the glycogen in your liver is depleted and the body burns fatty acids for energy.” Yep, that’s keto, alright.
5 Adriana Lima
The Victoria’s Secret model is also on the no- (or rather, low-) carb plan. In an interview with New York Magazine’s The Cut, she says she stays away from all starchy foods: “Definitely zero carbs for sure,” she says. Adriana even pushed aside carrots that were served with her lunch, the writer reports.
This may be taking the “low-carb” approach too far, notes Lindsay. “Of all the carbs to skip on, passing on the vegetables isn’t doing your body any favors,” she says. Maybe she just doesn’t like carrots? But if you like ’em, eat ’em! They’re good for you, even on a keto plan.