Well Marie Claire, you've really done it this time. Under the false pretenses of showing what 'nutrition experts' eat, you've perpetuated the nutrient devoid, detox loving, eating habits of dieters (and in one case, practically an eating disorder) who are not experts.
In the May, 2011 issue of Marie Claire, the magazine published the article "I'll Have What She's Having" which promised to show 'top nutritionists and what they eat'. The next line read 'Spoiler alert! Wine, cheese, and chocolate ahead'. At first I was intrigued, thinking this would be a great article to show how registered dietitians are not diet dilusional and eat balanced meals with moderated indulgences.
Meet nutritionist number one, who is by far the worst of the bunch. Her credentials note that she is a certified clinical nutritionist (meaning, she took and passed this 56 hour online course) but her website is really the icing on the cake with the url Detox the world.com. Here's her average day eating plan:
- Lemon tea with fresh, raw grated ginger, a squeeze of lemon, and Stevia to taste (a natural, calorie-free sweetener), 24 fl oz — 3 calories*
- Mountain Valley Spring Water, 16 fl oz — 0 calories
- One small watermelon — 230 calories
- Two cantaloupes — 376 calories
- Two bananas — 200 calories
- Smoothie (pineapple, avocado, kale, alfalfa sprouts, coconut water, mint) — 366 calories
- Box of Salud macaroons, 4.5 oz — 604 calories
TOTAL DAILY CALORIES: 1,779
Let's break down the numbers, shall we? Nutritionist number one back-loaded her calories, consuming 100% of them at dinner and after meaning zero fuel for her daily activities and exercise. She ate only fruit with a smattering of veggies, no protein, whole grains, or fat (save the lone avocado in the smoothie), then proceeded to consume an entire box of macaroons (aka sugar) which was her body's way of saying "I'm starving. I need energy and fast." She concedes that her diet is not for 'beginners' but realistically, this diet is not appropriate for anyone whether they are an 'advanced dieter' (ugh) or not.
Besides the problem I have talked about before with the lack of credentials (Note: Thankfully there is at least 1 RD in the bunch.), the other problem I have with this article is the posting of height and weight. The concern is that readers will use the lowest weight they can find as a way of giving credibility. The nutrition 'expert' discussed above is the lowest weight and has the most extreme diet. Please, Marie Claire readers, don't take that as expertise, but take it for what it is: disordered eating.
Small parts of the article were good, with balanced diets full of a variety of fruits, vegetables and protein sources. One expert even refused to give her weight citing her lack of scale use, and her support of intuitive eating. That's what this article should have been.
I won't be having what Marie Claire is having. Are you up for a second serving?