I like Beyoncé, I really do. As a performer and dancer myself, I have great respect for her and everything she has done and will continue to do, for the culture. I really enjoy choreographing and dancing to her songs, and seeing her perform is like an out-of-body experience. However, after seeing her now popular and trending documentary titled ‘Homecoming’ on Netflix, I have concerns about the negative effects the “Beychella diet”, as its being called, could have on many women if they feel inclined to follow. In case you haven’t yet watched the documentary let me further delve into this diet and more so the reasons why it’s actually bad practice.
In preparation for Coachella, after giving birth to her twins in mid-2017, Beyoncé limited her intake of many food groups. Some of those food groups are very important for rebuilding the muscles put to use while rehearsing. The footage that resonated with me was of her eating an apple as she voiced that she was hungry. She decided against including carbohydrates, food from animal sources, dairy and alcohol in her diet at the time. Most humans are very visual in terms of what our brains retain and what generally resonates in our minds. It’s easy for some to be encouraged into particular behaviours or lifestyles based on the actions of other people, especially if that person happens to be our favourite pop culture personality. I don’t know all of the reasons why Beyonce made the decision that she did, because she has not told me. Nonetheless, based on public information shared, since you most likely aren’t preparing for Coachella, perhaps consider alternate food habits that would be more beneficial to you and your lifestyle in the long run.
I’m certain many people have given Beyonce’s recent temporary food practices a second thought. We live in a time of instant gratification which has really brought our patience levels in different aspects of life to all-time lows. I feel the urge to clear up one thing though. By definition, a diet is anything you eat or drink. So when you say you’re “going on a diet”, are you really? You’ve got to be specific – like a low-carb diet or a no-sugar diet. Over the decades there have been many fad diets that all guaranteed weight loss and generally happier life. The real problem with fad diets though, is that in the long run no matter how you do it, your body is unable to sustain it. The problem with most fad diets is that they make you quit key nutritious components cold turkey. This is different from a lifestyle change whereby you can gradually limit certain food items making the transition much easier for you.
Spoiler alert: there is no temporary diet that ensures weight loss that cannot be regained. Maintaining a healthy body (and mind) requires consistency, but also being inclusive as opposed to practising restrictive dieting. We just came out of the Lenten period where for many it meant fasting from certain foods. It’s also a pretty cool practice to fast randomly throughout the year and within reason. Perhaps you just don’t feel for chicken this week or next week. That’s fine because there’s always an alternative. A crash diet, despite the new spin or name, is always based on the fact that you really can crash your body, and sometimes the subsequent weight gain is even more than what was initially lost. The more rapid the weight loss is the more likely you can again gain the weight. A restrictive diet can also become hazardous. Besides general irritability, with a crash diet, you also run the risk of a weakened immune system and even inconsistent bowel movement.
This may come as a shock to some but truth is that you don’t have the coin that Beyoncé does. The most important bag we can secure is ourselves – our health and wellness. Your 24 hours definitely does not resemble Beyoncé’s, and neither does mine. Most likely you have a job, a side hustle, children or your daily commute is quite tedious and you drive yourself. And I’m not saying Beyoncé doesn’t have her struggles, we all do. However, you have to know yourself. There is no way you can thrive comfortably on fruit alone before engaging in hours of gruelling physical activity. Food should always be seen as a friend rather than a foe.
Needless to say, as the crash diets of before, this one may not be worth it in the long run. There’s only one Queen Bey so the most we can do is strive to have a body like hers, there’s no guarantee that we can look like her. The good news though is that you look like you! So go out there and make simple and consistent health choices that enhance you to be the best version of yourself. As cliché as it has become, moderation really is the major key. As so aptly sung by local rapso group, 3 Canal, “walk in yuh beauty…yuh tall hot beauty”.