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The alkaline diet: celebs love it, but what does it involve?

July 1st 2014 / Emma Gunavardhana

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The stars are all signed up and anyone ‘in the know’ has gone the way of the alkaline diet - but what does it really mean?

She may not have looked as though she needed it, but Jennifer Lopez has lost 10 lbs. Gracing the cover of this week’s US Weekly, the headline screams ‘J.Lo’s New Body at 44’. The woman looks undeniably fit, honed, toned and much younger than her mid-forties years, but what of this 22-day cleanse that kick-started the ‘new’ Jenny?

As it happens Jennifer has been training with Marco Borges, formerly Beyonce and Jay-Z’s live-in exercise physiologist. He’s adored by many an A-lister on account of his ‘Power Moves’ that work the body into the best version of itself, plus his diet philosophy prompted the couple to take up a 22-day vegan diet [look at Bey’s instagram if you want to see what it was they were eating for those three weeks] that’s heavy on the alkaline-living principles. His philosophy is simple: ‘You don’t have to eat only celery sticks. Be sensible and exercise constantly.’

Mr and Mrs Carter are examples of an alkaline diet’s benefits, as is J.Lo, but Victoria Beckham has also shared her devotion to the diet when she tweeted out a picture of chef Natasha Corrett and nutritionist Vicky Edgson’s book Honestly Healthy. However, with Dukan, Atkins and paleo all in our recent memory - and probably long forgotten - is eating the alkaline way just another fad?

It’s all very well to want to achieve Beyonce and Jay-Z’s obvious body transformations, but why is an alkaline diet good for you and what does it actually look like?

Primarily the benefits of an alkaline diet are many and varied and include:

  • improved digestion and less bloating
  • better skin
  • better memory, concentration and focus on account of regulated blood sugar levels
  • better mood and happiness thanks to grains satisfying seratonin receptors
  • better energy levels as most alkaline foods are slow-release, which again help balance blood sugar levels
  • reduced sugar cravings

Sold? Its benefits are certainly a check-list of things we’d like for ourselves so Glossip Girl has looked into how an alkaline diet should look and feel. For one it’s a predominantly vegetarian diet, mainly because these foods tend to be the most alkaline and wholegrains are king because of their fibre content. Additionally the kidneys have less work to do when breaking down alkaline foods, and as they tend to be high in vitamins and mineral laden water they are a better source of hydration for the body than normal drinking water.

Borges' transformation of Mr and Mrs Carter started with the challenge of incorporating a plant-based, alkaline breakfast into their diet every day for 22 days - they loved how they felt so went for the full challenge not long afterwards.

Although Marco can’t ‘live-in’ like he does with the Carters he can guide you through his exercise philosophy and his diet suggestions via his book Power Moves and the website 22daysnutrition.com which not only explains the principle behind the diet, but also sells supplements and snack bars to get you started and keep you on the alkaline track.

Marco believes that gaining control over diet is key. ‘Most people have that imbalance [difficult to burn calories through exercise versus how easy it is to consume calories] and it’s when they take control of their diet that they truly take control of their health.’ J.Lo is clearly evidence of this, but also of his belief that it’s about staying committed to the plan. ‘Consistency is the key. If you empower people with the tools necessary to make proper lifestyle choices, like eating sensibly and exercising regularly, then it [ultimate health] becomes an attainable goal.’

If you want to try an alkaline diet and see if you can get as lean as Beyonce and J.Lo then head to Marco’s blog where he has meal plans, advice and some clever tips to clean up your diet.

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