She is the ultimate clothes horse, wearing her own brand of design effortlessly, and has a figure to die for, despite the fact that she has given birth to four children, so how does Victoria Beckham stay so slim?
Reports suggest that she is a massive fan of The Alkaline Diet, the diet in which followers eat predominantly alkaline foods, which all help to keep your body’s pH levels between 7.35 and 7.45. Ms Beckham tweeted to her followers on her Twitter account that she ‘loves this healthy eating cook book’, a reference to the Honestly Healthy Alkaline Programme recipe book by Vicki Edgson and organic chef Natasha Corrett.
The book claims that if you follow this regime, not only will you lose weight, but it will also have a beneficial effect on your health, by improving heart disease, boosting your moods and memory function, aids with insomnia, helps to balance the hormones in your body, and works to strengthen your hair, nails and teeth.
And Ms Beckham is not the only celebrity to have fallen for its charms, as health nut and US actress Gwyneth Paltrow is said to be a huge fan, alongside fellow actress Jennifer Anniston.
So how does the Alkaline Diet actually work? Well, it is based around the fact that blood is slightly alkaline and the food we eat should be also. However, much of the food we consume is highly acidic, such as meat, pasta and rice, which is said to disrupt the bodies natural alkaline balance, making it more likely for us to gain weight and be prone to illness.
Nutritional therapist Dr. Elisabeth Phillips says: “It’s all about balance. The aim of an alkalising diet is not to banish all acidic foods, such as meats and certain grains, but to ensure we are eating an appropriate balance of whole foods including generous daily portions of alkalising foods such as vegetables and sprouted seeds.
Sugar, alcohol, caffeine and processed foods are the worst culprits so should be avoided at best, or greatly reduced. Increasing alkaline foods in the diet provides more essential nutrients, which support all areas of our health.”
The Alkaline Diet suggests that everyone should eat around 70 percent alkaline foods and 30 percent acidic foods, but as there is no calorific or portion control, some experts are saying that this is just another fad diet. However, nutritionist and ex-NHs dietitian Sam Perkins comments: “The Alkaline diet is way less ‘faddy’ than many diets in that no whole food groups are ‘banned’. This means that for people who enjoy this way of eating and are happy being predominantly vegetarian, it may be easy to sustain for a long period of time.”
The problem starts when you begin to look into studies and trials that have lead to the creation of this diet, as Perkins points out, there isn’t any: “It is not based on any scientific evidence at all and contradicts what we know about how digestion works in the body entirely.
The thinking behind the diet is that eating foods which are alkaline (high pH) helps maintain the body’s optimum pH level. But we know that our stomach produces acid that is far stronger than any food we eat and the body maintains optimum pH level regardless of the food we eat”, she warns.
Some dietician say that the physical results of being on the diet speak for themselves, as Dr Phillips states: “By following an alkalising diet for a month you would expect to feel an increase in energy with more get up and go.
Your skin health greatly benefits also, as high intake of acidic foods (in particular sugar) contribute to premature aging resulting in wrinkles and lacklustre skin tone. Cellular aging also happens internally so alkalising diets slow this process, greatly improving health. Inflammatory symptoms, such as joint stiffness, arthritis, headaches and backaches, may also subside.”
The good thing about The Alkaline Diet is that it does promote eating healthier foods, such as fruit and vegetables, which are naturally low in calories anyway and don’t put a stress on your digestive system. Dr Phillips agrees: “Alkalising foods gently support the digestive system helping to reduce uncomfortable systems such as bloating and digestive discomfort – weight loss results!”
Whether or not you decide to follow Ms Beckham’s example, remember to always consult your doctor before embarking on any new diet.