Kelly Clarkson is making the media rounds to brag about her latest weight loss success.
The first winner of American Idol is super happy because she totally didn’t have to exercise at all to lose weight. In fact, Clarkson told Extra that she managed to lose weight by following the book The Plant Paradox by Steven Gundry. Clarkson said, “It’s basically about how we cook our food, non-GMO, no pesticides, eating really organic.”
I’m not sure how Clarkson defines “cooking,” but I have never sauteed vegetables in pesticides or added GMOs as seasonings.
I asked Dr. Jen Gunter, a San Francisco Bay area OB/GYN, her thoughts about Clarkson’s statements and she was also a bit skeptical. “I’m not aware of any data that links organic foods or GMOs with weight loss,” she explained. “What you eat matters much more than whether you eat conventional or organic.”
If Clarkson really got her information from Steven Gundry’s book, that probably explains why her message doesn’t make any sense. Turns out Dr. Gundry’s claims don’t exactly hold up to scrutiny, and are actually the opposite of healthy. The Plant Paradox is just another book of bad information giving people bad advice.
As she admitted in the interview, Clarkson also has a thyroid issue that was not being properly treated when she gained weight. Once she started therapy for her thyroid levels, and all of her test numbers went back to normal, she started to lose weight. As Lisa Andrews, RD & owner of Sound Bites Nutrition LLC explained to me, treatment for Clarkson’s thyroid level is probably the real reason she managed to slim down.
“While I think it’s great that Kelly Clarkson has lost weight and has her thyroid condition under control, suggesting that clean eating and organic food helped her lose weight is misleading,” Andrews said. “Avoiding foods containing lectins (per The Plant Paradox diet she followed) has not been proven. Non-organic fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds are safe to eat and should be included as part of a healthy diet. Ms Clarkson likely lost weight due to her initial thyroid medication kicking in and the reduction in calories from restricting various foods from her diet.”
“Kelly Clarkson is one of my favorite performers and I admire how she has turned adversity in her personal life into professional success,” commented Leah McGrath, RD LDN of Ingles Market. “That being said, I would hope people with issues with their thyroid would seek medical care from board certified physicians and get assistance on their eating habits from registered dietitians rather than follow advice from a celebrity.”
But what about that exercise bit? Clarkson seems pretty excited about not having to exercise! Kim Melton, RD of Nutrition ProConsulting wasn’t so impressed.
“I’m sorry to hear she isn’t exercising and chose to slim down through her diet alone,” she answered. “Although I don’t think a person should exercise for weight loss, the benefits of doing so are numerous. Better sleep, stress relief, relaxation, enjoyment, disease prevention, increased strength, stamina and flexibility as well as keeping your heart healthy are just a few of the reasons why exercise is necessary…it’s not always about weight loss.”
Unfortunately, Clarkson’s casual and careless remarks can have a really negative impact on people looking to lose weight. Surely Clarkson knows what she’s talking about because she managed to lose weight and looks great; right? But no. Instead of encouraging people to make meaningful, healthy choices, Clarkson has done the opposite.
Clarkson has a platform. When she speaks, people are listening. It’s disappointing to see she didn’t take that responsibility seriously.
“The bottom line is we each need to do what works for us and is sustainable,” Melton told me. “Losing weight and living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t need to be expensive or exclusive. Making wise choices with moderation is key. Food is meant to be enjoyed!”