Runway Model Diet Mistakes & Solutions

AA de Amaya Arzuaga Fashion Show during Cibeles Fashion Week, Autumn/Winter 2011.  (WireImage)A fashion model’s body has been coveted by countless women since the dawn of the runway. A model’s slim silhouette has dictated the standard fashion industry dress size and, unfortunately, the unrealistic standards many women all too often hold themselves to. Every category of fashion calls for a variant shape, as each shape calls for a different fitness and nutritional approach for the best results. A model’s body is unlike any other, as it is designed and redesigned to complement a designer’s whims, varying from a flat body in one month to a demand for curves the next. There is a different model for every category of fashion, and women will make their first mistake trying to force their bodies into a shape their bodies can neither obtain nor maintain.  Every body has shape potential. This means model icon Iman will thrive in runway shows but is not likely to cross over well into Victoria’s Secret. Adriana Lima thrives in lingerie but is not likely to grace the covers of fitness magazines any time soon in contrast.

Knowing the limits of your body will make your life and body goals much easier. The five main umbrella categories for models are Fitness, Plus Size, Commercial, Glamour, and Runway. Each category of model calls for different physical characteristics from head to toe with equally varying fitness routines, nutrition, and beauty maintenance regimens. Make sure to keep an eye out for Agenda’s first print issue this spring, where we will reveal a full fitness and nutrition program for each of the five model categories you can follow should you covet one of these body types. In this issue of Agenda we are taking a look into the common diet mistakes of a runway model and offering solutions to better maintain that notorious, long thin frame.

Common Mistakes & Solutions

Dehydration & Diuretics:

Mistake: The long steam room session or hard work-out in a sweat suit for dehydration purposes is another very common scenario we should address. Dehydration is common for last minute weight removal but is the most dangerous of all approaches. The human body can last over a week without food but only two days without water.  Dehydration dries collagen, prematurely ages skin, drains energy, slows metabolism (fat burning), dulls mental prowess, conjures horrible mood swings, causes fake hunger; and can lead to organ failure, or worst of all, death. Dehydration is always a temporary loss of weight that actually results in higher water retention once you rehydrate, as your body attempts to recuperate from your drought.

Solution: The easiest method to reduce water retention is actually to drink more water. Your body retains more as protection when you rarely drink water. Your body is over 70% water, so it is kind of important. The idea is not constantly to be dehydrated. Dropping some water weight the day of or night before you need a size drop won’t bring the world to an end, but rehydrate immediately after to stay beautiful. A hydrated body burns significantly more body fat, maintains supple youthful skin, renders high energy, controls appetite, holds mental sharpness, and retains significantly less water. The easiest sources of hydration are water and non sugary drinks like teas. The second best source will also keep you full:  fresh organic veggies and juicy fruits (i.e., melons, pears, berries). Both are low in calories and high in hydration with infinite health benefits.

Appetite Control:

  • AA de Amaya Arzuaga at Cibeles Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2011 (WireImage)Mistake: Smoking cigarettes is a very common non-calorie appetite suppressant; too bad smoke from cigarettes destroys healthy youthful skin and robs you of life. Cigarettes will prematurely age your skin and organs dramatically, turning your skin the color grey and creating a leathery texture.
  • Solution: The number one natural appetite suppressant out today is Hoodia Gordonii supplements and good old reliable caffeine.  Hoodia is a natural cactus-like plant found in the Kalahari Desert of South Africa, that tribes ate before long hunts to suppress their appetite. Hoodia can be expensive since you need to find a supplement with an effective dosage of 400-600 mg per capsule. Don’t be fooled by Hoodia products that overcharge you for basically Hoodia flavoring. Look for the amount of Hoodia per serving to reap its benefits. Caffeine is an inexpensive alternative:  the magic number is 200 mg of caffeine to suppress appetite for 3-6 hrs. An 8-oz cup of coffee, a double shot of espresso, or one NoDoz capsule all contain 200 mg; but first make sure to assess your tolerance, as too much caffeine will keep you from sleeping. A cup of black tea or a diet coke will give you roughly 40 mg of caffeine for starters. You can also eat spicy food which will keep you fuller longer and boost your metabolism as a bonus. The best natural advice to controlling appetite is ensuring your meals contain fiber and good fats, which are what lead you to feel full. You either feel full from volume of food in your stomach or from chemical signals sent by unsaturated fats and fiber. Adding 1000 mg of omega-3 to a meal or six almonds will go a long way. It takes 70 calories of good fats to chemically trigger that feeling of being satisfied. This is the reason it takes so much bad food to satisfy you. It has no fiber or good fat, so it’s the volume of the food pressing on the stomach walls that eventually brings you to stop. Make sure to take your time chewing. It actually takes that fiber and good fats 10-15 minutes from entering your system to properly notify your brain that you are satisfied. This is the reason stuffing yourself quickly from being so starved never turns out well. You were actually full 500 calories ago, but the signal hasn’t had enough time to reach your brain. Lastly, to stay full you can focus on some quality protein from lean meats, or low calorie cottage cheese. Protein has been a time-honored appetite suppressant because your body works three times harder to digest it than any other food, so you stay fuller longer.

Starvation & Purging:

Mistake: Starvation and purging are the most common of all model diet trends. Why count calories when you can just not eat them altogether, right? The biggest problem in taking the starvation route is the fact that a starved body will eat its own healthy muscle for food and become a fat-storing machine in self defense. Muscle is not something you want to part with, as it is three times smaller than fat and burns 10 times more calories than fat. A model could actually be the same shape and size with all her inches relatively the same, replacing the fat on her body with lean muscle. This trade would allow her to eat 400-800 more calories a day with no weight gain. A starved body is focused on minimizing the energy it needs to exist, so it will be constantly tired, eat itself, and chip away at its skin, nails, and hair health due to lack of nutrients. The worst effect is a dramatic drop in metabolism and a significant increase in the body converting food to fat.

Solution: Eat better, not less, and pack on some lean muscle to keep the inches away. The easiest way to keep the body burning fat is to eat 5-6 small meals throughout the day to keep your metabolism revving and burning. These don’t need to be entire sandwiches, but pre-packaged bags of fresh veggies or fruit slices will go a long way to fighting the inches when life gets crazy. Inches are the key word, though since most women fear the number on the scale more than the image in the mirror. Muscle weighs three times more than fat but is three times smaller; so a female muscle-packed body weighing 20 lbs more than a fatty body will actually look three times smaller. You might be afraid of bulking up, but be assured that it is nearly impossible to bulk up with muscle unless you are eating 1000 calories over your daily need and lifting very heavy weight regularly. Imagine trying to build a house with only three bricks and a wrench. You don’t have the physical material to bulk up, so incorporate some weight training with confidence. Also, keep in mind that muscle gain will not surprise you overnight. It takes a grown man a week of extremely hard work and thousands of calories to gain one pound of muscle at best.  If muscle isn’t your answer, then finding low calorie fresh foods you can enjoy all day long will be your next best choice. Multiply your body weight times 11 (i.e., 11 x 135 lbs = 1485 cal.) to get a rough estimate of what amounts of calories you need a day. Eat a few hundred calories under this number (i.e., 1485 – 300 = 1185 cal.) spread over 3-5 meals daily to lose weight healthily and consistently. No starving necessary.

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4 Comments to “Runway Model Diet Mistakes & Solutions”

  1. Fashion is my life. Good article 😉

  2. Reznor1998 says:

    I simply wish to say thanks yet again. Great article and great topic. Understanding the skilled way you solved this weight issue almost made me cry with joy. I’m grateful for the information. What an amazing job you are always putting in educating people with the tool of Agenda Magazine.

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