When it comes to eyes on the prize, Jessica Simpson deserves a trophy. Determined to look fit and fabulous on her wedding day, the Weight Watchers spokeswoman shifted to a two-week vegan diet cleanse just prior to her walk down the aisle, reported Us Weekly on July 7.
A source revealed that Jessica "did a vegan diet for about two weeks leading up to the wedding." The vegan cleanse was designed to boost the 60 pounds that she had already shed on Weight Watchers.
To supplement her plant-based plan, Jessica "also got quite a few B-12 shots," reported Hello magazine on July 8. Most experts recommend B-12 supplements for vegans because their diets exclude animal protein.
In a study reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 83 percent of vegans and 68 percent of vegetarians were deficient in vitamin B-12. Only five percent of omnivores suffered from a lack.
However, that doesn't mean vegan diets are unhealthy, according to Dr. Mehmet Oz. On a recent show, he recommended vegan diets for reducing your cholesterol, lowering your risk of diabetes and heart attack and boosting weight loss.
Jessica isn't the only celebrity turning to a vegan diet recently. Jennifer Lopez credits a plant-based diet with helping her finally lose the last frustrating post-baby pounds, and Beyoncé Knowles joined her husband Jay Z on a 22-day vegan diet cleanse.
What you should know if you want to try it: Dieters frequently ask about getting enough protein on a vegan diet. Sources include beans, legumes, tofu, quinoa, seeds and nuts.
And weight loss isn't a guarantee on a vegan diet. Some plant-based dieters even gain weight because they indulge in overly generous servings of foods such as peanut butter-and-honey-topped wheat tortillas or vegan desserts such as soy-based ice creams.
To help her lose weight on her plant-based diet, Jessica also increased her exercise. She exercised six miles daily on a treadmill before her wedding day.
What if you want to try a vegan low carb diet? In an exclusive interview on July 8, Franziska Spritzler, a registered dietitian, told me that it's possible to do unless you also want to follow a high fat ketogenic vegan diet.
"A vegan ketogenic diet is very difficult to do in a healthy way, primarily because of its reliance on soy and seitan (vital wheat gluten), each of which may cause problems in sensitive individuals, particularly those with Hashimoto's thyroiditis or other autoimmune conditions," she cautioned. Instead, she suggests using a vegetarian approach.
"Eco-Atkins is a vegan version of the low-carb Atkins diet but contains more carbohydrates than most people are able to eat and remain in ketosis. For those wanting to try the ketogenic approach, I think a plant-based very-low-carbohydrate diet that includes eggs and dairy would be the best way to go," added Franziska.