Jimmy Kimmel shared his unique weight-loss method with Howard Stern. A recently svelte Kimmel, pictured left, compared to Kimmel, right, in 2007. (Photos: Randy Holmes & John M. Heiler/Getty)
Millions of people watch and laugh with late night host Jimmy Kimmel But, should we also be listening to his diet advice?
This week, the comedian left his Hollywood studio behind in order to host his late night show, Jimmy Kimmel Live, from his hometown, in Brooklyn, New York. But yesterday Jimmy stopped by the Sirius satellite radio to make an appearance on The Howard Stern Show (Stern also happens to be his BFF).
Jimmy confessed that he is following a new diet — one where he fasts two days a week, every Monday and Thursday, (meaning he takes in less than 500 calories on those days), and then eats “normally” for the rest of the week. He also doesn’t exercise.
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As far as his eating plan, it sounds like Jimmy is following the 5:2 fast diet (also known as The Fast Diet) which was created about two years ago by Dr. Michael Mosley, a British physician and TV journalist.
While Howard finds Jimmy’s eating habits “bizarre,” the real question is — just how healthy is this funny man’s new way of living?
“Getting no exercise and eating fewer than 500 calories a couple days a week is absolutely not a healthful lifestyle approach — ever!” Jackie Newgent, RDN, culinary nutritionist and author of The All-Natural Diabetes Cookbook, tells Yahoo Health. “While there may be temporary ‘good’ results for some, such as weight loss due to overall lower calorie intake, this will set anyone up for diet disaster in the long run.”
Newgent is concerned about what happens in the body on those light-eating days. “You’re shortchanging your health by not getting enough nutrients on ‘fasting’ days—and taking supplements is only a partial solution,” she explains. There’s also the fact that Jimmy may be lacking in protein, which she says the body needs “all the time.” “That means this diet can result in muscle tissue loss, which then leads to a lower metabolism. Not good!”
Jimmy said he’s completely abandoned his walking desk, so Newgent suggests he start sweating it out in his workout clothes. “Exercise is necessary!” states Newgent. “It doesn’t need to be done in a gym, but getting a total of one-hour of walking in most days of the week is obviously way healthier than getting no significant physical activity.”
However, eating fewer calories twice a week isn’t entirely bad, says Newgent. “Someone following this plan needs to make sure they’re still meeting minimum nutrient needs, which typically means no fewer than 1400 calories a day.”
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Advocates of the Fast Diet say it works because when you fast, you reduce your exposure to fluctuations in hormones such as insulin, which rises after you eat and in a sense, helps the body to store fat. Also if you normally eat and snack throughout the day, any type of fasting would require you to obviously reduce your total calorie intake and, therefore, weight loss naturally follows.
“The bottom line is that his current approach will not lead to long term healthy weight,” she concludes. “And it won’t lead to long-term good overall health.”
We still love you, Jimmy, but aren’t you a little hangry? Don’t mean tweet us!