Expert says Vivienne's crash diet 'unbalanced'
MODEL Vivienne Connolly's crash diet plan is not balanced and is unsustainable, according to a lecturer in nutrition.
The mum-of-two was eager to cut down on her food intake ahead of her return to the small screen and make herself 'telly-thin' for her new role in Fair City.
Vivienne (37) said she cut out carbohydrates and limited herself to juice and soup during the day.
"Nobody Claudia Schiffer's age can eat 2,000 calories and stay slim without exercising for hours and hours," she said. "It's not possible."
Vivienne had a soya milk protein shake before a gym workout at 9am, followed by a vegetable juice. Her lunch was homemade soup and in the evening she wouldn't eat any carbs, just vegetables and meat or fish.
But Dr Daniel McCartney, lecturer in Human Nutrition and Dietetics in DIT and spokesman for the Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institute (INDI), said: "The first thing is that it's not a balanced diet.
"The second thing is that it uses certain products like protein supplements, which are not required in a balanced diet.
"The evening meal, which doesn't include carbohydrates or starchy foods and just vegetables and meat, is not ideal."
Dr McCartney said that on the positive side, the food intake was evenly distributed -- but Vivienne's detox diet was too extreme.
Vivienne, who separated from her husband of five years, Mark Dunne, last year, said that in the evenings she would eat much smaller portions than her children Ben (6) and Katie (4).
Dr McCartney said that it was a useful behavioural tool to put food on a smaller plate -- to trick your brain into thinking you are eating more.
But he said ultimately some starchy carbs should be in your diet.
"Even though starchy foods get a bad press, they are not really fattening," he said. "If people exercise in reasonable amounts -- a 30-minute walk each day -- it allows you to burn off energy calories."