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Friday 24 November 2017

What's eating Naomi?

When the subject of Naomi Campbell's infamous temper was broached on The Oprah Winfrey Show last week, the model duly turned on the crocodile tears and blamed abandonment and trust issues, while her mother and boyfriend watched on, bemused, from the audience.

"It comes from an abandonment issue and also from trying to just build up a family around me that's not my immediate family. If I feel a mistrust, then . . . all my cards go down," she blubbed in an attempt to explain her habit of flinging mobile phones at assistants and spitting at policemen.

Nice try. The real reason was to be uncovered elsewhere in the interview. When asked about how she keeps slim, Campbell unwittingly explained what's really behind her temper tantrums: maniacal dieting.

Campbell, it transpires, is yet another celebrity disciple of The Master Cleanse diet. The questionable weight-loss concoction contains maple syrup, cayenne pepper and lemon juice. Nothing else is allowed, save for water, laxative tea and a steely resolution. Put simply, it's starvation without the risk of passing out.

The 10-day fast was first developed by quack doctor Stanley Burroughs in the '40s to aid detoxification and weight loss. However, permanent weight loss on the programme has yet to be proven.

Nutrients are lacking, too. There is zero protein and trace amounts of vitamins and minerals in the blend. Symptoms include irritability, tiredness and the relentless urge to eat everything in sight.

To put it into context, yours truly tried it and managed to last somewhere in the region of two-and-a-half hours. Campbell told Oprah that she once stayed on the diet for 18 days.

She was even on the diet while talking to the chat-show queen. "I try to do [this] three times a year," she explained. "So I started on Sunday. This is my sixth day."

That being the case, the start of this diet dovetailed with her latest rage attack on an ABC cameraman. When the news station recently asked her about allegations that former Liberian President Taylor gave her a blood diamond in 1997, she promptly walked out of the interview before punching the camera. She was furious. She was emotional. She was probably starving.

"I think it comes from a deeper place than that with me. It comes from another type of emotional disorder," she explained when Oprah asked her if she was just a "petulant diva". What she didn't explain is that her particular emotional disorder is hunger. Six days without food would leave most of us in tears.

Beyonce also tried the Master Cleanse to lose one-and-a-half stone in two weeks for her role in Dreamgirls. Oprah coaxed her on the subject when she was a guest on her show in 2008.

"I was cranky," she conceded. "People were eating Krispy Kreme doughnuts around me." You can only imagine what she wanted to do with those doughnuts.

Gwyneth Paltrow, who was recently pictured leaving a gruelling workout session with weights attached to her ankles, is another proponent of the diet.

"I like to do fasts and detoxes a couple of times during the year," she told readers of her smug lifestyle newsletter, GOOP. "The most hardcore one being the Master Cleanse I did last spring. It was not what you would characterise as pretty. Or easy. It did work, however."

She later embarked on a 21-day smoothie and salad cleanse developed by her detox specialist, Dr Alejandro Junger.

"I feel pure and happy and much lighter," she wrote afterwards. "I dropped the extra pounds that I had gained during a majorly fun and delicious 'relax and enjoy life phase' about a month ago."

The "relax and enjoy life phase"? Is that as opposed to the "tense and unbearable" phase?

The dubious, and often downright bizarre, strategies that celebrities employ to lose weight are slammed by nutritionists as dangerous, but few talk about the emotional side effects.

It makes you wonder what diva antics can be attributed to dieting. Take actress Julianne Moore, who once remarked that most actresses in Hollywood live in a constant state of hunger.

"I still battle with my deeply boring diet of, essentially, yogurt and breakfast cereal and granola bars," she said. "I hate dieting. I hate having to do it to be the 'right' size. I'm hungry all the time.

"I think I'm a slender person. But the industry apparently doesn't. All actresses are hungry all the time."

Desperate Housewives' Marcia Cross also admitted that she finds it difficult keeping her weight under control. "For me, not to eat is a constant struggle," she complained.

Elizabeth Hurley is more candid about the struggle to maintain a model figure. She revealed that she goes to bed hungry after just one meal a day. For a treat, she indulges in one tablespoon of ice cream or one square of organic chocolate.

At least she's honest. The rest of the celebrity contingent insists on attributing their slender figures to high metabolisms and good genes.

The truth is that a celebrity body rarely comes without a militant diet. According to trainer-to-the- stars Gunnar Peterson, their capacity for deception is as tenacious as their will-power.

"I had one actress who trained with me and took six spin classes a week. And all she ate was lettuce and Swedish fish," he revealed. "When the press asked her how she'd 'transformed' her body, she said, 'Oh, I do yoga and hike with my puppy'. That made me laugh," he said.

"Don't lie about how much you work out because other women are going to think, 'I walk my dog, why don't I look like that?'"

Naomi Campbell's latest Master Cleanse paid off for her when she arrived at the MET ball, arguably the fashion event of the year, wearing a skin-tight D&G gown. Gwyneth Paltrow followed a detox diet to slim down for her turn in Iron Man 2.

They follow maniacal dieting strategies because they are in a maniacal industry. As Beyonce said about the Master Cleanse: "I wouldn't recommend it to someone who wasn't doing a movie."

So next time you read about the diva antics of an actress or the moody pout of a model, think about what's in their stomachs -- nothing -- and you'll soon understand what's eating them.

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