Disclaimer: While the diet I adhered to had all of the same elements of Bella Hadid's diet, it is not her exact diet. The brands of the products used differ, but all else is the same.Bella Hadid is one of the world's newest girl bosses. Not only is she a first time Angel in this year's Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, but she also just signed a deal with Nike — which is seriously huge.
Being Gigi Hadid's little sister and The Weeknd's (recent) ex-girlfriend, Bella had some big names to push to the side so that she could shine her own light. With the VS show and her new Nike campaign, Bella Hadid is showing the world that she's not going to stand in the shadows any longer.
When reading about all of her recent accomplishments, I couldn't help but wonder what Bella's daily meal plan looks like. She's got an incredible body, and energy is probably a must since she's crazy busy.
For the sake of all of our curiosity, I took it upon myself to do a little research and ultimately try to eat like Bella Hadid for a week. Let me tell you now—it did not go well.
Phase 1: Research
The research aspect didn't take much effort. Since the world is so curious about Bella, it was pretty easy to Google her diet. She follows a regime created by Dr. Charles Passler, a celebrity nutritionist, which is called the 7-Day Pure Change Program.
Clocking in at $200 for one 7-Day Pure Change Program, the plan includes a canister of pea & rice protein powder (with chocolate or vanilla as flavor options), seven protein bars (cookies & cream, chocolate chip cookie dough, or double chocolate), a box of detox support packets, one bottle of probiotic supplements, and one bottle of magnesium supplements.
The 7-day plan claims to "detoxify your body, decrease food cravings, reset your relationship with your food choices, [and] promote sustainable long-term healthy habits." The plan also requires that you eat 100 calories of approved raw or steamed veggies with or without olive oil for lunch and dinner.
All in all, each day looks like this:
Breakfast: 1 protein shakeMorning snack: 1/2 protein bar
Lunch: 100 calories raw or steamed veggies, 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil (optional), 1 detox support pack
Afternoon snack: 1 protein shake
Pre-dinner snack: 1/2 protein bar
Dinner: 100 calories raw or steamed veggies, 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil (optional), 1 detox support pack
Before bed: 3 magnesium pills, 2 probiotic pills
Since I'm ballin' on a budget (aka broke af) and don't have $200 to play with, I decided to modify the plan a bit. I went with some good ol' Quest vanilla protein powder and Silk unsweetened almond milk for my protein shakes, both of which I had on hand. I also decided to use Quest chocolate chip cookie dough protein bars because they're delicious and nutritious — seriously.
Quest is known for their super low net carb and sugar products, and since I wanted to stay as true to the 7-day plan as possible, I figured this was one of my best options.
For the supplements, I used Nature's Bounty magnesium and probiotic capsules. Since Dr. Passler's detox support pack is a powder that you mix with water to drink, I went with Fit Tea's 14-Day Detox tea.
With everything I needed on hand, I was ready and eager to get started.
Phase 2: Experiment
Monday morning had me feeling damn strong, lemme tell ya. Breakfast was, of course, a protein shake. I mixed one scoop of protein powder with two cups of almond milk. Protein shakes are not my favorite thing in the world, but I choked it down with minimal gagging.
Morning snack time came around, and I was actually still feeling pretty full from breakfast. Regardless, I ate half of my Quest protein bar and continued with my day.
Total calories consumed at this point: 255
Lunch struck, and I still wasn't really hungry. I chopped up one cucumber and made my first batch of FitTea, and with my first bite of unsalted, unseasoned cucumber (because salt and other seasonings or dressings are not allowed), things were no longer looking so bright.
Let me take a minute to tell you how much of a struggle it is for me to eat vegetables. I struggle eating vegetables with seasoning or sauce or some kind of flavor. If eating vegetables that are drowning in other flavors is a struggle, you can imagine how much I loved that plain, raw cucumber.
The detox tea didn't help much. While it wasn't completely disgusting, it definitely isn't something that I'd go out of my way to drink. All in all, lunch took my spirits from a 10 to a 5.
Total calories consumed so far: 355
By the time afternoon snack hit, I was less than thrilled. I already wanted pizza, and lots of it. I choked down my shake very unhappily and settled into a bleak mood. It didn't improve much when I ate the other half of my protein bar for pre-dinner snack.
Before I could eat dinner, my boyfriend and I had to go grocery shopping. Our fridge had gotten to the point where we had condiments and that was about it. Even though I was tied to this diet, he was not, so he needed food that real people eat.
Grocery shopping was pure, complete, total torture. I was officially hangry. I was cursing whoever came up with diets, body standards, and God-forsaken protein shakes. "Who eats vegetables without salt," I ranted and half-yelled at my boyfriend as fellow shoppers turned to stare at me.
By the time we got home, the very last thing I wanted to do was cook my sad, single 5-ounce container of shiitake mushrooms in a measly tablespoon of olive oil (with no salt!), but I did. And I ate it. And it sucked. Monday kicked my ass, and it kicked me hard.
Total calories consumed by the end of the day: 830
Tuesday morning, I woke up with a fresh outlook. I could do this! After all, who wouldn't want to look like Bella Hadid? That girl slays.
Although I had some renewed motivation, I woke up super hungry. Ravenous is probably a better word for it—my stomach was growling so loud that it sounded like its own person.
I hurried to get out of bed and make my next protein shake, and I began to drink it with minimal gagging once more. I don't think almond milk is a great choice for protein shakes — they come out extremely thick, like pancake batter. Seriously.
I couldn't make myself drink the entire shake, so it didn't take long for me to get hungry again. I ate half of my Quest bar, cut up my other cucumber, brewed a cup of FitTea and headed to class.
I think we all know by now how I felt about eating the cucumber for lunch. It was sad. I was sad. The tea was sad. I began questioning if this was really worth it — I was hungry, and I was essentially willingly starving myself to eat like a supermodel. I started to question myself and if this was something I really wanted to do.
With these doubts in my mind, I skipped my afternoon shake and ate the other half of my Quest bar instead. I began feeling a lot of guilt for not following the diet to a tee, and this sparked a few thoughts in my head that I think are really important takeaways.
I began thinking about how I usually look forward to eating. I'm a foodie, so eating is something that I enjoy a lot. Within the first day of this diet, I found myself dreading when I had to eat next because what I was allowed to eat was not fun or tasty. Because the food I was limited to wasn't all that appetizing, I found myself craving other things very quickly — this made me feel guilty, too.
My cravings were also due to the fact that I was really, genuinely hungry. The food I was restricted to in one day was less than 1,000 calories. Yes it was all healthy food, but the diet wasn't really healthy as a whole. The hunger I woke up with on Tuesday never really went away.
Once dinner time came around, I was dreading the small serving of vegetables that I would eat for dinner. I knew it wasn't going to fill me up, and I knew that this was going to make it hard for me to fall asleep — I can't fall asleep on an empty stomach.
Phase 3: Re-evaluate
I began asking my boyfriend what he thought I should do. I was really torn on wanting to stick to my guns and finish the week, but it seemed so daunting at this point — only two days in. Although I wanted to stick to it, I was so hungry.
Because my boyfriend is the best, he told me that I should do what I genuinely wanted to do. If I were that hungry, then I probably shouldn't make myself suffer for an experiment. Plus, he added, quitting the diet could shed some light on body standards and dieting in general.
With that, I decided to quit. Instead, I made myself some whole grain pasta, meatballs, and tomato sauce — a healthy, well-rounded meal that would keep me full until the next morning.
Phase 4: Grow
With this small experiment, I learned a lot. I learned I truly value having a healthy relationship with food. I love to eat what I want, I love to play with new recipes, and I love to find healthy options that taste delicious. I really just love food in general.
Building on that, I learned that if you're going to diet, you should diet in a way that works for you. There are so, so, so many different diets out there. Find one that you enjoy and you feel proud of adhering to, not one that you dread. A diet that you're happy with results in less cravings, which results in less binging.
I also learned that just because this diet isn't for me doesn't mean it doesn't work for others. For example, in an article on Byrdie by Hallie Gould, she writes that eating like Bella Hadid wasn't as hard as she thought it was going to be, and she found a lot of benefits in sticking to it for the full week.
The takeaway from this is that you should eat what works for you, and you shouldn't judge others for eating differently than you. There's a lot of diet shaming and body shaming—we're all aware of this by now. The thing is that we are all individuals, and the way we eat has no direct effect on anyone else, so who really cares?
At the end of the day, I want everyone to learn from my short-lived experience with the Bella Hadid meal plan. Be happy with your individuality. If this type of diet works for you, more power to ya because you're gonna be lookin' like a dime plus 99, as Mario would say.
If this diet doesn't work for you, that's perfectly fine, too. If you're like me and you love big flavors, variety, and experimenting with new recipes, then you'll probably struggle with this as much as I did. That's okay, because I'm a boss ass bitch regardless, and so are you.
Moral of this whole thing: We are all beautiful regardless of how we eat or what we look like. A healthy relationship with food and yourself is priority one. Remember this, and keep on slaying, girlfriend.