At the Venice Film Festival earlier this month, Amal Clooney,human rights attorney (and spouse to George), looked as slim and elegant as ever during her first red carpet appearance since giving birth to twins (!!) on June 6.
So, just how did Clooney get her body back into amazing shape since welcoming little Alexander and Ella into the world? According to sources, Clooney owes it all to fish.
"She eats fish twice a day," a source explained, listing salmon, mackerel and swordfish as part of her postnatal diet. In addition to eating tons of fish, Clooney also has seaweed soup and sometimes a boiled egg for breakfast, while she feasts on fish, chickpeas, and veggies for lunch and dinner. It's all part of a "special Mediterranean fish diet" that, according to the source, her friends swear by.
Though Clooney's post-baby bod is certainly enviable (not to mention that hair!), is her diet healthy enough for us mere mortals to emulate?
The basic principles of the traditional Mediterranean Diet emphasize the high consumption of fish, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, olive oil, nuts and legumes, with moderate intake of chicken, eggs, cheese and yogurt. By focusing on eating more low-calorie foods, like veggies, fruits and legumes, and fewer of high-calorie foods like meat and dairy, you feel full on less calories.
Thanks to the nuts and olive oil included in the diet, the fat you're eating are monounsaturated fats (MUFAs), which not only keep you fuller, longer, but also don't raise cholesterol levels the way saturated and trans fats do. Diets with MUFAs are also known to reduce belly fat better than high-carb diets.
As for the plethora of fish that Clooney loves to eat? Fish, for the most part, is a superfood filled with omega-3 fatty acids, as well as vitamins and minerals, like riboflavin, iron, and zinc. And since it's a lean source of protein -- fish tends to be lower in fat and calories than meat and poultry -- it's ideal for weight loss.
While fish is supposed to be a healthier protein alternative, the FDA warns that nearly all fish can harbor mercury, a dangerous toxin, which is why the agency recommend only eating half a pound of fish per week, and less than 30 pounds a year. It's important to note that thicker fish, like the mackerel and swordfish Clooney likes to eat, absorb more mercury than smaller fish.
Ingesting an excessive amount of mercury can cause damage to the nervous system, as well as the immune system and heart, and can cause brain damage to a fetus or young child. Which is why pregnant or nursing mothers are discouraged from eating fish.
In addition to potentially eating too much fish, another concern of Clooney's diet is the possibility of eating too few calories. While cutting calories can help with weight loss goals, restricting yourself too much can throw off your metabolism, thus complicating your ability to shed pounds. Furthermore, consuming less than 1,200 calories per day also could make it difficult for you to meet the required vitamins and minerals you should be getting through your diet.
While we might not all be able to look like Amal Clooney, adhering to a traditional Mediterranean diet is a healthy choice that's available to us regular folk. However, being aware of consuming the necessary calories, as well as the sufficient amount of fish, is crucial for not only weight loss, but also for your overall health. When in doubt, consult a nutritionist.
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