5 Reasons Why Kirstie Alley Can't Keep Off the Weight
She's a brilliant actress with more than 20 years of successful TV shows under her belt-Cheers, Veronica's Closet, Fat Actress, and most recently, Dancing With the Stars. But in real life, Kirstie Alley is probably most synonymous with the character she played in Fat Actress, a Hollywood star playing out her diet battles in the public eye. In fact, this Hollywood heavyweight is just as well known for her weight battles as she is for her roles.
After losing a reported 100 pounds while competing on DWTS earlier this year, the actress went from a size 14 to a 4. The 60-year-old celeb even walked the runway in a New York fashion show this past September. But, if history is any indication, Alley's battle of the bulge isn't over. In 2008, the former Jenny Craig spokesperson parted ways with the company after she reportedly gained back the 75 pounds she'd lost on the plan. Now that she's in the best shape of her life, we're rooting for her to stay that way, but also reflecting on perhaps why it's been such a struggle for her in the past. Here are five reasons why Kirstie Alley can't seem to keep off the weight.
Over the years Alley's fluctuating weight can be tied to key aspects of her career, and some of our experts speculate her motivation to lose the weight each time could be coming from the wrong place-her pocketbook. "First, a contract with Jenny Craig, followed by the opportunity to do the Oprah show in a bikini, then her own line of weight-loss products and a stint on Dancing With the Stars. There was a big prize and deadline attached to the discipline each time," says Fitness expert Lisa Avellino.
According to Hollywood Nutrition Expert Lisa DeFazio, "In my opinion, [Kirstie] lost weight in an unrealistic and extreme way by dancing for 5 hours a day and reportedly eating just 1200 calories per day. Now that she's no longer motivated by the money or the millions of viewers, it's likely she could put the weight back on."
All of our experts agree, if Alley is able to make health her primary motivation, she'll have a better chance of keeping the weight off. Avellino adds, "Love yourself more and keep your eye on the real prize-a new and improved you is all the motivation anyone really needs!"
"It appears that Alley could be falling victim to quick fixes and fad diets," according to Dr. Joseph Sozio, a physician specializing in cosmetic procedures at SkinCentre in Hartsdale, New York. "These simply don't work as well as true lifestyle changes and learning healthy ways of eating over time." But, for a busy actress, time is of the essence.
"Let's face it, whether you're a big time celebrity or a busy working mom, the number one reason why we don't have time to get to the gym, plan meals, or focus on a healthy weight is lack of time," Avellino says. Avellino recommends that Alley take a few minutes a day to keep a food journal and devise a quick and efficient workout that she can stick to.
"Writing [down what you eat] gives you a higher level of accountability and acts as a personal contract for your weight-loss goals." DeFazio agrees, "She needs to make exercise and healthy eating a lifestyle, not just something she does when she has to go on TV in a skimpy outfit."
It's a Disease
If food were a drug, it's quite possible Alley would be an addict. "For some people, food gives instant pleasure and gratification, numbs emotional pain and loneliness, and is cheap and available," DeFazio says. Registered dietician Elizabeth DeRobertis says in Alley's case, a binge eating disorder could be to blame. "Overeating disorders are truly a disease, and not often as easy to control as one might think. And with the pressures of Hollywood and the ups and downs in her career, it would make sense that food could act as something to provide comfort in the moment," DeRobertis says.
"She is also scrutinized by the media and tabloids for every pound gained and lost, which also can lead to her emotional starving and binging," DeFazio adds. In fact, the actress told Oprah in 2004 that it was a paparazzi photo of her that made her finally realize she had a weight problem.
It's no secret; our metabolism slows as we age. But Alley's could be slowing even more, thanks to her yo-yo dieting. "If an individual cuts their calories too low, the body will enter a state of homeostasis to help regulate itself," Avellino says. "When this occurs, there is a loss of lean muscle, which slows down metabolism." With Alley's diets reportedly including calorie restriction, it's quite possible she's slowed her metabolism enough to make a difference.
The Blame Game
While Alley has admitted on numerous TV shows that she's always "eaten like a truck driver," she also recently blamed pesticides, fungicides, and environmental toxins for causing her to be overweight in the first place (all while plugging her weight-loss company and products, aptly titled Organic Liason). While researchers have linked exposure to certain pesticides to instances of type 2 Diabetes, there has been no link between the chemicals and weight loss or gain. "Kirstie needs a 'tell it like it is' dietitian and a caring, supportive therapist to get her to accept responsibility and stay on track," DeFazio says.
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