Diet for a Model

  • SumoMe

When I started joining modeling classes at Amber Chia Academy, I was under the impression that everyone of us would be asked to go on diets, to lose weight and to be stick-thin by the end of the course. And being the food-lover that I am, I was pretty worried about that. Luckily, although some of us were indeed advised to lose weight, we were not advised to do so drastically or through aggressive crash diets. This was all made clear when we were given a talk by Benny Ng, a nutritionist, on what a model’s diet should be.

Nutrition Talk

Diet for a model

Nutrition Talk

Benny Ng giving his talk

He started the talk by showing us the conventional food pyramid, the triangular diagram that shows the recommended intake for each group of food. Obviously, the guideline has changed throughout the years, and carbohydrates (rice, bread, pasta) are no longer recommended as the food group with the biggest portion.

Nutrition Talk

The old food pyramid

Instead, the USDA has introduced a new and simpler method of dividing food groups on a plate, known as MyPlate. According to this NY Times article, MyPlate was a crucial part of Mrs. Obama’s campaign against obesity, and to remind consumers about the importance of a healthy diet. From the plate diagram, the biggest difference I noticed was that fruits and vegetables are now the biggest portion in a diet, as compared to rice and bread in the food pyramid. Also, the amount of dairy is reduced and there is no indication of fatty food on the plate. Personally I think this healthy diet makes so much more sense compared to the food pyramid, not to mention simpler to follow. As long as half of our daily diet consists of fruits and vegetables, we’re good. :)

Nutrition Talk

MyPlate replacing the Food Pyramid

According to Benny, as models, the consumption of alcohol is almost inevitable, especially during functions and or after-show events. The shocking revelation that I found out that night was that excessive amount of alcohol could actually be converted to fat! But that’s not to say that we should avoid alcohol completely. A drink a day for female or 2 drinks a day for male is actually good for the body. Just remember everything should be in moderation.

Nutrition Talk

Alcohol consumption

Also, we were taught on how to calculate the Body Mass Index (BMI), a common term to gauge whether one is over- or underweight, by dividing the body’s weight with the height squared. Do you have a healthy BMI?

Nutrition Talk

Body Mass Index (BMI)

Now for the part that we were most interested in, how to lose weight safely. True enough, crash diets, Atkin’s diet or anything of that sort is not recommended. Those are just short-term solutions that are hard to maintain, not to mention stripping off your body from essential nutrients. The healthy weight loss is about 0.5-1kg per week. In order to achieve that, we should reduce our daily calories by 500kcal and increase our physical activity to burn another 500kcal. In total, that would be 1000kcal burnt, resulting in a 1kg loss a week. If you only reduce your daily food intake by 500kcal without doing the extra physical activity, that would be a reduction of 500kcal or 0.5kg per week. Sounds straightforward enough?

Nutrition Talk

How to lose weight safely

A person’s normal calorie intake is about 2000kcal a day, so to follow the plan above would be reducing it to 1500kcal a day. Now, what would the diet of a 1500kcal be like? Look at the sample diet below, I’m surprised that the recommended food is actually pretty well-balanced (nothing of that fruits and water only sort of diet) and achieving less than 1500kcal a day is not that hard. In fact, the diet even included a night snack, something I thought was an absolute no-no to reduce weight. I guess I was wrong. 😉

Nutrition Talk

A sample diet

The slide below shows some of the low calorie food that you could include in your diet. I noticed that bean sprouts have really low calories per 100g! OK from now on I should eat more bean sprouts to make me full without adding on too much calories. LOL!

Nutrition Talk

Top 10 low calorie foods

Last but not least, the talk ended with Benny advising us to practice a healthy diet by having food in moderation. Also, alcoholic or caffeinated drinks should be avoided if possible. This talk enlightened me that models can eat like other normal people too. It doesn’t mean that they have to starve themselves or go on crash diets. That’s definitely good news for me. 😉


Picture of our class students

Note: This is Part 9 of a series of my experience being a modeling student at Amber Chia Academy. Check out the remaining  parts here.

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  1. says

    heheh, i’d like to lose about 10kg, so according to this program, that would take me at least three months! just in time for christmas, heheh (ok, i’ll stop dreaming now) 😀

  2. says

    japan normal max at 22.9
    average asian normal max at 22.9
    taiwan normal max at 23.9
    malaysian normal max at 24.9

    lol.. why malaysian can have extra “allowance” to be categorized under normal wan 😛

  3. says

    looks like it is about time to go into such diet. but the meals looks expensive =3.

    the class picture…. some wear heels also still shorter than you XD.

  4. says

    Yes MyPlate is much better guideline cos the food pyramid is so wrong! Following the food pyramid will just make you fatter! Haha!

    I guess the hardest part in losing weight is our cravings for food and snacks! You can exercise all you want but if you fail to control your intake of food, you are bound to fail.

  5. says

    Avoid alcohol and coffee? I have no problem with alcohol but coffee? That’s going to be tough! OK I think 1 cup should be fine – it’s all about moderation right? : )

  6. flys-03 says

    The girl standing third from right is one of the contestants from Miss Chinese Cosmo SouthEastAsia 2011. haha :)

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