Judging from the fact that Queen Bee looks amazing on every side, we always want to have what she’s having. But what do experts really think of how and what she eats?
Beyoncé can do no wrong. The mom to Blue Ivy and twins Rumi and Sir is clearly flawless. And we’re all obsessed. But she doesn’t just wake up like this (okay, maybe she does) — she gets a little help from a nutrition-savvy diet. We consulted registered dietitians to break down what she’s said in interviews about her eating habits. Bow down.
Try: Plant-Based Eating With a Vegan Diet
Beyoncé and husband Jay-Z partnered with the exercise physiologist Marco Borges to create a 22-day vegan diet, an online plant-based-meal planner. Beyoncé posted about using this to prep for Coachella. In general, eating more fruits, veggies, legumes, and whole grains on a healthy vegan diet is going to be a boon for your health. “By eating more plants, you are obtaining more antioxidants and polyphenols, plant compounds that are heart-healthy and anti-inflammatory,” says Tracy Lockwood Beckerman, RD, an in-house nutrition expert at Betches Media who’s based in New York City. A plant-based diet improves diet quality and may help prevent people from becoming overweight and obese, according to a review published in May 2017 in the Journal of Geriatric Cardiology. On the basis of one Instagram of four of Beyoncé’s meals, Lockwood Beckerman praises the star for getting a range of nutrients from slow-digested carbs (such as beans and butternut squash) and healthy fats (like walnut and avocado).
Try: Committing to Change for 3 Weeks to Form Healthier Habits
The idea behind Queen Bee’s “22-day vegan challenge” is that 22 is the number of days it’s popularly thought to take someone to form a new habit. (That’s just over three weeks!) “If you do anything for more than 14 days, you are more likely to have it stick as a habit,” says Lockwood Beckerman. And, she adds, the more you eat healthy foods, the more you’ll notice your body craves them. To help these new eating habits stick, reflect on the positive changes you’re making, particularly those that aren’t weight related, like more energy, better skin, and sounder sleep, she says. Just be sure to manage expectations and continue the habit for longer than three weeks if needed, because some research suggests forming a habit may take up to 254 days.
Try: Spicing Things Up With Some Hot Sauce
Bey famously sang about toting around hot sauce in her song “Formation,” and she posted on Instagram a photo of Tabasco sauce. While there’s no caption on the social media pic, we can probably assume she’s a fan of spice. Go ahead and add a few drops (or more) to your food. “Some research (loosely) links spicy foods to increased metabolic rate, weight loss, and even longevity,” says Mia Syn, RDN, RDN, a nutritionist based in Charleston, South Carolina. (Though if it causes you gastrointestinal distress, skip.)
Try: Adding Fun Foods to Your Everyday Diet
There was a lot of attention paid when, in early 2018, Bey was spotted holding a container of cupcakes after a spin session at SoulCycle. And while it’s unclear if she ate them, we’ll take the snapshot as a cue that she practices a bit of balance. “I tell my clients that it’s okay to add in treats, but it has to be considered a special occasion, like your birthday or your favorite holiday,” says Lockwood Beckerman. Also, consume healthier versions of sweets occasionally, like cocoa dusted almonds, or chocolate-covered walnuts, so you’ll be less likely to overeat treats when you have them around.
Try: Fish and Veggies for Lunch or Dinner
In an interview with Shape in 2013, Beyoncé reportedly told the magazine that she eats “a lot of fish and vegetables” for lunch and dinner. Those meals are undoubtedly healthy, but to make them more balanced and satiating, Lockwood Beckerman suggests adding slow-digested carbs like spaghetti squash and lentils on the side. “By eating a small portion in the evening, you’re less likely to be ravenous the next morning,” she says. As for fish, choose those rich in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, which come with a bounty of potential health benefits like reduced risk for heart disease and stroke, and possible protection against cancer, according to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Omega-3-rich fish include salmon and sardines.
Try: Eating a Filling Breakfast With Protein and Fiber
In that same 2013 Shape interview, Beyoncé also said she enjoys eating scrambled egg whites for breakfast. That’s a great high-protein pick, and eating protein at breakfast has been shown to help reduce hunger and prevent fat gain (though much of the research has been done on adolescents). Syn recommends making this even healthier by using the whole egg, yolks included. “Not only will you feel full longer, but the yolks are where the majority of the nutrition is,” she says. Pair with a fiber-rich side like 100 percent whole-wheat toast or fruit for a balanced meal.
Skip: Liquid Cleanses, Which Can Lead to Malnutrition
Beyoncé is famous for using the Master Cleanse to reportedly lose 20 pounds for her role in Dreamgirls in 2006. The liquid detox cleanse is a mixture of water, lemon juice, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper, and many people have been inspired to try it on their own. But it’s not exactly a healthy way to lose weight — especially if you want to keep it off long term. “Cleanses deprive your body of the nutrition it needs, which can leave you feeling weak and malnourished,” says Syn. “Long-term weight loss is best achieved slowly over time and involves sustainable lifestyle changes,” she adds.