3 weird diets from old Hollywood: Elvis Presley tried the Sleeping Beauty Diet, Marilyn Monroe ate raw eggs with milk, and Elizabeth Taylor lost weight with bizarre recipes she created
While some famous people swear by the simple and science-backed concept that eating a balanced diet of mostly fresh, unprocessed foods is the best way to stay healthy, others have dabbled in strange diet trends despite the lack of research supporting their claims.
Here are some of the most bizarre celebrity diets from three vintage Hollywood icons of the 50s and 60s.
Marilyn Monroe ate lots of raw eggs, steak and hot fudge sundaes
The late actress’ diet appears to be an attempt at calorie restriction and high protein intake, but eating so little fibre and fresh produce could lead to nutrient deficiencies, heart problems and a feeling of sluggishness.
Elizabeth Taylor’s weight-loss recipes included hamburger and peanut butter sandwiches
Around age 50, the actress once called “the most beautiful woman in the world” reportedly tried a diet plan to regain what she felt was her ideal body type by losing weight, but not too much. “I began to lose my bust! Believe you me, I had to put on some flesh in a hurry,” she once famously said of her weight loss in her 1987 memoir Elizabeth Takes Off.
The diet was based on meals of her own creation including, most famously, the hamburger and peanut butter sandwich. Other Taylor-made recipes include tuna salad with grapefruit (served in the grapefruit rind for style points) and the Rock Hudson cocktail (Hershey’s syrup, vodka and Kahlua).
Some of Taylor’s tips are actually part of a healthy diet, like eating less red meat and more fish, fresh fruits and vegetables. She was also an early champion of the cheat meal (her favourite was fried chicken and chocolate cake), which some research has been shown to help weight loss and promote sustainable dieting.
But her questionable flavour combinations – think steamed cucumbers and mashed potatoes with mint – presumably only “worked” because they were so unappealing to eat.
Elvis Presley was an early proponent of the Sleeping Beauty Diet
The Sleeping Beauty Diet has experienced a resurgence in recent years, according to Vice.
Research shows having enough sleep is important for a healthy metabolism, but overdoing it can have the opposite effect and reduce muscle mass.
- Marilyn Monroe once described her ‘bizarre’ dieting choices that included eating raw eggs with milk – which could give you salmonella – and indulging in hot fudge sundaes and steak
- The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll was known to struggle with obesity and was reportedly advised to try the Sleeping Beauty Diet, which involves sleeping to avoid hunger