Korean pop idols are known for lean, attractive bodies. In order to get those bodies, they have some strategies that will seem crazy to some of us.
Have you heard of eating only bananas in order to lose weight? Or eating all your food out of tiny paper cups?
Welcome to the crazy world of KPop diets.
Many Kpop stars have gained attention for their wild approaches to dieting. The millions of people who follow them notice and wonder how Kpop idols lose weight so fast.
It turns out there are a lot of different ways. Most of them are interesting, but not all are safe or recommended.
Here we look at some of the most popular Kpop weight loss diets. We'll do our best to assess safety, but we also recommend talking to your doctor if you are thinking of trying a new diet program – especially extreme ones like these.
Paper Cup Diet
This diet was made popular by the all-women music group Nine Muses. The group members revealed that they maintain their lean bodies this way on a 2013 episode of Star Beauty Show.
It's not a very complicated diet plan. Channel Korea summarizes it this way:
The “Paper Cup Diet” is actually pretty easy to follow. First, you need to prepare 3 paper cups. You have to fill the first cup with rice. As for the second cup, you have to fill it with side dishes, and the last paper cup with veggies or fruits. It will be much better to have whole grain rice, or soup rather than white rice and make sure your side dishes aren’t cooked with oil, less salt, and grease. It is fine if the dieter drink liquids low in calories but they aren’t allowed to eat anything outside the 3 paper cups. During “Star Beauty Show”, Nine Muses members also showed how they did the paper cup diet. They also mentioned that even though the meals are usually low sodium and low fat, this paper cup diet also works when they are eating out.
Of course, eating 3 paper cups worth of food each meal is not very many calories. This is alarming to some. Tessa Domzalski writing for Spoon University sounds the alarm, pointing out that this diet only gives women a fraction of the calories recommended each day. This level of food restriction raises the risk for heart and liver problems, as well as digestive issues and slow metabolism.
Does the Paper Cup Diet work?
If your goal is to lose weight at any cost then yes, the paper cup diet could work. But doing this kind of extreme calorie restriction over the long haul can lead to serious health consequences. It's best to stay away and follow a safer plan.
The Hyuna diet is named for the person who made it popular, Korean pop star Hyuna who was formerly with the group 4Minute.
She has lost weight multiple times in her career, and so her diet has gained interest among followers. Her diet strategies are actually quite reasonable in comparison to the paper cup diet and other Kpop idol diets.
Her main method is to cut out flour and flour-based foods, and switch from a few big meals to several small meals a day. Cutting out flour means essentially no bread. There is agreement among diet experts that flour can contribute to weight gain, and so it makes sense that she was able to lose weight this way.
Does the Hyuna diet work?
We couldn't find a lot of details about her diet, but her approach to weight loss appears healthy and consistent with research. Eating smaller meals throughout the day and cutting out flour is a proven way to lose weight over the long term. As long as you get enough calories from other whole food sources, this diet makes sense to try.
Kpop star IU is a popular solo singer who has also gained notoriety for her rather strict (and perhaps dangerous) diet.
She is believed to follow an extreme diet known as the Myproana diet. From Channel Korea:
People believe that IU is following the myproana diet for her diet plan. For her diet meal, she consumes 1 apple for breakfast, 1 or 2 sweet potatoes for lunch and 1 protein drink for dinner. She has that every day while doing her other daily activities. Each day, she only consumes around 300 Kcal per day. By sticking to this extreme diet plan, she can lose weight of up to 4 kg in the 4 days following this extreme diet. After reaching her standard weight, IU could eat normally again.
As you can see, this is not a sustainable long-term diet plan. Eating so few calories each day will ultimately lead to major health problems. But following it for a very short period of time, as the article suggests IU does, could be an effective way to drop a bit of extra weight
Does the IU diet work?
For short-term weight loss, the IU diet will probably get results. But we strongly advise against following it for more than a few days. If you have a lot of weight to lose, a long-term sustainable plan is the better way to go.
Suzy is the former leader of the Kpop group Miss A. Essentially she eats three modest meals each day.
Her breakfast consists of chicken breast, a sweet potato, and milk. Lunch is brown rice and salad. Dinner is two sweet potatoes.
Is this diet extreme? Not quite, but it is restrictive. People who are overweight will likely have success following such a diet, whereas athletes and highly active people will need more calories and protein to sustain their energy and health.
Does the Suzy diet work?
The Suzy diet can work for a long term weight loss plan if you need to lose a significant amount of weight (20-30 pounds or more). But it is still not a lot of calories, and will not be a healthy way to go for active people.