Beyoncé details extreme post-birth diet in ‘Homecoming’ documentary

Francesca Specter
Yahoo Style UK deputy editor
Beyoncé performing at Coachella in April 2018. [Photo: Getty]

Beyoncé has revealed the extreme post-partum diet she followed after giving birth to now one-year-old twins Rumi and Sir in June 2017.

She opened up as part of her highly-anticipated ‘Homecoming’ documentary, which was released on Netflix last night, 17 April.

The global superstar, who is also mum to daughter Blue Ivy, seven, explained the gruelling lengths she went to to prepare herself for her performance at the Coachella festival in April 2018.

The performance was so applauded that it led to the festival being dubbed “Beychella”. However, it would seem this came at a price.

In a voiceover, Beyoncé says: “In order for me to meet my goal, I’m limiting myself to no bread, no carbs, no sugar, no dairy, no meat, no fish, no alcohol, and I’m hungry.”

She also reveals she weighed 218 pounds after the twins’ birth, after suffering an “extremely difficult pregnancy”.

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It’s true that, under regular circumstances, moderate weight loss can benefit your health in a number of ways, by reducing risk of Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. What’s more, Beyonce isn’t the first celebrity to follow a no-carb, no sugar diet – Jennifer Lopez is also said to be a big fan.

But is it actually good for new mothers to follow such a restricted diet?

Not according to nutritionist Jenna Hope, who tells Yahoo UK that Beyonce’s diet could cause “great problems” for any dieter – let alone women who have just given birth.

Restrictive diets can lead to nutrient deficiencies

“I would not advise this diet for anyone,” she says. “It’s incredibly restrictive meaning that you’re at risk of nutrient deficiencies.”

“This diet is also low in carbohydrates (there will be some from fruits and vegetables) which not only increases risk of low energy levels but may also increase the risk of postpartum depression as carbohydrates are vital for the production of serotonin (aka the happy hormone).”

The dangers of dieting as a new mother

The diet is particularly dangerous for new mothers who have higher nutritional needs in order to repair their bodies after giving birth, she adds.

It could put them at risk of a number of nutrient deficiencies, including B12, iron, vitamin D, omega-3 and iodine – “to name just a few”.

“Iron in particular is really important after childbirth as you’re losing blood throughout the process, while omega-3 is key for hormone production to support your body’s processes during birth and in the post-partum stage.”

Proper nutrition while breastfeeding

While it is not known how long Beyonce breastfed, a restrictive diet can pose serious problems for mothers who choose to do so, Hope explains.

First of all, this is a case of basic energy requirements.

“Breast feeding can require around 400 calories per day on top of your general energy requirements,” she says. “If you’re not consuming enough energy then there’s a chance that you wont be able to support the growth of your baby too.”

Then there’s the matter of getting enough nutrients for your baby: iodine is one of the most important for breastfeeding mothers.

READ MORE: Half of new mums feel breastfeeding guilt

“Research has shown a relationship between low iodine intake in mothers and lower cognitive function in their offspring. Milk and white fish are some of the best sources of iodine and therefore cutting them out can pose risks of deficiencies if you’re not aware of where else to get your iodine from.”

However, she adds that you can get iodine from some plant-based sources such as seaweed, prunes and iodised salt.

It’s also important to consume enough calcium, Hope adds.

“If you’re not consuming enough through good quality dairy products, fortified products, nuts or green leafy vegetables then you are at risk of deficiency as your body will draw upon your stores to support your baby,” she says.