The Friends Diet That Keeps On Trying To Comeback and the embarrassing truth of the so-called ‘Jennifer Aniston Salad’
We are seeing many 90s trends coming back with Beyoncé claiming she has reignited house music, though many would argue that house music never went away. But that’s a whole other story!
But in the dieting world, one of the trends that continues to resurface from the 90s is the Friends diet and ‘that’ salad which Jennifer Anniston supposedly lived on for 10 years straight whilst filming friends.
So as we cast our minds back to the diet culture of the era. Is this a diet trend that is worthy of revisiting, or should it stay back in the 90s where it belongs, along with low-rise jeans?
The Jen Salad, Or Was It?
During the period when they were filming friends, it’s claimed that she ate the same salad daily for 10 years straight in order to be able to stay as thin as they all did.
The ‘Jen salad’ that is continuing to swirl around social media is:
- 1 cup of bulgar wheat, boiled and then cooled
- 2 cucumbers
- 1/2 a cup of pistachios
- 1 can of chickpeas
- 1/2 cup of feta cheese
Whilst the salad looks perfectly delicious and healthy, eating the same thing every day for that long is veering very far away from health, and not to mention boring AF.
Not only eating it for lunch but also according to Jessica Viana’s viral video, she would also eat the same salad for dinner too.
Despite the virality of that salad, more recently in an interview with Shape magazine, Jennifer Aniston herself told them
“I’m sorry, I feel like I’m disappointing everybody, but that’s not my salad. It looks delicious, but it’s not the salad that I had on Friends. Mine consisted of shredded lettuce, chicken, egg whites, a couple of garbanzo beans, bacon, and a basic vinaigrette.”
Erm, ok, better luck next time Tiktok.
Kick It Right Back Where It Came From
Whichever salad it was, there is so much that was wrong with 90s diet culture, a time when it was all about being skinny above all else regardless of what it took to get there. I remember myself going on the Atkins diet in the hope that I too could stay as skinny as Jennifer Anniston.
Seriously though, I loved friends and have watched every single episode, probably multiple times. It’s only now that I am able to see the toxicity of some of the messages that came across in the programme. Not to mention the sharpness of Monica’s clavicle bone, and extremely tiny waist.
The thing when we watch any programme, whether back then or even today. We look on in awe and wish that we too could be as naturally skinny as those that grace our TV screens, with little knowledge of what’s going on behind the scenes.
Referring back to Jessica’s video as linked above, she calculates that she was consuming approximately 1105 kcal per day and that is on top of her hour and forty-minute workout routine that would consist of 30 minutes of spinning, 40 minutes of yoga and strength training to finish.
That’s overtraining and undereating 101 which can lead to burnout and metabolic dysfunction.
I think we will always look up to other people and try and get clues and insights about what works for them.
But the truth is that diet, nutrition and weight loss will never come as a one size fits all approach.
You can test things out and try them for yourself, but ultimately always ask yourself the question…
Could I keep on eating and training this way for the rest of my life?
Does this make me feel good, physically, energetically and emotionally?
If your answer is yes to those questions, then awesome, you are on the right track, keep it up.
If it’s a no, then look at trying another approach that does tick the above boxes.
If you are looking for true transformation for your own health, you can start here by joining my mailing list and accessing my 5 Day Fix challenge. 5 Simple fixes to help you get started on a sustainable health journey.