Kim Kardashian’s physique is the stuff of legends (her booty! Those abs! That teeny-tiny waistline!) But ask the 38-year-old and she’ll tell you: staying in shape isn’t easy – especially when you’re the mum of three kids. That’s why she swears by a super strict diet and exercise regime.
First things first, though: a little background info…
Kim’s dad Robert Kardashian was a big shot lawyer in the OJ Simpson case. As a result, her parents were constantly in the spotlight. She also worked as a stylist for pre-school pal Paris Hilton during her The Simple Life heyday. Despite these factors, Kim remained relatively unknown among Hollywood for the majority of the early 00’s. Until, that is, her sex-tape with then-boyfriend Ray ‘Ray-J’ Norwood was leaked in 2007– something that she still vehemently denies any involvement in.
Later that year, Kim and her family (mum, Kris, step-dad, Bruce Jenner and sisters, Kourtney, Khloe, Kendall and Kylie) secured their own E! reality TV series Keeping Up With The Kardashians. It proved to be wildly popular and is currently in its 15th season.
Off the back of this continued success, Kim released an app, a clothing line, established a beauty empire, became a published author and much, much more. (Forbes estimate her net worth to be a cool $350 million.)
In 2014, Kim married rapper Kanye West after two years of dating. The pair have three children together; two daughters, North, 5, Chicago, 1, and a son, Saint, 3.
What diet plan does Kim Kardashian Follow?
Kim follows the Atkins 40 diet, a variation on the Atkins diet which focuses on limiting sugar and carbs. This means she is allotted 40 grams of net carbs (the total carbohydrate content of the food minus the fibre it contains), plus 110-170g servings of protein and 2-4 servings of fat per day. She also limits herself to consuming just 1,800 calories (the average Aussie has 2,000 cals).
The following foods are allowed on the Atkins 40 diet:
Vegetables (especially colourful ones)
Proteins including meats, fish, poultry and plant-based proteins
Healthy fats including olive oil, avocado and nuts
Dairy including whole Greek yogurt, as well as hard and soft cheeses
Variety of fruits (e.g. berries, cherries and melons) and whole grains (such as brown rice)
Most common carbs
The diet can also be modified to suit vegans and vegetarians. (Vegetarians can find adequate protein from eggs, nuts, seeds, dairy, legumes and soy products, while vegans can include rice cheeses, seitan and high-protein grains like quinoa.)
What does she eat in a day?
In an interview with Business Insider, Kim’s nutritionist, Colette Heimowitz, broke down exactly what her standard day on a plate looks like:
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with turkey sausage topped with smoked Gouda 30g Greek yogurt with 1/3 cup fresh blueberries
Snack: Atkins Harvest Trail Dark Chocolate Cherry and Nuts bar
Lunch: Grilled lime chicken over a spinach salad with feta-ranch dressing
Snack: 1 medium carrot with 4 tablespoons of hummus
Dinner: Lemon-tame halibut with sautéed green beans
Total Calories: 1504
Net carbs: 40.2
Kim does loosen the reigns on occasion though.
"When I grocery shop, I buy lean protein, carbs, fruits and veggies, but every once in a while, I like to treat myself and have a cheat meal,” she explained via her app. “It can be so hard (and boring) to eat really clean all of the time.”
She believes that cheat meals allow her to nip her cravings in the bud, without taking it too far. “My trainer, [Melissa Alacantara], instructs that you should schedule a cheat meal about once every 10 days. This way you won't lose any of the progress you've made at the gym."
Usually, Kim will reach for cornbread – she’s even shared her recipe on Instagram in the past (“Before you pour in the cornbread batter, line the pan with butter and sugar. You guys will die!”) However, there’s one thing she’s never tempted by: alcohol.
“Cheat meals work best when you avoid alcohol, since they're empty calories filled with sugar,” she said. “This part is easy for me since I don't really drink – which means I can just have an extra doughnut or two. Kidding! I do have a sweet tooth, though, so normally my cheat meals are desserts or other sweets."
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Does it work for weight loss?
Kim lost over 30kg after each of her two pregnancies following the Atkins 40 diet. In an interview with PEOPLE, she said the reason it works so well is that you never felt deprived.
“It’s a full modified thing. I worked with them in them sending me their snack stuff. And there would be this trail mix with M&M chocolates with peanuts, so there was stuff that makes it you feel like you can live. And not like super restricted to anything,” she said.
But after losing an initial 24kg, Kim fell off the wagon: “I started going to Disneyland and taking my kids and eating Churros and all that really crappy stuff that I love,” she said. “But then you feel so s—– after you eat it, when you’ve been doing so good.”
Her slip up motivated her to focus on eating well again. Plus, she started hitting the gym at 6 a.m. before her kids woke up. She said that “Instantly” she lost 4kg, bringing the total to “almost 32kgs.” And if Kim’s weight loss journey has taught her one thing, it’s this: abs are most definitely made in the kitchen:
“I think dieting is so important to weight loss, whereas, I didn’t really ever think that before,” she explained. “I thought, ‘Oh, I can work out, I can just eat whatever I want.’ But you have to work out all the time.”
Is it safe?
The Atkins 40 diet is one of the best-known research-backed low-carb diets out there.
“If you fill your day with processed carbs like white bread, pasta and white bread, pasta and white potatoes and you don’t eat many fruit and veggies, then this may be the jump-start you need to lose weight,” Dr Arefa Cassoobhoy told WebMD.
For those who are overweight, shedding kgs will (of course) improve your health. That said, it’s still unclear how the higher amounts of animal protein and fat in the Atkins diet affect the body long-term.
“Recent research suggests that people on the Akins diet who chose foods rich in plant fat and protein did better with their health than those who went with the diet rich in animal fat and protein,” Dr Cassoobhoy added.
“This made sense to me, and the Atkins 20 and Atkins 40 diets reflect this idea. They focus more on getting fat and protein from heart-healthy choices like olive oil and protein like soy and lentils.”
If you have diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease or high cholesterol, it’s important to speak to your doctor before starting the Atkins 40 - you want to make sure the balance of carbs, protein and fat is right for you.
Should you try it?
In 2018, Lamya Tilmatine, a writer at Marie Claire tried Kim’s daily diet for herself. After the first day, she was “hungry! But I drank loads of water and tea to suppress my sugar cravings.” She also found that the small portions of chicken and fish weren’t enough to satiate her, so she made her meals “richer in protein” where she could. By the end of the fortnight-long experiment, Lamya lost a kilo and her sugar cravings completely disappeared.
“Some may argue that the rotation of plant-based meals can be boring, but I found that having a structure to start with was much easier to follow, especially with a hectic work schedule,” she concluded. “This approach gets a thumbs up from me.”
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Lottie DalzielLottie Dalziel is a 4AM riser and coffee-addict who lives and breathes the Better Homes and Gardens brand. When she isn't reading up on the latest trends in sustainability or discovering ways to upcycle almost anything, you can find her by the beach, cooking up a storm or adding to her abundant (some would say out of control) plant collection.