Iconic fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld died in Paris on Tuesday morning at 85 years old. Lagerfeld changed the industry while working as Chanel’s creative director and also made an impact in the fashion world with his work on Fendi.
Although Lagerfeld will always be best known as a designer, he will also be remembered for his eccentric lifestyle, iconic quotes, and his beloved pet, Choupette. His diet also became famous.
In 2000, Lagerfeld, in hopes of being “a good clotheshorse,” lost 91 pounds in 13 months with the help of his personal dietitian, Dr. Jean-Claude Houdret, a general practitioner who The New York Times said in 2005 specialized in “nutrition, aesthetics (read: advocate for plastic surgery), and homeopathy.”
Sometime after that, he and Dr. Houdret wrote the book “The Karl Lagerfeld Diet” which immediately became a best-seller in France. The book sold nearly 200,000 copies worldwide.
Lagerfeld’s favorite thing was Diet Coke
According to The Atlantic, the dieting book encourages consuming lots of artificial sweeteners and diet sodas, which isn’t surprising considering Lagerfeld has been said to consume up to 10 Diet Cokes a day.
Lagerfeld had a famous love of the soft drink. He once told Harper’s Bazaar that he only drinks Diet Coke, saying, “I drink Diet Coke from the minute I get up to the minute I go to bed. I can even drink it in the middle of the night and I can sleep. I don’t drink coffee, I don’t drink tea, I drink nothing else.”
Most experts agree that consuming soda in place of water isn’t a good idea. Further, though the answer varies, many experts agree the average person should be drinking about 2 liters of water a day.
Lagerfeld also appeared to have a penchant for skipping meals completely
Although intermittent fasting, cycling between a period of fasting and non-fasting over a certain amount of time, is catching on, doctors and dietitians do not advise people to go too long without food — such as skipping both breakfast and lunch— or to go below 1,200 calories a day.
In Lagerfeld’s interview with Harper’s Bazaar, however, he stated, “I never have lunch.”
He also seemed to say that he’s not a big fan of going out to dinner, explaining, “What I hate most is when you have to look at your watch and get in a hurry to change for dinner if you have an important dinner. Every dinner is important, you should never be without dinner, but this I’m a little tired of. I did a lot of it in my life.”
If this sounds hard, then, according to Lagerfeld, you’re doing it right. Lagerfeld says that dieting should be difficult, writing, “It has to be a sort of punishment,” according to Into the Gloss. His book, however, didn’t mention skipping meals but instead discouraged eating between meals, suggesting a person have “breakfast at eight, lunch at one, and dinner at eight.”
What he did eat is a bit surprising
The basic components of Lagerfeld’s diet, otherwise known as the “Spoonlight Program,” are not too surprising. It involved limited-calorie intake, no refined, fatty or fried foods, and plenty of lean proteins. According to Slate, in the book outlining the famed diet, there are recipes for dishes like fish soufflé, quail flambé, ham and raspberry mousse, vegetables in aspic, and roast guinea fowl with tarragon.
He also said, according to Slate, that one meal each day should consist of Slim Fast-style “protein sachets” in flavors like “cream soup” or “egg-based custard.”
For breakfast, Lagerfeld kept it simple: juice, yogurt, an egg (not fried in oil), and occasionally a piece of toast. According to The Guardian, he wrote in his book that toast was “the height of luxury” and “the most delicious thing in the world.”
Lagerfeld was not big on exercise
Lagerfeld also noted that he was not a fan of exercise. In fact, in his book, he discourages it completely, writing that working out “runs the risk of making you hungry.”
If you do really want to make exercise a part of your daily routine, Lagerfeld says to only do it “fifteen minutes three times a week.”
Experts say any physical fitness is good for you and that it has both long-term and short-term benefits.
Lagerfeld did have a sense of humor about his diet
Throughout the book, it appears that Lagerfeld almost pokes fun at himself for his eccentric way of eating. At one point, he writes, “You have to be a real bore like me for the diet to work.”
He has also said you need to have “a sense of humor” in order to pull it off. He wrote, “If you have a sense of humor, you can make fun of yourself. You have to treat it as an unimportant challenge and that’s why you succeed — because it isn’t really important. You don’t have to lose weight — you want to.”