Molto costoso! Ivana Trump's new Italian diet plan will set you back a staggering $1,070 for just 45 days - as the pasta in the 'luxury' kit is slammed for tasting like 'inedible cardboard'
- Ivana, 69, teamed up with her friend Gianluca Mech to promote the Italiano Diet, a low-carbohydrate diet marketed as a solution against obesity
- A 45-day 'luxury kit', which includes four different kinds of herbal-extract-based 'tonics', two kinds of flavored drinks, soup, and fusilli pasta
- While obesity and poverty are often linked, the price of the 45-day kit comes close to the median asking rent in the first quarter of 2018, which reached $954
- Meanwhile, diet experts have said that the eating plan, which prompts customers to eat low-carb packaged food, isn't much different from other diets
- A reporter who tried the pasta wrote: 'It was at once dense and inflexible; soft and hard as bone, and went down, confusingly, like sand paper'
Ivana Trump's new Italian-inspired diet — which she has marketed as a solution against obesity — comes at a hefty price tag of more than $1,000 for just 45 days of food.
The former model, 69, has teamed up with her friend Gianluca Mech to promote the Italiano Diet, a low-carbohydrate diet that mixes herbal extracts, flavored drinks that come in pouches, and pre-packaged food including pasta.
A 'luxury kit' for sale on Gianluca's website, which includes four different kinds of herbal-extract-based 'tonics', two kinds of flavored drinks, soup, and fusilli pasta, comes at an original price of $1,072.80 for just one person.
Duo: Ivana Trump has teamed up with Gianluca Mech (pictured with her last week) to promote the Italiano Diet, a low-carbohydrate diet that she has promoted as a solution for obesity
Pricey: A 45-day 'luxury kit' comes at an original price of $1,072.80, thought it is currently offered at a discounted price of $749
While obesity is often linked to poverty, Ivana, who got $14 million, a Connecticut mansion, and an apartment in the Trump Plaza following her divorce with Donald Trump in 1991, has instead mentioned 'discipline' when discussing the main components of a healthy lifestyle, claiming that people who struggle to lose weight are 'lazy'.
Ivana, who is planning on touring cities across the U.S. with Gianluca to give weight loss advice, told the New York Post: 'If you are an obese parent, I guarantee your child will be obese.
'If you're a lazy person, it's much harder — you have to be committed to a certain regime and stick to it.'
The price of 45 days of diet products per Ivana and Gianluca's diet plan comes close to the median asking rent in the first quarter of 2018, which reached $954 according to the United States Census Bureau — and the diet products have to be associated with other groceries, per a sample meal plan.
Obesity among adults is more prevalent in lower-income groups than in higher-income groups, and less frequent among college graduates, a 2017 study by the CDC showed.
Wealth: While obesity is often linked to poverty, Ivana has instead mentioned 'discipline' when discussing healthy lifestyles, claiming that people who struggle to lose weight are 'lazy'
Not convinced: A reporter who tried Gianluca's pasta at a launch event at the Plaza Hotel last week described its texture as 'that of a cardboard box soaked in milk'
The 45-day 'luxury kit', which is currently available at a discounted price of $749, is organized — as many diet plans are — in two different phases: a 21-day 'intensive phase' and a 24-day 'stabilization phase', and supposedly helps people lose 15 to 20 pounds.
It includes 'depurative', 'energizing', 'diuretic', and 'regulating' tonics, banana-split and vanilla-chocolate-flakes-flavored drinks, mushroom-flavored soup, and fusilli pasta.
In addition to the 'luxury kit', Gianluca also sells individual products as well as other meal plans, including a $480 (discounted price: $439) 'gold kit' containing flavored drinks, herbal extracts, and sesame crackers for 80 days, and a $300 (discounted at $289) 'silver kit' lasting 100 days.
There are also less expensive kits for those looking to lose less than 15 to 20 pounds, with the price range decreasing in proportion to the promised weight loss. The cheapest option is a $69.90 three-day kit.
Diet staple: Flavored drinks that come in pouches are also part of Gianluca's diet plan
Products: Gianluca has also included 'tonics' made with herbal extracts in his proposed diet
On his website, Gianluca, who also sells individual products, says he was inspired to create his diet plan as the result of his father's passing due to obesity.
In a promotional video, he insists it is possible to eat Italy's best-known delicacies, i.e. 'all the Italian food you like, from pizza to pasta but also chocolate cookies' while losing weight.
However, pizza is explicitly banned during both the intensive and the stabilizing phase of the plan, as is raw ham, bacon, speck, milk, yogurt, several types of cheese, soy milk, fruit ('fresh, centrifuged or pureed'), and honey.
Strangely, rusks are also among the foods that are supposed to be banned during both phases of the diet, but a sample menu for the 60-day 'silver kit' for women (which promises a weight loss of between five and nine pounds) dictates to begin the day with 'three biscuits or three rusks with three pieces of jam'.
After breakfast comes a snack of banana-split-flavored drink for 100 calories, or a piece of fruit (even though it is supposedly banned during both phases of the diet), or some low-fat yogurt (which is supposed to be banned as well).
Lunch consists in pasta, rice, or some other type of unrefined cereal, with cooked or raw vegetables and three sesame crackers.
There is then a second snack, which can be made up of seasonal fruit or low-fat yogurt, followed by a dinner that can include meat, fish, vegetarian protein, ham, cheese, eggs, and even 'a pizza with vegetables' (but only once a week).
Gianluca's low-carb approach, according to experts, is nothing new.
'It resembles a lot of diet trends out there that we don't know the long-term effects of,' nutritionist Allison Tepper told CNN.
Range: There are also less expensive kits for those looking to lose less than 15 to 20 pounds, with the price range decreasing in proportion to the promised weight loss
Choices: Gianluca also sells individual products, including omelette mixes and various snacks
For her own clients, she doesn't recommend low-carb diets as a first resort, because she finds that people following those diets tend to miss food groups, have cravings, lack energy, and can't enjoy their meals as much as usual.
Registered dietitian Andrea Goergen singled out the 'crunchy bars' with berries offered on Gianluca's website, which retail at $24 for a box of six bars and come at 150 calories a piece.
'I'd rather you have fruit than a crunch bar,' she said.
A reporter who tried the pasta at a launch event at the Plaza Hotel last week was less than pleased by the experience.
'After one bite, I thought the gimmick might be to make the pasta so inedible you forget that you even liked pasta in the first place. Its shape was kind of a limp fusilli; its texture, that of a cardboard box soaked in milk. It was at once dense and inflexible; soft and hard as bone, and went down, confusingly, like sand paper,' Joanna Rothkopf wrote for The Slot.
'It was covered in a red liquid that resembles Clifford the Big Red Dog's used bathwater or a blood clot dislodged in oil, and utterly lacked integrity in such a way that made it promptly dribble down my white shirt. Somehow, each bite was worse than the last.'
During her launch event last week, Ivana, speaking to several outlets about the diet plan, noted that not only has she managed to maintain her weight all her life, but her kids are all 'tall and slim' and her ex-husband is 'very healthy' as well.
According to Gianluca, Ivana has no reason to try his diet herself — and she wondered at first why Mech wanted her to be the face of his brand.
'I said, "How can I be spokesperson for obesity? I'm slim,'' she told the New York Post.
Since then, though, she's come on board, and has plenty to say about the obesity problem in the U.S. Speaking to the New York Times, she said mothers and fathers are to blame for obesity.
Diet: In a promotional video, Gianluca insists it is possible to remain slim while eating Italy's best-known delicacies, i.e. 'all the Italian food you like, from pizza to pasta', but pizza is explicitly banned during both the intensive and the stabilizing phase of the plan
Menu: Strangely, rusks are also among the foods that are supposed to be banned during both phases of the diet, but a sample menu for the 60-day 'silver kit' for women
Looking back: 'I was always very disciplined — I didn't gain weight my whole life,' Ivana said (pictured right in 1992)
'It's all on the parents,' she said. 'Whatever they put on the plate in front of the children, they're hungry, they don't cook, they eat. So if you put food in front of them that's junk — pizza, unhealthy food, French fries — of course they eat it, and then they get obese.'
She never did such a thing with her own kids, whom she said are all in great shape. Even though she said that she didn't have much time to cook for her kids while she was raising them — she was too busy working — she still found ways for them to eat right.
'None of my kids are obese — they're all tall and slim and handsome and smart. And the grandkids are exactly the same — good genes,' she told the Post.
As for her ex-husband, President Donald Trump Ivana thinks he's doing just fine in terms of his weight and health, too.
'He looks very, very good and is very healthy — his only weakness is the Big Mac, what can I tell you?' she said.
That isn't to say she hasn't tried to get him to pick better foods. She added: 'I can tell him 100 times, but he does what he wants anyway.'
Over the years, she went on, she saw his weight go up from 178 pounds to 225 pounds, which she insists is still not evidence of him being in bad shape.
As for her own figure, she said she has never had a problem maintaining her weight. She occasionally splurges on KFC or a hot dog from a street vendor (with no bun).
'I was always very disciplined — I didn't gain weight my whole life,' she said.
Despite her claims that her ex is 'healthy', though, much has been written about Trump's weight.
In January, the White House released a summary of his health from his physician, in which Dr. Ronny L. Jackson wrote, 'The President's overall health is excellent.'
It also listed his height and weight and went on to say, 'We discussed diet, exercise, and weight loss. He would benefit from a diet that is lower in fat and carbohydrates and from a routine exercise regimen.'
At 239 pounds with a height of 6'3', his BMI classifies him as overweight, and only a tenth of a point away from being clinically obese.
He also has a widely-known affinity for fast food, and has been pictured eating McDonald's on multiple occasions.
Despite a recorded height and weight that already put him at overweight, Trump faced criticism after the report was published, from people who doubted he weighed just 239 pounds.
Some went on to jokingly call themselves 'girthers,' a play on 'birthers' like Trump, who doubted that President Obama was actually born in the United States, despite his public birth certificate.
'Has anyone coined 'girther' for those who believe the president weighs more than his doctor reports?' asked MSNBC's Chris Hayes on Twitter Several memes also popped up on social media.
Whether the public mockery got to him or he simply followed the advice of his doctor, Trump has reportedly been on a mission to lose weight.
According to CNN, he has acknowledged privately that he would like to shed pounds, and the kitchens in the White House are preparing food accordingly.
Chefs have been told to limit fat and calories after consulting with a dietitian from the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center
For the past five months, the outlet says, he has made small changes, like eating fish instead of steak and eating hamburgers with just half of the bun.
'He's more enthusiastic about the diet part than the exercise part, but we're going to do both,' Dr. Jackson said.
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