beauty

Yes, even Lisa Wilkinson has fallen victim to a bizarre "fad diet" in the past.

She may be the strong, confident woman many Australians look up to – especially after her well-publicised resignation from The Today Show after Channel Nine executives refused to pay her the same as her male co-host – but not even Lisa Wilkinson is immune to those creeping, negative thoughts we all have about our own bodies.

Now 58, the soon-to-be co-host of The Project revealed that in her late teens and early 20s, she tried a fad diet that was first made popular in the 1970s.

It is known to be one of the most nutritionally unbalanced eating plans around, and it sounds like the stuff of actual nightmares.

lisa wilkinson
Image via Getty.

"I fell victim to the Israeli Army diet," Lisa told attendees at the Nutra-Life luncheon in Sydney this week, according to MailOnline.

"[It] was two days of apples, two days of cheese, two days of chicken and two days of carrot sticks."

"My weight used to fluctuate over time because I'd go on something like that, and I'd be starving. And you'd eat for a month to make up for those three and a half days when you suffered."

LISTEN: A simple guide to not feeling bad about your body at the beach, on Mamamia Out Loud. Post continues after. 

The Israeli Army Diet - which, despite its name, has no affiliation with the Israeli armed forces - took off in the 1970s, with publications like The Australian Womens' Weekly singing its praises. It was, however, never endorsed by health or medical experts.

"The diet that set people talking - and losing weight - all over Australia," an article published in a June 1977 issue of the magazine read.

israeli army diet description
An article about the diet in a 1977 issue of The Australian Women's Weekly magazine.
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"The diet takes eight days and you can expect a weight loss of around 6.5 kg.

"This is a crash diet - you lose suddenly and you must reform your eating habits if you want to maintain the weight loss."

Like many other fad diets, the Israeli Army Diet is credited with creating unhealthy eating habits and lacking sound nutritional value.

According to Associate Professor Crowe from Deakin University, fad diets are usually easy to spot as they tend to directly contradict the general nutritional advice recommended by credible experts and peak health bodies.

"If organisations like the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), the Cancer Council, the Heart Foundation, Diabetes Australia, and so on are all saying the same thing and you're hearing something very different, you're right to question it," he told ABC News.

As of 2013, the NHMRC's Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend people enjoy a wide variety of nutritious food from the five major food groups - grains, vegetables and legumes, fruit, dairy and lean meats and fish - each and every day, a plan which the Israeli Army Diet definitely does not adhere to.

Thankfully, Lisa quickly decided to give up dieting for good, revealing it was the words of her husband, Peter FitzSimons, that inspired her to embrace her body.

Hellooooo New York!

A post shared by Lisa Wilkinson (@lisa_wilkinson) on

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"When we first started hanging out, we were living on Thai takeaway, I think I put on a few kilos. Okay I know I put on a few kilos and I didn't care," she said.

"And [Pete] said something to me one day, he said: 'I think you might have added a few curves since we started going out'. I burst into tears and I just thought, he's rejecting me."

But Pete had no idea that he had accidentally offended his then-girlfriend, instead telling her, "this is a man who loves curves".

"He kind of took me by the shoulder and said: 'You dont get it. I would love you if you were 100 stone'," Lisa continued.

"I still, to this day remember just feeling 'he really means that'. And I basically haven't dieted since."

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