Silver Screen Shape-Up Secrets Of Legendary Hollywood Leading Ladies: Marlene Dietrich

Screen icon Marlene Dietrich has the unfortunate distinction of being one of the first actresses publicly told to lose weight by her studio. Shortly thereafter, she began a punishing weight-loss diet of broth, cottage cheese, and toast, combined with an exercise regimen that included swimming and free weights.

After that initial slim down, Marlene regularly followed the very popular and widespread “13-Day German Diet” to help “shape and tone” her body. Once every six months, she closely followed the structured meal plan which consisted of a precisely calculated, strict sequence of dishes that allows for no deviation. In between meals, the incomparable actress drank only mineral water.

Because the diet is nutritionally inadequate and severely restricts calorie intake, there are a number of disadvantages to following what some refer to as a “calorie-cycling” diet. Cutting calories too low and dropping weight too quickly can result in a litany of negative effects on the body including metabolic slow down and weight gain, muscle loss, lethargy, fatigue and general weakness, headaches and difficulty concentrating, dry or cracked skin, and hair loss. As for Marlene, who lived to be 90 years old, it has been said that she frequently spoke of a feeling of “discontent (hunger) in the stomach” while on the 13-day course.

Throughout her long and storied career, which spanned from the 1910’s to the 1980’s, Marie Magdalene “Marlene” Dietrich successfully traded on her glamorous persona and smoldering physical sex appeal to become one of the highest-paid actresses of the era. We’ll probably never know if it was the extreme diet or her use of Tinseltown magic (body-sculpting undergarments, nonsurgical temporary facelifts (tape), expert makeup and wigs, and careful stage lighting) that helped preserve Dietrich’s signature look, slim figure and energetic on-screen demeanor. But what we do know for sure is that her commanding aura and boundary-pushing performances continue to fascinate contemporary audiences to this day.

Here’s a quick look at the 13-Day German Diet:

As noted above, the following diet is nutritionally inadequate and potentially dangerous. It eliminates food groups altogether and is lacking the essential vitamins and minerals that your body needs to fully and properly function. It is provided here for informational purposes only. Do not begin or use any aspect of this diet until you have consulted with and received specific approval from your personal physician to do so. If your physician gives you specific permission to begin or use this diet, do so only under their direct supervision at all times. The author of this material strongly recommends that you DO NOT begin and/or use the following diet in any way or manner. Use of this diet and/or any information contained herein is at your sole risk and the author disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the use of any information contained herein.

Monday

  • Breakfast: 1 cup of unsweetened black coffee or tea and 1 small cracker.
  • Lunch: 2 hard-boiled eggs, 80 grams of spinach seasoned with a little oil, and 1 tomato.
  • Dinner: 1 small beef or pork cutlet, 150 grams of salad (finely chopped tomatoes and green onions) seasoned with oil.

Tuesday

  • Breakfast: 1 cup of unsweetened black coffee or tea, and 1 small cracker.
  • Lunch: 200 grams of salad (chopped cabbage and tomatoes) seasoned with oil, and dessert choice: 1 medium orange, 2 tangerines, 1 large apple, or 3 plums.
  • Dinner: 2 hard-boiled eggs, 200 grams of lean boiled beef, and 80 grams of green (romaine lettuce) salad.

Wednesday

  • Breakfast: 1 cup of unsweetened black coffee or tea.
  • Lunch: 1 hard-boiled egg, 200 grams of boiled carrots seasoned with a small amount of oil, and 100 grams of cheese.
  • Dinner: 250 grams of fruit salad (apple, mandarin, banana, pear or any other fruit to your taste).

Thursday

  • Breakfast: 1 glass of fresh apple juice.
  • Lunch: 250 grams of fried or boiled fish, 1 tomato, and 1 large apple.
  • Dinner: 1 small beef or pork cutlet, 150 grams of mixed green salad seasoned with a little oil or lemon juice.

Friday

  • Breakfast: 1 glass of fresh carrot juice.
  • Lunch: 200 grams of fried chicken, and 100 grams of mixed green salad with lemon juice.
  • Dinner: 2 hard-boiled eggs, and 1 small grated carrot seasoned with oil.

Saturday

  • Breakfast: 1 cup of unsweetened black tea and a cracker.
  • Lunch: 200 grams of roast beef and 150 grams of chopped cabbage salad seasoned with lemon juice.
  • Dinner: 100 grams of grated carrots seasoned with oil, and 150 grams of cheese.

Sunday

  • Breakfast: 1 cup of unsweetened black tea and a cracker.
  • Lunch: 200 grams of fried or boiled chicken.
  • Dinner: 300 grams of any fruit (apples, pears, plums, oranges, or any other fruit to your taste).