This Woman Ate Only Pasta For An Entire Week, And Actually Lost Weight

pasta diet

Almost everyone has been badgered by a well-meaning friend about doing a cleanse. We can support each other, they say. We can swap green juice recipes, they coo. But cleanses are boring, and oftentimes too restrictive. Sure, we’ll feel physically better by the end of a week-long detox, but we’ll be emotionally strapped. We’ve successfully resisted jumping on the cleanse wagon — up until this point. Because one woman did a week-long pasta cleanse, and honestly, this is way more our scene.

Elle’s Charlotte Palermino, a god walking among us plebeians, had already completed a pizza cleanse, during which she only ingested pizza for a week. So, having challenged herself and won one battle with carbs, Palermino decided to go up against another fierce competitor: pasta.

Her reasoning for a pasta-only cleanse? “Pasta seems richer [than pizza], more decadent, and I recently bought a pasta maker,” Palermino wrote. “I also got jaw drops from friends when I floated the concept.” And, hello — “Pasta is delicious,” she continued. “Who wouldn’t want to eat pasta for a week?”

The only other rules that applied to the pasta cleanse, which Palermino completed in January of 2018, was that she’d nix coffee and alcohol during the seven days. She’d also stick with the same exercise routine. And no zoodles. Zoodles are vegetables and we can all see through their treachery.

Things were going pretty smoothly at first. “Pasta cleanse day 1,” Palermino updated her Instagram followers. “Started by making a kale yogurt pesto (see, health!). I saw a similar recipe for this on @food52, but like with most things in life, I was too lazy to look it up at 6 a.m. and winged it (trying to not drink coffee this time). Was delicious. #pastacleanse.”

However, the removal of caffeine from her daily diet was causing some issues already. Only a couple hours into the pasta cleanse, Palermino was experiencing a massive headache, memory loss, and was existing in a total fog.

And although delicious, the lunch pasta wasn’t really helping.

The second day wasn’t much better. Even so, Palermino marched on, went on an hour-long run, and hung out with Gaia from Gaia Italian Café, who told Palermino, “Food is life. It impacts your mood, how you treat other people, your skin, your biology, food feeds your soul! You shouldn’t feel bad about good food.”

This will be engraved on our headstone.

“Put a ringatoni on it 💅🏻💅🏻💅🏻 ok, that was terrible, stick a fork in me I’m done,” Palermino captioned her Day 2 pasta lunch Insta.

Dinner was a beautiful little ravioli dish. “Let us all have a moment of silence and pray that my complexion will be as good as these lil’ raviolis post cleanse,” Palermino wrote.

On Day 3, Palermino had enough of the caffeine withdrawal symptoms. She finally gave in and fed herself three cups of coffee and some avocado breakfast pasta. She then had this gorgeous meatball creation for lunch:

And this devastatingly handsome Cacio e Pepe for dinner. Tens across the board:

When Day 4 arrived, Palermino was finally feeling energized — so energized that she forgot to eat her breakfast pasta and totally messed up her lunch pasta in the office kitchen. But all was saved by the following spicy rigatoni number at dinner.

By Day 5, Palermino’s thirst was unquenchable. She truly could not drink enough water. Even so, she was still feeling pretty darn good for only running on pasta. A friend even complimented her on how great her skin looked.

And things continued to go well through Day 6.

Finally, the week was over. Day 7 arrived and Palermino finished strong. “Didn’t think I could pastably make it but today is the last day of the #pastacleanse,” she wrote in her final pasta cleanse ‘gram. “On my way to the final spot but had to share this pièce de réggsistance from @osteriamorini. I cried as I shoveled it into my face. HAS BEEN AN EMOTIONAL WEEK FAM.”

By the end of it all, Palermino had lost five pounds after having cut out alcohol and restricted her diet to just pasta. By the time she wrote her piece for Elle, she had already gained two of those pounds back. Palermino also noted that cleanses in general, although trendy, aren’t necessarily healthy — even the so-called healthy ones.

Isabel K Smith, MS RD CDN, told her that our bodies do a great job of detoxifying themselves, so all we really have to do is eat right and drink enough water.

“I don’t recommend the pasta cleanse,” Palermino concluded. “If anything it made me even more dubious of detoxes. But, one thing’s for sure, I feel great after pasta, particularly when it’s shared with someone I love. And, it might not be for everyone, but I’ll be aging gracefully with gluten, and a glass (or two) of wine.”

One of our favorite pasta dishes:

So maybe we’ll take it from Palermino and steer clear of the cleanse route altogether. However, it’s comforting to know that if we ~happen~ to eat ~just pasta~ for seven straight days, we ~probably~ won’t end up on a puddle on the floor.

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