Is the celeb-backed human being diet all it’s cracked up to be?

The human being diet is said to promote boundless energy, flawless skin, better sleep and more, but is it really a magic bullet for health?

While some socialites are “swearing” by the human being diet, Sydney dietitian Jessica Spendlove is warning people to be cautious of starting excessive and restrictive eating plans – especially for people with a history of eating disorders.

“My concern would be for anyone who has a history of any kind of disordered eating or eating disorder,” Jessica says.

“Also, for those with a known or unknown underlying medical conditions, as going on something quite restrictive can flare things up or have unknown consequences.”

What is the human being diet?

The human being diet is an eating program developed by UK nutrition expert Petronella Ravenshear and published in a book of the same name in 2018.

Reportedly adopted by celebrities including fashion designer Donna Ida and make-up artist Jemma Kidd, the human being diet claims to promote boundless energy, ideal weight, flawless skin, refreshing sleep, better sex and healthy digestion.

The three-month diet program is described as suitable for men and women who are not pregnant or breastfeeding, and involves a metabolic reset that consists of 10 rules.

Petronella says the human being diet can boost energy levels, stabilise blood sugar levels, rebalance hormones, and relieve many painful conditions.

Who is Petronella Ravenshear?

Having studied at the Institute for Optimum Nutrition in London, the Natura Foundation and The Institute for Functional Medicine, nutritionist Petronella is also a senior associate member of the Royal Society of Medicine.

Petronella’s philosophy on food is to eat food as close to nature as possible, and if you can pick it or dig it up and eat it, then eat it.

What does the human being diet involve?

Petronella describes the first 16 days of the diet as “hardcore” on her website, as they are oil, alcohol, sugar and grain free.

The four phases of the diet are:

  • Phase 1: Preparation, which includes two days of vegetables only.
  • Phase 2: Reset, which includes 14 days of eating three meals a day, combining equal weights of one type of protein and a mixture of vegetables as well as eating one apple a day.
  • Phase 3: Burn, which includes 10 weeks of a continuation of phase two, with the addition of olive oil and a weekly treat meal.
  • Phase 4: Forever – a continuation of phase three and a discovery of which foods best suit us. Experimenting with extra treat meals but maintaining the human being diet

What foods can I eat on the human being diet?

What you should and should not eat when on the human being diet depends on which phase you’re currently in. According to the human being diet cookbook, it recommends:

Phase 1

Recipes are centred on vegetables such as the ‘totally delicious vegetable soup’, which only takes 20 minutes to prepare and has a serving size of up to six.

Packed with ingredients such as butternut pumpkin, zucchini, spinach leaves and vegetable stock, all you need is a large saucepan to simmer and stir the mixture together.

Phase 2

This phase has a little more variety when it comes to ingredients, as shown in the ‘pan seared chicken with cauliflower and spring onion mash’, which can be eaten for lunch or dinner.

Other recipes also include Mediterranean cod, apple seed muesli or Mexican bean burger with guacamole.

Can you drink coffee on the human being diet?

If you’re a coffee lover, being on a human being diet doesn’t mean you should give up on your adrenaline shot.

However, there seems to be a slight catch.

According to Petronella, coffee or tea is allowed as long as there is no milk in them – which means saying goodbye to lattes and hello to long blacks.

Is alcohol allowed on the human being diet?

Alcohol is a no-go if you’re on this diet – but it can be good news if you were already thinking of cutting down on the booze.

Is the human being diet good for us?

The restrictive and excessive nature of the first few phases of the program are cause for concern, according to Jessica.

“The first two phases are extremely restrictive as they are eliminating a lot of food groups which should be in someone’s daily dietary pattern for many nutritional benefits,” she says.

Petronella promotes the human being diet as a way of life, rather than a diet.

But Jessica says following this diet long term may risk many nutritional deficiencies.

“My concern would be even some potential diseases, depending on the person and what their genetic profile is,” she says.

Jessica says people looking to start a healthy eating plan should discuss their individual needs with a dietitian or medical practitioner.

“When something claims to do everything, like improve digestion, improve skin, have better sex, lose weight, sleep better, when something sounds too good to be true, it generally is,” she says.

More on finding a diet that best suits your body’s needs:

Written by Savannah Pocock. Updated by Melissa Hong, February 2024.